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FIFA World Cup History

Chile 1962 FIFA World Cup

1962 World Cup Betting

Year: 1962

Participants: 16

Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, England, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, USSR, West Germany, Yugoslavia

Championship: Brazil 3, Czechoslovakia 1

Top goal scorer: Drazen Jerkovic, Yugoslavia (5)

Chile was somewhat of a surprise host for the event, since the country recently had been devastated by an earthquake. But in the words of the president of the Chilean Football Federation, Carlos Dittborn, "We must have the World Cup because we have nothing." The World Cup was theirs. Unfortunately, Dittborn died a month before the tournament began.

Brazil was the defending champion and the favorite again. The team had nine players, including 21-year-old wonder Pele, returning from the 1958 championship team. . . .

A record 56 countries signed up to compete for the World Cup. The games were quite violent, and after the first games, the disciplinary committee rounded up the referees in an emergency meeting in hopes of cleaning things up.

One example of the unsportsmanlike play was the Italian team, which began to badmouth Chile and send scouts to other teams' training camps. Italy-Chile was quite a matchup: physical play, fists and spit flying, a nose broken and two ejections. In the end, Italy lost and was eliminated. . . .

England, known before the tournament as a high-scoring team with several superstars (defenseman Bobby Moore, all-time goal leader Bobby Charlton, great finisher Jimmy Greaves), struggled defensively but advanced to the quarterfinals against Brazil. . . .

The unthinkable occurred for Brazil against Czechoslovakia. Pele pulled a muscle, but had to continue to play because substitutions weren't allowed yet. Brazil struggled to a scoreless tie in that game. In its next game, Brazil was without Pele and found itself trailing 1-0 to Spain. However, Pele's replacement, Amarildo, scored twice to lift the team into the second round. . . .

In quarterfinal action, host Chile upset the Soviet Union 2-1, and the fans began to believe the home team could go all the way. Talk about superstition, the Chilean team ate spaghetti to get past Italy, Swiss cheese to beat Switzerland and drank vodka before eliminating Russia.

In other quarterfinal action, Yugoslavia beat Germany, the Czechs surprised Hungary and Brazil eliminated England. . . .

The superstitious Chile team drank coffee, but it didn't help against Brazil in the semifinals. Chile lost 4-2. In the finals, Brazil won their second consecutive World Cup championship with a 3-1 win over the Czechs, who had again upset Yugoslavia. . . .

Brazil established itself as the best in the world once again. Even without Pele, who didn't play a game after he was injured against the Czechs in their first meeting, Brazil shined. They got huge lifts from Amarildo and Garrincha, who played with a 104-degree fever in the final game. . . .

Overall, this World Cup was criticized for low-scoring games and too much violence.

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