The World, still divided into two main power groups, NATO and the Soviet block, had not yet entered a peaceful phase as the war in Vietnam slowly escalated. Fear of the “domino effect” had encouraged increased US intervention in Indochina, with Khruschev’s words “we shall bury you” informing US opinion. Tensions between China and the Soviet Union, and also between China and India, did not make for a good backdrop. Yet the world of football still managed to maintain an international flavour with teams from both blocks. Unfortunately, for the second World Cup in succession all the teams either came from Europe or the Americas. Chile, a country rich in copper, but poor, suffered fractious relations with its neighbours Bolivia, Peru and Argentina; it had been devastated by an earthquake in 1960 which caused Fifa to question its very suitability as a host. Carlos Dittborn the president of the Chilean Football Association appealed to the humanity of football’s governing bodies: “we have nothing, that is why we must have the World Cup.” Some of the most vociferous objections came from the Italian press, would Argentina and West Germany, unlucky suitors when the matter of venue had first been raised, finally get to stage the Cup? Happily good sense prevailed, Chile proceeded with her preparations, and in due course two fine state of the art stadiums were built.

The first round divisional format of 1958 was retained, with one crucial modification, goal difference would decide who would go through to the knockout stages, there would not be a play-off match if this resolved a division. From the Americas would come: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico. Europe’s representatives would be: England, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, West Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Hungary and Bulgaria. If anything Brazil appeared to be more formidable than ever, not only was Pelé a more mature twenty-one years of age, but the Brazilian FA were to produce Amarildo, a twenty-four year old who appeared scarcely less formidable than the great man himself. Yet the star of the World Cup was to be another Brazilian, a man who already had a great reputation garnered at the 1958 World Cup, his nickname was the “little sparrow”.”

Manoel Francisco dos Santos was born on 28 October 1936 in Pau Grande. An early operation resulted in a knee twisting outwards and one leg shorter than the other. Very unpromising material for a footballer was the young lad who joined the Paul Grande football club. After an unsuccessful approach to Vasco da Gama, Garrincha, as he was to become known as, was accepted on a trial basis by Botafogo. Used in an internal training match, he was identified as promising by Nilton Santos, who had established himself as a full back of international class, if only because of the difficulty Santos had in marking him, Garrincha was taken on full time. He was to stay with Botafogo for eleven years. Despite his physical problems Garrincha was exceptionally fleet of foot with a low centre of gravity. His awkwardness of movement made him extremely difficult to read and to tackle. In short he was the best winger in the world at the time and he stepped into the hole created by the injury to Pelé by scoring and creating nearly all of Brazil’s goals in the World Cup of ‘62.

Injury robbed Brazil of Pelé after only one game, Spain lost arguably the best striker in the world at the time because of differences between Alfredo di Stefano and Helenio Herrera the manager of Spain. Di Stefano cited a pulled muscle as a sufficient reason for his absence, a more committed player would have joined the squad in anticipation of playing in the later games. In compensation Spain could call upon the services of Puskas, thanks to the Soviet invasion of Hungary, although the great man was now in the twilight of his career.

The first round divisions were:

Group 1: Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Uruguay and Columbia.

Group 2: West Germany, Chile, Italy and Switzerland.

Group 3: Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Spain.

Group 4: Hungary, England, Argentina and Bulgaria.

With group one containing the reigning European champions (the Soviet Union), former world champions Uruguay, the always competitive Yugoslavia and the comparatively unknown Columbia; it was likely that whoever won here would provide a serious test for Brazil. Oddly enough, this turned out not to be so, if only because of the complete loss of form of Lev Yashin, who was then ranked as the world’s finest goalkeeper. Unfortunately, the match between the Yugoslavs and the Soviets was marred by fighting, it was in this match that Mujic broke the leg of the Soviet Union’s Dubinski. The match, in a sense, mirrored the relatively poor relations between the non-aligned Yugoslavia of Tito, and Khruschev’s Soviet Union. Mujic was, quite rightly, sent home by his federation.

