The tragic end of Chico Gordo, Sporting Braga legend

The tragic end of Chico Gordo, Sporting Braga legend
Starting lineup Sporting Braga in the season 1979-1980. Fat Boy is below the first from right (Football teams)

The entrance of African football in Europe is produced via Portugal, but then France is incorporated hard. Is the Benfica the first team to find jewels in Monzambique and Angola, and finds them so much that they are fundamental in the two European Cups (Champions League, today) getting, consecutively and defeating, respectively, al F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid in the years 1960-61 Y 1961-62, in both finals three African players lined up with the Portuguese side, well it is, Figures equipment.

The most important, Eusebio, the best player in the history of Portuguese football until the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. Mozambican came to win two Golden Boots and a Golden Ball, reaching the figure of 639 goals in a long career full of successes. Eusébio was discovered by chance by a scout Benfica established in Mozambique was amazed that a kid playing barefoot on a Esplanada front of his school.

It got him a local club fichara, the The xa quene, just try. There was only one season, the following year and he moved to Lisbon and joined Benfica. Very poor family, Angolan father who worked building the Mozambican railway network in the home country of the "Black Pearl" and mother, He was born in the latter country, but it was in Europe, Benfica where he won almost everything that was in the football world.

European champion at the team also accompanied other Mozambican, Mario Column and the great goalscorer, José Águas, five times top scorer in the Portuguese league, Angola was, although whites, when his Portuguese parents, He started in football in his hometown, Lobito, where he also was recruited by the network of scouts that Benfica He established by the Portuguese colonies in Africa.

CHICO GORDO follow the steps EUSEBIO

And in the same city, Lobito, on the Angolan coast, Francisco born Bernardo da Silva, footballing known as "Fat Boy" (Chico is short for Francisco, and "fat" not only equivalent in Portuguese to Spanish meaning, but in the Angolan Portuguese Creole it is also synonymous with "big"). And with a story, in calcada source to the Eusebio, He began his adventure in the world of football.

Chico Gordo, being a teenager, He was seen playing for a manager of Port, Fernando Sousa, which he sought to create in the coastal and populous coastal city academy to nurture the northern set of those African players who could be useful, as he had done, very successfully, the Benfica. The low traffic on many city streets, He turned them into makeshift soccer fields, as still happens even today. There, a young lanky, He is playing barefoot attracted wide attention of the Portuguese manager.

He was only seventeen and did amazing things with the ball, He came to finish everything that seemed unattainable. Sousa felt for a team in Lobitos, to observe their true qualities in something "more serious". With the Lobito club just played a dozen games in the Angolan championship, twelve goals. Chico Gordo He came to Portugal and joined Port, being, maybe, too young to play for a club of such magnitude, but coach Espanyol, Josa Maria Pedroto, She gave him a chance to debut in second round of the season 1968-69, in defeat against Vitoria Setubal by 3-1.

He left when the whole "minhoto" and lost by two to zero and played the entire second half. The press was unanimous: the little salvageable from that Port, was the performance of young African value. That same year, also it debuted in European competitions, against him Cardiff, He scored his first goals as portista and ... met the night of a big city.

Of the six years he spent as a Porto player, three on loan. One of them, by the mandatory military service. He did in his native country, as was required, and Porto, He gave three of his young hopefuls who performed military service in the African country (Seninho, Fernando and Chico Gordo), al Football Club of Moxico, linked to the Portuguese army team. With them he wins the only title of his career, Angolan league season 1972-73, Playing 20 encounters and scoring as many goals.

SPORTING BRAGA

After the end of the stage with equipment Porto, caused, partly because of his lack of interest in training and almost full to the nightclubs of the city dedication, He was discharged, after a final assignment in the Lusitania, Second Division, which achieved 22 goals in 25 matches played. The Sporting Braga he signed a contract for three seasons, after, it would extend up to five years wearing successfully the sportinguista shirt.

The Sporting Braga It was a team "lift", used to fighting to avoid relegation, who had just climbed Second Division and struggling to stay with hardships wandering around the lower classification. Chico Gordo He had the confidence of coach Jose Carlos and changed everything, Braga making the club in fourth place (behind the big three, Port, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon) twice, Two sixth and seventh other in another.

He had some outrageous goalscoring figures, but were always acceptable and admiration of all the country gained by achieving the most spectacular goals of the championship season after season. Chico Gordo He became the idol of the fans bracarenses. At the end of his fifth season as pinko, he got the opportunity to play for a club in a foreign league. The Olympique Marseille He knocked on her door. There, a city with a significant presence of Portuguese colony (among them, some former professional players like Antonio Lopes, former del Paços Ferreira, and grandfather's player F.C. Barcelona, Antoine Griezzmann) spoke wonders African lanky striker.

DECLINE AND FINAL TRAGIC

The truth is Chico Gordo He never showed up in Marseille and ended up signing for Vitoria Setubal, where it remained two seasons, but with, again a tendency to decentre and a physical condition that was not ideal for a footballer elite. After finalizing its contract with Setubal and after 11 years in the top flight of Portuguese football (Port, Tirsense (on loan), Sporting de Braga and Vitoria Setubal), signed for Beira-Mar Aveiro, the second Portuguese team. He barely played a couple of games and did not get to make debut in official party.

injury, absences in training, deconditioning, He gained a lot of weight and slowed alarmingly, and hang up his boots at the end of the season it was his way. Own Eusebio he called it the African striker of higher quality than ever seen, but the truth is that his eleven years in the elite he did little, even it is having been five times international sub 21 with the Portuguese national team and once with the Olympic. No football, Money flew fast, Y Chico Gordo He ended up as an employee of a factory cartons. There, tragically, reach final, the death labor accident -descuartizado by a shredder- at the age of 51 years.

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