Brazil Vs. England: The History

Matt SAnalyst INovember 10, 2009

England travel to Doha, Qatar on Saturday night for their final fixture of 2009 against Brazil.

Fabio Capello has overseen a successful calendar year which has seen England win seven of their ten matches so far, ensuring qualification for the World Cup in the process.

However, the Three Lions might want to look back into the history books before they get too excited about ending their season on a high against the five-time World Cup winners.

England have faced Brazil on twenty-two occasions but have won only three of these meetings, whereas a seleção ’s have won ten.

The sides met for the first time in 1956 at Wembley, and the home side, managed by Walter Winterbottom, triumphed 4-2 with Tommy Taylor scoring twice.

Fast-forward two years to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and Winterbottom’s side faced Brazil again, this time in the group stage of the competition.

England were still counting the cost of the Munich air disaster earlier that year and the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

It would prove to be the only match Brazil didn’t score in or win as they went on to win their first ever World Cup, demolishing the hosts in the final. It was also the first ever goalless match in World Cup history.

The two sides met again in the very next World Cup in Chile, this time at the quarter-final stage. Brazil triumphed 3-1 with two goals from Garrincha and would go on to successfully retain their title in the final against Czechoslovakia.

Two years later and England visited the Maracana for the first time to compete in the Taça das Nações , celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

The Three Lions were left humiliated by a 5-1 scoreline, with Pele amongst the goals for the home side. Argentina went on to win the tournament, beating Brazil 3-0 whereas England finished joint-bottom of the group with Portugal.

England were happier two years later in 1966 when they lifted the Jules Rimet trophy on home soil but suffered what was becoming a familiar fate four years later when they again lined up against Brazil in the group stages of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Brazil triumphed 1-0 in Guadalajara, Jairzinho scoring the only goal. However, the game has largely been remembered for Gordon Banks making that save from Pele, and the iconic image of the latter swapping shirts with England captain Bobby Moore.

Both sides progressed from the group but it was Brazil that went on to win the tournament for the third time, keeping the Jules Rimet trophy permanently in the process.

England’s only ever success on Brazilian soil was twenty-five years ago in 1984 when an inexperienced Bobby Robson side managed a fine 2-0 win in the Maracana, including a sensational individual effort from John Barnes .

Between 1956 and 1984 Brazil were undefeated in eleven matches against England, a record ended by this result. Only Sweden can boast a more impressive unbeaten streak against England, an ongoing total currently standing at twelve.

England’s last win over Brazil was back in 1990 when Gary Lineker scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in a friendly at Wembley.

The most recent competitive meeting between the two nations was at the 2002 World Cup, when they clashed in the quarter-finals in Shizoka.

Michael Owen capitalised on a defensive mistake to give Sven Goran Eriksson’s side the lead but Rivaldo equalised on the stroke of half-time. Four minutes into the second-half and Ronaldinho looped this free-kick over David Seaman before seeing red for a challenge on Danny Mills eight minutes later.

However, despite playing against ten men, England wilted in the heat and crashed out whilst Brazil went on to win their fifth title by beating Germany in the final.

The most recent meeting was in 2007 which saw England return to a newly rebuilt Wembley for the first time in six years. The friendly match finished 1-1 .

Captain John Terry gave Steve McClaren’s side the lead, heading home from a David Beckham free-kick, but England were denied a rare win over Brazil when Diego netted an equaliser in injury time.


England’s overall record vs. Brazil


P22      W3       D9        L10       F19       A30

England ’s record vs. Brazil on neutral ground


P7        W0       D2        L5         F3        A9


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