Sambafoot offers a retrospective of every World Cup edition as a warm-up for the 2022 competition. This week, we discuss the seventh iteration, which took place in 1962.
In 1962, the World Cup returned to South America after a 12-year absence. The world’s most prestigious football competition’s seventh iteration was held in Chile between May 30 and June 17.
The tournament had the participation of sixteen teams. At the FIFA Congress, the organization that organises the World Cup, held in Lisbon in June 1956, Argentina sought to be the host nation, but received just 10 votes to 32 for Chile.
How was the 1962 World Cup?
Brazil, the defending champions at the time, brought a squad that was quite identical to the one from the previous competition, making them the clear favourites to win the title. Many athletes played for teams that were unrelated to the ones they were born into. One of the highlights of this edition was this.
Argentina’s Di Stéfano, Hungary’s Puskas, and Uruguay’s Santamara guarded Spain, while Brazil’s Mazola defended Italy. This compelled FIFA to establish a regulation that, starting with the 1966 World Cup, prohibited players from representing more than one side in competitive games.
As was evident, Spain had a strong squad for this World Cup, but they didn’t do all that well. They had the unfortunate luck to be drawn into group 3, which included the eventual winner Brazil, and they failed to go beyond the first round.
The Champion’s Campaign
Brazil’s finest player, Pelé, was injured and unable to participate against Czechoslovakia in the second game of the tournament. However, Garrincha then directed the group toward the tournament. Here’s how it went:
- Brazil 2-0 Mexico (group stage);
- Brazil 0-0 Czechoslovakia (group stage);
- Brazil 2-1 Spain (group stage);
- Brazil 3-1 England (quarterfinals);
- Brazil 4-2 Chile (semifinal);
- Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia (final).
The big decision
Brazil had a 0-0 group-stage game with Czechoslovakia, so they were aware that things would not be simple in the Cup final. But everything changed when the choice was made.
Garrincha, who earned the nickname “being from another planet” for his impressive performances, made it to the final, despite having a 38-degree fever and being dismissed from the previous match. The referee failed to note this in the scorebook, and he was only given a warning before being allowed to leave.
After 15 minutes of play, the Czechs scored the game’s first goal. However, it was just a false alarm as Amarildo (17 minutes), Zito (69 minutes), and Vavá (78 minutes) scored for Brazil to win 3-1.
The cup came to Brazil for the second time in a row.
Awards and Trivia
Garrincha was chosen as the World Cup’s finest player, while six players—including “Mané” and Zagallo—tied for the lead in goals scored with four each.
The player that made their breakthrough was Albert, a Hungarian.
Schrojf (Czechoslovakia), Schnellinger (Germany), Maldini (Italy), Voronin (Soviet Union), Djalma Santos, Zagallo, and Zito (Brazil), Masoput (Czechoslovakia), Sánchez (Chile), Vavá, and Garrincha made up the “Star Team” of the seventh World Cup (Brazil).
- 89 goals were scored in 32 matches (average of 2.78 per match);
- Chile finished in 3rd place after beating Yugoslavia 1-0 in the dispute for the position;
- The competition received 776 thousand fans if we add up all the games (average of 24 thousand 250 fans per game);
- The biggest audience of the competition was in the semifinal, between Brazil and Chile (76 thousand fans), in the Nacional stadium, in Santiago;
- Vavá, then a forward for the Brazilian national team, was the first player in history (and the only one) to score goals in two consecutive World Cup finals (1958 and 1962).