Jairzinho and the 15 Most Iconic Brazil World Cup Goals
As is to be expected of five-time champions, Brazil have contributed greatly to the rich tapestry of the FIFA World Cup, including some of the most iconic goals in its history.
Iconic, of course, doesn't always mean best. Some goals have gone down in World Cup folklore for the moment that they captured, or the story behind the goal. There are many reasons.
From Pele in 1958, via Garrincha, Jairzinho, Eder and Carlos Alberto, through to Ronaldo in 2006, Brazil can claim ownership of many of those goals that have defined World Cup competition.
So let's take a look at the 15 most iconic goals scored by Brazil in FIFA World Cup action.
Honourable Mention: Marta vs. USA, 2007
Women's football is a much-derided sport at times, with people tending to ignore the positive aspects and focus on some of the more suspect defending and goalkeeping on show.
Among the very top teams, though, it is a sport that is both entertaining and technically strong. Few, if any, have been better than Player of the Tournament and five-time World Player of the Year Marta.
The women's game's equivalent of Ronaldinho, Marta helped inspire her Brazil side to second place in the 2007 World Cup in China. This special goal helped complete a 4-0 semifinal rout over USA.
The Brazilian made a fool of Tina Ellertson with a smart flick at the edge of the box, before turning another defender and firing home.
Say what you want about women playing football; it is a goal that would grace the highest levels of the men's game.
15. Edmilson vs. Costa Rica, 2002
It's something of a stereotype that Brazilian centre-backs are attacking players who can prove suspect defensively and have a penchant for the overhead kick.
Edmilson, in scoring this goal, does nothing to change that reputation.
Brazil would go on to win the 2002 World Cup with Edmilson contributing greatly in a defensive midfield role. As effectively Brazil's third centre-back, his presence allowed wing-backs Cafu and Roberto Carlos to push forward.
The technique on this flying, sideways overhead kick, though, would be the former Lyon and Barcelona player's standout moment of the successful campaign.
14. Pele vs. Italy, 1970
It is a goal that doesn't appear particularly special at first glance but will go down as one of the greatest headed goals in World Cup history.
Pele, en route to his third world title, is remembered for the skillful and intelligent No. 10 that he was. However, as the video shows, his athleticism and aerial ability meant he could have been the perfect No. 9 had he so wished.
The spring to hang in the air above the defender is astounding, while the strength required to head a looping cross with such power into the bottom corner should not be overlooked.
It is fashionable to downplay Pele's contribution to Brazil's successes at World Cup, but there should be no forgetting the great man's ability to score and supply vital goals on the biggest occasions.
13. Garrincha vs. England, 1962
At No. 13 on our list comes the first entry of the marvellous Garrincha, and this marvellous curled effort past England goalkeeper Ron Springett is more than deserving.
Garrincha terrified England throughout the encounter, and, indeed, it is somewhat of a surprise that he did not add more goals to his tally on the day.
The winger's accuracy with the leather ball is phenomenal, and while questions must be raised over the closing down, few could have expected such a lethal finish.
Garrincha finished as the joint-top scorer in the 1962 tournament with four goals. This is the event that many of his backers point to as demonstration of his superiority to the legendary Pele.
His goals were certainly quite spectacular.
12. Ronaldo vs. Germany, 2002
A goal that is iconic more for its historical context than the actual move that led to the ball hitting the back of the net, as Ronaldo banished his demons to write himself into the annals of history.
Eight goals in one tournament is quite phenomenal, but it was the two strikes that downed Germany in the final that laid to rest four years of pain for the man who is reported to have suffered either a heart attack or a seizure ahead of the 1998 World Cup final (Goal.com).
Whatever the reasoning, his performance in the final in Paris was greatly affected. Of course, that led to accusations of him having failed his country on the biggest stage.
Four years later, though, those ghosts were all laid to rest. Ronaldo defined the 2002 World Cup in a way that only a few players had before him. It was the game that created a legend.
11. Bebeto vs. Netherlands, 1994
Another goal more iconic for its celebration than the goal itself is Bebeto's strike against the United States. The thousands and thousands of cradles rocked on a football pitch since can all be blamed on the diminutive Brazilian forward.
The goal itself was fairly unremarkable, as Bebeto seized upon defensive indecision sparked by the presence of Romario to take possession of the loose ball, round the goalkeeper and finish.
The celebration, though, has gone down in folklore as the future politician celebrated the recent birth of his son Mattheus.
Mattheus, an 18-year-old member of Brazil's Under-20 squad, is now beginning to forge his own career in football. It has recently been reported that this summer he will make his move to European football with Juventus (Sky Sports).
10. Garrincha vs. Bulgaria, 1966
Garrincha makes the list once more, and this time it is with the outside of his magical right foot, as he sends a rocket of a free kick into the top corner of the Bulgarian net.
Brazil's campaign in 1966 would end at the first stage, as alcohol had begun to take its toll on the performances of the magical Garrincha. However, he would part the international scene with one last golden memory.
The tale of Garrincha is a cautionary one regarding his off-field excesses that ultimately cut short his life on earth. His life on a football pitch, though, was one that deserves to be remembered.
He was a truly special player.
9. Eder vs. USSR, 1982
The Brazil 1982 World Cup side is one of the most fondly remembered in history, with the likes of Socrates, Zico, Rivellino and Falcao rolling off the tongue.
It says much for the quality of the side that left-winger Eder is often forgotten despite two stunning goals in the competition.
