Edvaldo Isidio Neto, better known to the world as Vava, has a unique record set against his name. Among the four players who have scored in two FIFA World Cup finals, Vava is the only one who has managed it in successive editions. The dynamic Brazilian scored twice in the 1958 final in Sweden and a single goal in the 1962 final in Chile.
Vava was regarded as a big match player. He scored only fifteen goals for Brazil in his 20 appearances for the national team between 1955 and 1964. But among them nine came at the World Cup. Of those, seven were scored in the final (3), semi-final (3) or quarter-final (1). The other two saved his team from in group matches in 1958.
Vava’s professional career as a footballer took a flight when he joined Rio’s Vasco da Gama in 1951. He debuted with a goal for Vasco which clinched the state championship that year. His thrust and penetration by running through the defence of the opponent was well-known. Vava continued to shine in the Vasco da Gama team which won the 1956 state championship and the 1958 Rio-Sao Paulo trophy.
In the midst of his flourishing Vasco career, Vava got the national call. In the 1958 edition of the World Cup, the 19-year-old Mazzola was the preferred centre-forward for Brazil. But coach Vicente Feola, did not find him dependable in crucial matches and so handed the responsibility to Vava. Feola’s decision paid rich dividend as Vava scored twice against Russia in the third game. He ended the tournament with five goals in four matches.
Vava left Sao Paolo after his World Cup triumph and moved to Atletico Madrid. He enjoyed his years in Madrid, but preferred the flexibility of Brazilian Football. So he returned to Brazil after a two-year European stint o play for Palmeiras in 1960. Two years later, in 1962, he again rose to the Brazilian occasion with four goals in World Cup campaign in Chile.
Vava’s career took him to Mexico and the United States but he returned again to his homeland to play for Portuguesa. He retired in 1967 while paying for the Rio club.