Thursday, August 20, 2009



Brazilian football, unlike any other cultural interpretation of a particular sport, has the ability to conjure up in one’s mind an essence of mystery, of carnival, of rhythm, of unadulterated joy and freedom.
Futebol is so deeply, so passionately interwoven into the fabric of Brazilian culture that the two entities are inextricably linked, they define each other and share an intrinsic identity, an instantly recognisable global image.
In the 115 years since the beautiful game arrived in Brazil, this most socially vibrant of Latin American countries has peerlessly adapted and excelled at the game, transforming football into an expressionistic art form and an effective tool for social cohesion.
Five World Cup triumphs (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002) have justifiably given Brazil the status as the greatest nation ever to have taken to a football field and made Brazilian sides throughout modern history, no matter how relatively weak or strong, the benchmark for footballing excellence.
The philosophy which underpins Brazilian football is, as has been demonstrated since football’s genesis in the country, based around exuberance, enjoyment and individual brilliance within the team collective. As Gilberto Freyre wrote in 1959, “The Brazilians play football as if it were a dance…for [they] tend to reduce everything to dance, work and play alike.”
What Freyre was acknowledging with these words was the pervading Brazilian attitude towards life, that casual, contented, relaxed and playful national stereotype we know so well. These innate characteristics have spilled over into the sporting psyche of the nation, and no more clearly do we see them manifest themselves than in the Brazilian approach to the game of football.
The early Brazilian sides of the 1930s and 40s, despite not being as successful as those which came later in the twentieth century, laid the preliminary foundations for the nature and style which would come to characterise their country’s footballing displays for years to come.
Despite being knocked out at the first hurdle in the World Cup of 1930, Preguinho, by all accounts an elegantly potent centre forward, fascinated spectators with his tenacity, scoring Brazil’s only goal during a 2-1 defeat to Yugoslavia and grabbing a brace in a 4-0 victory over Bolivia. The country’s first World Cup star had been born.
Although they returned home defeated, Brazil had laid down an early marker on the international stage and enthralled the footballing public with their mysteriously, romantically named players and wonderfully fresh and exotic approach to the game. Brazil had arrived in the world’s footballing consciousness and were there to stay.

João Coelho Neto (preguinho)
Fluminense F.C. athlete
Date before 1937
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brazil soccer was born in the late 1800s. However, its explosion and supremacy began at the end of the 1950s. It was a time of intense romanticism. Soccer was mixed with samba, Carnival and to the innate joy of the Brazilian people that makes the football played in Brazil one of a kind.
From then on, it became a national fever, practiced with pleasure, passion and art by millions of boys from 5 to 60 years-old. It became one of the best examples of the Brazilian spirit: ginga, joy, dance, improvisation and creativity.
In Brazil, soccer is played on the streets, beaches, squares, homes, courts, fields and, of course, the stadiums.
This is how Brazil began to produce generation after generation of extraordinarily talented players that came from all corners of the country. In the 1950s and 1960s there were Vavá, Nilton Santos, Zito, Didi and the “King” Pelé.

Vava (center)
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The five great Brazilian stars
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Nilton Santos
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Nilton Santos (standing 4th from L)
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Roberto Zito
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Valdir Pereira "Didi"
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Up to this date, no other country has been able to create so many players of such a high quality year after year, in a never ending cycle. With such a vast crop of talent to choose from, Brazil's soccer teams have been able to dominate the world of soccer.
The world cannot catch up. This is one of the reasons we see so many brilliant young players scattered around the globe spreading the joyful magic of Brazilian soccer, while playing in other countries. This means they are now playing for their longtime rivals.
Ginga - is a Brazilian thing. It is the sway a player has in his feet and legs. It is a powerful way to lure the adversary and make a beautiful play. That's what Brazilian soccer is all about: sway and beautiful plays.
(© Brazil-Travelnet 2006-2009)
Without any doubt, Brazil is one of the biggest soccer countries in the world! For millions of Brazilians, soccer is a "way of life" and plays an important role in their social life.
The way soccer is played in Brazil is unique. Its style is the result of the rhythm and coordination from the black people. This unique quality was a characteristic of slaves that developed the capoeira, Brazilian martial arts and samba, which are characterized by footsteps to dance or to play under the rhythm of African drums.
Brazil has more professional soccer teams than any other country in the world.
Great players such as Pele, Garrincha, Zico, Romario and Ronaldo started playing soccer on dirt fields under poor conditions. They turned into very good players known all over the world, which also made Brazil very famous.

