1970 World Cup had seen many ‘firsts’- substitutions were allowed (previously, teams could not replace injured or tired players), red and yellow cards were introduced and matches were broadcasted in colours. But these reasons were eclipsed by a bigger and more important occasion for which this edition is remembered.
The host nation of Mexico danced to the samba rhythm as Brazil’s dream team clinched the summit title to take home the Jules Rimet Trophy forever.
When the tournament started, FIFA declared that the World Cup depicting Nike, the Greek Goddess of victory and known as the Jules Rimet Cup, would be permanently awarded to the team who win three finals. Brazil, already winning it in 1958 and 1962, completed their trio in 1970. Thus, according to the declaration, FIFA presented it perpetually to the Brazilian Sports Confederation (CBD), now the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).
In 1970 Brazil were back after their misery in England four years earlier and showed the world how beautifully the game could be played, elevating it to a true art-form. Once voted as the best team in soccer history, Brazil had the foursome forwards- Pele, Roberto Rivelino, Tostao and Jairzinho- who ripped apart the opponent’s defence by an unbelievable attacking format. Pele, who was playing in his last World Cup, acted in the central role in Brazil’s way to the final. The great master played a part in 14 of Brazil’s 19 goals in the tournament.
Carlos Alberto, the defender and the captain, had scored arguably one of the greatest goals in FIFA World Cup to seal a thrilling final win against Italy. Alberto charged from right-back to net Pele’s beautifully measured pass that earlier came from a wonderful move carved out by nine different Brazilian players. “We only realised how beautiful the goal was after the game. The emotion, of course, when I scored that goal was incredible, but after the game, and still today, I realise how beautiful and how important that goal was because everybody is still talking about it,” Alberto later admitted in an interview to BBC.
Amidst all these, there was this man who created history; Brazil forward Jairzinho set a record of scoring in every one of Brazil’s matches en route to the trophy. Previously, Alcides Ghiggia of Uruguay achieved this feat in 1950 but Jaizilho played six matches in comparison to four matches played by Ghiggia.
Thus, the deserving winner won the Cup in such style that it has become a myth now. It was a team that could be undoubtedly held up as the ultimate exponents of the beautiful game.
THE FAMOUS 11:
Defender: Briti, Piazza, Carlos Alberto, Marco Antonio
Midfielder: Clodoldo, Gerson, Everaldo
Forward: Pele, Jairzinho, Rivelno, Tostao
Head Coach: Mario Zagallo
THE FAMOUS VICTORIES
vs Czechoslovakia 4-1 (Rivelino, Pele, Jairzinho-2)
vs England 1-0 (Jairzinho)
vs Romania 3-2 (Pele-2, Jairzinho)
Quarterfinal vs Peru 4-2 (Rivelino, Tostao-2, Jairzinho)
Semifinal vs Uruguay 3-1 (Clodoaldo, Jairzinho, Rivelino)
Final vs Italy 4-1 (Pele, Gerson, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto)