Football - World Cup 1962 Facts

Posted in Sport

Another Brazilian triumph, but Pel? played in only the opening game against Mexico before being injured. Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final in Santiago with goals from Amarildo, Zito and Vava. The tournament also staged one of the most notorious matches in FIFA World Cup™ history - the Battle of Santiago between Italy and Chile, in which two Italians were sent off and one had his nose broken by a solid left-hook from a Chilean player. 

Brazil back on top

In Chile, at the foot of the Andes, Brazil took off with its second consecutive world title, even with Pel? absent from the team. But this seventh FIFA World Cup is also remembered as the occasion when football became more "physical".

After two consecutive European-based tournaments - Switzerland 1954 and Sweden 1958 - the FIFA World Cup returned to South America twelve years after Brazil played host. FIFA's choice of Chile, however, raised more than a few eyebrows as it was believed to be sorely deficient in many areas (stadiums, access roads, capacity) and incapable of playing host to such a large-scale event.

Fifty-six teams - a new record - took part in the qualifying rounds, which saw the elimination of France and Sweden, two of the big guns from the 1958 tournament. Many first-round games in this 1962 FIFA World Cup, such as USSR vs. Yugoslavia, Chile vs. Italy and West Germany vs. Switzerland, were unfortunately marred by over-physical play.

The ugly side of football had reared its head for the first time in a FIFA World Cup competition: all the more apparent because the Brazilian world champions were not really able to deliver their usual scintillating style of play, having problems getting into their stride. And the injury sustained by Pel? against Yugoslavia did nothing to make matters easier. The star of the 1958 FIFA World Cup finally limped out of the 1962 tournament for good following a muscle injury suffered against Czechoslovakia. Nevertheless, the Brazilians, led by Garrincha and Zagallo, though less devastating than in Sweden, managed to qualify for the quarter-finals, which was not to be the case for Uruguay, Argentina or Italy. 

The Czech surprise

The tournament's emotional high-spot came in the quarter-finals when the host nation Chile defeated the USSR (2-1) and the whole country took to the streets to celebrate. The Chileans' joy was short lived, however, for in the semi-final the Brazilians proved too strong for them. Brazil therefore qualified for their second consecutive final. Their opponents for the title were to be Czechoslovakia, surprise winners over Yugoslavia in the semis.

The Czechs had already forged a draw (0-0) against the Brazilians in the first round and also miraculously beaten the Hungarians in the quarter-finals, the latter having struck the post no less than four times. Against all the odds it was the Czechs who took the lead in this final, before the Brazilians equalised two minutes later and then went on to score two more to retain the title: a magnificent feat from a team including nine players who had taken part in the victorious 1958 campaign. Brazil therefore joined Italy and Uruguay in the honours list as the only nations to have won the Jules Rimet trophy on two occasions. For the moment, at least...

Did You Know?

Arica, 3 June: the Soviet Union are leading the less-fancied Colombian team 4:1 after an hour's play and look like cruising to victory. Then Colombia draw level in a nine-minute interval, during which Lev Yashin - the "Black Spider" - in the Soviet goal had a nightmare spell. However, this is another exception that proves the rule: Lev Yashin is rated as the best goalkeeper in World Cup history. The FIFA trophy for the best keeper in a World Cup competition, introduced in 1994, is named after him in honour of his fine performances.

There are some famous names to be found in the list of the fastest goals: Bryan Robson took 27 seconds to beat France's keeper Ettori in 1982; four years earlier Bernard Lacombe needed 37 to put the ball past Italy's Dino Zoff. The absolute record is held by Vaclav Masek, who scored for Czechoslovakia against Mexico in 1962 after just 15 seconds. (This did not stop the Mexicans, with their legendary keeper Carbajal, from winning the match 3:1). A very surprising honour is held by San Marino, in particular by their then 22-year old player Davide Gualtieri, who scored just 9 seconds after the kick-off whistle in his team's final qualifying match in November 1993 - against England, no less.

adidas Golden Shoe winnerFlorian ALBERT (Hungary) 4
Valentin IVANOV (URS) 4
Leonel SANCHEZ (Chile) 4
VAVA (Brazil) 4


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