August 3, 2021

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1982 FIFA World Cup – News – Tele and his gods of ’82

5 min read
1982 FIFA World Cup™ - News - Tele and his gods of '82
  • Brazil’s class of 1982 is taken into account by many their greatest-ever aspect
  • They didn’t win the trophy however they indubitably wowed the world in Spain
  • Coach Tele Santana handed away 15 years in the past at the moment

Brazil entered Spain 1982 on a 19-match unbeaten run, having scoring 46 targets and conceded simply ten within the course of. That sequence included ten successive victories through which, inside seven days, they beat England in London, France in Paris and West Germany in Stuttgart.

Did you already know?

  • Left-wingback Junior launched a samba monitor, Povo Feliz (Happy People), which was higher referred to as Voa, Canarinho (Fly, Canary-Yellows), shortly earlier than the worldwide finals with composers Memeco and Nono do Jacarezinho. It was an enormous hit in Brazil.
  • For the primary time ever Brazil included abroad-based mostly gamers in a World Cup squad: Falcao of Roma and Atletico Madrid’s Dirceu. The likes of Julinho Botelho (Fiorentina), Evaristo de Macedo (Barcelona), Dino Sani, Mazzola (each AC Milan) and Canario (Real Madrid) had beforehand been excluded.

The Careca KO

Careca hadn’t performed for Brazil heading into 1982, however the 21-12 months-outdated sensation had meteorically established himself as their first-selection striker by the point Tele Santana named his Spain 1982 squad, beginning three of their final 4 friendlies, together with their final two. Then catastrophe struck three days earlier than it kicked off, when the Guarani participant suffered a thigh damage in coaching and was dominated out of the match.

Brazil had a 9-day break between their final match of the primary group stage in opposition to New Zealand and their first match of the second in opposition to Argentina.


Brazil 2-1 Soviet Union
Brazil 4-1 Scotland
Brazil 4-0 New Zealand
Argentina 1-3 Brazil
Italy 3-2 Brazil

The coach

“As soon as he came in things changed drastically,” defined Falcao of Tele Santana’s appointment. “Playing for A Seleção became a lot more fun. He wanted us to play intuitively and not systematically. He urged the fullbacks to attack. He didn’t want central midfielders who only knew how to stop the opposition – he wanted ones who knew what to do with the ball. He gave us freedom to try what we wanted. He always wanted us to put on a spectacular show.”

Tele famously stated “I’d rather lose playing beautiful football than win playing badly”. Brazil could not have conquered Spain 1982, however they went down as one of essentially the most beloved XIs in historical past.

Tele Santana at Spain 1982

© imago pictures

The stars


He arrived on the World Cup referred to as ‘The Vespasiano Bomb’ and ‘The Cannon’, billed as the toughest-taking pictures participant within the sport. Eder lived as much as that popularity with a ferocious volley in opposition to the Soviet Union and by threatening the life of a crossbar in opposition to Argentina, which earned him a brand new nickname: ‘Exocet’ after the French missile. The mercurial left-winger additionally belied his monikers with one of essentially the most delicate targets the match had seen: a palatial chip in opposition to Scotland.


Mozart on grass, composer extraordinaire, ‘The Eighth King of Rome’, a precursor to Andrea Pirlo and Xavi, Falcao stays one of essentially the most cerebral midfielders and greatest passers in historical past. He additionally chipped in with three targets in 5 video games in Spain, together with a tremendous equaliser within the 3-2 loss to Italy.


Having somebody who would have certainly been one of the most effective No10s in historical past within the No6 shirt seemingly wasn’t dishonest in 1982. Junior – battler, chief and ball-lord – was distinctive in Spain, scoring an excellent aim in opposition to Argentina after a one-two with Zico and being central to innumerable spellbinding Seleção assaults.


Another man whose astronomical skill belied his place. Leandro and Junior fashioned arguably the best fullback pairing in soccer historical past – within the rubro-negro of Flamengo and the canarinho of Brazil.


Utterly distinctive – in look, persona and play – ‘Doctor’ was an immeasurably elegant playmaker. At nearly 6ft 4ins, in a trademark headband, he would surgically slice open defences with his by means of-balls, hypnotise opponents with his feints, and might be the best exponent of the again-heel in soccer historical past. He may hit the bullseye with his proper boot too – from wherever, proper Rinat Dasayev?


The god of gods on the apex of arguably the best – certainly essentially the most thrilling – midfield in soccer historical past. Zico was at his electrifying greatest on Iberian soil. Like Johan Cruyff at Germany 1974, his shows had been worthy of gold.

Did you already know?

  • On Socrates’ World Cup debut, he captained and scored for Brazil in a 2-1 victory over the Soviet Union of their Spain 1982 curtain-raiser. His brother Rai, on his World Cup debut, captained and scored for Brazil in a 2-0 victory over Russia of their USA 1994 curtain-raiser.
  • Brazil, the one nation to take part in all 21 World Cups, have solely scored not less than two targets in all their video games at one version: Spain 1982.
  • Tele Santana went on to guide Sao Paulo to again-to-again Intercontinental Cup conquests. Barcelona and AC Milan. Toninho Cerezo, Cafu, Rai and Muller helped encourage an upset of Ronald Koeman, Pep Guardiola, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov and Barcelona in 1992, earlier than they sunk Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Marcel Desailly, Jean-Pierre Papin and AC Milan the next 12 months.

Zico completed the match with eight targets and assists mixed (4 and 4) – greater than some other participant. He was adopted by Pierre Littbarski and Paolo Rossi (seven apiece).

The quotes

“Brazil in ‘82 was the most wonderful national team that ever existed. Junior, Falcao, Socrates, Eder, Zico… so many phenomenal talents playing together. It was truly an extraordinary team.”
Pep Guardiola

“Maradona was up there, but Zico was sensational. You couldn’t even get near enough to foul him.”
Graeme Souness on the most effective participant he ever confronted

“Brazil had an unbelievable team. They had magnificent players, they seemed to play telepathically, they had such creative ideas, they could improvise and they had an excellent coach in Tele.”
Cesar Luis Menotti

“The touches, the one-twos, the dribbles… they had so much class it was beyond belief. They never seemed to score a normal goal. I don’t know if they were the best team in history, but nobody has ever played football like they did.”
Alan Rough

“In all my time covering football as a player, coach and journalist, I have never known another team, no matter how well they were playing, not receive some form of criticism. There’s always something. But nobody, nobody said a word against us. It’s because we genuinely played extremely beautiful football.”

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