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 12/12/04 01:10 EST

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1970 World Cup, Mexico

The 1970 World Cup is now so identified with the dazzling Gold, Blue and Green of Brazil that it needs restating that it took place in Mexico. Willing hosts, the Mexicans provided a stage for some of the most sublime International football ever played. The mighty Azteca stadium, the speed of the ball at altitude, and the glaring tropical sun all combined to present the greatest tournament held to date.

England had won the previous World Cup on home turf, but were confident they could retain the trophy, while other European challengers included Italy and West Germany.

The Brazilians were undoubted favourites, and beat England 1-0 in an epic group stage encounter. This was their stiffest task until the final itself, where they faced an Italy team who had eliminated Mexico and West Germany along the way.

Italy's World Cup dominance had been before the War, with back to back victories in 1934 and 1938, but whoever won this match was going to be the first team to win three World Cups, and get to keep the solid gold Jules Rimet trophy. Brazil totally outplayed the Italians, however, and goals from Pele, Gerson, Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto were answered only by Boninsegna.

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