World Cup Archives—Part III: Rallying from a Natural Disaster to Winning the Jules Rimet Trophy for Good (Chile 1962 to Mexico 1970)

As the 2014 World Cup draws increasingly closer to kick-off, Melosport continues to round-up the best of the archives across a seven-part series


1962 Chile World Cup

1962 Official World Cup Poster

1962 Official World Cup Poster

After two successive World Cups were hosted in Europe, the Americas Confederations were adamant that a South American host be selected for the 1962 World Cup, otherwise they would boycott the World Cup.

Argentina threw their hat into the ring and were up against minnows Chile. With the majority of infrastructure already in place, Argentina’s representative Raul Colombo proudly (and perhaps arrogantly) boasted:

“Podemos hacer el Mundial mañana mismo. Lo tenemos todo”—We can start the World Cup tomorrow. We have it all

Carlos Dittborn, President of Chile’s Organisational Committee, had lobbied with FIFA executives extensively and when concluding Chile’s presentation he said:

“Porque nada tenemos, lo haremos todo”—Because we have nothing, we will do everything

Chile's master tactician off the pitch—Charles Dittborn

Chile’s master tactician off the pitch—Charles Dittborn

The FIFA members were impressed enough to award Chile a majority decision, and Dittborn’s words became ever more poignant following the Valdivia Earthquake of 1960 (the most powerful ever recorded at 9.5m on the Richter Scale). This event caused widespread devastation including national infrastructure and his emphatic words addressing FIFA Congress became a slogan for Chile’s recovery.

In two years, Chile rebuilt everything and was amazingly ready for the World Cup. Sadly, given Dittborn’s extensive efforts to ensure Chile remained hosts by working relentlessly to deliver the project on time, he passed away aged only 38, just one month before the World Cup.

Incredibly Chile battled back from complete devastation in 1960 to host the World Cup two years later

Incredibly Chile battled back from complete devastation in 1960 to host the World Cup two years later

The World Cup’s format remained consistent with 1958 as 16 teams qualified for the finals and were split into four groups of four. This remained the case for the latter 1966 and 1970 tournaments. Rather than participate in play-offs in the event of ties on points, goal average would separate teams.

Of the four seeded teams: Brazil, England, Uruguay and Italy; only the former two progressed out of their group. In England’s case, it was due to having a healthier goal average than Argentina.

1962 was a turning point for football. The Magical Magyars’ and the Wunderteam’s offensive football made way to stingy defences with less than three goals on average scored per match during the tournament.

With 21-year-old Pele now rated as the best player in the world, heavy expectation weighed down his young shoulders. His World Cup lasted two games as he suffered an injury in his group match against the Soviet Union. Despite the obvious blow to Selecao, Garrincha, an spell-binding winger stepped up to become the Samba shining light.

In Pele's absence Garrincha stepped up for Selecao

In Pele’s absence Garrincha stepped up for Selecao

Despite Brazil’s best efforts flamboyant football was rare in a tournament better remembered for the Battle of Santiago. Before the World Cup two Italian journalists lit a fuse between Italy and Chile after their less than flattering description of Santiago. The tension became acutely hostile, particularly considering that the journalists in question had to flee Chile before the World Cup commenced.

The group match was less than 15 seconds old when the caution occurred. This became merely a cue for punches to be regularly exchanged, with police having to intervene on more than one occasion. Two players were sent-off but more should have followed.

English broadcaster David Coleman was disgusted with the events:

Chile won 2-0 which aided their qualification from the group. The hosts eventually succumbed 4-2 against Brazil in the semi-finals where Garrincha followed-up his brace against England in the quarter-finals with another two goals.

“The most extraordinary right winger football has known” —L’Equipe on Garrincha

With Pele missing, Garrincha firmly took the limelight and aged 25, was at the peak of his powers. In addition to scoring in the semi-final, he was also sent-off against Chile but instead of being suspended for the final against Czechoslovakia, the Brazilian Football Association convinced FIFA to let him play.

Vava became the first player to score in two World Cup finals as his goal sealed a 3-1 win for Brazil. The Samba boys became the first team since Italy to retain the World Cup in 1938. Considering this feat was achieved during an era when most teams participated in the World Cup, no team in the world had dominated to this scale previously.

Key Facts

  • Teams: 16
  • Winner: Brazil
  • Runner-up: Czechoslovakia
  • Goals: 89 in 32 games (average 2.8 per match)
  • Golden Boot:  Garrincha; Vava (both Brazil); Leonel Sanchez (Chile); Florian Albert (Hungary); Valentin Ivanov (USSR); Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia)—4 goals


1966 England World Cup

1966 Official World Cup Poster

1966 Official World Cup Poster

With the World Cup returning across the Atlantic to European shores, three nations contested to host the tournament—England, West Germany and Spain.