Group two contained a combustible mix; decades of poaching of Latin American players by Italy was made still more explosive by the derogatory reporting about conditions in Chile by Italian journalists. Unfortunately, the professionalism of the players seemed to abscond in the match between Chile and Italy; a hostile crowd attended the match in the Chilean capital, and their sentiment spread to the players. There was a very fine line drawn between tackling and kicking in that match, and it got worse; Chile’s Leonel Sanchez drew upon the experience of his pugilistic forbears, his left hook broke the nose of Humberto Maschio. This was in full view of the crowd while the referee, Ken Aston of England, had his back to the two players. Neither linesmen drew the referee’s attention to this assault, which was shown on television. Perhaps this was the worst incident in the match, but its ugly sentiment hardly changed, Giorgio Ferrini of Italy deliberately kicked Landa in full view of the referee, a clear sending off offence. However Ferrini refused to leave the pitch upon receipt of his marching orders. Minute after minute elapsed, yet Ferrini did not go. Italian officials, summoned by the referee, were unable to prevail upon Ferrini, finally a police escort ended Ferrini’s participation in the game. Ten minutes had elapsed, yet not in a manner designed to cool tempers. Soon Mario David of Italy was sent off for seeking vengeance by attempting to kick Sanchez in the head. The match had gone completely out of control. The final score line, for what it was worth, was two-nil to Chile. The violence and ill humour was such that probably no referee in the world could have controlled the match, which should probably have been abandoned. As for the punishments meted out, they in no way or manner matched the severity of the crimes, Sanchez and David were “admonished” and Ferrini banned for one match. At the very least both teams should have been thrown out for their roles in the “Battle of Santiago”. Fifa’s organising committee summoned an emergency meeting, all sixteen countries were warned to look to the conduct of their teams.

With Brazil playing in group three, it always looked likely that at least one finalist would come from there. Noteworthy was the outstanding goal keeping from Czechoslovakia’s Wilhelm Schroiff, who, almost single-handedly, kept alive their prospects of qualification. It was somewhat surprising to see Mexico win in the World Cup for the first time, at the expense of Czechoslovakia, which result was sufficient for them to avoid coming bottom of a division for the first time ever.

Argentina had still to show her true strength in any World Cup except for the very first in 1930, thus it always looked likely that group four would be determined by the match between England and Hungary. England built her team around Johnny Haynes, Fulham Football Club’s gifted midfield maestro, which was to prove her undoing. This could be due in part to the English policy of letting a committee select the team, not the manager Walter Winterbottom. The Hungarian players simply marked Haynes out of the game, and there was no plan B. Given the number of players Hungary had lost as a result of the upheavals of 1956, it was a remarkable achievement. Hungary’s discovery was Florian Albert, only fifteen years old in 1956, he had been too young to be in the national team that had largely stayed abroad after the Soviet invasion. Fast and skilful, Albert had the ability to divine situations quickly, creating time and space in attack for his colleagues as a good centre forward should; he was quite lethal when presented with a goal scoring opportunity, but never too selfish when a pass looked the better option. Making his debut in 1959 in the three-two win against Sweden, the weight of expectation on the eighteen year old’s shoulders was initially too much, as he flattered to deceive in the following few internationals. Then just before the World Cup started, this naturally gifted player began to perform at the level expected of him; he scored a hat-trick in the four-two win over a strong Yugoslav side. He marked Switzerland’s card as unlikely to be a serious title contender in an eight-nil demolition. West Germany were forced to labour, the former World Champions, who had so undeservedly beaten the Hungarians of 1954, falling down by the thrilling score line four-three. England, playing Hungary before the World Cup felt the sting of a two-nil defeat, both goals being scored by Albert. Thus it could be said that two-one loss was actually an improvement, a point that was emphasised by Albert’s orchestration of the six-one thrashing of Bulgaria, Albert plundering a hat-trick in the process.

