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World Cup History – 1958 – in SWEDEN – the emergence of PELE!

2nd June 2014
Just a few months before the tournament, the Munich air crash claimed the lives of 8 Manchester United players, including the established England internationals, Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and striker Tommy Taylor.

England drew all three group matches against Brazil, the Soviet Union and an excellent Austrian side, which meant they would need to meet the Soviets again in a play-off to decide who would progress to the quarter finals. Sadly a negative performance saw England beaten by the only goal and they returned home earlier than two other home nations, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Unfortunately there was to be no giant killing from the other home nations, Northern Ireland were thrashed 4-0 by France, but Wales put up a spirited performance going down by the only goal to Brazil, scored by their 17 year old sensation Pele.

The magnificent Brazilian teenager then smashed a hat-trick in a 5-2 semi final victory against France and the hosts rose to the occasion by defeating West Germany in the other semi.

The final in Stockholm saw the Swedes take an early lead, but two goals by centre forward Vava gave Brazil a half time advantage. Pele continued his outstanding tournament adding a superb 3rd. Brazil’s left winger (and future manager) Mario Zagallo added a 4th and although Sweden pulled a goal back, the incredible Pele headed yet another to ensure Brazil’s first World Cup victory.

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