1958 World Cup

brazil squad for the 1958 world cup with players like pelé and bellini.

Hello, my friends! Today, let’s learn about the 1958 World Cup, the first Brazilian title that left an incredible mark in history! You will get to know the 1958 Brazil team for this World Cup, how intense the final match was, and how our forever star Pelé performed during it!

1958 World Cup History

After losing the 1950 World Cup final for Uruguay inside a sold up Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro and placing sixth at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, the Brazilian Team had one more chance to play for the title and eliminate the trauma after the 1950 tournament. The 1958 World Cup happened in Sweden from June 8 to 29.

Groups and Countries

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
Northern IrelandYugoslaviaWalesSoviet Union

Pelé First World Cup in 1958

The tournament is also notable for marking the debut on the world stage of a then 17 year old Pelé. Pelé complained about pain in the knee several times during the World Cup and asked to be sent back to Brazil. After complaining a lot, the Brazilian team masseur told him that the only way to avoid playing was being a woman. Pelé was pissed and replied EU SOU MACHO! (I’m a man!). He then became the youngest player to ever win a World Cup.

1958 Football World Cup and Matches

Pelé with the ball at the 1958 World Cup.
Pelé with the ball at the World Cup. Picture by Wikicommons.

The group stages were tough for Brazil, having the Soviet Union, England and Austria as opponents. But Brazil performed well during all games, including the frustrating 0-0 game with England. After the results, Brazil and Soviet Union advanced to knock out stages, which was when all hell broke loose!

In the quarterfinals, Just Fontaine of France maintained his exceptional form from the group stage, scoring two more goals as France emerged victorious over Northern Ireland. West Germany secured their spot in the semifinals with Helmut Rahn‘s lone goal against Yugoslavia, while Sweden advanced at the expense of the USSR. In another quarterfinal clash, Pelé netted the sole goal for Brazil, securing their win against Wales.

Moving on to the semifinals, Sweden continued their impressive run by defeating West Germany 3–1 in a fiercely contested match. The game took a dramatic turn as German player Erich Juskowiak received a red card, becoming the first-ever German player to be sent off in an international game. Additionally, the German veteran forward Fritz Walter sustained an injury, further weakening the German team. It’s worth noting that substitutes were not permitted until the 1970 FIFA World Cup.

In the other semifinal, Brazil and France were in a deadlock at 1–1 for much of the first half. However, 36 minutes into the game, French captain and experienced defender Robert Jonquet suffered a broken leg in a clash with Vavá. It reduced France to ten men for the remainder of the match (as substitutions couldn’t happen at that time). Brazil seized control of the game, and Pelé’s hat-trick led them to a 5–2 victory.

World Cup 1958 Final and Pelé

The World Cup 1958 final match was against the host, a tough game in the beginning but the Brazilian team could beat Sweden for 5 x 2, goals scored by Pelé (2), Vavá (2) and Zagallo (1). In the World Cup 1958 final match, Pelé scored one of the most beautiful goals in his career and in World Cups history, a good welcome card for a 17 year old player. Let’s watch it and the other goals on the video below:

Brazil became the first country to win a World cup out of its own continent. It only happened again in 2010 when Spain won the World Cup in Africa.

Brazil 1958 World Cup Team

Garrincha making an assist for Vavà during the 1958 World Cup final.
Garrincha making an assist for Vavà during the 1958 World Cup final. Picture by Wikicommons.

Besides Pelé, this tournament was also remarkable because of other players gathered in the Brazilian Team. Players such as Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Didi, Bellini, etc. Players who have their names in history for winning the World Cup and also for what they have done in their football clubs.

4LateralDjalma Santos
5Meio campoDino Sani
6Meio campoDidi
12LateralNilton Santos
13Meio campoMoacir
14LateralDe Sordi
19Meio campoZito

Learn More about Brazil 1958 Squad in the World Cup

Pelé: Pelé, at the age of 17, made a significant impact in the tournament and is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He scored six goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick in the semifinal against France.

Vavá: Vavá was a striker who played a crucial role in Brazil’s success, scoring twice in the final against Sweden. He formed a formidable attacking partnership with Pelé and was integral to the 1958 Brazil team.

Garrincha: Although Garrincha gained more prominence in the following World Cups, he was part of the 1958 squad. Known for his incredible dribbling skills and flair, Garrincha would become one of Brazil’s football legends.

