Brazil and Sweden faced each other at the 1958 World Cup final in Stockholm. It was the third time these two teams met in the competition, after having faced each other in the final at the very first edition of this tournament. The previous times they played against each other were both in Brazil (1938 and 1950). This time, Brazil wasn’t going to let that happen again. After a goalless first half, the Brazilians scored three goals in 12 minutes, beating Sweden 5-2 and becoming – once again – World Cup champions. The result was so one-sided that it’s hard to believe this was a final between two of the best teams in the world at that moment. There are many theories about why Sweden looked so bad that day, with doping probably being one of them. As for Brazil, it had another brilliant performance from striker Vava (born José Ermendes), who scored twice in this game and finished as the top scorer of this competition with 6 goals.
The 1958 World Cup was the second edition of this competition. The tournament was hosted by Sweden, where the final was played at the Råsunda Stadium in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. This was the first World Cup with 16 teams participating. 16 teams were divided in four groups of four. The two best teams of each group would advance to the quarter-finals. Brazil and Sweden faced each other at the 1958 World Cup final. It was the third time these two teams met in the competition, after having faced each other in the final at the very first edition of this tournament. The previous times they played against each other were both in Brazil (1938 and 1950). This time, Brazil wasn’t going to let that happen again. After a goalless first half, the Brazilians scored three goals in 12 minutes, beating Sweden 5-2 and becoming – once again – World Cup champions.
While the Brazilians were dominant in all aspects of the game, the Swedes looked like a team that was completely unprepared to play a World Cup final. The Swedish players were very slow, the strikers were completely lost and the defense let the Brazilian forwards go past them with little to no effort. The Swedes started the game well, showing their defensive prowess by not allowing the Brazilians any space to create any danger. It was a very slow first half-hour, with both teams adjusting to the occasion and feeling each other out. The first chance of the game came from a Brazilian free kick that was cleared by Sweden. Later, the first Brazilian opportunity came from a free kick as well. Garrincha sent a dangerous ball that hit the crossbar and bounced off.
The 1958 Brazilian team is considered one of the best teams to ever play at the World Cup. They had a lethal attack, but the team was also very solid at the back. Brazil’s coach at the time, Vicente Feola, had a very balanced team. The players were very technical, and they could all distribute the ball well. The team also had amazing dribblers – Garrincha and Pelé were two of the best dribblers in history. The defense was also strong. The captain, Gilmar, was a very good goalkeeper, although he was a little bit temperamental. The Brazilian defense was also very strong, with the fullbacks being very aggressive and the central defenders very calm.
The 1958 Swedish team is often forgotten when we talk about the best teams in World Cup history. But the Swedish team was very close to being crowned as world champions that year. The team didn’t have a lot of stars the best player on that team was probably the goalkeeper Hans “Biff” Lindström, who played a very good game in the final as well. Other than him, the team had midfielder Gunnar Gren, who was also a very good passer, but not the type of player that would create a lot of danger on his own. The rest of the team was very balanced and played very well as a team, but perhaps not as well as the 1958 Brazilian team.
The 1958 World Cup was yet another example of Brazil’s amazing dominance in the history of this tournament. While the Swedes were very unlucky to play against a great Brazilian team, perhaps the result would have been different if the game was played in Brazil, where the Swedes had played all their games up to that point. The 1958 World Cup was the first tournament to be televised. Brazil and Sweden met in the final and the Brazilians won 5-2. This was the first time that two non-European teams were competing for the title. This was also the only World Cup tournament that Brazil managed to win in a row.