I Scored a Goal in the World Cup Final: Pelé on vanquishing Sweden and his dad crying

| 10 July 2014

I Scored a Goal in the World Cup Final: Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento)

A black and white photo of a man
Sao Paulo, May 2010© Michael Donald
“I must have been coming up for 10 years old when the 1950 World Cup came, in which Brazil played in the final in the Maracana.

I remember my father and his friends preparing a lunch and a party because all the Brazilians were expecting Brazil to become champions.

Brazil lost against Uruguay and I didn’t understand because I was only nine or 10 years old.

I saw my father crying. My father crying – because it was a party – one hour before they started playing.

It was a party – everyone for Brazil, everyone wanting to party – and there I saw my father was crying.

I even joked with my father. I said, ‘dad, why are you crying?’ And he said, ‘because Brazil lost the World Cup.’

I said, ‘no, don’t cry, I’m going to win the cup for you.’

I think, personally, that individually Brazil has never had another team like the one in ’58. If you take player for player and compare them, still today I don’t think there has been one better.

The final was against Sweden, the host nation. We thought, ‘well, we’re going to play the home nation, it’s going to be a very tough game.’

And it was the easiest game for us. We scored five. I scored two – that goal that went over, the ‘sombrero’ and after the header at the end of the game.

I said, ‘could it be? Could it be that my father is watching me in a World Cup?’ I was putting on my boots and thinking about my father and my mother in Bauru.

I didn’t know if they were listening or if they weren’t because there was no television. It was Vava and then I scored the goal – Europe had never seen such a goal – that some call a ‘sombrero’.

I took it on my chest, I played it over the top of the defender and I struck it as it came down.

The ball came to my side, I stopped it, put it over the opponent and I scored the goal.”

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More on the World Cup:

Mark Leech on Diego Maradona's infamous Hand of God

I Scored a Goal in the World Cup Final: New exhibition portrays 34 big occasion heroes

The World Cup in five seconds: Zinedine Zidane's headbutt in the 2006 final
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