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Telê Santana da Silva, usually known as Telê Santana (July 26, 1931 – April 21, 2006), was a Brazilianmarker football manager and former player. He was born in Itabiritomarker, Minas Geraismarker.

As a player, his preferred position was right winger. However, he started his career as a goalkeeper.

His career as a manager started in 1967, coaching Fluminense Football Club youth squad. Four years later, Telê led Atlético Mineiromarker to win the first Brazilian League title. Regarded to have coached one of the best Brazilian national squads in 1982 FIFA World Cup and 1986 FIFA World Cup, however, he failed to win the tournament in both occasions. He is also well known as the manager responsible for the 1992 and 1993 São Paulo Copa Libertadores de América and Intercontinental Cup titles. In 1996, he had to retire, because he was suffering from ischemia.

He had part of his left leg amputated in 2003 after suffering of ischemia in his left foot. He was operated at Hospital Felício Roxo, in Belo Horizontemarker.

Santana died on April 21, 2006 in Belo Horizonte, due to an abdominal infection. His body was buried at Cemitério Parque da Colina, in Belo Horizonte.

Santana is widely credited for the invention of the "jogo bonito" (beautiful game in Portuguese) by the vast majority of the Brazilian press. His full attack mentality of play was best displayed with the 1982 Brazilian national squad who fell 3–2 to Italy in the Second Round of the Cup. Santana was criticized by most for refusing to switch Brazil's style of play versus Italy since Brazil only needed to tie the game to reach the Semifinals due to the original World Cup set up at the time. Many still feel that Santana should have placed more emphasis on defense and a counter attack strategy due to circumstances of the match. Regardless of the fact that Santana never lead the Brazilian squad to glory he is still regarded as one of greatest coaches and innovators in the history of Brazilian football.

Playing career

He played for clubs such as Fluminense, Guarani, Madureira and Vasco. He was also a reserve player of the Brazil national football team.

Managerial honors




  • Enciclopédia do Futebol Brasileiro, Volume 2 - Lance, Rio de Janeiro: Aretê Editorial S/A, 2001.

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