Estadio Sausalito , Viña del Mar
June 10, 1962


Brazil – 3 (Garrincha-2, Vavá)
England – 1 (Hitchens)

GarrinchaTwice in its history has a World Cup triumph been largely attributed to a single person. Diego Maradona wowed the world in 1986 but 24 years before him another man “single-handedly” helped his country win football’s greatest prize. Garrincha. The fact that Brazil’s 1962 success is often associated with a single player, despite the brilliant Selecao squad betrays the incredible heights Garrincha scaled in Chile. Hosts Chile had braved the most severe earthquake in recorded history to stage the 1962 World Cup and it was safe to say that “Little Bird’s” flight did justice to their efforts.

“What planet is Garrincha from?” – Headline from El Mercurio, 1962


Defending champions Brazil were hands on favourites to retain the Jules Rimet trophy but they didn’t have the smoothest of rides in group stage. They began with a comfortable 2-0 win over Mexico but were held to a stalemate against Czechoslovakia in the second match. Worse, Pele was badly injured against the Czechs and that injury would eventually rule him out of rest of the tournament. The World Champions were looking down the barrel in the last group match, trailing to Adelardo’s strike with 18 minutes left on the clock. Amarildo, Pele’s replacement, finally eased Brazilian nerves with a brace as Brazil triumphed 2-1 over Spain to qualify for group champions.

England on the other hand, had narrowly crept into knock out stages after coming second in their group. The Walter Winterbottom coached side began their campaign with a 2-1 loss against Hungary but bounced back in style with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Argentina. A goal-less draw against Bulgaria, coupled with Argentina’s identical result against Hungary meant that England qualified ahead of the South Americans due to better goal average.

Brazil had not lost to a European side in six years but England would have been buoyed by the fact that they held Brazil to a 0-0 stalemate in the same fixture in 1958 World Cup.

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The Match

Brazil (4-2-4): Gilmar, Djalma Santos, Mauro Ramos, Zózimo, Nilton Santos; Zito, Didi; Garrincha, Vavá, Amarildo, Mario Zagalo

England (4-2-4): Ron Springett, Jimmy Armfield, Ray Wilson, Bobby Moore, Maurice Norman, Ron Flowers, Bryan Douglas, Jimmy Greaves, Gary Hitchens, John Haynes, Bobby Charlton

The first half-chance of the match fell for England seven minutes after kick-off as Douglas attempted a shot after a half turning Zózimo inside Brazilian penalty box – his shot was well wide. Six minutes later the defending champions almost took the lead. A long pass from Zagalo to Vavá opened up England defence, Vavá passed towards Garrincha who dribbled past his marker before playing the ball across the face of the goal. Springer failed to judge Garrincha’s pass properly and it would have gone in had Armfield not made a goal-line clearance. Amarildo was the next one to miss a golden opportunity as he met Didi’s perfectly timed pass but failed to put his shot past Springer. Greaves forced off a save from Gilmar on the other end, a sign that English forwards were slowly getting involved in the match.

Brazil were very dangerous from set-pieces, a pattern that would last for 90 minutes. Didi’s free-kick was somehow kept out by Springer just around the half-hour mark, it would be his first of a number of saves. Springer could do very little few minutes later as Garrincha rose to head in Zagalo’s corner to put Brazil ahead. Ironically, it was a very English-goal scored by a man who was used to scoring more flashy goals.

Amarildo had left his scoring boots in dressing room as he missed his second easy chance of first half after a miss-pass from Flower left Springer at his mercy, Garrincha also tried his luck in the same move but his shot went over as well. Brazil would rue those missed chances on 38th minute as England found the equalizer. Zózimo’s header bounced off the frame of the goal and Hitchens was first to react as he bundled the rebound in. England’s equalizer somewhat jolted Brazil as no more goal scoring chances was created as the half ended.

The South Americans were transformed completely in second half as England were over-run by waves of Brazilian attacks. Amarildo scored soon after the kick-off only to see his effort being chalked off for offside. Seconds later Garrincha floated in a delicious cross for Amarildo whose shot was cleared at the last moment by Wilson. On 53rd minute the inevitable Brazilian goal came. Garrincha’s free-kick was palmed away by Springer directly towards Vavá, who headed in his first goal of the 1962 World Cup.

That goal seemed to have given Vavá greater confidence as he got more involved with Brazilian build-up play. Amarildo wasted his third great chance of the game minutes after the second goal after a glorious one-two with Vavá. Brazil wrapped up the victory just before the hour mark as Garrincha scored the best goal of this match. Didi’s long pass was played down for Garrincha by Amarildo. The Little Bird took a couple of touches before unleashing an unstoppable right-footer past Springer’s outstretched arm.

