Archive for June, 2008

June 30 – The Game That Had It All

Hot-headed star player sent off for petulance? Check. Emergence of young superstar that will ultimately never fulfil his potential? Check. Last-minute winner disallowed? Check. Heart-breaking loss on penalties? Checkmate. Yes, today in 1998 England played a match that saw them live up to every cliche in the book marked ‘how to put your fans through the mixer’ (copyright of Tim ‘Henmania’ Henman) when Argentina knocked them out of the World Cup.

There’s a few images that immediately encapsulate England’s various failures of the last few years from McClaren’s brolley to Gazza’s tears and this game managed to give us three or four.

The second round tie in St. Etienne exploded into life with two penalties in the opening ten minutes, as Gabriel Batistuta gave Argentina an early lead before Alan Shearer equalised from the spot, following a spot of histrionics from a fresh-faced Michael Owen that any of his opponents that night would’ve been proud of.

Five minutes later the boy wonder scored one of the all-time great England goals as he latched onto a David Beckham pass on the half-way line, outpaced the Argentine defence and slotted home. A FIFA poll in 2002 voted it the second best goal in World Cup history behind a certain twinkle-handed Argentine in 1986.

In case this wasn’t enough first-half action Argentina drew level in injury time, when Javier Zanetti scored from a smart training ground manoeuvre and the two old enemies went in all-square at the break.

The second half got underway, and before you could say ‘Belgrano’ we had another era-defining moment, as Beckham petulantly kicked out at Diego Simone following a foul by the player who prove to be his metatarsal-cracking nemesis four year years later. Simone’s reaction was dramatic to say the least and the swarm of Argentinean’s waving imaginary cards at ref Kim Nielsen summed up the dirty and negative side to the Albicelestes’ game.

Despite this, Becks get some stick for it. “10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy” screamed the Daily Mirror the next day and Goldenballs had to put up with effigies of himself at the start of the next season. However, it would’ve all been different if Sol Campbell’s headed goal hadn’t been disallowed in the dying minutes of the game.

As they had done for nearly all the second half, 10-man England battled their way through extra-time and were left to face the dreaded penalty shoot-out. This time it was the turn of David Batty and Paul Ince to fail from 12 yards, as Carlos Roa, the keeper who quit the game on the eve of the millennium as he believed the world was going to end, saved the gritty midfield pairs’ spot kicks and England waved Au Revoir to France ’98. Quite a game though.

See all the goals, cards, dodgy decisions, penalties and gutted English fans below and as we’ve got SIX weeks until the new season starts you’d better come back tomorrow for you fix of football.

June 29 – Pele Announces His Arrival

WAY back before he became the face of male ‘problems’ in the bedroom and made useless predictions like “Russians will not win anything in football before the Brazilians win something in ice hockey”, Pele was a fresh-faced teenager about to dazzle the world by letting his feet do the talking. Today in 1958 he heralded his arrival with a match-winning performance in the World Cup final, scoring two goals as a 17-year old as Brazil won their first ever World Cup.

The World Cup had gone Scandinavian in ’58 as Sweden played host the biggest tournament yet, as the 55 nations were whittled down in the qualifying rounds to 16 sides that contested the first competition to be televised internationally. Remarkably this included all UK nations for the first, and thanks largely to Wales, only ever time.

Brazil, still smarting from the loss in the 1950 final were desperate to win their first ever World Cup. Leading the line for the Selecao was the bendy-legged womaniser Garrincha who was the best player in the world at the time. Coming through ranks was another prodigious talent, a 17-year old by the name of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or Pele to you and me. Brazil coach Vincente Feola was reluctant to throw his boy in from the start, but thanks mainly to the insistence of his squad he included him in their third match against the Soviet Union.

It was in the knockout phase that the boy wonder really came of age. After scoring the only goal in the quarter-final win over Wales, he bagged a hat-trick in the semi against a French side lead by Just Fontaine who bagged a record 13 goals in the tournament, leading the Brazilians to a final against the hosts Sweden.

At 17 years and 249 days Pele was the youngest player to ever appear in a World Cup final, and scored two classy goals as the Brazilians put to bed their World Cup jinx, defeating the Swedes 5-2. At the final whistle the teenager collapsed on the pitch before emerging in tears to celebrate with his teammates and pick up the trophy.

