FIFA World Cup

Fifa World Cup moments: Captain Carlos Alberto and the goal of a lifetime

The captain and right-back scored a remarkable goal in Brazil’s 4-1 win over Italy.

The World Cup hall of fame has quite a few eye-popping goals in its catalog. There’s Robin Van Persie with his ‘Flying Dutchman’ act against Spain in 2014, Archie Gemmill’s solo effort in 1978 immortalised in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, Manuel Negrete’s scissors volley in ‘86, Dennis Bergkamp with the most Bergkamp-esque goal to knock out Argentina in 1998, Diego Maradona embarrassing half of England’s side in 1986, to name a few.

None of these, including Maradona’s mazy run, is remembered world over and cherished by football lovers and experts as Brazil’s fourth and final goal against Italy in the summit clash of Mexico 1970.

It was the pinnacle of rumba-zumba football, played by the greatest team that the world stage has ever seen, set up by the greatest player in the history of World Cup football, scored by the captain and right-back Carlos Alberto.

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An attacking World Cup

Contrary to expectations that the football would be dreary and slow in the high altitude and humid conditions of Mexico, 1970 saw a vibrant brand of attacking play adopted by several teams, typified by the eventual winners Brazil and saw a goals average (2.97 per game) higher than any other World Cup since.

The tournament also witnessed the introduction of yellow and red cards and substitutes, though no player was sent off by the referees.

Brazil were joyous for several reasons prior to the main tournament. The Selecao had coasted through their qualifiers, winning each and every one, leading to them being dubbed the pre-tournament favourites. Pele had retired after coming in for some rough tackles from Portugal in 1966. Mario Zagallo, former team-mate and now coach had convinced him to return at the age of 30.

For the first time ever, Argentina had failed to qualify for a World Cup, giving their neighbours even more reason to celebrate. Brazil were drawn together with Romania, Czechoslovakia and holders England in Group 3. Despite winning the World Cup, Brazil let in goals in all of their six matches except the group stage match against the Three Lions, which is famous for Gordon Banks tipping over Pele’s header over the bar and is now dubbed the ‘Save of the Century’. Brazil would eventually conjure up a magical winner through Jairzinho.

Hypnotic Samba executioners

The greatness of the 1970 squad lay in the fact that Pele was surrounded by other fantastic players of the time. There was the diminutive but intelligent number nine Tostao (Portuguese for Little Coin) who scored 10 of Brazil’s 23 goals in qualification.

Roberto Rivellino or Rivelino, the son of Italian immigrants, sporting a large moustache, played outside left and scored one of his trademark bending free-kicks against the Czechs, earning him the nickname “Patada Atómica” (Atomic Kick) by local fans.

His opposite number, Jairzinho, the heir to Garrincha himself, scored in every match of the tournament and he completed Brazil’s attacking quartet. Zagallo really had an embarrassment of riches at his disposal and would prove difficult to stop.

The Italians, on the other hand had scraped through the group stage, before dispatching off the hosts in the quarters. That set up a semi-final showdown against the West Germans, which proved to be a humdinger at the Estadio Azteca. The match, which ended 4-3 at the end of extra time, is now known as the ‘Game of the Century’ and the stadium sports a commemorative plaque to the game, which saw an injured Franz Beckenbauer take to the field in a cast for extra time.

An one-sided final

Just four days after being taken to hell and back by the West Germans, the Italians were a spent force against the South Americans, who had scored 19 goals in the tournament. Pele buried Jairzinho’s cross volley with his head past Enrico Albertosi as Brazil grabbed a quick lead.

Despite Roberto Boninsegna’s equaliser after a blunder from centre-back Brito, the second half saw Gerson’s long-range screamer and Jairzinho’s seventh of the tournament put it beyond Italy’s reach. With four minutes of regulation time to go, midfielder Clodoaldo dribbed past four Italians before laying it off to Rivelino, who played a forward pass to Jairzinho on the left.

The number seven then laid it off to Pele, who trapped the ball and was informed by Tostao that Alberto was steaming ahead on the right. His perfectly weighted delivery found Alberto, who stroked it home with ferocity. The finish, the no-look pass, the execution was mesmeric, the world and the World Cup were at Brazil’s feet.

At the final whistle, Brazil celebrated their third World Cup victory, each of them coming in the space of 12 years and they were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy. For the Italians, it was a missed attempt to add another to their two, although they would extract revenge 12 years later in Spain, when Paolo Rossi’s hat-trick would knock out Socrates’s gang of artisans.

Many great teams have graced the quadrennial extravaganza since, but none have had the enduring allure of Zagallo, Alberto and Pele’s Brazil.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.