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Zico of Brazil and Claudio
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Zico and Socrates
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Ronaldo Nazário
Date 6 June 2005
Source Agência Brasil
Author Antônio Cruz/ABr
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Many poor boys are dreaming of becoming the next Pele or Ronaldo and because of this, they promote the national soccer culture even more. Dreaming about soccer is a motivation for millions of children, who want to escape from their poverty. They combine the fun of soccer with living in poverty. It's even so that the soccer culture has a bigger influence on the Brazilian life than for example politics or economics.
According to soccer experts from all around the world, Brazilian soccer is a combination of amazing technical skills with the ball, superb athletic movements, a goal scoring philosophy by taking short passes and a patient yet creative and unpredictable attack.
Soccer is a way of life for the Brazilians and they play it in a way that the rest of the world has to be jealous of them.
The history of Brazil soccer is strongly influenced by the history of the people. The unique Brazilian culture was created by people from several countries. Before the Portuguese colonized the country, the Indians were scattered throughout the country. The Portuguese brought slaves from West Africa to have them work on the farms and mines. The African slaves brought with them their own music, dance, cookery and martial arts. All these things played an important part in creating the culture that all Brazilians now share.
Soccer was brought to Brazil in 1885 by the Englishman Charles Miller. It started as a game played only by rich boys in private clubs. After decades of discrimination against poor or black people, soccer changed into a professional activity in 1933 and after this it became very popular in schools, factories and clubs. Soccer was played throughout the country on beaches or fields and with its popularity, it was especially practiced by the low-income population.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Charles Miller (footballer)
Source David Bull & Bob Brunskell (2000
Date c. 1893

World Cups organized: 1950
World Cup appearances: (18)
1930, Lost in First Round
1934, Lost in 1/8 Finals
1938, Third Place
1950, Second Place
1954, Lost in Quarterfinals
1958, Champion
1962, Champion
1966, Lost in First Round
1970, Champion
1974, Fourth Place
1978, Third Place
1982, Lost in Second Round
1986, Lost in Quarterfinals
1990, Lost in 1/8 Finals
1994, Champion
1998, Second Place
2002, Champion
2006, Lost in Quarterfinals
World Cup absences: None

Titles won: Soccer World Cup 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
American Cup 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007
FIFA Confederations Cup 1997, 2005, 2009
Olympic Silver Medal 1984, 1988
Olympic Bronze Medal 1996, 2008
Pan American Cup 4 (1963, 1975 with Mexico, 1979, 1987)

The first match of the Brazil national football team is generally considered to be a 1914 match between a Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo select team and the English club Exeter City. Brazil won 2–0 with goals by Oswaldo Gomes and Osman, whilst others claim a 3–3 draw. In contrast to future successes, the nation's early appearances were far from brilliant, partly due to internal strife within Brazilian football over professionalism, which rendered the Brazilian Football Confederation unable to field full-strength teams.
Brazil hosted the 1950 FIFA World Cup which was the first tournament to be held after World War II. It is the only time Brazil has hosted the tournament to date (not counting the upcoming 2014 tournament). 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". In Brazil it is called "Final Fatídica" ("fateful final").
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
When hosts Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup final against Uruguay 2-1, two of the 199,854 crammed into Rio's Maracana stadium committed suicide by throwing themselves off a stand.
However, some Brazilians can tear themselves away from watching their national side play. A gang of 17 prisoners tunnelled out their Sao Paulo cells while their guards were engrossed by Brazil's World Cup opener against Turkey. Two of the escapees were killed.
(BBC Sports)
For the 1954 FIFA 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 Nílton Santos, Djalma Santos, and Didi. Brazil didn't go very far though. The quarterfinals saw the favorites Hungary beat Brazil 4–2 in one of the ugliest matches in football history, which would become infamous as the Battle of Berne.
Brazil's coach, Vicente Feola, imposed strict rules on the squad for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, held in Sweden. The players were given a list of forty things that they were not allowed to do, including wearing hats or umbrellas, smoking while wearing official clothing and talking to the press outside of allocated times. They were the only team to bring a psychologist (because the memories of 1950 still affected some players) or a dentist (for, because of their humble origins, many players had dental problems, which caused infections and also had negative impact on performance) with them, and had sent a representative to Europe to watch the qualifying matches a year before the tournament began.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Brazil 1958
The line-up in the final match against Sweden:
Standing: Vicente Feola (coach), Djalma Santos, Zito,
Bellini, Nilton Santos, Orlando and Gilmar (GK)
Squatting: Garrincha, Didi, Pelé, Vavá,
Zagallo and Paulo Amaral (physical instructor)
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Brazil were drawn in the toughest group, with England, the USSR and Austria. They beat Austria 3–0 in their first match, then drew 0–0 with England. The Brazilians had been worried about their match with the USSR who had exceptional fitness and were one of the favourites to win the tournament; their strategy was to take risks at the beginning of the match to try and score an early goal. Before the match, the leaders of the team, Bellini, Nílton Santos, and Didi, spoke to coach Vicente Feola and persuaded him to make three substitutions which were crucial for Brazil to defeat the Soviets and win the Cup: Zito, Garrincha, and Pelé would start playing against the USSR. From the kick off, they passed the ball to Garrincha who beat three players before hitting the post with a shot. They kept up the pressure relentlessly, and after three minutes which were later described as "the greatest three minutes in the history of football", Vavá gave Brazil the lead. They won the match 2–0. Pelé scored the only goal of their quarter-final match against Wales, and they beat France 5–2 in the semi-final. Brazil beat the hosts Sweden, in the final 5–2, winning their first World Cup and becoming the first nation to win a World Cup title outside of its own continent. A celebrated fact was that Feola would sometimes take naps during training sessions and would sometimes close his eyes during matches, giving the impression that he was asleep. Because of this, Didi was sometimes said to be the real coach of the team, as he commanded the mid-field.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Pele weeps on the shoulder of goalkeeper Gylmar Dos Santos Neves
Brazil`s World Cup win on June 29 1958
AP Images
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Brazilian national soccer team members celebrating
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In the 1962 FIFA World Cup, Brazil got its second title with Garrincha as the star player; a mantle and responsibility bestowed upon him after regular talisman, Pelé, was injured during the first group match against Mexico and unable to play for the rest of the tournament.

