The body of Brazil legend Garrincha has vanished from the Rio de Janeiro cemetery where his remains were held, with his family admitting: “We don’t know where he is.”
Garrincha won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958 and 1962 alongside other greats such as Pele and Mario Zagallo.
Nicknamed ‘the Joy of the People’, Garrincha passed in 1983 after a long battle with alcoholism.
He was buried in his hometown of Mage, around 40 miles from Rio de Janeiro.
But an official told Rio-based outlet Extra that his remains had been exhumed and that there is no record of where they are now.
“From our research, we’re not sure he’s still buried,” said the official.
“We have information that the body was exhumed and taken to a niche but there is documentation about the exhumation.”
The Raiz de Sarra cemetery has two tombs with Garrincha’s name on them, according to the Extra newspaper.
He was originally laid in one plot alongside other family members in 1983 before a further one was built in 1985, marked with an obelisk.
One of Garricha’s daughters, Rosangela Santos, said: “We don’t know for sure where he is.
“The mayor has promised him a mausoleum but they need to find him first. It’s very upsetting not knowing where he is.”