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Brazil in the World Cup 1966 - England

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Matches and Players

Bellini, Gilmar, Altair, Djalma Santos, Lima, Garrincha,
Jairzinho, Tostão, Paulo Henrique, Alcindo and Gérson.
Brazil in the 1966 World Cup - England

The team (line-up in the first match, against Bulgaria): Gilmar, Djalma Santos, Bellini (C), Altair and Paulo Henrique; Denílson and Lima; Garrincha, Alcindo, Pelé, Jairzinho.
Substitutes: Manga (G), Fidélis, Brito, Orlando, Zito, Silva, Tostão, Rildo, Gérson, Paraná and Edu.
Coach: Vicente Feola.

The Matches:
»Brazil 2 x 0 Bulgaria.
»Brazil 1 x 3 Hungria.
»Brazil 1 x 3 Portugal.

More: information about the World Cup Brazil 2014.

The Preparation

As the champion of the 1962 World Cup, Brazil didn't have to play the Qualifying of the 1966 World Cup.

World Cup 1966 poster
Poster 1966

In a way, the success of the campaigns in the World Cups of 1958 (Sweden) and 1962 (Chile) was harmful for Brazil.
Brazil was champion of those two World Cups much thanks to the professional way that Paulo Machado de Carvalho had organized the team and the commission: no external influences, no personal favouritism.

In 1966, all football authorities in Brazil wanted to be associated with the success of the Brazilian team.
The President of the Brazilian Confederation, João Havelange, dismissed Paulo Machado, who was drawing too much attention. Havelange also dismissed Aymoré Moreira, coach in 1962, and called Vicente Feola, coach in 1958.

All major Brazilian clubs wanted to have their players in the Brazilian team, so as to give them more exposure.

1966 Mascot Willie England
Willie,
First World Cup Mascot

So, in the few months before the Cup, Feola, responding to pressures from the clubs, called nothing less than 46 different players for evaluation.

Feola created four sub-teams, within the Brazilian team: green, blue, white and red. This created a lot of internal dispute and psychological pressure, as everyone knew that only 22 would be rostered to play the Cup.

In the end, the group which went to England was composed of some experienced players from 1962 (Gilmar, the goalkeeper, was now aged 36; Djalma Santos was the eldest, 37; Zito was 34), some younger players, who were good promises in 1966 and would become stars in 1970 (Gerson, Tostão, Jairzinho), the two main stars, Garrincha and Pelé, and many average players.

After the Cup was done, Brazilians understood that, with such a bad preparation, the team could not have gone any further than it did.

The Matches

Brazil's first match was against Bulgaria. Brazil won by 2 x 0, one goal by Pelé and another by Garrincha.
That was the last time that Pelé and Garrincha played side by side (Pelé wouldn't play the next match, against Hungary, and Garrincha wouldn't play the following, against Hungary). In a total of 40 matches, they did not lose ONE match, when playing together.

The next match was against Hungary. The Magyars were not as powerful as a few years earlier, but they were still respectable, having finished the Euro Cup of 1964 in third place.
Pelé got injured in the match against Bulgaria; Denilson had not played well, and was also substituted.
Their substitutes were good (Gérson and Tostão, important players of the Brazilian team in the Mexico 70 World Cup), but not enough to stop the Hungarians.
The game was tight in the first half (1 x 1), but in the second half Hungary imposed their better football and won by 3 x 1.

The next match would be against Portugal; to remain in the Cup, Brazil would have to win the match.
The Brazilian coach, Feola, panicked. He changed the entire defense, including the goalkeeper. In the attack, he maintained Jairzinho and substituted the other two players. In the midfield, he returned to the formation of the first match, even knowing that Pelé was still recovering from his serious injuries.

Portugal, in 1966, was playing their best Cup. The team was coached by a Brazilian, Otto Gloria, and counted with Eusébio, from Mozambique, the main star of the 1966 Cup and one of the best players in Football History.

So, Portugal beating Brazil was not a surprise: Eusébio scored twice, Tostão scored for the Brazilians, the match resulted 3 x 1.
However, what caused surprise was the violence to which the Portuguese team resorted. From the start, everytime Pelé touched the ball, he was put down by a Portuguese; in his last play in that Cup, the British television showed that Pelé escaped two fouls, but was violently hit by a third player; Pelé had to be carried out of the field, unable to walk.

Brazil returned home early, without getting past the first stage of the cup. For the disorganization and for the bad results, this is considered the worst performance of Brazil in a World Cup.

After beating Brazil, Portugal had an epic victory over Korea (Time magazine considered that one of the Top 10 Games of all World Cups), by 5 x 3 (recovering from a 0 x 3 loss, 4 goals by Eusébio), but could not get past England, which had beaten Argentina.
The other finalist was Germany, which beat Uruguay and the Soviet Union.

England and Germany played the final match of the 1966 Cup.
In the normal time, the score was 2 x 2. In the extension, England scored twice and won by 4 x 2.
The third English goal was very controversial.Even though FIFA say that's unknown for sure whether or not the ball crossed the line in the third English goal, movies show that the ball indeed did NOT cross the goal line (the ENTIRE ball must pass the line).

Anyway, there is little arguing that England was the deserving winner of the World Cup 1966.

World Cup 1966 - Other Info

»FIFA Archives of the 1966 World Cup.

»The German revenge: in 1966, England didn't deserve it, but the goal was allowed by the referee; in England deserved it, but the goal was disallowed.

»This was the first Cup to be broadcasted live on television.
During the Cup, the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen; a police-dog found it a few days latter, in an alley in London. The Jules Rimet would be conquered by Brazil, in 1970; it was stolen years latter, from the Brazilian Confederation, and melted. Read more about the disappearance of the Jules Rimet.

»The usage of red and yellow cards was introduced only in the World Cup of 1970, in Mexico. In 1966, in the match between Argentina and England, the Argentina's captain, Ubaldo Ratim, tried to complain to the German referee about the violence of the English players; to make himself understood, he started to ask for a translator; the referee misunderstood his acting and expelled him; on his way out of the field, Ratim spit on a British flag.

»Edu, the left-forward, was the youngest Brazilian player to ever go to a World Cup; born on August 6th 1949, he was only sixteen when Brazil was in England. Edu didn't play any match in 1966, but he went also to the 1970 Cup, and played a few minutes (he was substitute of Rivelino).