In the quarter finals Yugoslavia were drawn against West Germany yet again, however, this time with success, unlike in the past; the side from the Balkans scoring the decisive single goal in front of sixty-three thousand people after eight-five minutes play. Elsewhere atrocious goal keeping by Lev Yashin, he missed two long range speculative shots, enabled Chile to surprisingly eliminate potentially Europe’s strongest side.

Brazil were simply too strong for England, Garrincha consistently swooping down the right wing, making it his own private domain and passing at will. Eventually Garrincha himself opened the scoring, with a header after half an hour’s play. England recovered through a goal from Hitchen’s, but there could be no denying who was on top. A second half free kick from Garrincha cannoned off Ron Springett, falling to the waiting Vava who restored Brazil’s lead. Any hope that England may have entertained of sneaking back into the game was ended minutes later by Garrincha, whose swerving shot completely eluded Springett in goal for England.

A defensively minded Czechoslovakia did enough to defeat a superior Hungarian side, simply through sheer determination on the part of the Czechoslovak defence and inspired goal keeping from Schroiff. The Magyars simply couldn’t break through, and when they did, the ball was caught, stopped, punched out, or whatever else Schroiff could produce to keep Hungary at bay.

Chile’s good fortune could not last in the semi-finals; finally they were up against it in the shape of an in form, exceptionally powerful team, even without Pelé. As against England, Garrincha proved unstoppable, scoring twice despite repeated baiting from the partisan crowd. Vava also scored twice, thus Brazil scored four in total against two from the hosts Chile. Eventually Garrincha’s patience gave way and he reacted, resulting in a sending off. The crowd had had its way, although too late to alter the course of the game. Insult was added to injury when Garrincha was hit by a bottle when leaving the pitch. Fortunately for football, Fifa decided that the provocation had been immense, so Garrincha was permitted to play in the final.

The other semi-final between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia resembled the earlier encounter between Czechoslovakia and Hungary, save that this time a desperate Yugoslavia conceded three, while only scoring once in return. If Schroiff in goal for the Czechoslovaks could maintain this imperious form, could the form book be overturned and the Brazilian’s actually be beaten?

Thus the 1962 final was between Brazil, as expected, and the unfancied Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia had managed a goal less draw with the South American masters in the first round; that, however, had been due to the magisterial form of the Czechoslovak goal keeper Schroiff. Few observers expected the ageing Czechoslovaks to repeat the feat, particularly given the terrible threat posed by Garrincha on the wing. Initially, however, all started well for the underdogs, they put extra men on Garrincha, which coupled with Schroiff’s goal keeping proved adequate for the task of keeping Brazil at bay; then a promising start was converted to an excellent one when Masopust scored using his left foot in the eighteenth minute for the European side. A stunned Brazil kept pouring forward, Amarildo, within four minutes of the Czechoslovak goal, dribbled down the left wing and headed towards the opposing goal. Schroiff, understandably, chose to guard the near post, but it was a mistake as the “White Pelé” somehow found the space to squeeze in a shot that went in at the far post. Yet the underdog would not lie time; space was denied to the Brazilians, who were unable to impose a fast free-flowing game that would ensure victory. A stalemate persisted until well into the second half. Twice the Brazilian goalkeeper was tested, thus the result remained certain. Then it came: Amarildo, apparently trapped by the corner flag, broke his binds, racing inside he quickly passed to Zito, who finally got the better of Schroiff with a header, sixty-nine minutes had elapsed. In the seventy-eighth minute an optimistic “up and under” from Djalma Santos was dropped by Schroiff - a slip that turned into a calamity as Vava was on hand to slot the ball home; the game was over as a contest. For the first time since the 1930s the reigning World Champions had retained the Jules Rimet Trophy.

© 2006 World Cup Years Ltd.