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FIFA World Cup History

Sweden 1958 FIFA World Cup

1958 World Cup Betting

Year: 1958

Participants: 16

Countries: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Hungary, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Paraguay, Scotland, Sweden, USSR, West Germany, Wales, Yugoslavia

Championship: Brazil 5, Sweden 2

Top goal scorer: Just Fontaine, France (13)

The 1958 World Cup was the first for Brazil's Pele, who was just 17 years old at the time. Pele would play in three more World Cups, but it was his performance here that would put him on the path to becoming an international sports star. Pele didn't play in the first two games, but would still finish with six goals and lead Brazil to the championship.

In the quarterfinals against the Welsh, Pele scored what he would later call "the most important goal of my career" in a 1-0 victory for Brazil.

Against France in the semifinals, Pele scored three times within a 20-minute span of the second half and turned a 2-1 lead for Brazil into a 5-2 victory.

This World Cup is noteworthy for the emergence of the 4-2-4, courtesy of Brazil. . . .

This was the first time all four United Kingdom teams -- England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland -- all qualified for the World Cup. This World Cup also marked the debut of the Soviet Union. . . .

Just Fontaine had a remarkable World Cup for France. He scored four goals in a 6-3 triumph over West Germany in a consolation match and finished the tournament with 13 goals -- a record that still stands today.

Sweden was chosen to host the World Cup because of its neutrality. This was the largest World Cup ever, with 53 countries participating and all the continents represented. Only Cyprus, Turkey and Venezuela did not participate. . . .

Argentina was ousted 6-1 by Czechoslovakia, and was greeted by an angry mob when they returned home.

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