History points to Brazil victory

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The Independent Football

The two most potent images of English encounters with Brazil are the photograph of Pele and Bobby Moore embracing and swapping shirts after the 1-0 defeat in the 1970 World Cup and John Barnes' rhythmic samba through the Brazilian defence in the Maracana 14 years later.

Neither of these games was, however, especially significant. The defeat in Guadalajara is remembered better for Gordon Banks' save from Pele and as a group match that allowed both teams to progress. The 2-0 victory in Rio was a friendly, although it managed to keep Bobby Robson in a job in the wake of England's failure to qualify for the 1984 European Championships.

England have played Brazil five times competitively and the best they have managed is a solitary goalless draw in the 1958 World Cup. That was a muscular meeting in Gothenburg between a Brazil without Pele and an England still recovering from the Munich air disaster. England managed to stifle much of Brazil's play and might actually have snatched victory.

Four years later in Chile they met again in a quarter-final in Vina del Mar, which saw England outplayed and overwhelmed by the magnificence of Garrincha, whose pace and verve would not be forgotten by Ray Wilson and Maurice Norman.

Further victories for the Selecao followed in minor contests. The Umbro Tournament in 1995 was made memorable by a 3-1 Brazilian triumph at Wembley while they managed to spoil Glenn Hoddle's dream of a clean sweep in Le Tournoi two years later with a 1-0 win in Paris. But in the World Cup not only have Brazil never lost to England, they have gone on to win the trophy every time the teams have met.


England score first

May 1956 Friendly (Wembley) 4-2

June 1958 World Cup finals (Gothenburg) 0-0

May 1959 Friendly (Rio de Janerio) 0-2

June 1962 World Cup quarter-final (Vina del Mar, Chile) 1-3

May 1963 Friendly (Wembley) 1-1

May 1964 Copa de Janerio (Rio) 1-5

June 1969 Friendly (Rio de Janerio) 1-2

June 1970 World Cup finals (Guadalajara, Mexico) 0-1

May 1976 US Bicentenary Tournament (Los Angeles) 0-1

June 1977 Friendly (Rio de Janeiro) 0-0

April 1978 Friendly (Wembley) 1-1

May 1981 Friendly (Wembley) 0-1

June 1984 Friendly (Rio de Janeiro) 2-0

May 1987 Friendly (Wembley) 1-1

March 1990 Friendly (Wembley) 1-0

May 1992 Friendly (Wembley) 1-1

June 1993 US Cup (Washington DC) 1-1

June 1995 Umbro Cup (Wembley) 1-3

June 1997 Le Tournoi (Paris) 0-1

May 2000 Friendly (Wembley) 1-1

England's overall record: Played 20, Won 3, Drawn 8, Lost 9, Goals For 17, Goals Against 27