Here is a presentation of the different lineups that marked the 1970 World Cup held in Mexico.
Starting with Brazil, one of the most fabulous World Champion team ever, if not the one, of course.
A team with a very compact offensive sector, a bit like Spain of the 2012 Euro, perfect for the practise of a game of redoubled short passes, with that as a difference that this 1970 Brazilian team certainly could find more the depth, with a player like Jairzinho, right wing and true spearhead of the team, in full-form during this tournament, to the point that he scored at least 1 goal in every match he played (7 goals in 6 matches).
An attack composed of the foramentionned Jair (#7) on the right, of the brilliant duo Pelé-Tostao in the middle with Pelé (#10) a bit more in support and Tostao (#9) a bit more at the forefront than otherwise and of Rivelino (#11), who, from the left side (or centre-left) benifited much of the versatility of his number 9, able to withdrawn or to take the left wing so the moustached Corinthians player could bring his powerful shots at the entry of the opponent box. Non-content of having this wonderful quator working perfectly with every player able to start or to finish the actions, Brazil could also count on a fantastic provider of good balls in Gérson (#8) who found often Jair or Pelé in the depth and what's more, who was endowed himself with a powerful and sharp shot (like he shown in the Final).
One last feature of this team was his two very offensive full-backs in Carlos Alberto, from the right side, and Everaldo, on the left side. Carlos Alberto who was also the captain, helped a lot his closest partner of the central defence too. He's also at the conclusion of what is known as the "wondergoal", the last of the 4 goals made by the Seleçao in the Final against Italy, and the last of the 19 Auriverde goals in this Mundial.
Here's the typical 11 of Brazil at the 1970 World Cup...with what I like to call its "accordion attack" - as each player were alternatively at midefield or at the forefront.
+ Paulo César Lima "Caju". By the way, Gerson more right hand of the midfield and Clodolaldo more left hand is an adjustment which was done during the Final, it was usually otherwise, even though it was "rotating" anyway.
Here's the Brazilian fourth goal in the Final, the "Wondergoal" :
Here's now the Runner-up team, the Squadra Azzura, Italy :
The European champion. Starting more his actions from the left side in 1968 (at the Euro), Riva was here associated with Boninsegna in the centre of the attack. What caused some interferences.
The question of a hypothetical combination Rivera and Mazzola (or Mazzola and Rivera) was resolved by what remains famous as the "staffetta" (relay) : there was an alternance as to know who starts the match between the Milanista Rivera, and the Interista Mazzola. Judged more constant, Mazzola had the total favor of the NT coach Valcareggi during the first round where Rivera only appeared once playing the second half of the last game with Israel, entering instead of Domenghini, so to play with his rival, here.
The "staffetta" begins in the knockout stage as Mazzola plays the first 45 minutes against Mexico and Rivera the second half. In this context, Rivera appeared of course like a big plus offensivily, in the creation, but also at the conclusion (an aspect of the game that Mazzola had abandonned by then). But that was only the Mexican team. Same again in the Semi-final with West Germany : Mazzola plays the first half, and Rivera the second half. But this match will be an epic of 120 minutes at the end of which Italy will eventually imposes by 4 to 3. This was called and will be forever called " The Match of the Century". The one who scored the fourth goal in the wake of the equalizer by Gerd Müller, the one who would be the savior of the nation, is Gigi Rivera.
Mazzola will be however preferred to him, once again, to start in the Final against Brazil. And this time, Rivera would enter only at the 84th minute. It was already 3-1 for Brazil and it will be 4-1.
West Germany, loosing side of the "Match of the Century" (they have won other matches before and after), and winner of the little final (against Uruguay); third rank.
|WEST GERMANY 1970|
Seen as a complicated thing at the start, the duo Seeler and Müller shown greats things. Gerd Müller finished top scorer with 10 goals. Beckenbauer, the big revelation of the last World Cup, in England, was the great master of this team.
England : the title holder was beaten in the quarter-finals by 3 to 2 after they had lead by 2-nil. That was against the West German team.
England met the future World Champion Brazil in the first round for a loss 1-0 with a goal by Jairzinho obviously, served by Tostao who nutmeged Moore and Pelé as a last relay. That was at the hour of play. Moore remains probably more famous for an impeccable tackle on the same Jairzinho, in the first half.
This Three Lions team was seen as a better side than the one that won the World Cup four years earlier. Yes, maybe.
Like U.S.S.R, the Uruguyan Celeste went through the group stage by a mousehole. The South Americans beat this same Soviet team in the Quarter-finals thanks to a goal scored by Espárrago during extra-time (1-0).
Presented as they started against Brazil :
Usually a starter, Espárrago came here from the bench (instead of Fontes) like against the Soviets. Is that he had to left his partners at the 60th minute in the last match of group against Sweden. An 1-0 loss but Uruguay progressed, not Sweden due to a better goal difference, +1 against 0, from that very complicated group 2 (Uruguay, Sweden, Israel, Italy).
Probably its greatest talent, the Celeste could not count anymore on Pedro Rocha, injured after only 10-15 minutes of play in the their first match in the competition, against Israel.
More attractive was Peru with its beautiful jersey and his seducing game. La Blanquirroja reached here in this 1970 Mexican World Cup the Quarter-finals (Brazil) and here's its typical formation, with Cubillas in command :
The young Sotil was in concurrence with Baylon, a more physical forward.
At last, Romania was a quality sparring partner for Brazil in the group 3 (Brazil, England, Czechoslovakia and Romania) and they'll complete the gallery as a sort of bonus. Presented with their second jersey, the one they used against Brazil which played in yellow as well.
They played in a quite "classical formation" with the authoritary Dinu as the fourth defender, sweeper before the defense (into which the right back Satamareanu was the only one to venture forward at times) and linkman at the same time when Dimitru was a strict defensive midfielder. Cornered, the team looked more like a 4-4-2 or even a 4-5-1.
Sweden, a bit unfortunate in the group 2, had some good players in his ranks like the playmaker Leif Eriksson, the midfielder Bo Larsson (iconic figure of Malmö FF, until Zlatan) and most of all the striker Ove Kindvall who partnered with Ove Grahn. The captain was the central defender Björn Nordqvist, another good element of a team which struggled a bit finally into this tournament in Mexico, in spite of some favorable arguments.
As unattractive as this Uruguay '70, Soviet Union's game was as usual most of all based on defensive plans but this time without genius upfront, exception made of the Dynamo Kiev striker Byshovets. Players who stood out in consequence belongs more to the defensive line, where the U.S.S.R could count on the experienced Shesternev and the impressive Khurtsilava. Yashin, present in the group still, was not the starter anymore in the woods.
Morocco was the first African team allowed to participate in World Cup finals since Egypt in 1934 and represented his continent with honour (1 pt won).
Belgium and his star Van Himst (very good in a role of playmaker but not decisive enough) shown some limitations at this level of competition. Defeated by Mexico, they did not go through the group stage.Israel revealed two interesting players in Spiegel (the captain) and Spiegler. El Salvador, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia never convinced much (so they naturally finished last of their respective groups). Just like Mexico, which necessarilly reached the quarter-finals of his Mundial, don't ask how.
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(I could rewrite the Mundial 82 and 86 articles).