Nílton Santos: A reliable and skillful left-back, Nílton Santos was a key figure in Brazil’s defense during the 1958 World Cup. He had a distinguished career and played a crucial role in Brazil’s defensive stability.

Didi: Didi was a midfielder famous for his elegant style of play and playmaking abilities. He contributed both defensively and offensively, providing stability in the midfield for Brazil.

Bellini: Bellini served as the captain of the 1958 Brazil team and played as a central defender. He was a leader on the field and played an important role in organizing the defense.

Zito: Zito was a midfielder famous for his tenacity and work rate. He played an important role in balancing the midfield and supporting both defensive and attacking plays.


Bellini’s Gesture

The act of lifting the winning trophy is something very popular nowadays. But before the 1958 World Cup, nobody has ever done that, the captain of the Brazilian Team, Bellini, was the first one to ever do it and also made it popular for the future Brazilians titles to come, take a look:

1958 World Cup. Bellini was the first to raise the trophy on his hands.

After the victory, Paulo Machado de Carvalho, head of Brazilian delegation, tried to steal the ball of the game while the team was celebrating. He was caught and nowadays the ball can be found the Museu da Federação Paulista de Futebol.

Curiosities about the 1958 Soccer World Cup

Pelé crying in emotion for having won the 1958 World Cup.
Pelé crying in emotion for having won the 1958 World Cup. Picture by Wikicommons.

Pele’s Debut and Youngest Goal Scorer: The 1958 World Cup marked the debut of the legendary Pelé on the international stage. At 17 years and 239 days, he became the youngest goal scorer in World Cup history, a record that still stands.

Nordic World Cup: It was the first time a Nordic country hosted the World Cup and also the first time a Nordic country reached the finals! Such a special year for those people!

Just Fontaine’s Goal-Scoring Record: French striker Just Fontaine had an extraordinary goal-scoring run in the tournament, scoring 13 goals in just six matches. To date, this remains the highest number of goals scored by an individual in a single World Cup.

Goal Average Rule: The goal average rule was used in the 1958 World Cup to determine the group standings. This rule took into account the ratio of goals scored to goals conceded, as goal difference was not yet employed.

Adidas Boots Debut: The 1958 World Cup marked the debut of Adidas football boots. The German company provided boots for players in the tournament, and their presence in the world of football has since become ubiquitous.

Group Stage Format Changes: The 1958 World Cup introduced a new group stage format, where teams were divided into groups, and only the top two from each group advanced to the knockout stages. This format has been a staple in subsequent World Cups.

Biggest rout in a World Cup final: Yes, the 5-2 score was the most significant victory in a tournament final! It was exactly the same score as Brazil’s semi-final match against France.

The birth of a uniform: Final was between two teams wearing yellow shirt, so a draw was made to decide who had to change shirt. Brazil had to change, so Brazilians had to buy a Brazil’s substitute uniform fastly as they didn’t have any. On a run they found and bought blue shirts and white shorts. Carvalho, the coach to motivate his player ssaid that blue was de color of the mantel of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil. This uniform remains the Brazilian team’s alternative uniform to this day.

Pelé’s disagreement: While many people consider the 1970 team as one of the best to win a World Cup, Pelé believes that the 1958 team was the best. According to him, there were more players with individual talent on the 1958 team.

Sweden’s Sportsmanship Gesture: In the final between Brazil and Sweden, Brazil’s Nílton Santos suffered an injury. The Swedish players kicked the ball out of play to allow him to receive medical attention — a gesture of sportsmanship that became part of the World Cup history.

Exercise about 1958 World Cup and Brazil Victory!

After reading the text, complete the sentences:

  1. A copa do mundo de 1958 foi sediada na _____________.
  2. _____________ jogou pela primeira vez em uma copa aos 17 anos.
  3. O jogador Pelé reclamou várias vezes de dor no _____________.
  4. _____________ marcou 1 gol contra a Suécia na final.
  5. O gesto de levantar o troféu foi feito por _____________ pela primeira vez nesta copa.

That’s it, galera! Now you know everything about the 1958 World Cup! Which one was your favorite from the 1958 Brazil team? Subscribe at A Dica do Dia for more lessons about history, culture and grammar. Also follow us on Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram to see more about our school.

Bye, bye!
Hugs from Rio & Learn!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
1962 World Cup
1970 World Cup
Football Vocabulary in Portuguese
Sports in Portuguese


  1. Suécia
  2. Pelé
  3. joelho
  4. Zagallo
  5. Bellini

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