1958 World Cup History
1958 was the year Brazil, so unfortunate in 1950, finally captured the world title they had been threatening to win for so long.
In their first-round match against the Soviet Union, the South
Americans introduced two new players, a bandy-legged little winger
called Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known as Garrincha, and a
17-year-old called Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or more simply,
Nothing could stand in Brazil's way. Wales, who along with
Northern Ireland made a significant impact in this tournament, did
well to limit them to a 1-0 quarterfinal win.
France, another revelation, boasted a star striker of their own
in Just Fontaine, who was to set an astonishing World Cup scoring
record of 13 goals in a single tournament, but they were swept
aside 6-3 in the semifinals as Pele fired in a hat-trick.
Hosts Sweden rode the support of the home fans into the final by
beating holders West Germany in the last four. But in the final
they too were undone by the boys from Brazil, Pele and Vava
grabbing two each in a 5-2 demolition.
At the end of the match, the Swedish crowd rose to salute the
Brazilians, and in particular their young prodigy Pele, who was
writing the first of many glorious chapters in World Cup history.
1958 WORLD CUP LEGENDS
Valdir Pereira DIDI
Brazil: b. 1928, d. 2001
Midfield star of the 1958 and 1962 World Cups who as a coach led
Peru to the 1970 World Cup quarterfinals.
Spent six months in a wheelchair as a 14-year-old after a kick
on his right leg resulted in an abscess and almost meant an
Perfected the curving free-kicks known as 'folha seca' (dry
leaf) through hours of solitary practice.
Rated the world's best player in 1958 and joined Real Madrid,
where Alfredo di Stefano waged a determined campaign to boycott
He eventually returned to Brazil and helped Botafogo win the
1961 and 1962 league titles as well as playing in Brazil's six
games in the 1962 World Cup for a second winner's medal.
France: b. 1933
Went to Sweden expecting to be a reserve but struck a perfect
partnership with Raymond Kopa, scoring in every match and finishing
up with a record 13 goals that has yet to be surpassed.
Born in Morocco he was signed by French side Nice. Not tall
enough or good enough in the air to be a classic centre-forward, he
was nevertheless quick and brave, which, coupled with fine
anticipation and a powerful left-foot shot, made him a lethal
Opened with three goals in France's 7-3 win against Paraguay,
scored both goals in a 3-2 defeat by Yugoslavia, and got the winner
against Scotland. Two more followed against Northern Ireland and he
got the equaliser against Brazil before French stopper Robert
Jonquet went off injured and Brazil pulled away to win 5-2.
Four goals against West Germany in the third-place play-off made
him the leading scorer.
Scored 27 goals in 20 internationals for France in a career
curtailed by two broken legs.
Coached the French national team for two years before going into
France: b. 1931
A superb outside-right who was even better as a deep-lying
centre-forward. Kopa -- his name is short for Kopazewski -- was the
son of a Polish miner who was determined to escape working at the
Initially criticised for dribbling too much, he had superb ball
control and the pace to leave a beaten opponent behind.
Helped Reims reach the first European Cup final, which they lost
4-3 to Real Madrid in 1956, but he impressed the Spanish so much
they signed him up.
Di Stefano was the chief playmaker at Real so Kopa had to revert
to the right wing, winning three European Cup finals. It was only
playing for France in the 1958 World Cup that he had the
opportunity to show just what a complete forward he was. He
supplied the bullets for Fontaine to fire home.
Returned to the right wing for Real Madrid, whom he helped beat
Reims in the 1959 European Cup final before returning to the French
Finished his 45-cap career in 1962 and became a successful
1958 WORLD CUP SCORERS
Just Fontaine (FRA) 13
Pele (BRA) 6
Helmut Rahn (GER) 6
Peter McParland (NIR) 5
Vava (BRA) 5
Agne Simonsson (SWE) 4
Kurt Hamrin (SWE) 4
Zdenek Zikan (CZE) 4
Lajos Tichy (HUN) 4
1958 WORLD CUP TRIVIA
- This was the first World Cup without the founder, Jules Rimet,
who died on October 16, 1956 in Paris aged 83.
- Sixteen finalists were split into the conventional four
groups, with playoffs designed to determine the placings in the
event of a tie.
- For the first and only time all four British countries
qualified, with Wales and Northen Ireland, who ousted Italy, making
their debuts. The Soviet Union, featuring the legendary Lev Yashin
in goal, were also making their first appearance in the World Cup
- England arrived under a shadow after eight Manchester United
players were killed in an aircrash at Munich, West Germany in
- The first ever recorded 0-0 draw in the World Cup was in Group
Four when England held mighty Brazil in Gothenburg.
- Brazil introduced a revolutionary new way of playing, with a
4-2-4 formation based on dynamic wing play.
- Brazil's 5-2 victory over Sweden remains the highest score in
a World Cup final.
- The match was watched by King Gustav Adolf from the Royal Box
and attracted a gate of 49 737.
- This was the first final to be contested by countries from
different continents. Brazil were the first country to win outside
their own continent.
- Top scorer was Just Fontaine of France with 13 goals, which is
still a World Cup record.
1958 WORLD CUP WINNING SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Castilho, Gilmar
Defenders: Bellini (capt), De Sordi, Djalma Santos, Nilton
Santos, Orlando, Zozimo
Midfielders: Didi, Dino, Mauro
Forwards: Canhoteiro, Dida, Garrincha, Gino, Joel, Mazola,
Moacyr, Pele, Pepe, Vava, Zagalo