1962 World Cup final that Brazil won
Left to right, Amarildo and Vava of Brazil
goalkeeper Schroif and Pluskal of Czechoslovakia
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In the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the preparation of the team was affected by political influences. All the major Brazilian clubs wanted their players included in the Brazilian team, to give them more exposure. In the final months of preparation, the coach Vicente Feola was working with 46 players, of which only 22 would go to England; this caused lots of internal dispute and psychological pressure. The result was that, in 1966, Brazil had their worst performance in all World Cups. Of course, another perhaps bigger issue, was that Pelé (who may have been at the height of his career) was chopped at seemingly every opportunity in the group matches.

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Brazil won its third World Cup in Mexico in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Brazil fielded what has been considered to be the best football squad ever, led by Pelé in his last World Cup final, captain Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Tostão, Gérson and Rivelino. After winning the Jules Rimet Trophy for the third time Brazil were allowed to keep it for good.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Brazilian Team
Brazil fielded what has been considered
to be the best football squad ever
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1970 FIFA World Cup
Pele celebrates the win with teammates
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Winning their third World Cup final in 1970, the Brazilians were given the 12-inch high Jules Rimet Trophy for keeps, or so the plan went.
Housed in the Brazilian Football Association's Rio de Janeiro headquarters, the cup was stolen in, 1983. It is thought the thieves melted down it down for its more-than 3kg of solid gold.
The Jules Rimet had already survived World War II hidden from the Nazis under a bed in Italy and been recovered by Pickles the dog when it had been stolen in London prior to the 1966 World Cup.
(BBC Sport)
After the international retirement of Pelé and other stars, Brazil were not able to overcome Netherlands' Total Football and could not defend its title in the 1974 FIFA World Cup, finishing in fourth place.
The 1978 FIFA World Cup was notoriously controversial. In the second group stage, Brazil were competing with tournament hosts Argentina for top spot and a place in the finals. In their last group match, Brazil defeated Poland 3–1 to go top of the group with a goal difference of +5. Argentina were only on a goal difference of +2, but in their last group match, they managed to, controversially, defeat Peru 6–0 and thus qualify for the final. Brazil were forced to settle for the third place match, where they defeated Italy 2–1.
In the 1982 FIFA World Cup, the tournament favorites Brazil easily moved through the early part of the draw, but a 3–2 defeat to Italy, in one of the classic games in finals history, eliminated them from the tournament. Paolo Rossi scored all three of Italy's goals. The seleção was defeated in the match they still refer to as the "Sarrias Disaster", a reference to the stadium's name, and Telê would be much blamed for using an attacking system while a 2–2 draw was enough. The 1982 squad, with players like Sócrates, Zico and Falcão, is remembered as one of the greatest teams to be eliminated from the World Cup.
In 1986, Telê and several players of 1982 returned to play in the World Cup hosted by Mexico. The players were older but still capable of an enchanting performance. They were troubled, however, by an injury Zico picked up before the World Cup. Incessant questions about whether and when he could play undoubtedly had some negative effect on the team. Brazil met France in the quarter-finals and the match is considered an absolute classic of "total football". Neither side deserved to lose but when Zico finally came on in the second half (with the score 1–1), and Brazil were awarded a penalty late in the game, Brazil seemed set to win. But Zico, the hero of a whole generation of Brazilian football fans, missed the penalty - and after a goalless but thoroughly exciting extra time it all came down to a penalty shoot out. There Zico managed to score from his penalty but Júlio César da Silva and Sócrates missed, and despite French captain Michel Platini sending his effort over the cross bar, Brazil nevertheless were eliminated 4–3. Memories of the afternoon at Sarria's came back to haunt the crowd.
