FIFA World Cup

A brief history of Fifa World Cup: Chile 1962, when Garrincha stepped up in Pele’s absence

Many consider 1962 as the most violent tournament in history, with the football often descending into chaos on the pitch.

It’s that time again! The greatest show on earth is upon us. Ahead of the Fifa World Cup in Russia, we look-back at the 20 tournaments before and the standout aspects from them.

Next up, when hosts Chile produced more than one miracle...

Chile 1962

The Great Chile Earthquake happened in 1960. Recorded as 9.5 on the Richter scale – the most powerful in history. It was near impossible that two years down the line, the country could hold a football world cup. The damage was just too much to repair.

‘We don’t have anything, we will do everything we can do to rebuild,’ was the rallying call on which Chile went on to successfully host the tournament in 1962. And to boot, the hosts stunned Italy and USSR on their way to the semi-finals and a third place finish.

Underdog story aside, foul play blighted a tournament which saw European teams adopt the defensive “catenaccio” style of play popularised at the time by Inter Milan. It led to a series of ill-tempered ties that overshadowed the finals and deprived the World Cup of Pele who hobbled out of the tournament in Brazil’s second match.

The tie between Chile and Italy became known as the Battle of Santiago, with two Italians sent off and police storming the pitch to restore order.

Even without Pele, Brazil were too much for England in the quarter-finals and dominated Chile in the semi-finals with Garrincha scoring twice before getting himself sent off. But so enamoured was the world with Garrincha’s performance in that world cup, that public outcry and pressure from the highest office in Brazil forced Fifa’s hand in overturning the ban for final. In a dour tournament overall, Garrincha emerged as a star eventually finishing as the joint top-scorer.

In the final, Brazil faced Czechoslovakia, who had reached that stage largely on the back of outstanding performances by their goalkeeper Jilhelm Schroiff.

Ironically it was Schroiff’s blunders in the final that helped Brazil to a 3-1 victory and their second successive trophy. Vava became the first player to score in consecutive finals.

Stats and trivia

  • Just four players have scored in two World Cup Finals, but only one has managed it in successive editions. That was Brazil’s Vava, in the process of helping Brazil to glory in 1958 and 1962. He had a knack of scoring at the big stage. Of his 15 goals for Seleção, spread over nine years, nine came at the World Cup.
  • Brazil created a World Cup record by using only 12 players throughout the whole tournament.
  • A stray dog twice interrupted the Brazil-England quarter-final, evading several players as they attempted to grab it. Garrincha, an animal-lover, was impressed that the dog “could dribble like me”, and adopted it.
  • The infamous Battle of Santiago, between Italy and Chile, typified what was a poor tournament, football-wise. “The match is universally agreed by observers as the ugliest, most vicious and disgraceful in soccer history,” observed the Mirror. “If you think that is exaggerating, watch the film on TV. But send the kids to bed first – it deserves a horror certificate!” The World Cup might have been won by the practitioners of Joga Bonito, but there was very little that was beautiful about the football this world cup.
  • No team since Vava and Garrincha’s Brazil in 1962 has been able to their defend the World Cup crown.
  • SIX: The top-scorer award of the world cup would have to be called three pairs of Golden Boots. Six different players finished top of the goal-scoring list with four goals each – the most in the tournament history. Four shared it in 2010. Garrincha, Vava (Brazil), Leonel Sanchez (Chile), Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia), Florian Albert (Hungary), Valentin Ivanov (USSR) were the players.   
  • Tournament top-scorer: Six different players with four goals! See stat above.
  • Total number of goals scored in the tournament: 89 (2.8 goals per match)

For your viewing pleasure

Brazil vs Czechoslovakia, the final

Play

Official poster

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

With AFP and Fifa.com inputs

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Do you really need to use that plastic straw?

The hazards of single-use plastic items, and what to use instead.

In June 2018, a distressed whale in Thailand made headlines around the world. After an autopsy it’s cause of death was determined to be more than 80 plastic bags it had ingested. The pictures caused great concern and brought into focus the urgency of the fight against single-use plastic. This term refers to use-and-throw plastic products that are designed for one-time use, such as takeaway spoons and forks, polythene bags styrofoam cups etc. In its report on single-use plastics, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has described how single-use plastics have a far-reaching impact in the environment.

Dense quantity of plastic litter means sights such as the distressed whale in Thailand aren’t uncommon. Plastic products have been found in the airways and stomachs of hundreds of marine and land species. Plastic bags, especially, confuse turtles who mistake them for jellyfish - their food. They can even exacerbate health crises, such as a malarial outbreak, by clogging sewers and creating ideal conditions for vector-borne diseases to thrive. In 1988, poor drainage made worse by plastic clogging contributed to the devastating Bangladesh floods in which two-thirds of the country was submerged.

Plastic litter can, moreover, cause physiological harm. Burning plastic waste for cooking fuel and in open air pits releases harmful gases in the air, contributing to poor air quality especially in poorer countries where these practices are common. But plastic needn’t even be burned to cause physiological harm. The toxic chemical additives in the manufacturing process of plastics remain in animal tissue, which is then consumed by humans. These highly toxic and carcinogenic substances (benzene, styrene etc.) can cause damage to nervous systems, lungs and reproductive organs.

The European Commission recently released a list of top 10 single-use plastic items that it plans to ban in the near future. These items are ubiquitous as trash across the world’s beaches, even the pristine, seemingly untouched ones. Some of them, such as styrofoam cups, take up to a 1,000 years to photodegrade (the breakdown of substances by exposure to UV and infrared rays from sunlight), disintegrating into microplastics, another health hazard.

More than 60 countries have introduced levies and bans to discourage the use of single-use plastics. Morocco and Rwanda have emerged as inspiring success stories of such policies. Rwanda, in fact, is now among the cleanest countries on Earth. In India, Maharashtra became the 18th state to effect a ban on disposable plastic items in March 2018. Now India plans to replicate the decision on a national level, aiming to eliminate single-use plastics entirely by 2022. While government efforts are important to encourage industries to redesign their production methods, individuals too can take steps to minimise their consumption, and littering, of single-use plastics. Most of these actions are low on effort, but can cause a significant reduction in plastic waste in the environment, if the return of Olive Ridley turtles to a Mumbai beach are anything to go by.

To know more about the single-use plastics problem, visit Planet or Plastic portal, National Geographic’s multi-year effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis. From microplastics in cosmetics to haunting art on plastic pollution, Planet or Plastic is a comprehensive resource on the problem. You can take the pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastics, here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic, and not by the Scroll editorial team.