Since 1923, Brazil has been a member of FIFA, and the most successful one at that. Few countries have had the triumphs the Little Canary experienced in the nearly 100 years the national team has been around. If you prefer other teams or news about football in general, you can check out xlr8soccer.org for that! If not, read on.
Brazil’s rank is the stuff of legends: they have the highest average Elo rating and their current Elo rating puts them in fourth place. Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Pelé, Rivaldo, and other heroes played for Brazil over the years, elevating its status to something worthy of an epic saga. The team won the World Cup on four different continents and share a record with Spain of 35 consecutive wins. What is the story of Brazil’s national team?
The Birth of a Myth
The first time something resembling Brazil’s national team was having a match was in 1914. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both contributed players for the club to face off against Exeter City from England. The outcome of the game was disputed. It would be a long time before this team reaches the awesomeness that it is renowned for.
The next time Brazil played a game against Europeans was 14 years later, with the victory over the Scottish team Motherwell with 5-0. The first time it competed in the World Cup was 1930, where they were eliminated from the tournament by Yugoslavia. Four years later, they would try again and lose in the first round of the competition. In 1938, the only team from South America in the competition lost in the semi-finals to Italy, who went on to become the champion.
Brazil hosted the 1950 FIFA World Cup and they were celebrating their championship prematurely – Uruguay scored a goal in the final minutes of the game, sending the entire country of Brazil into despair.
The Golden Age
From 1958, the team had an unbelievable makeover. When they attended the World Cup in that year, there were strict regulations imposed on them and their handlers, making sure that nothing outside football would interfere with the team’s game. Brazil had very tough opponents. They beat Austria and reached a draw with England, but were really worried about their match with the Soviets.
The three players that stood up from the bench were Jose Ely de Miranda, Manuel Francisco dos Santos, and Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or, as the fans know them, Zito, Garrincha, and Pelé. It was thanks to them that the Soviet Union was defeated. Later on, this setup led to the team winning the first of many World Cups.
One could argue that Pelé was the best thing that happened to Brazil. While he was not solely responsible for the team’s success, his absence would be felt whenever he was benched.
The last time he played for the team was also the last time he won the World Cup – in 1970.
Fall and Rise
After Pelé’s departure from the team, Brazil hit a dry spell they would not recover from until the mid-90s. In other words, it was 24 whole years before Brazil stood a chance of winning the World Cup again. They won in 1994 and again in 2002.
Brazil is now placed 3rd on the FIFA world ranking, which, interestingly enough, is also what the team’s average position in the ranking is, ever since FIFA existed. This just goes to show how the spirit of football is strong in Brazil, nicknamed the Little Canary, and the Golden Squad. Will we see another legend in their midst worthy of Pelé? It is hard to say, but you can be sure that where there are the greatest teams in the world of football, Brazil won’t be far behind.