Special: The Greatest Tournament in History

In this final episode of our series, we frame the legacy of the 1970 World Cup, both in Brazil and abroad

We left off our tale of the 1970 World Cup with Brazil beating England, the reigning world champions. It was a stunning game of football and it also represented a passing of the baton — Brazil were the new kings-in-waiting.

But they still had plenty to do. In the knockout stage, they had to get past Peru and Uruguay, before facing Italy in the grand finale in Mexico City. 

But however fabled that game may be, largely thanks to Brazil’s historic fourth goal and the post-match celebrations. It’s not exactly a classic match. The first-half is tight, but the second 45 minutes provide no contest whatsoever: Italy are dead on their feet, and Brazil look like Barcelona playing against an over 50s pub team.

In this final episode of our series, we look back at the legend of that final, and then try and frame the legacy of the 1970 World Cup, both in Brazil and abroad.

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On this episode:

  • Tim Vickery is a freelance English football journalist, who has lived in Brazil since 1994. He is the South American football correspondent for BBC Sport, contributing to the corporation’s output online, on TV and radio. Vickery frequently writes for World Soccer, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and he is also an analyst on SporTV’s main morning program, Redação SporTV.
  • Andrew Downie is a Scottish journalist and the author of “Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend.” His latest work, an oral history of the 1970 World Cup entitled “The Greatest Show on Earth,” is available for pre-order now. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, GQ, Reuters, and Esquire, among others.

This special series is made by

  • Euan Marshall, script and interviews. Euan is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.
  • Gustavo Ribeiro, sound engineering. Gustavo is editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.

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