England won the vote and for the country who invented the sport, football was finally coming home.

The host’s organisational skills were of the top order apart from one slight snag—the theft of the Jules Rimet trophy whilst at an exhibition. Panic ensued, with a replica trophy being created but that was not required after a curious canine named Pickles discovered the trophy under bushes in South London.

Pickles found the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 and became an unlikely hero

Pickles found the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 and became an unlikely hero

Order was restored and the tournament could begin. England, West Germany, Brazil and Italy were the four seeded teams and therefore kept separate during the group stage.

As per the previous tournament, 1966 witnessed a recurring theme of defences stifling attacks. England’s group stage performance illustrated this well as they finished top of their group by keeping three clean sheets and scoring only four goals.

Meanwhile FIFA introduced doping and decided to clamp down on violence following 1962’s unsavoury scenes. This approach resulted in Argentina receiving a caution following their overly physical exertions during their group games.

Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal created history by competed at his fifth World Cup.

Defending champions Brazil were located in Liverpool and Goodison Park witnessed Pele and Garrincha become the first players to score in three World Cups by netting in a 2-0 win over Bulgaria.

Pele though suffered an injury and would miss their Hungarian encounter, against his wishes, which Brazil surprisingly lost 3-1—their first defeat in 12 years of World Cup football.

Eusebio in action at Wembley

Eusebio in action at Wembley

This set them up for a crucial encounter against Portugal who made their World Cup debut in 1966. Boyed by two victories thus far, the Portuguese boasted an array of attacking talent, spearheaded by Benfica’s European Player of the Year Eusebio, who inflicted collateral damage at will.

Pele was not 100 percent fit but returned for the pivotal match. Given there were no substitutes, he was ineffective and Eusebio put Brazil to the sword, ending their assured dominance of world football.

“There were so many mistakes in the lead-up to the Cup, we could easily not have won any matches at all. All that coming and going [player plus coaching turnover], the training sessions, the matches, the change of climate and food, the lack of adequate preparation, the directors’ over-confidence—all this led to what happened in England—total, shameful failure.” – Pele The Autobiography

In Italy’s group, a huge World Cup shock materialised as the Azzurri lost 1-0 to North Korea (who had qualified for the World Cup by beating Australia). Pak Doo-Ik scored the only goal of the match which meant the jubilant North Koreans became the first representatives outside of Europe and South America to progress through to the knock-out stages of a World Cup.

Pak Doo Ik sinks Italy in 1966 in Middlesbrough

Pak Doo Ik sinks Italy in 1966 in Middlesbrough

They then faced Portugal in what became an epic quarter-final clash, whereby the underdogs raced into a 3-0 lead within the opening 30 minutes. In the only occasion in World Cup football, Portugal turned the three-goal deficit on its head, with Eusebio scoring four goals as they progressed to the semi-finals to face hosts England.

The Three Lions were coached by strict disciplinarian and uber tactician Alf Ramsey, whose approach ensured his stars kept their feet on the ground.

His team had an exceptionally strong nucleus of shot-stopper Gordon Banks, the elegant defender Bobby Moore plus the dynamic Bobby Charlton. In addition Geoff Hurst, the young West Ham United forward, became the replacement of the prolific Jimmy Greaves following his injury against the French.

England narrowly beat Argentina 1-0 thanks to a Geoff Hurst header. The match was marred by La Albiceleste’s captain Antonio Rattin being dismissed for constantly arguing with the referee. At the end of the match, Ramsey refused to allow his players to swap shirts with opponents who had played like “animals”.

Charlton fires in against Portugal during the 1966 semi-finals at Wembley

Charlton fires in against Portugal during the 1966 semi-finals at Wembley

The semi-finals were an all-European affair as England faced Portugal and West Germany played the USSR. England saved their best performance of the tournament to beat Portugal 2-1 thanks to a Bobby Charlton double. A Eusebio goal was not enough and he left the pitch in tears—this match is remembered as Jogo das Lágrimas (Game of Tears) in Portugal.

The score line was replicated in the other semi-final as West Germany, with the highly impressive 20-year-old Franz Beckenbauer amongst their ranks, beat the USSR to set up an England versus West Germany World Cup final.

The final was a hugely entertaining one as the Germans scored a late equaliser to send the game into extra-time at 2-2. Hurst who had already scored in normal time, scored England’s controversial third, where his effort cannoned back off the underside of the bar, onto the goal line—Soviet linesman Bahramov awarded the goal but even to this day there is no solid evidence to confirm whether or not it should have stood.

