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Beautiful Team: In Search of Pele and the 1970 Brazilians [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Garry Jenkins

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2. August 1999
Brazil won the 1970 World Cup with an exhibition of the most fluid, exhilarating football ever witnessed. Their young prodigy Jairzhino scored in every match. Tostao, Rivelino, Clodoaldo and Gerson emerged as masters of what became known as "samba football" -- slow, elegant moves punctuated by cobra-sharp strikes that often led to breathtaking goals. In a team of jewels, however, Pele, the Black Pearl, stood supreme. Brazil's 4-1 demolition of a cynical Italy in the Final remains the most joyous climax the tournament has ever witnessed. For many, the 1970 Brazilians epitomised all that is beautiful about the beautiful game, and they are revered not just in their home country but around the world. In THE BEAUTIFUL TEAM Garry Jenkins journeys to Brazil to track down the surviving members of that unforgettable eleven and talk to them about their memories of the World Cup. From the chaotic cabinet room of Pele's Sports Ministry in Brasilia to the home of the reclusive Tostao; from Carlos Alberto's soccer school in Rio to the Sao Paulo garage where Felix is still defending his calamitous contribution to the 1970 campaign, this is a travelogue into footballing legend. As colourful as Brazilian culture itself, THE BEAUTIFUL TEAM is a fascinating -- and often touching -- collection of personal histories and a celebration of the most revered team the world has ever known.



"In hindsight it seems natural that (they) should have arrived in our living room the year after the first moon landing. They were, after Apollo11, the second great event of the new telecultural age."

Garry Jenkins journey in search of Pelé and the 1970 Brazilians began when he was a 12 year old, living in a small village in West Wales, and dazzled by the images on his television.

The Mexico World Cup was the first to be widely broadcast in colour and multi-racial Brazil, brilliant in gold and blue against the bleached turf, embraced the new palette as if it had been created for them.

World Cup winners define successive epochs in the game and the way it is won. The casual brilliance of the Brazilians was the fullest expression to date of everything that is beautiful about the sport.

Jenkins meets the surviving titans and finds unexpected answers to the questions of how they came to play the way they did and why the world has waited in vain for the Brazilians to show us again the summits that can be reached by 11 men and a football.

Following their progress from ignominious defeat in the 1966 tournament to the legendary dismissal of Italy and the rest of the world four years later, Jenkins vividly recreates the games themselves, but it is the stories from off the pitch that make this a uniquely entertaining portrait.

This thoughtfully crafted work is infinitely richer than the usual, breathless homages to the team. A definitive tribute to the definitive 11. --Alex Hankin


An account of the journey by the author to Brazil to track down the surviving members of the 1970 world cup team. The players talk about their memories of the world cup and the events leading up to it.

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