See Pele’s bow on the biggest stage of all below and just for a treat, we’ll bring you another tale of England woe tomorrow.

June 28 – Exit Poll

ARE you planning a charity event or gala dinner for your social club? Do you need a famous after dinner speaker to draw in the crowds and entertain them with witty anecdotes? Has Sue Cook cancelled on you at the last minute? If so, why not hire Graham Poll now!

According to his official website “Graham has become one of the most popular and sought after speakers on the after dinner circuit.

“Free from the restrictions of being actively involved in top level football after 16 years he gives open, honest and frank views on his major matches and decisions as well as a look at the top issues of the day.”

Hardly a night with George Best we would imagine but no doubt a rip-roaring evening full of why none of it was his fault.

On this day in 2006 Graham paid dearly for his most famous cock up when he was sent home early from the World Cup in Germany.

On June 22 he refereed the crucial group match between Australia and Croatia with both in with a chance of going through. Poll had a shocker, missing a blatant hand ball and failing to spot that Harry Kewell looked suspiciously offside when he scored the equaliser to take the game to 2-2 and send the Austalians through at the expense of Croatia. Both bad errors, but worse still Poll had managed to give a yellow card to Croatia’s Josip Simunic not once, not twice, but three times before eventually sending him off.

FIFA issued this statement: “Thursday evening’s 2-2 draw between Croatia and Australia in Stuttgart saw referee Graham Poll make an error.

“The experienced official is disappointed at having committed the error, the first such mistake in his 26-year career.

“The Fifa referees committee also recognised the oversight and the fact that none of the match officials at the stadium picked up on the error.

“In explaining his actions to the committee, Poll said he incorrectly noted down the name of the Australia number three Craig Moore when booking Simunic for the second time and failed to realise his error.”

So Poll was going home early, with pre-tournament predictions that he might ref the final looking laughable.

If Tring’s most (only?) famous son ever wants to get some laughs on the after dinner speaking circuit, he could do worse than look up his comments to the BBC before the 2006 World Cup began.

Before jetting out to Germany he said: “There is a very high standard of performance expected of us.”

“We have to make sure this World Cup is not seen as a poor one for refereeing.

“Fifa has prepared us the best they can with this two-year programme to reduce errors.”

Nostradamus-like he added: “You will make mistakes, you have to accept that, what you have to deal with is whether it affects the outcome of the match,” he explained.

“We have to accept that part and parcel of football is controversy of the referee’s decisions.

“We can’t expect them to get everything right.”

Wise words indeed Graham. Here’s a clip of him trying to claim that the people of Tring had nothing but support for him after his most humiliating episode – atta boy Graham, stiff upper lip.

June 27 – On Yer Bike O’Leary

“DAVID O’Leary is arguably the most charismatic football manager in Britain today,” according to the back cover of his book, although we think that particular argument would be a fairly one-sided one, and these days ‘football manager’ is a bit of stretch for a man who now has plenty of time to spend his days watching Cash in the Attic and Loose Women since he was told to do one by Aston Villa in 2006.

His departure from Villa was preceded by supporters displaying a brilliant banner proclaiming “We’re not fickle, we just don’t like you,” in response to comments O’Leary had made about the fans.

Today in 2002 O’Leary was sacked from his first management job when Leeds United gave him the old heave-ho. His sudden departure, which Leeds at first painted as one of those strange ‘mutual consent’ situations but later admitted was a plain old-fashioned sacking, caught everyone by surprise. O’Leary’s team were the young pretenders in the Premiership and in Europe playing good football and even famously getting to the Champions League semi-final in 2001.

Buoyed by O’Leary’s early success Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale took caution and hurled it full-pelt into the wind to fund a lavish spending spree which he hoped would ensure European football (and money) for years to come.

When the Irishman’s team just failed to qualify for the Champions League in 2002 the only person who knew this meant disaster for the club was Ridsdale. While the fans were disappointed, they were still in the Uefa Cup and were heading towards the Premiership summit. But Ridsdale had gambled on Champions League income, and now he didn’t have it. The game was up and O’Leary’s flagship signing, £18m Rio Ferdinand was being lined up for transfer by Ridsdale to keep the Elland Road ship afloat.

He also presumably thought another manager would have got the team into the Champions League and avoided all these problems so gave O’Leary the boot in favour of Terry Venables.

