Sweden 1958 | A History Of The World Cup
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Sweden 1958 | A History Of The World Cup

October 15, 2019


The 1958 World Cup was the sixth staging of
the tournament. Held in Sweden, it marked the first
time a team had won it away from their own continent as Brazil finally overcame the pain
of 1950 and lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the
first time. It marked the start of their utter dominance
of the tournament—between ’58 and 1970 they won three of the four World Cups held. And of course, at the centre of that, was
one man. Although really, by 1958, Pele was hardly
a man at all, given he was just 17 . Nonetheless, his unforgettable contribution sparked the beginning of a legend that has endured ever since. But it was not just Pele’s world cup. Indeed, for a long time it looked like it
just might be Just’s. Just Fontaine was semi-finalist France’s star player. In scoring 13 goals in the tournament he set what has so far proved an unbeatable record. As Rob Symthe wrote in 2012: “There is surely
no storm perfect enough” for Fontaine’s record to be usurped. Symthe continued “In only one of the last nine tournaments has a player scored even half
as many, when Ronaldo managed eight in 2002.” Now, four of his goals came in the third-place playoff, but it was an impressive haul nonetheless. The format of the ’58 World Cup was pretty
recognisable to modern audiences. Four groups of four
played each other once, with the top two progressing to the eight-team knockout phase. Goal average was used to separate first and second if they finished on equal points, though if
second and third finished with the same total there was a playoff game between them to see who made it through. Goal average would then be used in the event
of a draw. The eight teams that made it through to the
knockout phase were Brazil, the hosts Sweden, France, reigning champions West Germany, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and Wales. Northern Ireland had squeezed past Czechoslovakia
in their playoff. It had been a remarkable
achievement, particularly given centre-back Jackie Blanchflower had lost his career—though not his life—in the Munich Air disaster a few months prior. As World Soccer wrote in 2014, Northern Ireland
manager Peter Doherty had moved his full-back to centre-half to cover Blanchflower’s absence and moved “young and relatively green Derek Dougan
up-front. They wrote “Dougan proved to be a
terror for Czechoslovakia throughout the match. Coupled with Dougan’s performance, goalkeeper
Harry Gregg, the ‘hero of Munich’ gave a performance worthy of the Goalkeeper of the World Cup Award that he would receive come the end of
the tournament.” Wales’ progression was also impressive, though
they benefited from being in a group with Hungary. Those giants of the European game had seen
the quality of their squad decimated by the fallout from
the 1956 uprising against Communist rule. Fontaine had started the tournament as he
meant to go on, firing a hatrick past Paraguay. Pele, on the other hand, had begun on the bench. It was not until the third group game that
he made his first start. His first goal came in the quarter finals,
as Brazil beat Wales. His country needed him too, as his
was the only goal. Wales’ tournament was over, but they could
draw huge pride from getting as far as they did, and only being beaten 1-0 by the
eventual champions. The semi-final saw the tournament’s stand-out
stars face off against each other. Pele was, decisively, victorious. He scored a hattrick as Brazil beat Fontaine’s France 5-2. The first was a tap-in, the second
a rifled finish after a scramble in the box, but the third showed his quality. He received a pass which
bobbled as it reached him just outside the D. He managed to divert its flight straight
upwards and met it before its return to the ground with
a fierce shot that beat the ‘keeper. Brazil’s reward for their performance was
a meeting with the hosts in the final. Nerves surely abounded after what had happened in 1950, but there was to be no Swedish equivalent of the ​ Maracanazo . The hosts opened the scoring
through AC Milan legend Nils Lieldholm, but by half-time
Brazil had wrestled back a 2-1 lead. Pele set Brazillian hearts at east with one
of the tournament’s more iconic goals to make it 3-1. He received a pass from the right-wing, flicked
it over the defender, then steered home. His 90th minute looping header made the score
5-2, and the World Cup legend of Brazil, and Pele, could begin to be written In earnest.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Pele was the greatest player of all time. The more you know about the history of the game the clearer it becomes.

  2. #umaxitgiveaway1 That Brazil side was possibly the best international side. Not only in terms of success but also in terms of players and entertainment.

  3. Thank you so much for making these historical and detailed videos about football. As a guy from Sweden I can say that not a lot of people know about the World Cup in 1958, basically only the older generations and people who are very interested in football. Thank you yet again.

  4. Always wonderful videos for football fans ^^
    I love this period of the history of football with Hungary and Brazil. Just on this video, I think it's a little bit pity to don't speak about Didi, Garrincha and Vava, even Bellini. I know you speak a little bit about them in one of your previous video but on a special edition about 58' WC this is the moment to speak more about these players who are not famous as Pele and that can make discover new talented players to the no-specialist of this period 50'-60'.
    Meanwhile, continue like that, that is always great to watch your video, a real tresure for football fans.

    Sorry for the poor English, I don't speak this language very well ^^

  5. Pelé was not the center of those 3 World Cups. The best brazillian player in the 1958 was Didi, the man who was chosen as the best player in the tournament. Garrincha was also at least as good as Pelé in that World Cup, with some players like Rivelino himself even claiming Garrincha was better than Pelé in 1958.
    Pelé was definitely not an important part of the 1962 squad, as he got injuried in his second game, Garrincha was the key player of the squad and deserved to be considered the best player of the tournament. Pelé was only the best player in the squad in the 1970 World Cup, but the same can't be said about the two others.

  6. Thank you for mentioning Wales, and to say more than just "beaten by Brazil in the QF". We're immensely proud of our only World Cup performance, and how different it might have been if John Charles would've been fit to play against the Brazilians!

    #Umaxitgiveaway1

  7. I'm very disapointed that you barely mentioned Sweden at all. Sweden has never placed higher than second.. You only mentioned Nils Liedholm and that the tournament was held in Sweden. You didn't even mention the semifinal win against west-germany which was miraculous. Kurt Hamrins goal was fantastic in that game. And you didn't even mention Gre-No-Li who together formed a legendary partnership as strikers in one of the best clubs in the world, AC Milan. This video is extremely disrespectful to what Sweden did that tournament. This isn't a history of the world cup, this is you jerking off to Pelé.

  8. I wish you would have talked a little about Sweden's run to the final as we are one of only 12 nations to ever reach the final.

  9. favourite team: FC Wacker Innsbruck Austrian Erste Liga (although it literally means First Division, it's actually out Second Division :'D)
    I support them because I grew up with them #umaxitgiveaway3

  10. And you barely mentioned host nations own performance in the world cup..? After beating Sovjet and the previous WC winners, West Germany, in a classic game – and this being the first tournament where Sweden actually used their professional players, since previously the swedish FA had banned all the professional players that played outside of Sweden. And there are lot more on that … I am not asking for a whole segment about Sweden, but the fact that you don't even touch these subjects is quite a bit dissappointing.

  11. It was indeed a great tournament for Wales. The Brazilian players, including Zagalo and Pelé, considered this the hardest game of the tournament and Wales the team that was closer to send Brazil back home.

  12. Talk about this tournament, mention N. Ireland, Hungary and Wales but not a word about Garrincha and Didi? Lol, I like your tactics videos though

  13. I know you get lots of requests but a video on the great Fiorentina side that won the 1955-56 Scudetto under Fulvio Bernardini would be nice! Just one defeat all season and that was the final game of the season, at Genoa.

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