Garrincha: Remains of deceased Brazilian football legend 'missing'

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Garrincha scores against England in 1962

The remains of deceased Brazilian football legend Garrincha are missing, members of his family say.

The remains of the winger, who died in 1983 aged 49, may have been lost in an exhumation, relatives told O Globo.

Garrincha played 50 times for Brazil between 1955 and 1966, helping his nation to World Cup victory in 1958 and 1962, when he shared the golden boot.

His daughter Rosangela Santos said: "My father did not deserve this. It's very upsetting not knowing where he is."

She added: "The mayor has promised him a mausoleum but they need to find him first."

Garrincha's cousin Joao Rogoginsky told O Globo that when another member of the family died and was buried in the same place 10 years ago, Garrincha's bones were removed to be placed in a niche.

However, he said he did not attend the exhumation and "the family did not receive any documents".

An administrator of the cemetery in Mage reportedly said: "There's no certainty that he's buried. We have information that the body was exhumed but there is no document that proves this."

Local mayor Rafael Tubarao has proposed exhuming the grave again, with the family's permission, to conduct a DNA test on what remains there are.

Brazilian cemeteries are usually split into two sections - those with tombs where bodies are buried, and walls with drawer-like concrete niches where ashes or bones are stored.

There are two tombs with Garrincha's name on them, O Globo said. One is a plot where Garrincha was originally laid in 1983 alongside other members of his family. The second is marked with an obelisk and was built in 1985.

Garrincha, which means "little wren" in Brazilian Portuguese, was regarded by many as the greatest dribbler of all time.

But his career was blighted by drink problems and he died of of cirrhosis of the liver.

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