Thursday, May 21, 2009




The 9th edition of the FIFA World Cup was held in Mexico. This was the first time that the FIFA World Cup was held outside of Europe and South America. Morocco became the first African nation post World War II to qualify for a FIFA World Cup Tournament. Surprisingly Argentina failed to qualify by losing to Peru in Argentina. Mexico 1970 was the first World Cup to be televised live in colour. As a result of this, for the first time Yellow and Red Cards were introduced. The inventor of the Yellow and Red Card was English referee Ken Aston who refereed the infamous Battle of Santiago Match between Chile and Italy in 1962.

This was also the first World Cup where substitutes were allowed. Previously if a player was injured no substitutions were allowed. It was also the first time that an official Match Ball was introduced by Adidas at the FIFA World Cup. The Ball was called the Adidas Telstar.

The official mascot of the 1970 World Cup was Juanito.

The 1970 World Cup had the same format as in 1966 with 4 groups of 4 teams with the top 2 teams qualifying for the quarterfinals. There were disputes over the organisation of the tournament with the major controversy surrounding the times of games. It was decided to play certain games at 12 noon due to television broadcasting in Europe. The participating teams took objection as they felt the heat in Mexico was too severe to play games at that time. This World Cup also had no seeds, teams were separated into groups by the geographical sections.
There was further controversy before the start of the World Cup as England’s World Cup Winning Captain, Bobby Moore, was arrested in Columbia for an alleged theft of a bracelet. He was released on bail and allowed to appear at the World Cup and the charges were later dropped.

Group 1
In the opening game hosts Mexico played to a goalless draw against the USSR. The first ever substitute at the FIFA World Cup was Anotali Puzach who came on for USSR. USSR’s Lochev also became the first player to receive a yellow card. However both USSR and Mexico won their next two games to qualify 1st and 2nd respectively. The Soviets were more convincing with their 4-1 victory over Belgium and 2-0 victory over El Salvador. Mexico won both their games controversially, 4-0 against El Salvador in the first ever match between 2 teams from the same continent outside of Europe and South America. El Salvador players protested heavily, so much so that the referee blew the half time whistle early during the protests as play was not resumed. Mexico also beat Belgium 1-0 thanks to a debatable penalty.

Group 2
The Italians succeeded in qualifying top of the group without conceding a goal, beating Sweden 1-0 and followed it up with 2 goalless draws against Uruguay and first timers Israel. Sweden beat Uruguay 1-0 in the final game of the group but lost out to Uruguay on goal difference as they needed to win the game 2-0. Earlier Uruguay beat Israel 2-0 and Sweden could only manage a draw against them.

Group 3
Defending Champions England got their campaign off to a good start with a 1-0 victory over Romania. However Brazil with the likes of Pele and new superstars Gerson, Jairzinho, Captain Carlos Alberto, Tostao and Rivelino were making waves at the World Cup after their 4-1 hammering of Czechoslovakia in their opening game with a superb performance by Jairzinho. Brazil then went on to beat England 1-0 thanks to a brilliant combination between Tostao and Pele who passed to Jairzinho to net the winner. The score remained 1-0 thanks to the heroics of English goalkeeper Gordon Banks notably Banks Save of the Century from Pele’s powerful Header. Brazil however made England wait for 5 minutes extra after the half time break in the boiling sun. Brazil then beat Romania 3-2, with Pele scoring a Superb Free Kick, and won the group. England beat Czechoslovakia 1-0 to qualify 2nd.

Group 4
West Germany returned hoping to go one step better then in 1966 and went about their business in clinical style with 3 victories out of 3 including a 5-2 victory over Bulgaria and a 3-1 victory over Peru. Gerd Muller scored consecutive hatricks in these games. Prior to their 3-1 loss against West Germany Peru beat Bulgaria 3-2 with an amazing comeback after going behind 2-0. Peru then beat Morocco 3-0 to also qualify for the quarterfinals. Teofilo Cubillas scored for Peru in all 3 of their matches.

The Italians who qualified top of their group for the quarterfinals were dull in doing so scoring just 1 goal in their 3 group games. However in the quarterfinals against hosts Mexico they went a goal behind early on. The Italians then put on a sensational display to win the game 4-1. Uruguay who sneaked through to qualify beat the USSR 1-0 with a late goal in the 2nd half of extra time which the Soviets felt was illegal as they believed the ball to have gone out of play in the build up to the goal. Brazil were now in full flight with their breathtaking and free flowing attacking football. Their attractive and attacking football display was carried on in the quarterfinals against Peru with a thrilling 4-2 victory. The combination play between Tostao and Rivelino was brilliant. They both created each others goals as Brazil took a 2-0 lead. In a rematch of the 1966 final England took on West Germany. The English were dealt a severe blow before the game even started as star goalkeeper Gordon Banks fell ill and would not feature. West Germany were trailing 2-0 to England who were looking set to beat the Germans once again. However a brilliant goal from Beckenbauer inspired the Germans and they equalised late on through Seeler to take the game into Extra Time. Gerd Muller continued his scoring spree by netting the winner in the 2nd half of Extra Time (Photo).

