Botafogo top of the table: Remember 5 historic players from the Brasileirão leaders

The Río de Janeiro team has had countless stars throughout its 118 years of history
Martín O'Donnell
2023-05-27 15:00:28

Following a fantastic start to the 2023 season, Botafogo find themselves atop the Brasileirão table with 18 points in seven games (W6 L1). The Lone Star fans couldn’t be prouder about their team, who are also leading their group in the Conmebol Sudamericana.

Botafogo have seen other great campaigns throughout history, having won the league title twice and lifting a Copa Conmebol in 1993. Besides, they have seen countless talents don their uniform, but it’s safe to say these five legends stand out over the rest of the pack.


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A two-time world champion with Brazil, Mané Garrincha is probably the most iconic player to ever play for Botafogo. Apart from being a national team legend, the Lone Star can take pride in being the club that saw him blossom into the superstar that he was. Garrincha was previously rejected by Vasco da Gama and São Cristóvão, so Botafogo deserve credit for seeing what others didn’t.


Elegance and class might be the perfect words to describe Didi, a midfielder that got to play for Real Madrid. A winner of multiple trophies with Botafogo, he left his mark for his style of taking free kicks, earning the nickname of “folha seca” (dried leaf) as it’s been said that the ball would go down like a leaf and get in the net.

Mário Zagallo

A world champion in three different roles (player, manager, and assistant coach), Mário Zagallo is beloved at Botafogo for being the coach that led them to one of their two league titles.

Nilton Santos

Another two-time world champion with Brazil, Nilton Santos was the left-back who campaigned for Garrincha’s signature after receiving a nutmeg from the winger in his tryout. Santos spent his entire career at Botafogo, which is a big reason why he became a fan favorite.


A powerful striker whose strength drew parallels with that of a bull, Jairzinho instilled fear in opposing defenses. Many saw him as Garrincha’s successor as he took the winger’s number in 1965, but their characteristics were different. Still, his goal scoring production was outstanding. In 1970, for instance, he bagged an impressive seven goals in six games to help Brazil lift the World Cup.