1970 World Cup is now so identified with the dazzling Gold, Blue
and Green of Brazil that it needs restating that it took
place in Mexico. Willing hosts, the Mexicans provided a
stage for some of the most sublime International football ever
played. The mighty Azteca stadium, the speed of the ball at
altitude, and the glaring tropical sun all combined to present
the greatest tournament held to date.
had won the
previous World Cup on home turf, but were confident they could
retain the trophy, while other European challengers included Italy
and West Germany.
The Brazilians were undoubted
favourites, and beat England 1-0 in an epic group stage
encounter. This was their stiffest task until the final itself,
where they faced an Italy team who had eliminated Mexico
West Germany along the way.
Italy's World Cup dominance had
been before the War, with back to back victories in 1934 and
1938, but whoever won this match was going to be the first team
to win three World Cups, and get to keep the solid gold Jules
Rimet trophy. Brazil totally outplayed the Italians, however,
and goals from Pele, Gerson, Jairzinho and Carlos
Alberto were answered only by Boninsegna.