BORN: January 1, 1941
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES: 2 tournaments ('66, '70)
CLUBS: Botafogo, Sao Paolo
INTRODUCTION: The greatest midfielder of the 1970 World Cup and arguably the greatest passer of all-time.
1966 World Cup - England
Gerson was the successor of Didi as Brazil's midfield general in the 1966 World Cup. He was one of the new stars in the side, together with Jairzinho and Tostao. However, Brazil's ageing team faded and collapsed against Hungary and Portugal. The defending champions failed even to reach the second-round.
1970 World Cup - Mexico
Gerson had a superb tournament in 1970 where he orchestrated most of Brazil's brilliant attack during this World Cup. In the first-round against Rumania, he provided memorable 40-yard pass from midfield for Pele to score. Gerson combined superbly with Rivelino and Clodoaldo to setup devastating chances for Pele, Jairzinho and Tostao.
His masterful performances were quickly noticed by opponents and in the semi-final Uruguay put a player on Gerson in the semi-final. With Gerson tightly marked, Brazil struggled to build their fluid attacks. Gerson, however, had other ideas. As the match developed, he deliberately stayed deep in midfield and drew his marker out position. This allowed Clodoaldo to attack and duly brought the Brazil's first goal.
In the final against Italy, Gerson was arguably the man of the match in the star-studded teams which included not only the few Brazilian masters but also Italian greats such as Facchetti, Riva, Mazzola and Rivera. With the game tied at 1-1, Gerson received a pass on the edge of the area, raced away from an Italian marker before firing a powerful shot past Albertosi in the Italian goal. Italy threatened to tie the game but Gerson quickly settled the match with a superb, trademark 40-yard pass that allowed Pele to setup Jairzinho for the third goal.
HIS GOALS IN THE WORLD CUP - COMPLETE RECORD