The Brazilian national team had been a huge disappointment in the previous two World Cups, partly due to the shadow of the great 1970 side hanging over them.
The 1978 campaign in Argentina was the low point, A Seleção for the first time played defensive football and it was rejected by everyone in Brazil.
Over the following four years they transformed themselves under the guidance of Telê Santana into one of the most thrilling football sides ever to appear at a World Cup.
Zico was the superstar of the side, but the leader Sócrates was a real icon too.
Their opening match was against the USSR in Seville. Brazil started brightly, and Zico and Serginho both had efforts at goal — yet it was the USSR who struck first in this match as Andriy Bal saw his long range shot go through the Brazilian goalkeeper’s hands after 15 minutes.
Brazil had to respond and it would take them until fifteen minutes from the end to finally find a breakthrough.
What Happened Next?
USSR had a goal disallowed before Brazil scored again a few minutes later through Éder – another wonderful goal.
Find out tomorrow in ’74’ for what happened next to Brazil in this World Cup.