Descended From Garrincha - There's More to Brentford's Latest Signing Than Meets the Eye

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

Brentford announced the signing of teenage midfielder Henrik Johansson this week. But there is much more than initially meets the eye to the Sweden Under-19 international who has arrived at Griffin Park from Halmstads to join the Bees' B team.


Johansson may hail from Scandinavia, but he has legendary footballing blood coursing through his veins as he is the grandson of the late Brazilian superstar Garrincha.

Garrincha remains one of the most famous names in the history of the World Cup, playing in three tournaments and winning two of them during the 1950s and 1960s.

He was at the 1958 finals in Sweden where a teenage Pele shone, but it was in 1962 that the incredible dribbler stunned the world and drove Brazil to a second straight title after his younger colleague saw his competition end prematurely as a result of injury.

Garrincha returned to the World Cup for a third time in 1966 when the finals were hosted in England. And although Brazil were eliminated early and Pele once again struggled, the winger marked the tournament by scoring an iconic free-kick against Bulgaria at Goodison Park.

He was voted FIFA's seventh best player of the 20th century in 1999.

Johansson has admitted that while he's tries not to let his heritage become a distraction, he can't help but think about it and hopes that there is at least a little bit of Garrincha, who passed away in 1983 at the age of just 49, in him.

Image by Jamie Spencer

"I don't really talk about it that much because I don't want it to affect my football or my life but it is always in the back of my mind so I do think about it," Johnansson told the club's official website.

"I like to think there's a little bit of him in how I play. I am an offensive player who is technical and likes to score goals."


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