O’Leary’s decision to bring out a book entitled Leeds United On Trial just after the trial of Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate for the assault of Sarfraz Najeib probably did not help his cause either.

Since O’Leary left and Leeds went into the most of catastrophic meltdown since Chernobyl, he and Ridsdale have traded blows through the media but just six months before his sacking they were bestest mates – O’Leary’s book which was published in January 2002 is dedicated to his former boss: “To chairman Peter Ridsdale, the board of directors and all genuine Leeds supporters.”

Before you go, have a look at this little clip of a regional TV news reporter relishing the chance to call Peter Ridsdale incompetent, and come back tomorrow for more from us as usual.

June 26 – Southgate’s Spot-Kick Sorrow

“Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins.” Gary Lineker.

Too true Gary. And there aren’t many more nations that know that better than England. Today in 1996 England fans were suffering another semi-final defeat on penalties to Germany, as The Three Lions were sent crashing out of Euro 96 in their own backyard.

We’ve already brought you the story of El Tel’s men defeating Scotland and Holland, as England charged to the knockout stages where they ended their penalty hoodoo against Spain. This meant the both the media and the flag-waving public were convinced that destiny was calling and the ’30 years of hurt’ that Baddiel and Skinner sung of would be over.

For those of you that are too young or had blocked the whole event out of your memory, the country almost ground to a standstill in the run-up to the game, with hype levels higher than ever. The tabloid press whipped themselves into a frenzy, with the Daily Mirror pushing the boundaries of acceptable headlines when they declared ‘football war’ on the Germans, showing Stuart Pearce in a tin hat and bellowing: “Achtung! Surrender! For You Fritz, ze Euro 96 Championship is over!”

Gazza’s mate Chris Evans also got in on the act, starting a campaign on his Radio 1 breakfast show to have England play in a 1966-esque red shirts instead of their grey away kit they had been drawn with, citing the attire in the ’66 final as an omen.

In the end the lads turned out in grey that night but they couldn’t have asked for a better start when Alan Shearer headed his fifth goal of the tournament in the third minute. However, in the 16th minute English fans were shouting ‘Kuntz’ as everyone favourite German striker, forename Stefan, bagged an equalizer.

For the rest of the 90 minutes both sides toiled, with Germany having the better chances, but the two old rivals couldn’t be separated. Extra-time beckoned, and with this came the sudden-death ‘golden goal’, which was making it’s debut in a major international tournament.

With England sensing victory, the game exploded into life, providing one of the most frantic extra-time periods the old Wembley Stadium had ever seen. Darren Anderton hit the post and Gazza came within inches of poking the ball home to secure a famous win, but instead it went down to what every Englishman dreaded – penalties.

Remarkably England went into the shoot-out with more experience than the Germans, as none of their side had been thrown into the pressure cooker atmosphere of a penalty shoot-out before, but we all know what happened next.

England somehow managed to score their first five spot-kicks, before Gareth Southgate had the guts to step up and take the first sudden death kick. He had only taken one penalty in his career, hitting the post and although this effort was on target it was a poor penalty and Andreas Kopke saved easily. Next up was Andreas Moller who scored and did what can only be described as a really annoying celebration.

Germany went on to lift the European Championship, beating the Czech Republic in the final thanks to Oliver Bierhoff’s golden goal. Southgate meanwhile got a gig advertising pizza with 1990 penalty bottlers Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce.

If you’re English and you can bear it, or if you’re not and fancy a laugh, see the whole sorry affair below and head back tomorrow as we try and put England’s useless performances behind us.

June 25 – The Shame of Argentina ’78

AS the world gears up for the Beijing Olympics, it’s been impossible to ignore the old debate over sport and politics. With discussion raging over China’s human rights record and Tibet, these Olympics promise to one of the most political since the Cold War. The World Cup has generally tended to avoid these controversies, with one memorable exception.

The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina who had two year previously been taken over by a military junta, when Lt. Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla seized power via a military coup. The final was played today in 1978, when the host nation defeat the Netherlands, albeit in predictably controversial circumstances.