In the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was coached by Sebastião Lazaroni, who was hardly known before the Cup and became even more anonymous afterwards. With a defensive scheme, whose main symbol was mid-fielder Dunga, and three full-backs, the team lacked creativity but made it to the second round. Against a weaker Argentinian side, the Brazilians applied heavy pressure and had numerous chances to score, but it was Claudio Caniggia who managed to find Brazil's net and eliminate them.
Brazil, to the surprise of many, went 24 years without winning a World Cup or even participating in a final.
Their struggles ended at the 1994 tournament in the United States, where a solid, if unspectacular side headed by the likes of Romário, Bebeto, Dunga, Taffarel, and Jorginho won the World Cup for a then-record 4th time. Highlights of their campaign included a 1–0 victory over the hosts in the round of 16, a sensational 3–2 win over the Dutch in the quarter-finals (often cited as the game of the tournament) and a 1–0 win over the Swedes in the semis. This set up a classic confrontation, Brazil vs. Italy, in the final. After a dour and unexciting 0–0 draw, penalty kicks loomed, and when Roberto Baggio lifted his spot kick over the crossbar, Brazil were champions once again. A new era of dominance had begun.

Brazilian squad - 1994 FIFA World Cup
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1994 World Cup Final, Los Angeles
Brazil beat Italy 3-2 on penalties
Brazil captain DUNGA holds the World Cup trophy
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images
© copyright 1999-2009 Getty Images

Members of Brazil`s winning World Cup team
The Rose Bowl field in Pasadena, California
July 17, 1994
AP Images
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Brazil finished runner-up in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After a very respectable campaign during which they beat Holland on penalties in the semi-final following a 1–1 draw with goals from Ronaldo and Patrick Kluivert, the team lost to hosts France 3–0 in a problematic final game. Brazilian marking at defensive set pieces was poor, and Zinédine Zidane was able to score two headed goals from France's corner kicks. Also, Brazilian star Ronaldo suffered an epileptic seizure a few hours before the match. Many criticized the decision to reinstate Ronaldo into the starting lineup as he put in a poor performance.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Fuelled by the scintillating play of the "Three R's" (Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho), Brazil won its fifth championship at the 2002 FIFA World Cup held in South Korea and Japan. When the groups were drawn, Brazil seemed to have been lucky; Their adversaries would be Turkey, China and Costa Rica. At the end, it turned out that Turkey finished the tournament in third place. Brazil went on beating all three opponents, scoring 11 goals and conceding only three, and topping the group. The final was between two of the most successful teams in the competition's history: Germany and Brazil. Either Germany (or West Germany) or Brazil had played in all World Cup finals since 1950, except for 1978. Incredibly, the teams had never played each other in the World Cup before, besides a match between Brazil and East Germany in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn had been the tournament's best keeper, but could not maintain that level of play, as Ronaldo vanquished his France '98 demons, scoring both goals in the Brazilian 2–0 triumph.

