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Football World Cup 1958

1958 saw the Football World Cup remain in Europe, this time being hosted by Sweden. It also saw the entry of the USSR for the first time and the entry of all the British nations.

Again 16 teams took part, but unlike the previous competition all teams within a group would play each other and there would be no extra time in the result of a game drawing. Instead, if second and third place finished on the same points, then there would be a play off with the winner going through – goal difference would not be used.

It was the tournament that saw the emergence of a young 17-year-old Brazilian named Pelé. He did not feature, until the last of Brazil's group games - against USSR. He failed to get on the score sheet, but Brazil won the game 2-0 and the group by 2 clear points.

In the same group USSR and England went to a play-off game, in which Ilyin scored in the 67th minute to knock England out, while Austria had already been eliminated.

In the other groups West Germany and Northern Ireland managed to finish above Czechoslovakia and Argentina.

Hungary had become a spent force after their appearance in the Final of the previous tournament they had lost their best players two years prior to the 1958 World Cup, when they fled the new communist regime. As a result they failed to go through when Sweden and Wales finshed above them and Mexico.

Of the British nations it was arguably the Scottish who had the toughest group having to face Yugoslavia, Paraguay, and France. France topped the group as Juste Fontaine netted 6 goals. Yugoslavia finished second while Scotland came in last.

The Quarter Finals saw France's Juste Fontaine continue in similar form to the group stage, as he managed another 2 goals as France triumphed over Northern Ireland.

West Germany's Rahn put them into the Semi Finals with a single goal against Yugoslavia, while Sweden went though at the expense of USSR.

The other game in the Quarter Finals saw that young Brazilian Pelé score the only goal against Wales.

In the Semi Finals Sweden continued their strong run as they defeated West Germany 3-1. While another goal from Juste Fontaine of France added to his impressive goal tally, it was not enough to prevent Brazil thundering into the Final as a Pelé hat-trick gave them a 5-2 score line.

The Third Place play off saw Juste Fontaine score 4 more goals. This brought his total to 13 goals in one competition. It earned him the golden boot for the tournament and is a record that has still not been beaten, and it meant victory for France as they finished in third place over West Germany.

The Final was played in Solna, in the Råsunda Stadium, 50,000 people at the stadium watched in amazement as the Brazilians went a goal down after 4 minutes.

The Brazilians were undismayed as Vava equalised shorlty afterwards and then sent them a goal ahead before half time. In the second half Pelé out shone every one, notching up 2 goals, Zagalo added a goal in between, and Sweden managed a consolation goal. But the game really belonged to Pelé, and the Jules Rimet trophy belonged to Brazil the World Cup Winners.

Football World Cup

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