Flashback No 6. Sweden 1958: Pele's genius propels Brazil to first title

By Will Hawkes
Sunday 23 October 2011 01:22

Pele celebrates with goalkeeper Gylmar Dos Santos Neves after scoring twice in the 5-2 World Cup final win over hosts Sweden in 1958. Brazil's young star – just 17 years old and at his first of four tournaments – was vital in ensuring his nation's first triumph, in the process eradicating the anguish that had greeted their unexpected defeat at the Maracana in 1950.

Pele also hit a hat-trick against France in the semi-final after, in what was perhaps Brazil's toughest test of the knock-out stage, he scored the only goal of the match in the quarter-final against a Wales team boasting the likes of John Charles and Ivor Allchurch.

That was Wales' last appearance in a World Cup finals but at least they outperformed England, who went home after the group stage having been beaten by the USSR in a play-off.

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