With the ;pressure coming off, Brazil played some exhibition stuff for rest of the match as England chased shadows. Garrincha could have had a hattrick but Springer pulled off a top drawer save to deny his long ranged effort. For England, Johny Haynes had couple of chances and both went well wide. When the final whistle sounded there was no denying that Brazil had completely outclassed Winterbottom’s team.


The variety in Brazil’s attack was astounding. The different ways in which Brazilian outside forwards operated made it very difficult for opponent teams to mark them. Mario Zagalo played a much more mobile role, covering the length of the pitch on left flank. His immaculate passing along with tracking back gave defensive solidity to the left flank. Garrincha, on the opposite flank had a diametrically opposite style. Much more individualistic and offensive minded, he rarely tracked back and focused more on dribbling past multiple markers. He often took out more than one English defender with a typical body swerve. The scoreline might not expose this fact but English left-back Ray Wilson actually had a very good match and managed to stop Garrincha numerous times during 90 minutes. To get away from Wilson and compensate for Vavá, who had an off-day; Garrincha began to cut back more in second half and almost played life a third center-forward in final half-hour, with Djalma Santos overlapping to take his position on the wing. English defence failed to cope with this fluidity, giving Garrincha the space he needed to dictate proceedings.

England’s tactics relied on the late runs Jimmy Greaves made into opponent penalty box. With pacy outside forwards moving along the touch-line Winterbottom’s very British tactics involved Greaves latching on to crosses lobbed in from wings while the center-forwards kept Brazilian central defenders busy. This tactics didn’t work because of two reasons. Brazil’s domination on the wings meant that English outside forwards, especially Bobby Charlton, spent more time trying to contain Brazilian forwards, rather than attacking on their own. The speed of Charlton against 37-year-old but still offensive minded, Djalma Santos could have a been a trump card for England but Charlton’s ultimately futile involvement in limiting Garrincha’s movement meant he himself ventured forward lesser than needed. Secondly, Zito and especially Didi, with his accurate passing, took hold of the central midfield firmly and as the match wore on they neutralized Greaves’ late runs into the box.

Man of the Match


Both Zito and Didi gave wonderful performances in central midfield but there was very little doubt who was Brazil’s best player in this match. Ray Wilson did manage to keep him quiet for most of the first half but Garrincha still managed to wriggle his way past his marker on two occasions, one of them almost resulting in a goal. Despite a quieter first half he had gotten his name on the score-sheet. There was no stopping him in second half as Brazil ran riot. A small tactical adjustment saw Garrincha drift into a more central position as the half progressed, which took him away from Wilson and confused the English defence. Bobby Moore and Norman were man-marking Brazilian center-forwards and Wilson didn’t leave his post in the right flank, giving Garrincha time and space which would have killed off any team. In second half Garrincha scored possibly one of the best goals of 1962 World Cup and also played a crucial part in Brazil’s second goal. He could easily snap up a hat-trick but was only denied by two top drawer saves by the English ‘keeper.


Garrincha and Brazil didn’t look backwards after the victory as they waltzed (samba’ed?) their way to the second World Cup title. The Little Bird and Vavá struck a brace each as Brazil brushed away hosts Chile in semi-final to set up a final with Czechoslovakia, the team which held them to a goal-less draw in group stage.

There was a haze of uncertainty surrounding Brazil’s best player though, having been sent off against Chile and suffering from a bout of fever. FIFA however, allowed Garrincha to play in the final and he started despite not being physically 100%. Like the final four years back, Brazil conceded an early goal and just like that final four years ago they came back with an unstoppable display of attacking football. Garrincha had a comparatively quiet match but Brazil won 3-1 nonetheless.

Four years later he would play his last World Cup and last matches for the national team in England. He and his team was a mere shadow of themselves, getting knocked out in the group stage. But Garrincha would maintain the unique record of never losing a match when his national team had him and Pele starting together.

For Garrincha a tragic life would follow after he left the game as he lost the popularity and fame that came during his playing days. He was a broken and forgotten man when he died in 1983 after an alcoholic coma. Thankfully, his legendary status was restored after his death and he remains one of the most loved players in his country.

The Three Lions would experience their greatest moment in football four years later. Under the tutelage of Alf Ramsey the English team, perhaps their greatest of all time, won their first and only World Cup title after dispatching West Germany in a controversial final. Winterbottom, after leading his country to four consecutive World Cups (still a managerial record) would leave his post as English coach. England’s longest serving national coach laid the foundations of their success four years later and he was knighted in 1978 for his services.