Brazil has long been regarded as one of the world’s leading countries in terms of football prowess. The country has produced many of the world’s greatest players, including the man often referred to as the greatest footballer of all time – Pele. This year Brazil is honored to hold the 2014 World Cup.
Pele appeared 669 times in club football and scored a staggering 626 goals. He played for the Brazilian National Team 92 times, scoring 77 goals for his country. He first played for a club at the tender age of 15, first played at an international level a year later at the age of 16, and was part of the winning World Cup team at the age of 17. He is Brazil’s highest goal scorer of all time.
Other famous Brazilian players have included Ronaldo, Garrincha, Kaka, Socrates, and Zico. Brazil is unrivalled in the quality of players. No country can hold a candle to Brazil in terms of footballing status, quality, and power.
The national teams of 1958, 1970, and 1982 are often spoken about in terms of being amongst the greatest football teams in the history of all time. The 1994 and 2002 teams are also revered.
Ten Brazil’s Greatest Footballing Moments
1. Pele’s First International Goal
As well as being a top moment in the history of Brazilian football, Pele’s amazing goal is often cited as being a number one event in the history of all football around the world. He scored the first of many international goals at the age of 16; he was three months shy of his 17th birthday.
2. France v Brazil at Lyon in 1997
Brazil’s Roberto Carlos caused hundreds of gasps of amazement just 20 minutes into the friendly game with his incredible gravity minimising powers – a far out free kick went into the goal against all odds. Carlos took a large run up, kicked the ball at an angle that caused it to spin about 10 yards away from the goal before turning back in and bouncing into the goal off the post. The trajectory was almost perfectly aligned as though well thought out according to the rules of geometry and physics.
3. Brazil v England at Estadio Jalisco in 1970
The Group 3 game in the 1970 FIFA World Cup saw Carlos Alberto curve the ball around an opposition player, before it was picked up by Jairzinho, passed to Pele, and shot towards the goal with perfect precision – for the goal keeper to knock the ball over the bar in the most impossible seeming circumstances and thus preventing Brazil from scoring the goal.
4. Ronaldo, World Cup 2002
After three years of absence from football due to various injuries, Ronaldo played in the 2002 World Cup and achieved lots of success on the field. He scored eight goals in the competition, helping Brazil to win the competition for the fifth time. He managed to score two goals in the final game, against Germany, and secured his place amongst Brazil’s football legends.
5. Zico at the 1982 World Cup
Whilst Brazil did not do as well as hoped in the 1982 World Cup, Zico played five times and secured four goals during those appearances. He had the honour of being named in the FIFA All-Star Team of the Tornament.
6. Socrates at the 1986 World Cup
Socrates is named amongst Brazil’s greatest footballers of all time. He is especially remembered for the penalties that he took for his team during the 1986 World Cup games, in which he took no run ups.
7. Italy v Brazil at the 1982 World Cup
A truly memorable and classic game that is still watched in full by fans today, a dramatic tale unfolded on the pitch. Key players included Zico, Socrates, and Rossi. It is often said to be the day that football died, for Brazil at least. Teams started to follow more of a system after that day. This match is commonly said to be one of the greatest football games of all time.
8. Brazil v Italy at the 1970 World Cup
Brazil defeated Italy with 4 – 1 in the World Cup final. The game was intense and electric. It is typically said to have been a game between two very different sides – one creative with more of a free flow style, the other ordered, structured, and with strict discipline. With Pele, Tostao, Gerson, Rivelino, and Jairzinho on the team, it is often cited as being the best team that Brazil has ever seen.
9. Romario at the 1994 World Cup
Another top Brazilian player was Romario. He was the Golden Ball winner at the 1994 World Cup, scoring five goals that helped Brazil on the road to success.
10. Brazil v Holland at the World Cup
The tense and dramatic Quarter Final game between Brazil and Holland had many exciting and edgy moment. With lots of action, Brazil won the game to proceed to the Semi Finals.