Wednesday, January 14, 2009




World War II & Hitler finally were rid off and the FIFA Football World Cup was back again in full swing this time in Brazil with Europe still recovering from the effects of the war. This World Cup was to host 16 teams but unlike the previous World Cup with 4 Groups of 4 in the opening phase after which each of the group winners would qualify for a Final Group of 4 which the winner of would be the new World Champions. This would be the first and last time that a FIFA World Cup would not have a Single Final Match but rather a final group to decide the world champions. The tournament was to have 16 teams participating but only 13 teams arrived. France who qualified refused to come due to their group game fixtures being 3000 kms apart and Brazil refusing to change the venues for them. Scotland who finished 2nd to England in the battle of the Brits also qualified but refused to enter due to them not winning the competition. In the most bizarre withdrawal of the lot India, who qualified, refused to attend because FIFA would not allow them to play in the World Cup Bare Feet.
Group A
Brazil, Mexico, Yugoslavia & Switzerland. The host & favourites Brazil got the tournament under way with a 4-0 Opening Match hammering of Mexico thanks to 2 goals from star player Ademir. Yugoslavia won their first match against Switzerland 3-0, a match in which Alfred Bickel of Switzerland made history in becoming the only player to play Pre World War II and Post World War II. Yugoslavia then followed up their victory over Switzerland with another 4-1 victory against Mexico. Brazil meanwhile slipped up & drew 2-2 with Switzerland but recovered to beat Yugoslavia 2-0 and win the group. Switzerland beat Mexico 2-1 in the other game.

Group B
England, Chile, USA & Spain. England, after their long absence from FIFA, were expected to win the group and the opening matches resulted in a win for England beating Chile 2-0 and Spain beating USA 3-1. Spain then beat Chile 2-0 and in the upset of the Group Phase USA beat England 1-0. Such was the shock of the result that a certain British Newspaper actually thought there was an error in the wires with regards to the result and actually posted the result USA 1 England 10. Spain then also went on to beat England 1-0 and qualify for the final 4 group. Chile beat USA 5-2 in the other match.

Group C
Sweden, Paraguay & Italy. This group had only 3 teams due to many nations pulling out of the World cup after qualifying for reasons stated above. Defending Champions Italy surprisingly lost their first match 3-2 to Sweden who then drew their next match 2-2 with Paraguay. This meant that Paraguay needed to beat Italy by 2 clear goals to qualify. Italy played for their pride and beat Paraguay 2-0 leaving Sweden to qualify.

Group D
Well due to the reasons for Group C having 3 teams, (Nations deciding not to play in the World Cup), Group D had only two teams, Uruguay the first World Cup Champions and Bolivia. This could hardly be called a Group but anyway Uruguay topped Group D by thrashing Bolivia 8-0 and qualifying for the Final 4 Phase. Uruguay Star player Schiaffino scored 4 Goals.

Final Group Phase
Brazil lived up to their title as tournament favourites by crushing Sweden 7-1 in the opening game of the Finals Group. Ademir Scored 4 goals. In the second game Spain and Uruguay battled out a 2-2 draw. Brazil did not let up and continued blasting their opposition by belting Spain 6-1. Ademir (Photo Below) again scored twice taking his tally to 9 goals which would make him top scorer for the tournament. Uruguay scraped through to a 3-2 victory over Sweden giving them a small chance of winning the World Cup. Spain then lost 3-1 to Sweden who with that result finished 3rd.

Decisive Group Match (Basically the Final)
Undoubtedly from the past 2 games performances and results Brazil were by far the favourites to win the World Cup. Everything was just falling into place for the Brazilians. The official attendance recorded for this game was 199 854 spectators which is till a World Record Attendance for a World cup Match.

Rio de Janeiro was ready to celebrate Brazil winning the World Cup. Brazil in fact did not even have to win this match due to the Group Format. A draw would be enough to see them lift the newly named Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time. Picture of Brazilian team pre match.

Brazil as usual played their attacking game but Uruguay held Ademir & Brazil out to go in 0-0 at half time thanks to inspirational star midfielder & Captain Obdulio Varela. After just 2 minutes in the second half Brazil took the lead through Friaca and now Brazil were most definitely in a commanding position. Brazilian Coach Flavio Costa gave instructions for Jair to drop back and defend. The instruction never reached him and Brazil continued to attack. Uruguay now obviously had to go all out and after 66 minutes Uruguay Super Striker Schiaffino equalized. Then with only 11 minutes remaining Ghiggia of Uruguay scored to put Uruguay within reach of their 2nd World cup Title. This goal made Ghighia the first player to score in every match of a World Cup Tournament. 10 Minutes Later Uruguay had achieved the improbable and near impossible task of winning the World Cup and had joined Italy’s achievement of winning 2 World Cups. Brazil was shocked and the Brazilian Carnival ended in tears.

The defeat was just too much too handle for the Brazilian officials that they even forgot to present the trophy to Uruguay, leaving Jules Rimet to belatedly present the trophy to Varela and Uruguay himself. Such was the expectancy for Brazil to win that Jules Rimet had actually prepared a winners speech in Portuguese and the Brazilian Confederation had prepared 22 Gold Medals (Later discarded) with each Brazilian players name on it, as at the time FIFA did not prepare medals for the players. This game (Defeat of Brazil at the Maracana Stadium) is forever known as the MARACANAZO and is commonly used till today as a slang word for any underdog that beats Brazil at the Maracana Stadium. In fact the Maracanazo caused Brazil to actually change their home kit colour which was Full White with a Blue Collar to the modern day colours of Yellow Top with Green Collar & Blue Shirts as they felt it was now a bad luck strip.

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