World Champion with Brazil, Dadá Maravilha celebrates his 78th birthday

Former forward of the Brazilian National Team in 1970 is one of the great strikers in Atlético-MG's history and exudes charisma and personality
Josué Seixas
2024-03-05 10:10:41

Dario José dos Santos, known as Dadá Maravilha, celebrates his 78th birthday this Monday (4). He made history with Brazil by winning the Tri in 1970. The player, then 24 years old, is one of the victorious names for the greatest National Team of all time. He wore the yellow jersey in 12 matches, scoring two goals, with a record of eight wins, one draw, and three losses. In addition to the World Cup in Mexico, he also won the Independence Cup in 1972.


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Born in 1946 in Rio de Janeiro (RJ), the forward was dominant in the box and had an impressive ability to find the back of the net. Besides Dario, the name by which he was called up by Zagallo for the 1970 World Cup, he was also known as “Peito de Aço” (Steel Chest) and “Beija-Flor” (Hummingbird). His folklore side is one of the most distinctive features of his career. A witty speaker and natural scorer, Dadá is credited with the quote “there’s no ugly goal, ugly is not scoring.”

The club where Dadá Maravilha shone the most was Atlético Mineiro, where he scored 211 goals in three stints and won the Brazilian Championship in 1971 and the Minas Gerais State Championships in 1970 and 1978. Before joining Galo, he was brought up by Campo Grande (RJ) in 1967.

After winning the national title in ’71, the forward moved to Flamengo and lifted the trophy of the Rio de Janeiro State Championship in ’74. He then played the ’74 season for Atlético-MG but was signed by Sport in ’75, where he became Pernambuco State Champion. The following season, Internacional was his destination, winning the Gaúcho State Championship and standing out in the victory of the ’76 Brasileirão.

After wearing the jerseys of traditional clubs like Ponte Preta, Paysandu, Náutico, and Santa Cruz, Dadá became a champion again in ’81 and ’82 in the Bahia State Championship. He clinched both titles wearing Bahia’s colors. In the final stages of his career, he played for Goiás, América-MG, Nacional-AM, Rio Negro-AM, XV de Piracicaba, and União de Rondonópolis.