Skip to comments.Brazil honours 1958 heroes
Posted on 06/28/2008 11:34:35 AM PDT by WesternCulture
Brazil honoured the great Pele on Thursday and the other eight surviving players from its maiden FIFA World Cup triumph in 1958, a victory that put the nation on the football map and paved the way for four more titles.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gave the nine men medals of honour at a banquet dedicated to their 5-2 final victory over hosts Sweden 50 years ago.
"You helped us understand...we could make Brazil a winner," Lula told the players at the ceremony.
Brazil, the most successful football nation with five FIFA World Cup titles, is now in a footballing trough with coach Dunga's men fifth in regional qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Dunga was jeered after the team stuttered to a 0-0 draw with Argentina last week and he has come under pressure to resign following a run of poor results.
Keen on remembering better days, television and newspapers have been running specials on the anniversary celebrations.
Long obsessed with the 'beautiful game', Brazilians can also now boast about being a major emerging market with growing diplomatic clout.
But before securing its first FIFA World Cup, Brazil was a sleeping giant.
Players recalled how the Brazilian flag was the only one of the 16 competing nations not to have been raised as they arrived in Sweden.
"In the 1950s Brazil was little known abroad, many thought Buenos Aires was our capital. After the Cup everything changed, we won international respect," said Djalma Santos, a defender who played in four FIFA World Cups.
Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, was 17 when he burst on to the world stage with six goals in four games in Sweden.
He enchanted the crowds and helped clinch the first FIFA World Cup for a country outside its own continent.
With other big names such as Garrincha, Zagalo, Didi and Vava, Brazil's 1958 squad are considered by many to have been the best ever.
"These gentlemen taught us how to play as a team with technique and beauty," said Bengt Agren, who represented the Swedish football federation at Thursday's ceremony and organised the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
In a special session on Wednesday, Congress also honoured its soccer heroes.
The 1958 team "turned Brazil's most popular sport into an art recognised by the entire world", said Senator Sergio Zambiasi.
An exhibition entitled "Heroes of 58, Shoes of the Homeland" in Brasilia's modernist presidential palace recalls how Brazil eliminated Wales in the quarter-finals and thrashed France 5-2 in the semi-finals.
Amid the celebrations, Pele offered a word of caution on the prospects of winning a sixth FIFA World Cup.
"Brazilians have got used to winning a lot and now they need to have patience," he said.
Why it’s called “The Beautiful Game” (not wishing to disrespect American football or anything..):
My country, Sweden, played well in that match, but we didn’t have a Pelé.
I specifically remember telling one proprietor, "I know the sign says you open at 11am. But see these 50 people standing outside your door? They want to drink your beer. They don't care if you are short-handed. They'll understand. Just start pouring." He opened the door.
Who do you want to win tomorrow. I hoping Germany wins, but without Ballack I don’t think they’ll have much of a chance against Spain.
That sure is a lot of heroes, wonder why this just didn't round it up to 2000?
Gothenburg, second largest city in Sweden and the city in which I live, is one of the most Lutheran places on Earth.
Before 1992, when some of the major games of The European Championship of Football of that year was hosted by my city, only proper “restaurants” here were allowed to serve alcoholic beverages. But in that very year, more or less every local pizzeria was, all of a sudden, entrusted with the vending of these hazardous fluids.
Wait! Ballack is out?
I will also tell you this: the Swedes really gave the Brazilians a run for their money in the most-fun-to-be-around department. I still think the Brazilian and Argentine fans are the most happy, though.
- I'll celebrate whoever wins. My father and I will watch the game together and we've bought both German and Spanish wine as we both admire these great nations in the area of football/soccer and many others!
The Germans are a very disciplined squad and like always, they've proved in this championship that they are exceptionally good at “reading” their opponents. But perhaps they are a bit too slow?
Spain has a complete team. Strikers like Villa and Torres, Midfielders like Fàbregas, Silva, Xavi and so on and so on, defenders like Puyol and Ramos and behind it all; Casillas.
However, I suspect Spain will have too much of respect for the German well-organized football orchestra and neglect to lend an ear to what is their prime strength, namely the combination of speed and skill. Trying to outsmart and out-german Germany won't work.
