The best stories of the World Cup in Mexico 1970
Talk of Mexico 1970 It is talk of what is arguably one of the best World of history but the best. Because few times a championship can gather figures like Pele, Tostao, Beckenbauer, Rivera, Cubillas, Banks, Müller, have dream matches and end the coronation of one of the best teams of all time.
Yes, Brazil won, but for three weeks the Aztec fans witnessed the largest of the soccer festivals contemplated until then. And above, those who were not, they were lucky enough to see it on color television, for the first time in history. Total, they participated 16 selections, where Spain was not, France or Argentina but yes El Salvador, classified in a dramatic tie-breaking match against Honduras that led to the so-called Soccer War between both countries and more than 2000 dead.
The 16 teams were framed in four groups in which there were no surprises and where the highlight came from the English goalkeeper Gordon Banks, that left us for the memory in a Brazil-England a prodigious stop to a header from Pelé, who finished the first phase with three goals.
It was a World of novelties. For the first time, the ball was black and white leaving its usual brown tone. There was a pet named Juanio. For the first time changes could be made and for the first time too, there were yellow and red cards, although the tournament ended without any expelled becoming the World Cup of fair play.
Curiosities on the sidelines, the championship sirloin came from the quarterfinals. Brazil alighted for 4-2 to Peru from the hand of a great Pele, who nonetheless watched as Teófilo Cubillas at times overcame him due to his enormous class. The Brazilians managed despite everything to reach the penultimate match where the Uruguayans awaited him, they beat 1-0 to the USSR.
The other semifinal was made by Italy and Germany. Transalpinos got rid of Mexico, for the first time, quarterfinalist and the Germans from the English, unprecedented milestone that served as revenge for many insults, between them, the World Cup final 1966. “No one doubts our victory, because Germany never beat us, neither in football nor in war”. Words spoken by the English coach who took the wind.
The semifinals left matches that will never be forgotten. Brazil beat Uruguay for 3-1 after a tighter game than the marker indicates and where the most notable was the famous action of Pelé who with a break without a ball fooled the goalkeeper and missed a goal by an empty goal. Brazil was a modern team. Zagallo had inherited from Saldanha (kicked out a year earlier for calling Pele myopic and saying he had hip problems) a team made that had hardly any cracks.
Although if Brazil-Uruguay left us indelible moments, the other semifinal left us 120 unforgettable minutes. Italy won 4-3, but nobody escapes that the 17 June 1970, the Azteca Stadium was lucky enough to see what has been the best game in the history of football. Intense combat between two powers, full of alternatives, with Beckenbauer injured (his image is famous with his arm in a sling) who finished on the Italian side thanks to a goal by Rivera with nine minutes to go after extra time.
Already in the final, Brazil would win by a clear 4-1 leaving his perfect goal as a clear exponent of what was that selection full of talent. Touch, precision, constant change of positions and a batch of footballers where Pelé put the goal and the talent, y Tostao, Jairzinho, Rivellino or Carlos Alberto were the best accessories for what was surely the best selection in history and that for the first time obtained the Jules Rimet cup, in the propiety.
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