Uruguayan World Cup winner Ghiggia dies aged 88

Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:05pm EDT
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By Patricia Avila and Malena Castaldi

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Alcides Ghiggia, the Uruguayan striker who silenced the Maracana at the 1950 World Cup by scoring the winner against Brazil, died of a heart attack at the age of 88 on Thursday, the 65th anniversary of Uruguay's famous win.

The stunning 2-1 victory over Brazil gave Uruguay their second World Cup title and it remains one of the most talked about results of all time.

He was the last surviving member of that triumphant side.

"He came in this morning with a sore back and they hospitalized him," his son, Arcadio, told a Uruguayan television station. "He was talking to me about football and suddenly he stopped. They tried to revive him but to no avail."

Hosts Brazil needed just a draw in the final match of the competition to lift the World Cup for the first time and they scored the opening goal through Friaca.

Juan Schiaffino equalized for Uruguay before Ghiggia, then just 23, grabbed the winner 11 minutes from time to silence a capacity crowd of 174,000.

"It was the first time in my life that I heard something that wasn't noise," Schiaffino once said of Ghiggia's goal. "I felt the silence. It felt like everything had ended."

Ghiggia began his career at the Sudamerica club before moving to Penarol, one of Uruguay's biggest teams.   Continued...

Former soccer player Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia of Uruguay holds a jersey as he walks across the field of Centenario Stadium before the start of the World Cup qualifying match between Uruguay and Venezula, in Montevideo, in this June 14, 2008 file picture.  REUTERS/Pablo La Rosa/Files