Receiving the ball outside the area, the forward flicked the ball up with his first touch before volleying home in wonderful style to leave the USSR keeper stranded and seal victory for his side in the 87th minute.
Brazil would sail through the opening group stage before unexpectedly crashing out in the second round. It was goals such as Eder's that installed the Brazil 1982 side so firmly in the world's footballing conscience.
8. Ronaldo vs. Ghana, 2006
It was the goal that placed Ronaldo above all others in the pantheon of great World Cup goalscorers, as Ronaldo scored his 15th in World Cup competition to help Brazil to a 3-0 second-round victory over Ghana.
Receiving the ball from a gloriously timed Kaka through-ball, the No. 9 showed some of his trademark footwork to deceive 'keeper Richard Kingson and leave himself with an open goal in which to finish.
His World Cup career would not end in glory, with Brazil crashing out to France at the quarterfinal stage. Ronaldo, though, will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever to play the game.
By his high standards, it is a far from exceptional goal, but it is a goal that highlights the qualities that brought Ronaldo great success for the entire duration of his outstanding career.
7. Rivaldo vs. England, 2002
While Ronaldinho's later free kick would grab the headlines, it was Rivaldo's goal against England at the 2002 competition that highlighted this team's unbelievable attacking quality.
With Ronaldo not even involved in the move, Ronaldinho picked up the loose ball in midfield and turned towards goal, running powerfully at the defence.
Some wonderful footwork at speed bought him time and space from the attentions of Ashley Cole, before the former PSG and Barcelona man drew the centre-back before laying the ball off to Rivaldo to his right.
A first-time left-footed strike later and Brazil were level in the encounter. It was one of their most challenging moments on the path to World Cup success, and the excellence of a youthful Ronaldinho was enough to help them pull through.
In terms of importance to the 2002 World Cup win, it is a goal right up there with Ronaldo's efforts in the final.
6. Eder vs. Scotland, 1982
A goal that just screams quality and another defining moment of the 1982 side provided by the wonderful Eder.
Socrates began the attack with a charge through the middle before laying off to target man Serginho. The Santos idol was able to turn and slip a pass to Eder, unmarked on the left, and the forward made no mistake.
While his other featured goal in this list was a fiercely struck volley, Eder showed his delicate side with a deft lob that sailed over the stranded goalkeeper and into the far corner.
They may not have won the World Cup, or have even gotten past the second round, but it is clear to see just why this iteration of the Selecao has become so revered the world over.
5. Pele vs. Sweden, 1958
Predictably, Pele is back once more and this time as a precocious 17-year-old playing in the final of the 1958 World Cup against hosts Sweden.
Brazil would go on to win the encounter 5-2 and seal their first ever World Cup triumph, but it was their third goal scored by Pele that would capture the imagination of the watching audience.
Controlling the ball in the area, the young forward chipped the ball over his marker before smashing a volley past the helpless Swedish goalkeeper.
Pele would go on to score another in the final and win two further World Cups in 1962 and 1970. For all his brilliance, he would never match the individual brilliance of this strike at a World Cup again.
4. Jairzinho vs. England, 1970
A first entry on the list for inside forward Jairzinho, as he finished off a fine team goal to give his side a 1-0 victory against reigning world champions England.
From the technical ability of Tostão, to the vision of Pele, to the fine finish by the Botafogo winger, there is so much to like about this goal. The fact there are three better goals to come is quite remarkable.
It is a goal that helped shape Brazil's third World Cup success and saw them overcome one of their true contenders for the overall title in Mexico.
Jairzinho would end as the tournament's second top scorer with seven goals, having broken into the side four years earlier. He is remembered to this day as one of the best exponents of his position of all time.
3. Josimar vs. N. Ireland, 1986
The 1986 Brazil side is far from fondly remembered. However, this stunning effort from Botafogo right-back Josimar is right up there with the greatest Brazil goals of all time.
With his teammates waiting for a cross into the area, the full-back opted against searching for one of their heads in favour of an effort at goal. And some effort it was too.
Brazil would beat their Irish opponents comfortably, thanks to two further goals from Careca, but would bow out of the tournament at the quarterfinal stage with a penalty shootout defeat to France.
They may not have had title memories to savour, but Josimar's wonderful strike will live long in the minds of those who bore witness.
2. Nelinho vs. Italy, 1978
If you are going to equalise to help your side come back to earn third place in a World Cup, this is the way to do it.
When now-Vasco da Gama president Roberto Dinamite played the ball out to right-back Nelinho, it appeared nothing was on.
However, rather than the expected cross into the area, the Cruzeiro icon unleashed a thunderbolt that swerved violently into the far corner of Dino Zoff's net. The Italian legend was left helpless.
Brazil would go on to claim the win thanks to a late Dirceu effort, but there was no stopping Nelinho claiming the headlines for one of the World Cup's best-ever goals.
No. 1: Carlos Alberto vs. Italy, 1970
Poor Italy had also been on the receiving end eight years earlier in what many consider to be the greatest World Cup goal of all time. A certain Diego Maradona may, though, beg to differ.
The 86th minute of a World Cup final is not a bad time to produce such an effort, and Carlos Alberto did just that to seal a memorable 4-1 victory for the Brazil side of 1970.
Only this last week, both Franz Beckenbauer and Sir Bobby Charlton were reported by Super Esportes (Portuguese) to regard the side as the best of of all time.
Carlos Alberto's goal showed them at their best. Watch the video attached and listen to the man himself explain the most famous goal in the history of the Brazilian national side. Simply awesome.