When the junta was awarded the tournament they saw this it as a massive PR exercise that would unite the fractured country and give the regime prestige on the world stage. Money was pumped in, as the original budget went from $70-$100m to at least $700m, money that the country could ill-afford. The bulk of this went on building roads to connect the venues, introducing colour TV and papering over the cracks so that foreign visitors could not see the true state of the country.

Huge concrete walls were put up to cover the nation’s slums, dubbed ‘The Misery Wall’ and the junta undertook Operation El Barrido, which saw flats raided and the politically suspect ‘disappeared’ at the rate of 200 per day as the dictatorship feared that foreign journalists may go snooping around.

It’s also alleged that another wedge of cash had to go the Peruvian government, as the Argentines resorted to bribing Peru in a their final group game, where Argentina needed to win at least 4-0 to guarantee progression to the semis. Peru were no means a bad side, and when they lost 6-0 eyebrows were raised.

The Sunday Times broke this story on the eve of England’s clash with Argentina in 1986, claiming that Argentina had shipped 35,000 tons of free grain to Peru, along with free arms and unfroze $50m in credits that the Argentine national bank was holding. With Peruvian generals short of money and happy to help a fellow junta, they were happy to assist.

The final itself was no less controversial. Holland had made it to their second consecutive final, this time without their key player Johan Cruyff. At the time he claimed he was missing the tournament as a protest against the junta in Argentina, but recently gave an interview saying that the real reason was a bungled kidnap attempt in Barcelona the year before that kept him from the tournament.

The Argentine authorities played games with the Dutch from the offset, driving their team coach the wrong way to the stadium, stopping in a small village where tens of fans banged on the bus windows shouting ‘Argentina, Argentina, Argentina!’ for over 20 minutes. They also bullied FIFA into changing the referee, as the respected offical Abraham Klein was vetoed by Argentina and Italian Serio Gonella was put in charge, giving a woeful, one-sided performance in favour of the home team.

The match itself saw the crowd whipped up to the max, as the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires provided one of the most intimating atmospheres for a football match ever seen, with over 70,000 uber-psyched fans penned in by scores of threatening looking military police. If Holland had managed to upset the odds and win, lord knows how they would’ve made it out of the stadium.

Argentina took a first half lead through Mario Kempes and despite the constant gamesmanship and scandalous refereeing the Dutch managed an equaliser with 8 minutes left through Dick Nanninga.

In injury time came one of Dutch football’s most heartbreaking moments, as captain Ruud Krol’s 60-yard pass played in Rob Rensenbrink who’s shot from an angle hit the post, denying the Oranje their first major title by a matter of centimetres. See it’s not just England that have the monopoly on international heartbreak.

In extra-time Argentina scored twice through Kempes and Daniel Bertoni, meaning that the junta had their title. However, it didn’t bring them the international praise that they had naively hoped for, as the tournament brought almost universal bad publicity to the nation, with people across the globe learning about the desperate state of Latin American politics, and the atrocities committed by the various military regimes in the region.

See all the action from the most controversial World Cup in recent memory below and like another Ronaldo story we’ll be back tomorrow, but with more to say.

June 24 – Rude Rudi

HOLLAND and Germany is one of the most heated and intense international football rivalries in the world with Dutch resentment towards Germany after the Second World War fueling the friction between the two nations on the football field.

Johan Cruyff’s total football Dutch side met West Germany in the 1974 World Cup final with Holland the favourites to win the trophy in the German’s back yard in Munich but the Germans pulled off a win that stunned the Dutch team and nation.

A meeting at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina passes largely without incident but the match at the 1980 European Championships in Italy end in a punch-up between Toni Schumacher and Huub Stevens and René van de Kerkhof punching Bernd Schuster in the eye.

Eight years later and the rivals meet again on German soil in Euro 88 when Marco van Basten won the semi-final in the 88th minute, to send the home team out of the tournament. After the final whistle, Ronald Koeman does his bit for German/Dutch relations by swapping his shirt with Olaf Thon and then pretending to wipe his arse on Thon’s jersey.

Come Italia 90 and fireworks were expected as yet again the old sparring partners met in the second round on this day. For the winners: a place in the quarter-finals, for the losers: their BFH (bus fare home for those who missed out on Bullseye).

