Fifa World Cup 1970 The 1970 FIFA World Cup was the ninth FIFA World
Cup, the quadrennial international football championship for men's
national teams. It took place from 31 May to 21 June 1970 in Mexico, the
first World Cup tournament to be staged in North America, and the first
held outside Europe and South America. Teams representing 75 nations
from all six populated continents entered the competition, with its
qualification rounds beginning in May 1968. Fourteen teams qualified
from this process to join host nation Mexico and defending champion
England in the sixteen-team final tournament.
The tournament was won by Brazil, who claimed their third World Cup title by defeating another two-time former champion, Italy, 4–1 in the final, thereby winning the right to permanently keep the Jules Rimet Trophy. The victorious team led by Carlos Alberto, and featuring players such as Pelé, Gérson, Jairzinho, Rivelino, and Tostão, is often cited as the greatest-ever World Cup team. They achieved a perfect record of wins in all six games in the finals, as well as winning all their qualifying fixtures.|
Despite the issues of altitude and high temperature, the finals largely produced attacking football which created an average goals per game record not since bettered by any subsequent World Cup Finals. With the advancements in satellite communications, the 1970 Finals attracted a new record television audience for the FIFA World Cup as games were broadcast live around the world and, for the first time, in colour.
World Cup 1970 Facts
World Cup 1970 Background
2 countries were bidding for hosting the 9th World Cup in 1970: South American country Argentina and North American country Mexico. This was the first time a North American country was officially interested. During the bidding process, it was quickly clear Mexico was receiving more votes (56 votes) than Argentina (32 votes).
On October 8 1964 in Tokyo the day of the vote, FIFA officially announced it would be Mexico to host the 1970 World Cup. For the first time a World Cup would be hosted in a different continent outside South America and Europe.
There was some controversy about Mexico being the host country due to the high temperature and high altitudes which might affect player’s performance. The temperature was especially perceived as an issue since the matches would be played in the afternoon to suit European television schedules. At the end these factors did not become any issue during the 1970 World Cup.
World Cup 1970 Participants
75 countries entered the qualification rounds although this amount reduced due to withdrawals and rejected entries. Mexico as host country qualified automatically together with 1966 World Cup winner England.
8 places for Europe excluding England were allocated to the following countries: Soviet Union, Italy, West Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Romania.
3 places for South America were allocated to the following countries: Brazil, Uruguay and Peru which qualified for the first time since the first World Cup in 1930.
1 place for North/Central America and Caribbean was allocated to country El Salvador which qualified for the first time.
El Salvador and Honduras had to play a total of 3 qualification matches in order for El Salvador to end up as the winner. After the first 2 matches both had equal points, resulting in the need for a 3rd match. Due to the hostile relationship between the 2 countries, these qualification matches intensified the riots which resulted in the 1969 football war.
What was new about the place allocations was that Africa would not have to play a play-off against another country from another continent. For the first time in World Cup history an African country would qualify directly for a World Cup. The reason for this change was the 1966 World Cup massive boycott from African countries. They didn’t agree to play and win a play-off first against another country outside Africa, in order to guarantee World Cup participation.
1 place for Africa was allocated to country Morocco which qualified for the first time.
1 place for Asia was allocated to country Israel which also qualified for the first time.
World Cup 1970 Groups
An aspect which can already be considered as a standardized format is the division of the 16 countries in groups of 4. 6 matches would be played in total per group where every group member would play against the other 3 group members (the round-robin format).
FIFA however, announced with this World Cup, not to seed the countries. This means the focus was not on performance and strength. This time the groups were formed according to their geographical groupings and their political situations were also considered. The groups were formed in such a way certain teams would not encounter each other in the Quarter-Finals.
1 point was rewarded for a draw, and 2 points for a win. 2 teams would advance to the next round, the Quarter-Finals. The number 1 teams of the groups played against the number 2 teams of other groups. In this knockout phase, 2 times 15 minutes would be played when after 90 minutes the score is still even. When the score is still even in the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals after the 30 minutes of extra time, a coin will be tossed by the referee in order to determine the winner.
