Five times FIFA world cup champions Brazil is one of the best football team on the planet and only team that featured in every world cup tournament so far. Brazil’s world cup record is astonishing, only Germany can match with their consistency in the football’s biggest event. But how did they win their five titles? In our world cup past winner’s series, we look back at Brazil’s five title wins:
Sweden world cup -1958:
The 1958 Swedish summer felt warmer and sweetest for the Brazilian as they finally able to lift the famous FIFA world cup trophy for the first time in their history. It had been a case of so near yet so far for them, they were only touching distance of the trophy only see their heart broken by their continent rival Uruguay, lifted it beating them on their home soil in the final game in 1950.
But 1958 was different, Brazil was determined to make an impact on the tournament coming as a hot favorite, and they did that in style. Pele and Garrincha announced their presence in the world stage and Vicente Feola’s men displayed a new kind of attacking football the world had never seen.
Brazil has drawn in a tough group alongside Austria, England, and the Soviet Union.
Brazil started their world cup campaign in style, beating 1954 world cup bronze winner Austria 3-0. A brace from their star forward Jose Altafini, famously known as Mazzola and a goal from Nilton Santos mark the beginning of new era for Brazilian football.
A formidable England side, weakened by the loss of several players at the horrible Munich air disaster, held Brazil for 0-0 goalless draw, first in the tournament history with no goals in a match.
Brazil’s third and final group game was against reigning Olympic champion Soviet Union. A goalless draw against England forced Brazil coach Vicente Feola to employ his surprise package Pele alongside fan favorite Garrincha in the attacking third. Another core member of soon to be famous Brazil forward Vava stole the spotlight. He scored twice in either half of the match & Brazil progressed to the next phase as group winner.
Brazil faced Wales in the quarter-final. Pele, a 17-year-old boy marks his impact on the match, scoring the only goal to give Brazil 1-0 narrow victory.
It was the semi-final against the free-scoring French side that marks the true beginning of Pele era. Brazil took the early lead through Vava’s goal in the 2nd minute, but French star forward took only couple of minutes to make it 1-1 at the 9th minute. Didi scored in 39th minute to give Brazil valuable 2-1 lead and they hold on to break with that score line.
At the beginning of 2nd half, nobody was expecting what was coming. Pele, at only 17 years of age, storms the French defense and ran’s riot in their defense as he scored 3 times to diminish any hope of a French comeback from 52-75 minutes. Roger Piantoni scored 83rd minute consolation goal to give the score line moderate look. A 5-2 score line against the free-scoring French side demonstrated Brazil’s attacking strength.
Brazil met tournament host Sweden at the final. Thanks to full day of heavy rain previous day, Brazil and Sweden walked out onto a slippery field before 50,000 fans jammed into Stockholm’s Rasunda stadium.
Playing in front of home crowd, Sweden didn’t take long as Nils Liedholm gave them an early lead in the 4th minute and reason for crowds to celebrate. It was the first time Brazil was trailing in the tournament. But Brazil took only 5 minutes to settle the matters. Garrincha sends a brilliant pass to Vava, and he calmly finished it to make it 1-1. The same pair came into action again in the 32nd minute and again Vava finds the net to give Brazil valuable 2-1 lead. Pele doubles the lead in the 55th minute through a breathtaking strike to make it 3-1.
Mario Zagallo, who eventually went on to lead them in 1970 world cup as a coach, made it 4-1 and cement the fate of the match. A late goal from Swedish striker Agne Simonsson sparked a late comeback hope for the Swedish; but sensational Pele bagged his double in the 90th minute to conclude the affair in favor of Brazil.
Brazil’s 5-2 wins over Sweden remains the highest goals scored in world cup final to-date. After the shocking loss to Uruguay on home soil in 1950 and bowing out to almighty Hungary in 1954, Brazil finally fulfilled their destiny: champions of the world. Stockholm crowd applauded the new world champions.
Brazil’s triumph in 1958 still remains only time a non-European team lifted the trophy in European soil.
