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Personal information
Full name José Ribamar de Oliveira
Date of birth (1932-09-24)September 24, 1932
Place of birth Coroatá, Maranhão, Brazil
Date of death August 16, 1974(1974-08-16) (aged 41)
Place of death São Paulo
Position(s) Left winger
Youth career
1948–1949 Paysandu
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1954 América FC (CE) 39 (10)
1954 Paissandu EC 29 (15)
1954–1963 São Paulo FC 415 (103)
1963–1965 CD Nacional (Guadalajara, MX) 56 (28)
1965 Toluca FC, MX 30 (7)
1965–1966 Nacional AC (SP) 55 (27)
1966–1969 Saad EC (SP) 25 (17)
Total 649 (207)
National team
1955–1959 Brazil 19 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

José Ribamar de Oliveira, best known as Canhoteiro (24 September 1932 - 16 August 1974) was a Brazilian footballer, He was 168 centimeters tall and was a extremely fast left winger with excellent technique. He was quick and particularly adept at dribbling, he scored many goals. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of São Paulo, and he is considered to be one of the best dribblers ever. It was said that what Garrincha did on the right wing, Canhoteiro did it on the left wing, but despite having joined the national team at the same time, they have played together sometimes. Equal on opposite sides of the pitch, both interpreted football in a cheerful and playful way. He is recognized by many as one of the finest left-wingers of all time. His nickname was "The Garrincha of the left".

Early days[change | change source]

Canhoteiro was born in the city of Coruata on September 24, 1932. There, his father Cecilio kept a tent where he sold corn porridge and tapioca to workers. Canhoteiro spent his childhood there, who, contrary to the wishes of his father, did not particularly bother himself with studying and reading books. Cecilio was very afraid that he would spend his life just like himself, selling porridge. Later, he began playing football, playing for the youth team Moto Club da San Luis. At the same time, he got his first job: thanks to his friendship with market traders, he, while still a very young man, began working as a truck driver for short distances. He then played for the amateur club Paysandu de San Luis.

Club career[change | change source]

At the beginning of 1949, the president of the America club from the city of Fortaleza, Livio Correia Amaro, managed to convince Cecilio that his son went to this team to play football professionally after showing the president his great skills and dribbling. He immediately began to stand out for his game and even played for the national team of the state of Ceara. In April 1954, Canhoteiro moved to São Paulo, who paid 100,000 cruzeiro for the striker's transfer. He made his debut for the team on 8 April against Corinthians, where he beat the club's defender, Idario, 14 times. At the club, Canhoteiro ousted Teixerinho from the squad. On April 18, he already scored the first goal for the club, hitting the Linense goal. The following year, the winger helped the team win the Small World Cup, and two years later, win the Sao Paulo State Championship. In 1960, the striker was part of the São Paulo team that played the first game of the newly built Morumbi Stadium with Montevideo 's Nacional; the national team beat the Uruguayan team with a score of 3:0, and Canhoteiro scored one of the goals. In the same year, the footballer suffered a very serious knee injury, which was inflicted on him by the Corinthians player Homero Oppi. The winger recovered from the injury, but he could no longer show his former level. In total, for Sao Paulo, he spent 415 games (230 wins, 95 draws and 90 losses), of which 338 matches in starting lineup, and 105 goals, according to third data, he spent 415 matches in the team and scored 103 goals. In 1963, Cañoteiro left for Mexico, to the Nacional club. There he played until 1965, and then spent two seasons in Toluca, where he scored 7 goals. Then the player returned to Brazil, signing a contract with Nacional". He later played for Saad and Araras.

International career[change | change source]

In the national team of Brazil, Canhoteiro made his debut on November 17, 1955 in a 3-3 draw against the Paraguayan national team, at the stake of which was the Copa Oswaldo Cruz 1955. It was a successful debut as Canhoteiro in 6 minutes and his scored his first and only goal. In 1956, Canhoteiro participated in the 1956 Copa América, where Brazil finished fourth. At that tournament he played in four matches against: Chile, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. Canhoteiro also participated in the 1957 Copa América where Brazil ended up as runners-up but only played once. In 1958 he was close to going to the World Cup, but he was left off after losing a place to Mário Zagallo and Pepe as well as the fear of flights so he was unnamed for the tournament. The last time for the Canhoteiro national team appeared on September 20, 1959 in a 1-0 win against Chile's national team, with Copa O'Higgins 1959 at stake. In total, he appeared 19 times for the Brazilian national team and scored 1 goal.

Life after football and death[change | change source]

After completing his career as a football player, Canhoteiro could not find himself in life for a long time. He started using drugs and alcohol. Thanks to friends, he was able to get a job at the State Bank of São Paulo, where he worked in a local restaurant and he was always smiling. On August 13, 1974, after eating feijoada and washing it down with caipirinha and beer, he began to complain of a severe headache. Before going to work in a restaurant, Canhoteiro went to his friends where he fainted. He was taken to the hospital after being diagnosed with a stroke. Three days later he passed away on August 16, at the age of 41 and his funeral was held days later.

International career statistics[change | change source]


Brazil national team
1955 1 1
1956 11 0
1957 2 0
1958 2 0
1959 3 0
Total 19 1

Honours[change | change source]

São Paulo



  • L'Équipe's top 50 South-American footballers in history: #29[2]
  • Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame
  • IFFHS Brazilian Player of the 20th Century (30th place)[3]
  • IFFHS South American Player of the 20th Century (37th place)[3]
  • The Best of The Best – Player of the Century: Top 50[4]
  • Rio-São Paulo Tournament Best Player: 1962

References[change | change source]

  1. "Manoel José Ribamar de Oliveira "Canhoteiro" - International Appearances and Goals".[permanent dead link]
  2. "Top 50 des joueurs sud-américains de l'histoire" [Top 50 South-American footballers in history] (in French). L'Équipe. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 IFFHS' Century Elections Archived 3 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "The Best of The Best" Archived 26 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 18 November 2015