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Early history - Brazil

Sport DictionaryWorld Cup 2006 Teams and Players

The national football team of Brazil was formed in 1914, and played their first game against the English club Exeter City in that year, winning 2–0. In spite of the future success, however, the nation's early appearances were far from brilliant, partly due to internal strife within Brazilian football over professionalism, which made the Brazilian Football Confederation unable to field full-strength teams.

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Brazil's first match, at home to Exeter City in 1914.

In particular, disputes between the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro state football federations meant that the team would be composed of players coming from either of the federations. In both the 1930 and 1934 tournaments, Brazil were knocked out at the very first stage. But 1938 was a sign of things to come, as Brazil finished a strong third, with Leonidas da Silva making history and being the first player to score four goals in a World Cup match.

Brazil hosted the 1950 World Cup which was the first tournament to be held after World War II. It was the only time Brazil hosted. The 1950 tournament was unique in not having a single final, but rather a final round-robin stage of four teams; however, to all intents and purposes the deciding game between Brazil and Uruguay acted as that tournament's "final". The match was hosted at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, watched by 199,854 people, and Brazil only needed a draw to win, but lost the match 2-1 after being 1-0 up; this match has since been known in South America as "Maracanazo".

For the 1954 World Cup, in Switzerland, the Brazilian team was almost completely renovated, so as to forget the Maracanã defeat, but still had a group of good players, including Nilton Santos, Djalma Santos, and Didi. Brazil didn't go very far though. The quarterfinals saw the favourites Hungarians beat Brazil 4-2 in one of the ugliest matches in football history, which would become infamous as the Battle of Berne.


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© This article uses material from Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License

 

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