Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was the World Cup showing? Exciting team Brazil, the first country to win three times the World Cup and thus retiring the original cup, the Golden Nice – it was stipulated from the establishment of the tournament, that whoever win three times will keep the cup forever. The 1970s begun signaled significant change symbolically: new cup, new format, new teams. The World champions were considered – and still are considered – the best Brazilian teal ever. Second finished Italy – European champion of 1968. Team studded with stars in their prime and team representing the style of the 1960s – the ultra-defensive ‘catenaccio’. Still dominant style, apparently – just a notch under the attacking style of Brazil. Third ended West Germany – talented and young team, obviously with bright future, but not just ripe for success yet. Uruguay represented the other side of South American football – technical, but tough and tactically oriented. England surrendered their 1966 title gracefully – with a bit of luck, it could have been different. It was still the great team of Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, and Gordon Banks. No shame losing to the Germans, yet a tiny hint of change of guard – the Germans were younger. Peru was the pleasant surprise, suggesting that South America is not only three countries. Highly competitive tournament – two of the ¼ finals and one ½ final went overtime, yet it was not defensive minded championship – only 3 games in the round robin groups ended 0-0 (two of them Italian – no surprise). A plethora of stars, some young, promising greater future of the game. Tostao and Jairzinho were those to watch in the coming years and, in the same time, Pele was only 28 years old. Carlos Alberto, the captain of the great Brazil, was 26. Beckenbauer was 24, finishing his second World Cup already… just a few examples.
Carlos Alberto
Three players considered both present and future in 1970. Not so a little later – Tostao suffered eye problems and had to end his career prematurely. Jairzinho seemingly never reached his magic from 1970 again. And what exactly happened to Carlos Alberto?