The Semi-Finals produced 4 previous World Champions, 3 of which were double World Champions. In the All South American Semi-Final Brazil fell behind early on after Cubilla scored for Uruguay. But the brilliance of Brazil was too much for Uruguay and they equalised through Clodoaldo. Jairzinho gave Brazil the lead and Rivelino ensured Brazil made the final. Perhaps the most memorable moment of this game was a Pele dummy against Uruguay’s goalkeeper where he let the ball run pass him and so confused the goalkeeper. After running around the keeper to retrieve the ball Pele narrowly missed the goal with his attempt from a very difficult angle.
Game of the Century

In the All European semi-final Italy took on West Germany. This game was a pure thriller from start to end. Boninsegna gave Italy the lead early on and Italy looked like holding on until the very last minute when Schnellinger equalised. In Extra Time the goals were a plenty. Gerd Muller gave the Germans the lead however Burgnich and Riva restored Italy’s lead but up popped Muller, scoring his 10th of the tournament, to equalise. Gerd Muller’s 10 goals would make him the tournaments top score. Just a minute later Rivera gave Italy the lead which they kept till the end. Franz Beckenbauer got injured in the 2nd half and played the rest of the game with his arm in a sling as he had dislocated his shoulder. Although substitutes were allowed Germany had already used up both Beckenbauer showed great commitment to continue playing. This game is considered the greatest ever game and is known as the Game of the Century. It is also known as Partita del Soco in Italy and Jahrhundertspiel in Germany. A monument outside the Estadio Azteca Stadium in Mexico City was constructed to commemorate this great game.

Third Place Playoff
West Germany took consolation after their defeat to Italy with a 1-0 victory over Uruguay. Overath scored the winner. Once again the Beckenbauer and the German team fell short.

After Italy’s triumph over Germany in the semi-finals and Brazil’s victory over Uruguay this would be the final team that the Jules Rimet Trophy would be presented to the World Cup Winners as both Italy and Brazil had won 2 World Cups previously. Italy may have started the tournament unconvincingly but really showed their true value as finalists with their knockout performances. Brazil on the other hand were magnificent on route to the finals with breathtaking attacking flair and brilliance. The final was to be played at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The finals began well for Brazil with a clinical header from Pele giving them the lead. Boninsegna of Italy however equalised before the break. Pele scored a goal on the stroke of half time but strangely the referee blew the half time whistle at that exact moment and the goal was not allowed. In the 2nd half it was all one way traffic. Italy became scrappy and Pele waas kicked in the head in the penalty area but instead of a penalty an indirect fre kick was given. Brazil bossed the game with Man of the Match Gerson blasting home Brazil’s 2nd goal to restore the lead. Gerson was dictating the midfield and soon Brazil took a 3-1 lead as Pele fed the ball to Jairzinho who scored. This goal by Jairzinho meant that he had scored in every single game of the World Cup. Holding a 3-1 lead Brazil had almost ensured that they were the first ever 3 times World Champions and would keep the Jules Rimet Trophy forever. No for the icing on the cake. A goal that is regarded by many as the greatest goal of all time. A fluent passing move from the Brazilian team from their own Penalty to completion by Captain Carlos Alberto in the back of the Italian goal. Have a look and decide.
The victorious Captain Carlos Alberto holds aloft the Jules Rimet Trophy for the final time.

Brazil had become the first ever 3 times World Cup Champions. The Brazilian players were mauled on the field by the thousands of spectators. Pele & the Brazilians were stripped of their soccer kits as the spectators rushed to capture as many tokens of the great side they could. This meant that the Jules Rimet Trophy would be theirs to keep forever and a new world Cup Trophy would be made. The Masters of the Game were magnificent in their 3rd success at the FIFA World Cup. Pele, Tostao, Rivelino, Gerson, Jairzinho and Captain Carlos Alberto are regarded by many as the greatest attacking team ever. The beautiful game was brought back by the magical Brazilians at this 9th FIFA World Cup.



  1. As a young boy I remember watching the GIANTS OF BRAZIL.Great team.Rolls back the years truely.Good post

    That was Samba football and the beginning of the Brazilian legacy

  2. Greatest piece of skill of all time, when Pele dummied the Uruguain goalee. Tostao was also a legend. Gerson,Rivilino,Jarzinho,Pele,Carlos Alberto.Pure Class

    Esoep Bhai

  3. What about Banks save? gordon Banks u beauty!

  4. who scored the debatable penalty goal in the match Mexico vs Belgium in the 1970 fifa soccer wc

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