When it comes to the Final, a rematch would be scheduled when the score is still a draw after the 30 minutes of extra time.
There was a change though regarding the goal average rule which was introduced in Sweden ’58. The goal average rule got replaced by the goal difference rule. The goal difference can be calculated with the following calculation: Goals scored minus goals conceded. So when we use the example of Brazil on the 1958 World Cup page (Brazil scored 5 goals in 3 group matches and 2 goals have scored against them), the goal difference would be 3 (5-2). From this World Cup on, the goal difference would be used in every World Cup.
If there was no goal difference between teams, lots had to be drawn to decide which team ends up in which position. Only from the 1978 World Cup on, the amount of goals scored will decide the position of the team in the group when the goal difference is the same. In World Cup history, lots had to be drawn only twice. The first time was in this World Cup between Group 1 members Soviet Union and Mexico. The 2nd time was in the 1990 World Cup between group F members Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.
After the 1970 World Cup the Quarter-Finals stage would only make its next appearance in Mexico ’86 and the Semi-Finals stage only in Spain ’82.
The groups were as followed:
World Cup 1970 Stadiums
5 stadiums were used in 5 host cities in the 1970 World Cup. Each group would play all their group matches in 1 of the 5 cities. Only group 2 matches have been played in 2 cities: Puebla and Toluca.
All the stadiums except for Estadio Luis Dosal were constructed in the 60s for the 1986 Olympics and the 1970 World Cup. It was this stadium Estadio Luis Dosal which was located more than 2,660 metres above sea level, the highest altitude of all stadiums. Some teams were preparing themselves in the stadiums way in advance in order to adapt and to cope with both the altitude and high temperatures.
The following 5 cities and 5 stadiums were used in Mexico:
World Cup 1970 Schedule
World Cup 1970 Memorable Matches
Mexico – El Salvador 4-0
This match was the first time 2 Central American countries faced each other in a World Cup. Mexico though was obviously the best team. Mexican Javier Valdivia scored the first goal in the last minute of the first half, however the goal is considered as controversial. A free kick was awarded to El Salvador near the touchline but it was a Mexican player who took it. He passed the ball to his teammate Aarón Padilla who ran towards the goal and passed the ball to Valdivia the goal scorer. To everyone’s surprise, the Egyptian referee didn’t disallow the goal. The El Salvador players protested immensely but this didn’t change the referee’s decision. El Salvador players restarted the match by kicking the ball into the crowd. Valdivia’s 2nd goal was scored in the first minute of the 2nd half. Javier Fragoso and Juan Basaguren scored a goal as well. Mexican Juan Basaguren became the first substitute to score a goal in the World Cup. Mexico advanced but had to accept the 2nd position. Both Soviet Union and Mexico ended up with equal points and equal goal difference. Therefore lots were drawn and Soviet Union ended up taking the first position of the group. In the match Mexico against Soviet Union, there were 2 unique happenings. Soviet Union player Anatoliy Puzach became the first substitute to be used in World Cup history and the first yellow card was given to Evgeny Lovchev, also from Soviet Union.Group 2
Uruguay – Sweden 0-1
Group 2 was the lowest-scoring of the groups with only 6 goals scored in 6 matches. Sweden and Uruguay were playing their last group match of the tournament. In order for Sweden to advance, a total of 2 goals had to be scored. Swedish striker Ove Grahn managed to score 1 goal in the last minute of the match. This was not enough so Uruguay advanced due to the goal difference rule. Apparently FIFA replaced the scheduled referee for this match after bribery rumours appeared. Italy was the other group member to advance to the Quarter-Final.Group 3
England – Brazil 0-1
1 of the memorable 1970 World Cup matches was this one. 2 favourites Brazil and England against each other. For the majority of the match, the result could go either way. Only in the 59th minute Brazilian winger Jairzinho scored the first and only goal of the match. Jairzinho would become the 3rd player in World Cup history to score in each World Cup match including the Final. He was therefore called Furacão da Copa (World Cup Hurricane). This group match also contained the most famous and 1 of the greatest World Cup saves by English goalkeeper Gordon Banks. He managed to stop Pelé’s quick header. Brazil topped the ‘group of death’ and England had to accept the 2nd position.Group 4
Peru – West Germany 1-3
Both Peru and West Germany won their first 2 group matches. German striker Gerd Müller nicknamed Der Bomber who played his first World Cup, scored in both matches. He scored a hat-trick in the match against Bulgaria and did the same against Peru. Peruvian forward Teófilo Cubillas played a great tournament as well and scored in each 1970 World Cup match including this one. Although Peru lost this match, they advanced to the next round for the first time in World Cup history together with West Germany.Quarter-Finals
Italy – Mexico 4-1
Mexico ended up on the 2nd position of group 1 and therefore encountered Italy. Italy finally made it to the next round after 32 years. The last time was in 1938 where they won the Final. The match started well for Mexico with a goal scored by midfielder José Luis González. The first half ended in a 1-1 score but not because an Italian was able to score. It was Mexican Javier Guzmán who scored an own goal. In the 2nd half Italy was pretty clear about them advancing to the next round and not Mexico. 3 goals were scored by Luigi Riva (2x) and Gianni Rivera. Mexico was out and Italy would play a legendary match in the Semi-Final.