Brazil won a record fifth World Cup
Captain Cafu with the trophy
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On June 29, 2005, Brazil won the Confederations Cup for the second time with an emphatic 4–1 victory over arch-rivals Argentina in Frankfurt, Germany. They also won another championship, the 2004 Copa América in which Brazil defeated Argentina in a penalty shootout. Argentina had defeated Peru in the quarterfinals, and Colombia in the semifinals, in the 2002 World Cup.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Brazilian's coach Parreira presented a formation nicknamed "The Magic Square", based in 4 offensive players: Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaká, and Ronaldinho. Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals against France by a score of 1–0. France was led by a rejuvenated Zinédine Zidane and by a strong defence which kept the Brazilian strikers under check for the duration of the game. Brazil were shut out, attempting just one shot at French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. After elimination, the team was largely criticized by the press and the fans. The media circulated images from the left wingback Roberto Carlos tying his shoes while Henry runs unmarked to score the winning goal. The sporting legend Pelé, blamed coach Parreira and Ronaldinho for the team's early elimination.
After the 2006 World Cup,1994 World Cup champion Dunga was hired as Brazil's new team coach. Dunga's former teammate, Jorginho was hired as his assistant. His first match in charge was against Norway which was played in Oslo, ended in a 1–1 draw. His second match was held against arch rivals Argentina in Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium in London, in which Brazil defeated Argentina by a 3–0 scoreline. They defeated Wales 2–0 at Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane ground. They later defeated Kuwait club Al-Kuwait 4–0, Ecuador 2–1 and had a 2–1 away win against Switzerland.
Dunga's first defeat as Brazil's coach occurred on February 6, 2007 in a friendly match against Portugal, which at that time was coached by former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Respectively on March 24 and March 27, 2007, Brazil bounced back from their first defeat under Dunga with wins in friendly matches against Chile (4–0) and Ghana (1–0) in Sweden.
Unlike Parreira, Dunga has focused on the task of deemphasizing all players and treating them as equals. He did not just look for players in popular clubs such as Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid, etc., but looked at the whole scope of Europe, finding individual talents such as Daniel Carvalho, Vágner Love and Dudu Cearense of Greek club Olympiacos and also Elano of Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, currently of Manchester City.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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Elano in new Brazil kit
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Of the former Magic Quartet, Ronaldinho and Kaká were the only players who had a regular place in the Brazil squad. Adriano was called back in the squad for a friendly against Portugal in February 2007, which Brazil lost 0–2.
The Brazilian team won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Although they started with a shaky victory over Egypt with a last minute penalty (4–3), they comfortably beat the USA (3–0), as well as Italy (3–0). After beating South Africa in the semi-final with a late free kick (1–0), they went on to a rematch against USA in the final which they won 3–2, after coming in 2–0 down at half-time, to seal their third Confederations Cup title. With just six minutes left on the clock, Brazil claimed the trophy when Lucio rose powerfully at the far post to head Elano's corner beyond a helpless Howard.
Kaká was named as the player of the tournament and Luís Fabiano won the top goalscorer award with five goals in five matches.
Brazil are currently participating in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Lucio: Celebrates
Image from Sky sports © 2009 BSkyB

Brazil: Top spot in the Fifa world rankings
Image from Sky sports © 2009 BSkyB

Luis Fabiano
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The Brazilian Squad
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Some of the greatest players produced by Brazil:
Ademir, Ademir da Guia, Adriano, Aldair, Amarildo, Bebeto, Bellini, Branco, Brito, Cafu, Careca, Carlos Alberto, Carlos José Castilho, Carpegiani, Cerezo, Clodoaldo, Dario, Denílson, Dida, Didí, Dirceu, Dirceu Lopes, Djalma Santos, Domingos da Guia, Dunga, Éder, Edinho, Edmundo, Emerson, Everaldo, Falcao, Felix, Friaça, Friedenreich, Garrincha, Gérson, Gilmar, Jair, Jairzinho, Jardel, Jorginho, Juninho Paulista, Juninho Pernambucano, Júnior, Kaká, Leandro, Leao, Leonardo, Leônidas, Lúcio, Márcio Santos, Marcos, Marinho Chagas, Mauro, Mauro Silva, Moacyr Barbosa, Müller, Nílton Santos, Oscar, Pelé, Pepe, Piazza, Preguinho, Rivelino, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Roberto Dinamite, Robinho, Romário, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Serginho Chulapa, Sócrates, Cláudio Taffarel, Tostao, Valdir Peres, Vavá, Mário Zagallo, Zé Roberto, Zico, Zizinho
(Copyright 2009.

Ademir (L)
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Gérson (third from L)
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Jair Ventura Filho or JAIRZINHO (R)
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Gilmar dos Santos Neves
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Zizinho (C)
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Carlos Alberto Torres (second from L-back)

Ademir da Guia (fifth from L)
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Pele and teammates
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Falcao (L)
The team of 1982 FIFA World Cup
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Pelé, Zico and Rivellino (R)
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Cafu, the captain, with the rest of the team
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