FIFA WORLDCUP 1958

The sixth FIFA World Cup was held in Sweden from June 8 to June 29. In total, 51 national teams from three continents attempted to qualify: Latin America, Europe, and the United Kingdom, with 16 making it to the final tournament.

Background

Any countries have either denied or been unable to compete in recent World Cups. In the 1958 edition, both countries from around the world competed in the qualifying tournaments that led to the final tournament in Sweden. For the first time in World Cup history, any of the British teams will qualify.

The decision to make a European country host the World Cup for the second time in a row will enrage the South Americans. It had occurred before, from 1934 to 1938, but FIFA determined that the tournament would now rotate continents every four years.

The decision to hold a World Cup in a comparatively small nation like Sweden, which has a population of less than 7 million people, has also been questioned due to the opportunity for huge audiences. The total attendance would also be poor, with tens of thousands fewer than in Switzerland in 1954 but thousands more than in France in 1938.

Format

The format consisted  of a first phase with four four-teams group and from each two teams would advance to a final knockout stage including eight teams. The knockout stage consisted of quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third place match and a final.

Cities and arenas

The matches will be held in twelve Swedish cities and twelve stadiums (for a complete list, see the “Cities and Stadiums” box). The final will be held at Rsunda Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden’s capital.

Tournament

The reigning champions, West Germany, were among the competitors, while another former winner, Uruguay, failed to advance beyond the qualification stage. Uruguay’s reign as a former South American superpower seemed to be coming to an end, and the country would never be able to match its previous achievements.

Due to the Hungarian revolution, which caused many players to flee the region, Hungary’s national team, which had dominated European football for a long time, would be cut short. The young, unproven Hungarian team would not advance from the group stage; instead, Wales, a huge surprise, would finish second in the group and join Sweden in the next round.

In the 1958 World Cup, a rising star will emerge. Following a disappointing draw against England in their first match, two new players, Garrincha and Pelé, will be offered a chance to play in the Brazilian squad in the next match. Brazil will go all the way, with Péle, 17, becoming the youngest player ever to play in a World Cup final. He was not only the youngest, but he also scored one of the most unforgettable goals in World Cup history in the final against Sweden… Pelé hops and stops a high ball in the penalty box with his breast in front of a defender. The next defender approaches, but Pelé shows his already granted brilliance by lobbing the ball over and then volleying it into the net.

Pelé was not the only one that left an indelible impression on history. Just Fontaine scored 13 goals for France, which is also an unblemished World Cup record.

The FIFA World Cup of 1958 can also be remembered for its rough and unequal behaviour on the pitch. Surprisingly, substitutions were also forbidden, and an injury meant the squad would be without a player.

Results

West Germany, Northern Ireland, France, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Wales, Brazil, and the Soviet Union will progress to the knockout round.

Brazil, France, Sweden, and West Germany will advance to the semi-finals, with Brazil and Sweden advancing to the final.

The home side, Sweden, will be unable to fend off the Brazilians in the final. The final score of 5-2 will be a World Cup final goal record (the former record was six goals in the 1930 final).

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