West Germany – England 3-2
This was a rematch of the 1966 World Cup Final. Coincidentally, the match was pretty similar as the Final. English players Alan Mullery and Martin Peters scored first and changed the score into 0-2. 20 minutes later as was the case in many World Cup matches, West Germany were able to come back successfully. German sweeper Franz Beckenbauer scored first and 15 minutes later Uwe Seeler. The score was 2-2 now and extra time had to be played. Only 1 goal was scored in extra time, but this time it wasn’t England which scored the winning goal. It was German Gerd Müller who scored and changed the score into 2-3. He became the hero of the match and England was out of the tournament. Both upcoming Semi-Finals would consist previous World Cup champions. Semi-Finals
Uruguay – Brazil 1-3
For the first time since the 1950 World Cup Final Maracanaço, both countries faced each other again. Like in the 1950 World Cup, Brazil appeared to be a better team than Uruguay. Only this time, Brazil managed to beat Uruguay. It was player Luis Cubilla from Uruguay who scored the first goal of the match. The 1-0 score only changed 1 minute before half time by Brazilian midfielder Clodoaldo. In the 2nd half Brazilians Jairzinho and Rivelino scored each a goal and ended Uruguay’s hopes of advancing to the Final. A memorable moment came from Pelé, who let the ball run past him when Tostão passed the ball towards him. He tried to score quickly but the ball passed the goal. Anyways Brazil finally revenged themselves and exorcised the demons of their 1950 Final defeat, or at least a little bit.Italy – West Germany 4-3 (Game of the Century)
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City - attendance: 102,444
This Semi-Final is considered as 1 of the greatest World Cup matches ever played. Why exactly? Because no less than 5 goals were scored during extra time! This was the first and last time this has ever happened in World Cup history. It started normally with a goal by striker Italian Roberto Boninsegna in the 8th minute. German Franz Beckenbauer had to play with a dislocated shoulder after a foul, since 2 players were already substituted. Afterwards no goals were scored in the first half and in the 45 minutes of the 2nd half no goals were scored either (which is hard to imagine!). Only in injury time Germany wouldn’t be Germany if they wouldn’t surprise the whole stadium and world with a last minute goal. It was defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger who changed the score into 1-1. What happened in 30 minutes of extra time was pure entertainment. Gerd Müller started with changing the score into 1-2 which quickly changed into 2-2 by Italian Tarcisio Burgnich. Then it was Italy again with Luigi Riva to change the score into 3-2 which changed 6 minutes later in 3-3 by Gerd Müller. With this goal he became the 1970 World Cup top scorer with 10 goals in total. Only 1 minute later, the final goal was scored by Italian Gianni Rivera changing the final score into 4-3. The match was played in Estadio Azteca which contains a monument commemorating this famous match. Finally when Italy was able to advance to the 2nd round for the first time since 1938, they succeeded in reaching the Final for the 3rd time.
