Today in Brazilian History
RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil won the 1962 FIFA World Cup 50 years ago today, June 17th, at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. The Brazilian team – which also won the 1958 World Cup in Sweden – defeated the Czechs 3-1 in front of 69,000 spectators, with goals by Amarildo, Zito and Vava.
1962 FIFA World Cup
Chile was still in mourning in 1962. A terrible earthquake hit the country in 1960 – 9.5 on the Richter scale – that left about 6,000 dead, 2 million injured and a trail of destruction across the country. FIFA briefly considered moving the 1962 FIFA World Cup to another country until Carlos Dittborn, president of the Chilean Football Federation, convinced FIFA leadership that to move the World Cup would be a second tragedy for the Chilean people.
“We have the World Cup because we have nothing else,” became the mantra for Chileans who rolled up their sleeves and built three stadiums in record time in Vina del Mar, Arica and Santiago.
The Brazilian delegation left for Santiago on May 21, 1962, in the wings of Panair DC7CCP-PDO Brazil, with 22 players and 20 officials and members of the technical committee. Before landing on Chilean soil, they made a stopover in Brasília for the official farewell at an event presided over by President João Goulart.
When the Brazilians landed in Santiago Airport, photographers and reporters rushed to record the arrival of the 1958 FIFA World Champions. The team was nearly the same as the one that won the Cup in Sweden, only four years older. Seven of the championship team members were over 30 years old.
The organization and structure of the team remained the same. Paulo Machado de Carvalho, “Marshal of the Victory” of ’58, led the delegation, with most of the same advisers from four years earlier.
Everybody wanted to see Pelé, who was Brazil’s best bet to lead the team to a second world championship. The young man who had so charmed the world at 17 was now 21 and ready to lead the team to victory.
In the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Brazil earned its second title with Garrincha as the star player, a mantle and responsibility bestowed upon him after the regular talisman, Pelé, became injured during the second group match against Czechoslovakia and unable to play for the rest of the tournament.
Brazil is the only team to have won the championship in four different continents; once in Europe (1958 Sweden), once in South America (1962 Chile), twice in North America (1970 Mexico and 1994 USA) and once in Asia (2002 Korea/Japan). A common quip about football is: “Os ingleses o inventaram, os brasileiros o aperfeiçoaram” (“The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it”). 50 years ago today, June 17th, at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. The Brazilian team – which also won the 1958 Wold Cup in Sweden – defeated the Czechs 3-1 in front of 69,000 spectators, with goals by Amarildo, Zito and Vava.