Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Leônidas da Silva
"He was a rigorously Brazilian player. Had the fantasy, childhoodness, improvisation and the sensuality from the best Brazilian players" Nélson Rodrigues , playwright.
Known as the "Black Diamond" or the "Rubber Man," Leônidas da Silva started his career at local teams in Rio. After scoring twice on his debut for the national team, he joined Peñarol in Uruguay in 1933. After a year, however, he came back to Brazil to play for Vasco da Gama. He helped them win the Championship. After playing in the second World Cup, in 1934, he joined Botafogo and won another Brazilian Championship in 1935. The following year, he joined Flamengo, where he stayed until 1942. He also fought prejudice, being one of the first black players to join the then-elitist Flamengo team. In 1938, he was the World Cup's top-scorer with 8 goals, including a remarkable four goals against Poland. This made him the first player ever to score fours goals in a single World Cup match. Interestingly, he beat Poland's Ernst Willimowski to that honour by five minutes. Willimowski was playing in the same game. The manager, Ademar Pimenta , decided to rest his star striker for the semi-final. This would prove to be a mistake, as the Italians won the game 2-1. He joined São Paulo in 1942 and stayed at the club until his retirement from playing, in 1950.
He is credited with inventing the bicycle kick. However, he himself attributed the invention of this move to another Brazilian player, Petronilho de Brito ; he only perfected it.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details