My gut feeling tells me Germany will win. But if Spain becomes European champions (for the first time since 1964) I'd say they really deserve it, they have played with great self confidence.
“I will also tell you this: the Swedes really gave the Brazilians a run for their money in the most-fun-to-be-around department. I still think the Brazilian and Argentine fans are the most happy, though.”
- The famous Brazilian samba fans sure have meant a lot to the success of their national team. Psychology means a lot in the field of sports and I think no one wishes to deny that teams who are backed up by the encouragement of an enthusiastic audience perform better than teams who are not.
Sweden is a very different culture from Brazil in most ways. Actually, some would say the US and Brazil have more in common than USA and Sweden when it comes to social behavior. I mean, strangers in fact talk to each other in the street, on the bus, in stores etc in both Brazil and in America..
Thanks for the post. As a kid, I got to see Pele score against the Dallas Tornado when he was with the Cosmos. He is the greatest player ever.
I am looking forward to watching the final between Germany and Spain. Spain has one of the best squads I’ve seen in a long time. They’re awesome up front (Torres is overdue for a breakout game), have a strong back line, and a surprisingly (to me) good keeper.
Normally, I would pull for Germany without hesitation, but I like the Spanish game. Plus, they knocked out Italy, which is a reason to cheer.
Anyway, as I see it, Germany’s hope is to play strong in the back (something they can do) and to go cross high up front and use their strikers’ size advantage against Spain’s backline. Spain’s too fast for many runs down the wing.
I’d be interested in your view.
Quick, take the German wine back. Get some German beer. Play to each country's strength.
BTW, I agree that speed is a big plus for Spain, including the speed (and skill) of their bench.
I was in Rio just prior to the match. The song on my homepage is burned into my head, we were partying well before the victory.
I believe Spain can do it, but there is a reason why Germany more or less always manages to reach the end stages of big tournaments.
The key word here, hardly surprising, is good old German discipline. Germany has a lot of routine and understanding of football at this level - and they use it well.
Spain is a nation that once “ruled” large parts of the world. However, when it comes to self-confidence that means nothing when facing a German Weltmeister Team in spe (in their eyes, winning the “Euro” is just a matter of preparation for 2010).
Spain fears German effectiveness, take my word for it.
Is Germany “unbeatable”?
Brazil and Italy are nations that have proved able of defeating the Germans in the game of soccer. But Spain is NOT Brazil or Italy. They lack the patience and attitude of Brazil and Italy. But who knows..
Everyone loves Spain, even though this great nation often is disregarded by other Europeans (one of the major reasons is that Spain didn’t become a democracy until the late 1970s).
In 1958, even tiny Sweden managed to send Germany out of the tournament, but at that time Germany was still in ruins. As a nation, Germany today suffers from a lot of problems needed to be dealt with (like overly strong unions and the 6-hour work day culture), but at least they still know how to play football.
Germany is the Big Brother of Europe and I think it will become evident tomorrow. When Germany gets going, it takes something like Britain + USA + Russia to stop them.
Tomorrow, Spain will shine, we will see brilliant Spanish individual performance like that of toreadors, but like we use to say over here in Europe; “- Never underestimate the Germans”.
- We have plenty of German beer too!!
Perhaps I should’ve written that the German wine we bought is Henkel Trocken (a kind of German “champagne”). It’s very cheap, but it tastes rather well.
“(The environmental movement is filled with watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside)”
- Good one!!! I’ll introduce it here in Sweden!
Brazil knows soccer.
“Brazil knows soccer.”
- Brazil is the only national football team to have won 5 world cup titles. Kind of speaks for it self.
Italy has won 4. Germany 3.
On the other hand, what nation has the best player?
- Probably Portugal. C Ronaldo is awesome.
My country, Sweden, has Zlatan.
Rosengård, Malmö, where Zlatan is from, is the only “slum” area in wealthy Scandinavia.
Rosengård is Muslim, it is lawless and all of it ought to be teared down.
Yet, I admire Zlatan with all of my Viking heart:
I was in Fort Lauderdale when “Der Bomber” and Georgie Best were with the Strikers. Man, those were good times. I miss the old NASL, the MLS just isn’t the same.
The only Swedish player who could rival Pelé:
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