World Cup 1970 Final
Brazil against Italy, the first time 2 countries played against each other in a Final who previously won 2 World cups. For Brazil this was the 4th time to be in the Final after having won the 1962 World Cup Final. For Italy it was the 3rd time to play in a Final, after having played their last Final back in the 1938 World Cup.
Brazil and Italy have met before in a World Cup. They have played against each other in the 1938 World Cup and it was Italy that won the match.
Brazil was the ultimate favourite; the Brazilian team of the 1970 World Cup was as legendary as one could be. Defence was perfect, Attack was perfect, team work was perfect and co-ordination was perfect. The team is regarded as the greatest ever World Cup team, being 1 of the reasons why this World Cup is perceived as 1 of the best World Cups ever.
On the 21st of June, it was in the great Estadio Azteca in Mexico City where the Final was held with around 107,000 attendees. Unlike many teams, Italy was not highly emphasizing on attack but was more defensive minded using the catenaccio style. As the match progressed, it was pretty obvious who would lift the Jules Rimet trophy at the end of the match. Italy, still recovering from the ‘Game of the Century’ Semi-Final, was able to stop Brazil from scoring for only 17 minutes. Pelé made the first goal with the head assisted by Rivelino (18′). This was the last World Cup goal scored by Pelé and it was Brazil’s 100th World Cup goal!
19 minutes (37′) later it was Italian Roberto Boninsegna who scored the 1-1 due to a blunder in Brazilian’s defence (okay it wasn’t that perfect…). Only in the 2nd half did Brazil really showed their proper skills. It was Gérson who shot from a distance with absolute power the 2-1 (66′). Jairzinho was 5 minutes later responsible for the 3-1 (71′).
But the match was not over yet. Brazil wanted to finish and win the World Cup in absolute style. The 4th and last goal scored by Brazil, is considered as 1 of the greatest goals ever scored in World Cup history. 8 Brazilian players were involved before Carlos Alberto finally received the ball and shot Brazil to 4-1. The preparation and ball passing by the players were beautifully done, which was 1 of the reasons why Brazil was the rightful winner of the 1970 World Cup.
Even Italy had to admit: they lost to the best team of the World Cup. This was the 3rd time Brazil won the World Cup. Brazil became the most successful team surpassing Italy and Uruguay. Brazil earned the right to keep the Jules Rimet trophy according to the FIFA rules, since the World Cup was won 3 times on total. In 1983 however, this trophy was unfortunately stolen and destroyed in Rio de Janeiro.
This was the last World Cup for Pelé. He became the first and only player so far in World Cup history, to have won a World Cup 3 times. Pelé’s teammate Mário Zagallo became the first person to have won the World Cup Final as a player (1958) and as a coach (1970).
Both teams would encounter each other again in a World Cup Final 24 years later. That next time would be the 2nd and last time so far 2 teams would encounter each other again in another World Cup Final.Final goal by Carlos Alberto
World Cup 1970 Mascot
The 2nd World Cup mascot is not an animal like the previous mascot, but a person. A little boy to be exact, with the name Juanito. Juanito means little John and is a very common name in Mexico. Juanito is wearing Mexico’s kit and a typical Mexican sombrero with the words MEXICO 70 on it. Like 1966 World Cup mascot World Cup Willie, Juanito is seen with a football. Only Juanito uses the Telstar football created by Adidas. Since the World Cup was now broadcasted worldwide and in colour, many people became aware of Juanito. He represents innocence and fair play in a World Cup where no red cards were used.
World Cup 1970 Records
Did You Know
World Cup 1970 FIFA Awards
World Cup 1970 FIFA All-Star Team
The 1970 FIFA All-Star Team includes 3 players which have been included before: German player Franz Beckenbauer, English player Bobby Charlton and Brazilian player Pelé. Franz Beckenbauer would be included once more in the next All-Star Team, whereas Pelé is included for the 2nd and final time after 12 years since 1958. He is the only player to have been included in 2 All-Star Teams which are 12 years apart.
World Cup 1970 in Action
1970 World Cup highlights Greatest goals part 1 Greatest goals part 2 The World at Their Feet - Official 1970 World Cup Movie (in Portuguese)
World Cup English