Brazil’s 1958 world cup squads:
Goal Keepers: Carlos Jose Castilho, Gilmar
Defenders: Hilderaldo Bellini (captain), Djalma Santos, Nílton Santos, De Sordi, Orlando, Mauro Ramos
Midfielders: Dino Sani, Didi, Oreco, Zózimo, Moacir, Zito
Forwards: Mario Zagallo, Pele, Garrincha, Joel Antonio Martins, Mazzola (Altafini), Vava, Dida, Pepe
Head coach: Vicente Feola
Brazil’s all match results & scorer of 1958 world cup:
|Group Stage||Altafini 37', 85', Nilton Santos 50'|
|Group Stage||Vava 3', 77'|
|Semi-final||Vava 2', Didi 39', Pele 52', 64', 75'|
|Final||Vava 9', 32', Pele 55', 90', Zagallo 68'|
Chile world cup -1962:
Brazil arrived at Chile world cup as defending champions, lifting the famous trophy for the very first time in previous edition held in Sweden. But that was only the start. If 1958 was special, 1962 was confirmation of Brazil’s status as football elite powerhouse.
Brazil maintained the core group of 1958 title-winning team. Due to illness coach Vicente Feola was replaced by Aymoré Moreira. Brazil prepared them intensively as they played series of friendlies as part of their world cup preparation.
Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Mexico & Spain were drawn in the same group.
Brazil started their world cup campaign beating Mexico 2-0, 1958 final goal scorer Zagallo & Pele were on the score sheet.
Czechoslovakia held Brazil at 0-0 goalless draw, but that’s not only negative news for them. Brazil suffered a horrible setback when Pele suffered a torn thigh muscle in this match, eventually it ended the tournament for him.
Pele’s tournament-ending injury set a drawback for Brazil, but they were not a one man team. They had enough quality to overcome this setback; his replacement Amarildo was also a natural Talent. It was his double that help Brazil to overcome Spanish challenge in last group game.
Spain took the lead in the first half thanks to Adelardo 35th minute strike. But it was Amarildo’s match to shine. He leveled the matter in the 72nd minute converting Mario Zagallo’s pin-perfect cross. Again he finds the net in the 86th minute, linked well with their best dibbler Garrincha. This 2-1 win over Spain carried Brazil to the top of Group 3 ahead of the Czechs.
Brazil’s next hurdle was England in the quarter-final. Garrincha, one of the core principles of world-conquering Brazil team, showcased his goal-scoring ability in this match. At 31st minute he astonished everyone, jumped higher than tall English defenders and gave Brazil precious 1-0 lead. But lead didn’t lasted longer. England equalized through Gerry Hitchens 38th minute strike. Vava restored Brazil lead in the 53rd minute and superman Garrincha scored again in the 59th minute to give Brazil 3-1 win.
The semi-final was against Chile. Brazil was the clear favorite, but being host nation, Chile had the support of entire country. High flying Chile came back on earth as Brazil humble them in a 4-2 win. Quarter-final hero Garrincha and Vava ran riot in Chile’s defense, both bagged double to guide Brazil in successive world cup final. Jorge Toro & Leonel Sanchez both scored for Chile, but that was not enough for the host.
Brazil suffered another terrible blow in the semi-final as Garrincha was expelled late in the game, but instead of being slapped with a mandatory one-match ban, he received a reprieve from FIFA and was allowed to play in the final.
The Czechs defeated Yugoslavia 3-1 in the other semi-final, setting up a Brazil-Czechoslovakia rematch in the final.
In front of 70000 jumped pack crowd, Czechs took the early lead in 15th minute via Josef Masopust goal. The Czechs knew Garrincha was the real threat, he was followed rigorously. But they forgot about Amarildo. Czechs lead lasted only two minutes, Amarildo leveled the matter in the 17th minute to make 1-1. Amarildo came into the scene again, setting up Zito for their second goal in the 69th minute. Vava scored the third goal for Brazil to make it 3-1 and leave the tie beyond any doubt. Vava became the first player in world cup history to score in two world cup finals. Brazil crowned the best team of the world for two consecutive world cups.
Brazil’s 1962 world cup squads:
Goal Keepers: Gilmar, Castilho
Defenders: Djalma Santos, Mauro (captain), Zozimo, Nílton Santos, Jair Marinho, Bellini, Jurandir, Altair
Midfielders: Zito, Didi, Zequinha, Mengalvio,
Forwards: Garrincha, Coutinho, Pele, Pepe, Jair da Costa, Vava, Amarildo, Zagallo
Head coach: Aymore Moreira
Brazil’s all match results & scorer of 1962 world cup:
|Group Stage||Zagallo 56', Pele 73'|
|Group Stage||Amarildo 72', 86'|
|Quarter-final||Garrincha 31', 59', Vava 53'|
|Semi-final||Garrincha 9', 32', Vava 47', 78'|
|Final||Amarildo 17', Zito 69', Vava 78'|
Mexico world cup -1970:
After a disappointing campaign which saw Brazil eliminated from the group stage in 1966 world cup, Brazil came in 1970 world cup to show the world they mean Business. Despite posing one of the best team in the tournament, Brazil was not considered as a hot favorite because of their off-field controversy.
