1962: Amid fun and frolic, Brazil defends title

With Pele out of reckoning after two games of constant hacking by the opponents, Amarildo gelled well with Garrincha and delivered Brazil its second title.

Brazilian centre forward Vava scores his team’s third goal past Czech goalkeeper Schroif in the World Cup final in Santiago, Chile, on June 17, 1962.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

Dogs and football are a rare mix. But this World Cup story has a heady blend of both, which gives a hilarious touch to it. The player involved, Jimmy Greaves of England, though, might not take it too kindly.

As England locked horns with defending champion Brazil at the 1962 earthquake-ravaged World Cup in Chile, a small black dog decided to join the English players and gave the Brazilians a run for their money with its exceptional dribbling skills.

Not taking too kindly to this unexpected source of help, the English, too, joined their South American counterparts on a wild goose chase (dog in this case) and Greaves came up with the perfect strategy, going down on all fours, mimicking the canine.

The lighthearted pooch did give in to his charms, but proceeded to urinate all over the player’s white England jersey, giving us another truly classic World Cup moment. Rumour has it that Garrincha, the undisputed luminary of the 1962 Cup, took a liking to Greaves’ tormentor and took it home as a souvenir from Chile.

Host: Chile

Teams: 16

Matches: 32

Goals: 89

Attendance: 8,93,172

Winner: Brazil

Golden Boot: Garrincha & Vavá (BRA), Leonel Sánchez (CHI), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Flórián Albert (HUN) & Dražan Jerković (CRO) — 4 goals each

Best Goalkeeper: Viliam Schrojf (Czechoslovakia)

Best Player: Garrincha (BRA)

Another star of the 1962 World Cup was Brazilian Amarildo. With Pele out of reckoning after two games of constant hacking by the opponents, Amarildo gelled well with Garrincha and delivered Brazil its second title.

Such was the faith of coach Aimore Morera on his players that Brazil only fielded 12 players in the whole competition, Amarildo replacing an injured Pele after the first two games.

The other unsung hero was, no doubt, Carlos Dittborn, the hardworking president of the Chilean organising committee. With the country hit by a huge earthquake ahead of the World Cup, Dittborn personally took it upon himself to oversee the construction of new stadiums and ensured a smooth tournament despite the tragedy. He, however, failed to see his effort bear fruit as a heart attack claimed his life.

The notorious ‘Battle of Santiago’ between host Chile and then twice champion Italy also deserves a mention here. Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini and Mario David were shown the door for mid-pitch brawls and the BBC, which covered the game live on its radio service, commented: “The most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football ever.”