Brazil to FIFA World Cup is like Australia to Cricket World Cup and All Black to Rugby World Cup. The Selecao have won football’s most converted trophy on a record five occasions and are favorites to win it for the sixth time in Russia.
The South Americans have created a lot of memories for the football fans in the last 88 years, being the only team to play in every edition of the World Cup. From Pele to Romario to Ronaldo and now Neymar, the Brazilians have always been blessed with some of the finest football players to lead the team in the World Cups.
And those players have created not only World Cup’s but football’s some of the finest moments. Here we take a look at five greatest moments of Brazilian football team in the World Cup:
1994 World Cup Triumph:
Brazil is a football crazy country. Their fans always want the best from their team and the players will almost always be ready to put their lives on the line to win the World Cup.
But the things weren’t so smooth for the South Americans after their 1970 World Cup victory. The team failed to reach the final after Pele’s retirement. The World Cup arrived every four years and Brazilians couldn’t keep up with the hopes of their fans every time.
Until, 1994. With Romario as their main striker, Brazil looked deadly in the United States. They did not lose a single game and made it to the finals on the back of Romario’s five goals in the tournament. In the final, Brazil met Italy and both teams had a chance to become the first nation to win the World Cup on four occasions.
Brazil came out on top by winning the final on penalties after goalkeeper Cláudio Taffarel saved three penalties. It ended Brazil’s wait of 24 years to win the World Cup while also giving them the first World Cup without Pele.
Ronaldinho’s incredible chip over Seaman:
England is an unfortunate nation. Sometimes, penalty shoot-outs kick them out while sometimes, the red card does it. But in 2002 World Cup’s quarter-final game against Brazil, it was Ronaldinho, who kicked England out of the World Cup.
After Owen’s opening goal in the 23rd minute, Ronaldinho ran through the England defense in the 45th minute, froze Ashley Cole with his step over and passed the ball to Rivaldo to equalize.
But his real moment of magic was yet to arrive. In the 50th minute, Ronaldinho stood 40-yards away from the English goal for a free-kick. Everyone expected him to cross the ball, including goalkeeper David Seaman. But the Brazilian wizard had something else in his mind. He went for a lob from 40-freaking yard and completely caught Seaman off-guard. The ball landed in the goalpost while everyone on the field watched with the stunned look on their faces.
Ronaldinho completed the come-back single-handedly but also received an infamous red-card in the 57th minute. Despite being a man down, Brazil won the game 2-1 and went on to win the World Cup.
Ronaldo’s Brace in 2002 World Cup Final:
Four years ago in the 1998 World Cup, Brazil faced France in the final. They had a chance to make it back-to-back World Cup victories for the second time in their history. 1998’s Golden Ball winner, Ronaldo was expected to deliver in the final. But the striker played the final with illness as Zidane and co. thrashed the South Americans 3-0 to win the World Cup.
Ronaldo was blamed for the loss around the country due to his no-show in the final. But he had a chance to change it in 2002 final. Brazil was pitted against Germany and Ronaldo was in great form with 6 goals.
After a goalless first half, Ronaldo changed the gears in the second half. The striker scored 2 goals in the second half and buried the hatches of 1998 final. Ronaldo also became the newest member of Brazil’s World Cup legends list. He scored in the 67th and 79th minute and ended the World Cup with 8 goals, winning the Golden Boot in the process.
It was a story of redemption for the striker as his two goals and that god-awful hairstyle made history for the fans to remember for years to come.
Carlos Alberto’s goal in 1970 Final:
Arguably the best team goal in the World Cup, Carlos Alberto’s strike was important for more than one reasons. The captain of the Brazilian side, Alberto scored the 4th goal against Italy in the final to win the World Cup 4-1.
Brazil’s team of 1970 was known as ‘The Beautiful Brazil’ for their teamwork and they proved it with Alberto’s goal. Brazilian defenders started the move in their own half and after some eye-catching dribbling, Pele received the ball just outside the Italian box. The Brazilian legend passed the ball to Carlos Alberto who arrived in the box to finish one of the best moves with one of the most lethal strikes.
Alberto’s goal also sealed the third World Cup trophy for the Selecao after their 1958 and 1962 triumphs. With that victory, Pele became the first and the only footballer to win the Football World Cup on three occasions. A record which looks almost impossible for anyone to break in the near future.
Pele’s Hat-trick against France in 1958 Semi-Final:
A few might argue that he is the best footballer in the history. But everyone will agree that Pele is the best player in the FIFA World Cup history. The Brazilian has scored 12 goals in the tournament and has won it on record three occasions.
But Pele’s hat-trick against France in the 1958 semi-final has to be the greatest moment of his glorious career and also the moment for Brazilians to remember forever.
After scoring the only goal against Wales in the quarter-final to become the youngest goalscorer in the World Cup, Pele showed his real colors against France. Brazil was 2-1 ahead in the first-half with still everything to fight for. And 17-year old Pele proved his worth with a second-half hat-trick. He crushed France and took Brazil to the finals in style.
Pele also scored a brace against Sweden in the final to win the first ever World Cup for Brazil, but his hat-trick shocked the Europeans to their core as they could not believe what a 17-year old had done to their best teams.