To add more spice to the mixture, the spines of the German and Dutch teams were at the time playing for two of Italy’s biggest club rivals. Milan were lead by the Dutch triumvirate of Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit, whereas Inter were built around the German trio of Andreas Brehme, Jurgen Klinsmann and Lothar Matthaus. Add in the fact that the match took place in the San Siro and you have a recipe for a spicy meatball that was bound to boil over.

Cooking analogies aside, with only 20 minutes played Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler started getting stuck into each other and both were sent off. As they walk off the pitch Rijkaard spits on Völler with the gob hanging off his perm for all to see.

Rijkaard said years later: “That day I was wrong. There was no insult. I always had much respect for Rudi Völler. But I went berserk when I saw that red card. I talked to him after the match and I apologized. I’m very happy that he accepted. I have no bad feeling about him now. We even posed for a very funny advert together, years after.”

Rudi Völler was equally forgiving on reflection: “Everybody was well aware that one of the teams was going home after that game. And regarding our old rivalry that just couldn’t be accepted. I sensed that the atmosphere was very tense. Fortunately I never hear about that incident anymore. Now I’m friends with Frank, even though it took some time… We played each other in the Italian league and we didn’t have any problem. We actually were rather friendly opponents. We talked about the incident later. Frank told me he had big problems at the time, he was in the middle of a divorce, he wasn’t the real Frank Rijkaard. Today I can say that he is a great person. I agreed to do that Dutch advert, if only to bury the hatchet.”

The Germans won the match 2-1 on their way to winning the trophy.

If you really want to see one grown man spitting on another have a look below, otherwise swing by this way tomorrow for a less disgusting trip down memory lane.

June 23 – Scots Come Home (Again)

WHILE England fans think their national team holds the British monopoly on glorious and not-so-glorious failure at international tournaments, the Tartan Army have had their fair share of crushing disappointments in far-flung places as well.

The Scots have played at eight World Cups and two European Championships in their history yet have never progressed past the first stage of any competition. Their record at summer tournaments reads: played 29, won six.

We have already told you about the Scots’ finest hour at the 1978 World Cup when they narrowly lost out on qualification for the second round to Holland, and on this day 20 years later it was a case of déjà vu when they were sent home too soon, despite Del Amitri’s plea in the national side’s official 1998 World Cup anthem.

After an opening 2-1 loss to Brazil and a 1-1 draw with Norway, Craig Brown’s troops needed a draw or a victory, coupled with a widely predicted Brazilian win over Norway, to qualify for the next stage for the first time in the country’s history.

In the end everything went against them when the Norwegians pulled off surely their greatest ever result by beating pre-tournament favourites Brazil 2-1, while Scotland whimpered out with a 3-0 defeat to Morocco.

After the match, Scotland boss Craig Brown didn’t try to make excuses. “I’m afraid you can’t give away goals at this level like we did and hope to survive and we conceded two very bad goals.

“Thereafter it was an uphill climb. We fought bravely but we weren’t good enough at that stage. I think the result certainly flattered Morocco but we were the losing side and I think Morocco deserved to win.”

France 98 was the last time the Scots made it the finals of a major tournament despite near misses for Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008 when even beating France home and away was not enough to take one of the best supported teams in the world to the finals.

Have a look at James McFadden’s wonder goal in Paris last year that provoked this reaction from Scottish radio station Clyde1 FM – impartial commentary lives on.

June 22 – Free Kick Specialist

FOOTBALL, as famous dog-catcher Jimmy Greaves once told us is “a funny old game.” Which is good news for the purveyors of DVD’s such as “David Seaman’s Jeepers Keepers” or even the heavyweight “Ian Wright – It Really Shouldn’t Happen to a Footballer” that we all find in our Christmas stockings. Today marks the anniversary of one of the staple moments of any of these titles, when Zaire defender Mwepu Llunga got a tad over excited awaiting a Brazilian free kick and couldn’t resist booting the ball down the pitch in their 1974 World Cup clash.

The story of Zaire’s World Cup 74 journey is an eventful tale and one that we believe would be ripe for the big budget Cool Runnings-esque Hollywood makeover.

The dictatorship of Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo was the first black African nation to make it to the World Cup in 1974 after President Mobutu decided that a decent football team would give his nation prestige on the international stage and pumped money in accordingly.

When his charges qualified for the tournament in West Germany Mobutu called in the squad to his presidential palace and gave them all a car and promised a sack of cash on their return.

