On this day: World Cup final 1958 – Pele : A Star is born
On this day, June 29, 1958, Brazilian legend Pele lifts Brazil to victory in the World cup final. Pele became the youngest player (17-years) to score in a world cup and win the FIFA World Cup. He is currently the only football player to have won three world cups (1958, 1962, 1970).
How the 1958 FIFA World Cup final played out
Following a day of heavy rain, Brazil and Sweden walked out onto a slippery field before 50,000 fans jammed into Stockholm’s Rasunda stadium and millions more around the world watching on television. Brazilian manager Vicente Feola made one key change, taking out defender Newton de Sordi. For the first time in the competition, he introduces Djalma Santos, a member of the 1954 World Cup team. It really proves an acute move. Djalma and Nilton Santos brilliantly combined to defuse the dynamic Swedish scoring duo of Lennart Skoglund and Kurt Hamrin.
Read also: Nigeria’s most lethal striker Rashidi Yekini
However, It was the Swedes who struck first, Gunnar Gren feeding a pass to Nils Liedholm who skipped past two defenders and fired the ball into the right-hand corner of the net in the fourth minute. It was the first time Brazil trailed in the tournament. The beast sufficiently agitated. Brazil instantly came to life and levelled the affair five minutes later when Garrincha beat his marker and delivered a pass into the middle for Vava who scored. The same pair hooked up at the 30-minute mark, Vava scoring an almost identical goal.
Pele gave Brazil a two-goal cushion in the 55th minute when he netted a stunningly breathtaking goal — standing in a crowd in the penalty area with his back towards the goal, he trapped a high pass with his chest, knocked the ball over his head while being marked by a defender, whirled around and volleyed it past Swedish goalkeeper Karl Svensson. And in that moment, a legend was born.
Pele goes on to win the 1958 FIFA World Cup for Selecao
Winger Mario Zagalo, who went on to coach Brazil to victory at the 1970 World Cup, made it 4-1 13 minutes later. Agne Simonsson scored with 10 minutes left in regulation for Sweden but Pele bagged his second of the game in the 89th minute, rising majestically through the air to score on a header from a Zagallo cross.
After two consecutive disappointments : the shocking loss to Uruguay at the Maracana in 1950 and quarterfinals loss to Hungary in 1954. Brazil fulfilled its destiny: champions of the world. As Pele and the rest of the team were in tears, the classy and gracious Stockholm crowd applauded the new world champions. Sportingly, Brazil did a lap of honour around the field carrying a Swedish flag.
Pele would go on to become one of the Greatest Footballers of all time winning the World thrice for Brazil.
Read also: Top five Premier League goals of all time