Joao Saldanha was Brazil’s coach during qualifying round, but he was sacked before world cup due to politics and two time world champion Mario Zagallo lead Brazil as head coach in 1970 world cup.
Brazil went on to win all six matches, first ever team to do so in world cup history. This 1970 team rates as one of the most fan-favorite teams along with 1958 title-winning team and 1982 team (which, despite mesmerizing the world with beautiful football, didn’t win the trophy).
Brazil drawn in group stage along with 1966 winners England, 1962 finalists Czechoslovakia Romania.
In the first match, Brazil faced Czechoslovakia, who started match brightly and took an early lead through Ladislav Petras in 11th minute. Rivelino restored the parity at 24th minute to make it 1-1. Brazil showed their true color in second half scoring three goals, thanks to a double strike from Brazil superstar Jairzinho and another one from all-time great Pele. Brazil won the match 4-1 and announced their intension to their rivals.
In 2nd match, Brazil meet current world champion England. They fought neck and neck until Jairzinho provided the winning goal for Brazil in the 59th minute.
Brazil faced Romania in the last group game. Being dubbed the weakest team in the group, Romania gave the toughest challenge Brazil encountered in the tournament so far. Pele scored twice while Jairzinho scored the other to give Brazil a hard fought 3-2 win. Dumitrache & Dembrovschi scored for Romania in a losing cause.
In the quarter-final, Brazil met Peru. In the 1970 Peru had one of the best team in their history. Peru’s coach was Didi, one of the best players ever for Brazil, winning two world cups for Brazil in 1958 & 1962. But it didn’t matter for Brazil as they thrashed Peru 4-2 to progress to the semis. Brazil forward Tostao exhibited excellent football, scored twice while Rivelino & Jairzinho scored apiece each.
Uruguay, who broke Brazilian heart in 1950 to lift the famous trophy, was the next challenge in the semi-final. Luis Cubilla put Uruguay in front in the 19th minute and their fan found their voice. Brazil were relentless but was unable to break Uruguay’s stiff defense. As the first half was ending, the Uruguayans were reminding the Brazilians of the "tragedy of Maracana". But Clodoaldo stepped up to silence the crowd and equalized in the 44th minute to restore the parity. In the second half Brazilian found their rhythm, showed their superiority. Jairzinho and Rivelino scored in 76th & 89th minute respectively to give Brazil 3-1 win over their content rivals.
In front of 110K crowds at Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Brazil & Italy battled in the all-important tournament final. Pele scored the first goal for Brazil in 18th to give Brazil 1-0 lead. Roberto Boninsegna equalized in the 37 minutes and the first half ended 1-1. As Brazil shown through the tournament, they performed better in the second half. Brazil score 3 more in the second half and score-line read 4-1 in favor of Brazil at the end of the match. The usual goal scorer Jairzinho, Mid-fielder Gerson and captain Alberto scored one goal each.
Jairzinho scored one goal in each and every matches of the 1970 Cup, an achievement still to be repeated in World Cups; Jairzinho was dubbed as "the Hurricane".
For having the world cup three times, Brazil awarded the Jules Rimet trophy.
Brazil’s 1970 world cup squads:
Goal Keepers: Felix, Ado, Leao
Defenders: Brito, Carlos Alberto (c), Marco Antonio, Baldocchi, Fontana, Everaldo, Joel, Ze Maria
Midfielders: Piazza, Clodoaldo, Jairzinho, Gerson, Rivellino, Paulo Cezar
Forwards: Tostao, Pele, Roberto, Edu, Dario
Head coach: Mario Zagallo
Brazil’s all match results & scorer of 1970 world cup:
|Group Stage||Rivelino 24', Pele 59', Jairzinho 61', 83'|
|Group Stage||Jairzinho 59'|
|Group Stage||Pele 19', 67', Jairzinho 22'|
|Quarter-final||Rivellino 11', Tostao 15', 52', Jairzinho 75'|
|Semi-final||Clodoaldo 44', Jairzinho 76', Rivelino 89'|
|Final||Pele 18', Gerson 66', Jairzinho 71', Carlos Alberto 86'|
USA world cup -1994:
After a trophy-laden period of 1958-1970, Brazil suddenly lost their way in the biggest stage of the competition. Even the 1982 team which considered as one of the best teams in Brazilian history, failed to land the trophy. This period proved even more painful for the Brazilian as they saw their arch-rivals Argentina lifted the famous trophy for two times and misses out once.