Western journalists wrote condescending articles about the Zaire team, suggesting that the players had taken monkeys with them to eat and that they lacked any kind of tactical nous to make an impression on the field. The stage was set for The Leopards to prove their doubters wrong, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

Their opening game saw a 2-0 loss to Scotland, which was not as embarrassing as it would be these days, but their second Group 2 match saw a 9-0 reverse at the hands of Miljan Miljanic’s flamboyant Yugoslavia side.

Mobutu was not amused. The free kick specialist himself Llunga said: “After the match, he sent his presidential guards to threaten us. They closed the hotel to all journalists and said that if we lost 0-4 to Brazil, none of us would be able to return home.”

As we proved the other day, this kind of motivation can be pretty priceless when it comes to getting a result. Zaire managed to keep the score down to 3-0, and it becomes clear why right-back Llunga decided to take Brazil’s set-pieces for them.

The side were able to return home without fear of retribution, despite having lost all three games, failing to score and conceding 14 goals. Mobutu’s promises of riches for the squad were not kept, as he began to lose interest in football, pulling the side from the 1978 World Cup and instead playing host to the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ when Mohammed Ali fought George Foreman in October 1974.

Still, the Zairians paved the way for the likes of the Cameroon team of 1990 or Senegal’s 2002 vintage to announce the coming of African football, which will surely shake off the curse of Pele’s prediction that an African nation would win the World Cup by the year 2000.

Enjoy Zaire’s most famous contribution to both World Cup football and DVD promoter’s Christmas funds below and head back tomorrow for the story of another comedy World Cup side.

June 21 – The Greatest Team Ever

DESPITE the best efforts of Ronaldinho or Maradona trying to hijack June 21 for their own personal OTFD glory, today we’ve only got eyes for the tale of the best team of all-time scoring their best ever goal. Yes, today in 1970 those boys from Brazil danced and dazzled their way to a third World Cup title, beating Italy 4-1.

Declaring the Brazilan 1970 team to be the best ever side may well be the footballing equivalent of telling everyone that John Lennon was the best Beatle, but whatever way you look at it, it’s probably right.

The 1970 World Cup was the first to ever become a major television event, with the bright satellite pictures from Mexico instantly recognisable on the highlight reels. It also saw fair play return as the last two tournaments had been plagued with fighting Argentineans in 1966 and the ‘Battle of Santiago’ four years earlier. Football, as the cliché goes, was indeed the winner.

Pele had previously vowed never to play in the World Cup again after being victimised in the 1966 tournament, but returned in a big way to lighten up the competition and pick up his third winners medal. With Jairzinho, Tostao and Rivelino joining him in the Brazilian frontline it almost wasn’t fair for the poor saps who stood in their way.

After downing then-world champions England in the group stage, Brazil breezed past Peru in the quarter-finals and faced a rematch of the 1950 final when they played Uruguay in the last four. This was the first time the two had met in the World Cup since that ‘Fateful Final,’ a game that had left a scar on the Brazilain psyche. A 3-1 win saw the Selecao get sweet revenge and a place in the final.

Italy meanwhile were putting some woeful recent World Cup performances behind them, after the afore mentioned shenanigans in Santiago and the North Korea debacle in 1966. Their semi-final against West Germany is considered by many to be the greatest game ever played. After an early goal Italy had lead until the 90th minute when Schnellinger equalised for the German’s forcing a manic extra-time period that saw no less than five goals, with the Azzurri ending up 4-3 winners.

The Italian’s went into the final physically and emotionally drained following this epic, but managed to keep the Brazilians at bay for over an hour after Pele and Roberto Boninsegna traded goals. Gerson scored to put Brazil 2-1 up with 25 minutes left, Jairzinho came up with a third and then Carlos Alberto scored a near-perfect goal.

A flowing team move started just outside the Brazilian area and then through a combination of individual skill, slick passing and fluid movement the ball fell to Alberto who leathered it past the hapless Enrico Albertosi and into the history books.

This third World Cup win marked the end of an era, as Brazil, now allowed to keep the original Jules Rimet trophy, were not to win the big one again until 1994, when the Italians were again their victims, this time after Roberto Baggio missed the most high-pressure penalty of all time.

Enjoy some classic play from the Brazilians below and head over tomorrow for the tale of possibly the worst team ever to grace the World Cup.