Thursday 5 January 2023

Dada and the Dictator

Dada Maravilha with General Emilio Medici

Dada Maravilha was notoriously favoured by the head of the Brazilian military dictatorship General Emilio Medici who told Brazil's manager Joao Saldanha, a socialist who was against the right-wing junta, to bring Dada Maravilha into the national squad.

Saldanha told the press that just as he did not tell Medici how to run the country, he would run the Brazilian national team without interference.

Saldanha was forced out under the pretext of player unrest (there was some truth to this because of his hardline managerial style) and Mario Zagalo took his place.

Dada Maravilha was included in the squad which went to Mexico, but he did not feature in the 1970 World Cup.


Dada Maravilha (real name Dario José dos Santos) is not to be confused with the Flamengo striker João Batista de Sales better known as "Fio Maravilha", who inspired the song of his name written by Jorge Ben.

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