The first Brazilian striker to play for Barcelona scored more times than Ronaldo and Romario combined, had a better goals-to-games ratio than Neymar or Rivaldo and got the goal that knocked Real Madrid out of the European Cup for the very first time – before crossing that bitter divide two years later.
For Brazil, he holds a goalscoring record that Pele never matched, yet was prohibited from playing at the 1958 World Cup. As a manager, he led 16 different teams, including Iraq, where he worked alongside Saddam Hussein’s son.
Now aged 87, Evaristo de Macedo Filho looks back on a remarkable career in football – and the extraordinary goal that still defines him as a Barca legend, despite everything that followed.
Born in 1933, Evaristo grew up in northern Rio de Janeiro, far from the city’s famous beaches and postcard views. He played football just for fun on the streets, but that changed after he tagged along to a…