But the wait was finally over as another golden generation emerged from the dust and would proud the Brazilian again.
Brazil was struggling in the qualifier and on the cusp of elimination for the first time in world cup history. Star forward Romario was at his peak of his career at that time but coach Parreira exiled him due to lack of discipline. But as things got out of control, Parreira forced to call Romario in the last qualifier do or die match against Uruguay. Romario came and delivered, scored all two goals of the match and ensure Brazil’s presence in USA world cup.
Brazil got Russia, Cameroon & 1958 finalist Sweden as group companion.
Parreira's philosophy was simple, defense first, score later. This philosophy was reflected Brazil’s performance throughout the tournament. Brazil scored only 11 times, conceding mere 3 goals.
Brazil started their 1994 world cup campaign with a 2-0 win against Russia. Romario scored the first goal from open play in the 26th minute. Rai scored the second goal from the spot kick in the 52nd minute to round up the match.
Against Untameable Lions Cameroon, Romario opened the account again for Brazil in the first half. Goals from Marcio Santos and Bebeto in the second half wrapped up comfortable 3-0 victory for Brazil.
Brazil faced 1958 world cup runner-up Sweden in the final group game. In a close contest affair Sweden took the lead through Kennet Andersson in the 23rd minute. Brazil’s attacking threat was neutralized by Sweden defense and Sweden was leading 1-0 at the end of first half. The usual goal provider Romario came to Brazil’s rescue. He scored Brazil’s only goal at 46th minute. The match ended 1-1 and Brazil progressed to knock-out phase topping the group.
Brazil’s last 16 opponents was host nation USA. Both teams were employed defensive tactics, scoring proved extremely difficult. Bebeto came as savior for Brazil, finally broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, scored only goal of the match. Brazil won the match 1-0.
Netherlands was the next challenge in the quarter-final. After a goalless first half, Usual suspect Romario break the deadlock and put Brazil 1-0 up. The second goal arrived after 64 minutes when Bebeto make the score 2-0 to Brazil. Throughout the tournament Brazil conceded only once, against Sweden in their last group match that proves how well organized Brazil defense was. When all looked lost for the Dutch, Bergkamp sneaked through Brazil defense and scored wonderful goal out of nowhere. Growing in confidence, Advocatt’s men started to believe again and rewarded for their relentless attack in the 76th minute. Aron Winter’s header was powerful enough to beat Brazil goal keeper Taffarel for the second time in the match, making it 2-2.
Second goal was the wake-up call Brazil and they found the winner through an unlikely source, full-back Branco. He released a 25 meter distance venomous, swerving free kick that flew past the wall and into the far corner. It was lauded as one of the best goals of the tournament. FIFA recognized this match as one of the all-time classic matches. Brazil were into the semi-finals for the first time since 1970.
In the showpiece event, Brazil met 1982 world champions Italy. Neither team was able to break opponent’s stubborn defense. For the very first time world saw a world cup final match ended at 0-0 and must be decided on penalties. This happened because both teams had same principle, defense first and if opportunity comes, score. The Italians missed 3 out of their five kicks. Brazil didn’t repeat the same mistake, won in the penalties 3-2. After 24 year long wait, they finally claimed the much wanted fourth world cup.
Brazil’s 1994 world cup squads:
Goal Keepers: Claudio Taffarel, Zetti, Gilmar Rinaldi
Defenders: Jorginho, Ricardo Rocha, Ronaldao, Branco, Aldair, Cafu, Marcio Santos, Leonardo
Midfielders: Mauro Silva, Dunga, Zinho, Raí (c), Mazinho, Paulo Sergio
Forwards: Bebeto, Romario, Muller, Ronaldo, Viola
Head coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira
Brazil’s all match result & scorer of 1994 world cup:
|Group Stage||Romario 26', Rai 52' (Pen)|
|Group Stage||Romario 39', Marcio Santos 66', Bebeto 73'|
|Group Stage||Romario 46'|
|Round of 16||Bebeto 72'|
|Quarter-final||Romario 53', Bebeto 63', Branco 81'|
Pen: Brazil 3-2 Italy
South Korea / Japan world cup – 2002:
For the first time in world history two countries were co-hosting the world’s biggest sporting events. Just like it happened in the qualifying for the 1994 world, Brazil were struggled hard to go to the cup. Only a 3-0 win against Venezuela in the last qualifying match ensured Brazil’s 3rd place in the South American region and confirmed their presence in the 2002 Korea/Japan world cup.
