SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Waldir Peres, the much-maligned goalkeeper in Brazil’s 1982 World Cup side, died of a heart attack yesterday, his former club Sao Paulo said. He was 66.
Peres will always be remembered for a calamitous mistake in Brazil’s opening match against the Soviet Union when he let a 30-metre strike from Andrei Bal squirm through his hands to give the Soviets the lead.
Brazil recovered to win 2-1 and Peres performed competently in victories over Scotland, New Zealand and Argentina. However, they lost 3-2 to a Paolo Rossi-inspired Italy and were eliminated in the second round.
Peres, who won the Brazilian league with Sao Paulo and was second on the all-time appearances list for the club, collapsed while at a family lunch.
He is the second member of the celebrated 1982 team to pass away, after captain Socrates, who died in 2011.