The FIFA World Cup would have been poorer without Brazil. The charm the Samba Boys bring to the table is simply unparalleled. Fortunately, the tournament has never had to face such a fate in its 88-year history. Brazil are perennial heavyweights as far as World Cup is concerned having won the tournament a record five times.
But a stroll down the memory lane takes us back to 1958, the first ever televised World Cup when Brazil were far from the powerhouse that they are today. They were a team readying themselves for greatness, after suffering a handful of heartbreaks on their, most notable of which was the 1950 World Cup final defeat in their homeland.
Under coach Vincente Feola, Brazil underwent three months of intensive training, and arrived in Sweden for the World Cup much in advance. The desire and preparedness showed as Brazil went from strength to strength as the tournament progressed.
At the heart of their revolution was a 17-year-old kid named Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Pele as he fondly came to be known enriched the tournament with his dazzling skills that left the world spellbound.
Pele who was injured for Brazil's opening two encounters, excelled in the 4-2-4 system that the Samba Boys used, putting opponent defences to the sword. The teenager though couldn't have chosen a better time to hit his peak. Pele scored his first World Cup goal in the quarter-final against Wales to take Brazil through. Little did he know, that the moment that truly announced his arrival at the big stage lay in waiting.
Leading the French 2-1 at halftime in an evenly-fought semi-final contest, Pele took matters into his own hands. He scored a breath-taking hat-trick to demolish the free-scoring Europeans 5-2. By the time, Brazil took on hosts Sweden in the final, they had obtained the favourites tag. The world waited in anticipation of another show from a nimble-foot Brazilian wonderkid and they were not disappointed.
Pele netted twice as Brazil recovered from an early Swedish opener to win the encounter 5-2. The youngster's first goal on the day where he lobbed a defender before volleying the ball into the net is reminisced till date.
The victory in Solna triggered a period of Samba domination as they defended their crown four years later. Brazil were met with disappointment in 1966, but regained their lost pedestal in 1970 when a certain Pele was at the thick of things once again.
The 1958 World Cup will be remembered for a variety of reasons, but none will be more memorable than the sight of a 17-year-old Pele dancing his way past defenders to put Brazil on top of the world.
To read about other famous FIFA World Cup moments, click here.
Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 21:52:09 IST