Watch The Greatest Goals From The Greatest Attacking Side Ever Assembled
For those with a preference for attacking football, there was no greater side than the one Brazil assembled for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. The fascinating talents of Zico, Socrates, Eder, Serginho, Falcao and even defender Junior combined to score a staggering 15 goals in five matches.
After thrilling throughout group play with victories over the Soviet Union, Scotland and New Zealand, Brazil’s reward for topping their group was a second round round-robin group with Italy and Argentina, immensely talented teams who’d both shockingly finished as runners-up in their own groups.
Brazil's 2-1 victory over the USSR
Socrates goal in the 76th minute vs. USSR
Eder goal in the 89th minute vs. USSR
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Brazil's 4-1 victory over Scotland
Zico goal in the 33rd minute vs. Scotland
Eder goal in the 63rd minute vs. Scotland
Falcao goal in the 87th minute vs. Scotland
Brazil's 4-0 victory over New Zealand
Zico goal in the 28th minute vs. New Zealand
Falcao goal in the 64th minute vs. New Zealand
All three of the matches for their second round group were predetermined to be hosted at Barcelona’s Sarria stadium rather than the 100,000-set Camp Nou. The official capacity of the Sarria was 44,000, but rampant supporters led to severe overcrowding as spectators crammed in to watch Brazil, an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona, Mario Kempes and Daniel Passarella and Italy’s Paolo Rossi, Franco Causio and Marco Tardelli.
The two matches involving Brazil in this group of death were two of the greatest in the history of the World Cup. In their first, Brazil came up against Maradona’s Argentina with La Albiceleste needing a victory after losing to Italy.
Brazil absolutely destroyed their opponents, securing a 3-0 lead by the 75th minute with three sensational goals. Such was the hurt that they put on their greatest rivals that Maradona was sent off in the 85th minute after deliberately kicking Batista in the chest.
Brazil's 3-1 victory over Argentina
Zico goal in the 11th minute after Eder’s unbelievable free kick vs. Argentina
Serginho goal in the 66th minute vs. Argentina
Junior goal in the 75th minute vs. Argentina
Brazil and Italy met in the final match of round-robin play, with the winner heading to the semifinals. Since Brazil defeated Argentina by a larger margin, a draw would’ve also seen them through. But Brazil played the only way the knew how, attacking relentlessly while Italy sat deep and picked their moments to counter.
Rossi opened the scoring for Italy in the fifth minute, only for Brazil to fight back with a great goal from Socrates.
Socrates goal in the 12th minute vs. Italy
A mistake in the back led to Italy’s second goal with Rossi again providing the finish. Brazil desperately searched for an equalizer and it arrived through Falcao in the 68th.
Falcao goal in the 68th minute vs. Italy
But this Brazilian side was undone by its inability to defend, and Rossi gave Italy a 3-2 advantage in the 74th minute. Oscar almost provided Brazil with the crucial equalizer, but legendary 40-year-old goalkeeper Dino Zoff saved his powerful header.
Brazil were sent crashing out, signaling the beginning of a dark era for the national team on the World Cup stage. Italy would go on to win the 1982 World Cup with victories over Poland in the semifinals and West Germany in the final.