10 9 8 7 6 5 weeks until the World Cup kicks off in Russia and as such, we’re counting down the days with a throwback every Thursday until then.
This week, we’re going all the way back to 1970 to harness some true World Cup magic. Samba magic, in fact, as the famous gold of Brazil lit up the historic, Mexico 1970.
This side captured the imagination of the world, winning the tournament and the hearts of millions of admirers around the world. So seismic was their football, that it established Brazil as the spiritual home of the game.
Pele, Tostao, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto. The team was made up of talent and the latter, Carlos Alberto, became the youngest captain to ever lift the World Cup, reaching the pinnacle of anyone’s football career at the age of 25. They won every single game along the way and it was he, with the help of almost every single one of his teammates in a flowing, beautifully Brazilian passing move, scored the goal of the tournament in the final against Italy.
So iconic is this goal that it almost feels like fiction. The glowing kits on the flickering 1970s TV broadcast – it was so early in colour TV yet a broadcast so vibrant and vivid enough to paint this moment as the masterpiece that it was.
Italy had just come out of a classic semi-final tie against West Germany – one that needed extra-time in blistering Mexican heat. By the final and by the time that an in-form, unstoppable Brazil team had had their way with them for much of the game, knocking about that octagon-decorated ball freely, the Italians were on the ropes.
Players in yellow dance on the ball here, showing individual skill amongst what is one of the greatest team goals ever seen. The ball is possessed by some of the best to ever do it on it’s way to arguably the greatest, Pele who, facing the goal, must either hear a shout from his captain on the right or simply have a sixth sense for an overlapping teammate. The great man rolls the ball to the right for Carlos Alberto who enters the shot and slams the ball home.
It was the embodiment of Brazil’s domination of the 1970 World Cup and of the final, as they clinched victory in the most watchable, colourful style imaginable. Here’s to some more Samba magic in Russia this year…