That became inconsequential towards the end of the match as the ever chic Moore picked out Hurst who raced down on goal. Kenneth Wolstenholme then delivered an immortal line of commentary as Hurst emphatically claimed his hat-trick (only hat-trick scored in a World Cup final).

“There’s people on the pitch, they think it’s all over…it is now!”

England became the first hosts to win the World Cup since Italy in 1934.

Key Facts

  • Teams: 16
  • Winner: England
  • Runner-up: West Germany
  • Goals: 89 in 32 games (average 2.8 per match)
  • Golden Boot:  Eusebio (Portugal)—9 goals in 6 matches


1970 Mexico World Cup

Official 1970 World Cup poster

Official 1970 World Cup poster

Argentina and Mexico jostled to win the right to host in 1970. Mexico won and in doing so, became the World Cup’s first hosts outside Europe and South America.

Although the format was relatively consistent, separating teams via goal average during the group stage was replaced with goal difference.

Technological advances by 1970, meant that the matches were broadcasted around the world and in colour. Referees were able to issue yellow and red cards, although ironically no players were sent-off in 1970 (along with 1950 these are the only two tournaments where this has occurred).

Given the global television audience, FIFA targeted brand maximisation by harshly scheduling some matches at midday. This was understandably met with resistance from countries as the Mexican heat, plus altitude, would already be considerable obstacles.

Telstar football World Cup 1970

Telstar football World Cup 1970

Substitutes were allowed for the first time and one of the World Cup’s ever-present business partners Adidas introduced the “Telstar” ball for the tournament.

There were debuts for Israel, Morocco (first African representatives since 1934) and El Salvador whose qualifying match against Honduras incited a war between the two nations.

Unlike previous tournaments, there would be no seeding system which resulted in holders England paired with Brazil in the group stage. The match between the pair was settled by a solitary goal—scored by Jairzinho. However, the match would forever be remembered for Gordon Banks’ save from a bullet Pele header.

Brazil went on to complete a 100 percent record in the group and England progressed as runners-up. The brutal physicality of the previous two World Cups had been replaced with attacking flair as Pele ended his two-year retirement from the Selecao to team up with Jairzinho, Rivelino, Gerson, Clodoaldo and skipper Carlos Alberto.

West Germany’s Uwe Seeler joined Pele in scoring in his fourth World Cup, but the Germans’ focal goal threat came from Gerd Muller who scored two hat-tricks in the group stage as Die Mannschaft won their matches against Peru, Bulgaria and Morocco.

Italy displayed the merits of catenaccio as they finished top of their respective group by scoring only one goal and conceding none.

A repeat of the 1966 World Cup final was the highlight of the quarter-finals. England, without Banks who had suffered food poisoning the day before, raced into a 2-0 lead and took off two of their stars before the influential Franz Beckenbauer pulled one back. Seeler equalised to take the match into extra-time and Muller scored a typically predatory winner.

Brazil beat the exciting Peruvians 4-2; Uruguay beat the USSR; and Italy beat Mexico 4-1 to ensure the semi-finalists were all former champions.

Italy and West Germany line up before their classic 1970 encounter

Italy and West Germany line up before their classic 1970 encounter

The semi-finals witnessed a World Cup classic encounter as West Germany took on Italy.

Italy led 1-0 late into the match and it seemed the Italian defence would not be penetrated since they had only conceded one goal in 360 minutes. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger equalised to send the match into extra-time. What happened next is unprecedented as the two sides exchanged five goals during the next 30 minutes.

The Germans were so determined to win, Franz Beckenbauer injured his shoulder but played on with his arm in a sling. Ballon d’Or winner Gianni Rivera won the match to send Italy to the World Cup final.

The Brazilians kept moving through the gears with Pele almost scoring a goal of supreme improvisation in the 3-1 semi-final win over Uruguay.

Given both Brazil and Italy had previously won the World Cup twice, the winner of the match would become the permanent owner of the Jules Rimet trophy (as FIFA has previously agreed that a three-time winner would be permanently awarded the trophy).

The final was one of fairy tales and cemented the 1970 Brazilian team as one of the best the world has ever seen. The goal to clinch the World Cup final has to be watched to be fully appreciated.

Key Facts

  • Teams: 16
  • Winner: Brazil
  • Runner-up: Italy
  • Goals: 95 in 32 games (average 3.0 per match)
  • Golden Boot:  Gerd Muller (West Germany)—10 goals in 6 matches



World Cup Archives—Part II: From Capoeria Disappointment to the Emergence of Pele (Brazil 1950 to Sweden 1958)

– World Cup Archives—Part I: From Launching one of the World’s Greatest Sporting Dynasties to the Brink of War (Uruguay 1930 to France 1938)

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