Luis Felipe Scolari was in charge to guide Brazil’s world cup mission. Scolari valued discipline as much as skills. Despite public protest, he dismissed 1994 world cup hero Romario from the squad for disciplinary reasons.
Brazil considered lucky as their group comprised with Turkey, China and Costa Rica. Brazil was the strongest of them and they exactly proved that.
Turkey provided stiffed challenge in the first group match. At the stroke of end of first half, Turkey scored first goal of the match via Hasan Sas to make it 1-0 for Turkey. After the resumption in the second half, Ronaldo “The Phenomenon” strikes for Brazil to make it 1-1 in 50th minute. When it looked like Brazil have to share the spoil with Turkey, Rivaldo came to Brazil’s rescue, scored 87th minute winner for Brazil.
Brazil ran riot in newcomer China’s defense in the second match. Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo scored apiece in a 4-0 win.
Costa Rica didn’t pose much threat either, Brazil win the match 5-2 comfortably. Ronaldo scored a brace while Edmílson, Rivaldo & Roque Junior scored other three goals.
Brazil was the clear favorite against Belgium. But the European made the life difficult for Brazilians. But Brazil had the magical pair Rivaldo & Ronaldo who would rescue them all the time, scored in 67th and 87th minute respectively. Brazil progressed to the last eight through 2-0 win.
Brazil faced dangerous England in the quarter-final. The Englishmen survived the group of death beating hot favorite Argentina and Sweden, and had easily won against a strong Denmark side by 3-0. Owen opened the account for England, but Rivaldo drew level on the 45th minute. Then comes the moment of the match in the 50th minute when Ronaldinho took a free kick 35 yards distance from England goal. Instead of serving his fellow men as expected, he shoots the ball very high, as if it going over the bar. The ball fell abruptly and entered the goal, the world witnessed on of the best goals in FIFA world cup.
Many debated it was a fluke, But Ronaldinho claimed "It was definitely a shot". He continued “It was Cafu who advised me beforehand that there was a space and that Seaman was standing in a very advanced position in the penalty area. It seemed only natural to have a go, and there was nothing lucky about it.”
The semifinal was against fellow group mate Turkey. Both team fought hard, but Brazil had Ronaldo who vowed to make it his world cup. Ronaldo scored only goal of the match, Brazil reached 3rd consecutive world cup final.
For the first time in world cup history, Brazil & Germany would play against each other, eventually it was 2002 world cup final.
Brazil started the match as clear favorite, but they knew from 1998 world cup final, favorite means nothing as they lost that final by 3 goals to nil. Brazil had their talisman Ronaldo & Rivaldo who provided match winning moment throughout the tournament.
Germany held Brazil threat for the first half, but hardly any team contained Ronaldo in this tournament for the entire match. Ronaldo shined again and scored a brace in 67th & 79th minute, Brazil finished the match 2-0. For the record fifth-time Brazil crowned world cup champions.
Ronaldo finished the campaign as the tournament top scorer with eight goals. Brazil set a new milestone winning all the seven matches of the tournament.
Brazil’s 2002 world cup squads:
Goal Keepers: Marcos, Dida, Rogerio Ceni
Defenders: Cafu (c), Lucio, Roque Junior, Edmílson, Roberto Carlos, Juliano Belletti, Anderson Polga, Junior
Midfielders: Ricardinho, Gilberto Silva, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Kleberson, Vampeta, Juninho Paulista, Kaka
Forwards: Ronaldo, Denílson, Edílson, Luizao
Head coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Brazil’s all match results & scorer of 2002 world cup:
|Group Stage||Ronaldo 50',Rivaldo 87' (Pen)|
|Group Stage||Roberto Carlos 15', Rivaldo 32', Ronaldinho 45' (Pen), Ronaldo 55'|
|Group Stage||Brazil 5-2 Costa Rica||Ronaldo 10', 13', Edmílson 38', Rivaldo 62', Roque Junior 64'|
|Round of 16||Brazil 2-0 Belgium||Rivaldo 67', Ronaldo 87'|
|Quarter-final||Rivaldo 45+2', Ronaldinho 50'|
|Final||Ronaldo 67', 79'|
- Brazil didn't suffer a single defeat in their five title-winning campaigns
- Mario Zagallo only player/coach in history to involve in 4 title winning team either as a player (1958 & 1970) or as coach (1970) or as assistant coach (1994)