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That the 1962 tournament was staged at all is something close to a miracle- in May 1960, as the preparations were well under way, Chile suffered the largest earthquake ever recorded (9.5 magnitude).
The president of the Organization Committee, Carlos Dittborn, coined the phrase Because we don’t have anything, we will do everything in our power to rebuild, and the preparations were completed flawlessly on schedule.
The fact that two Italian journalists, Antonio Ghiredelli and Corrado Pizzinelli, had (apparently) spent weeks labeling Santiago a poverty-stricken dump full of loose women set the tone for the Chile vs Italy game, which became known as The Battle of Santiago. Ref Ken Aston fanned the flames by turning a blind eye to the indiscretions of the hosts- but when Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini was dismissed he had to be removed from the pitch by the police!
The Soviet Union’s Lev Yashin had a difficult tournament- he suffered concussion on two occasions. Marcos Coll of Columbia scored the only Olympic Goal in a World Cup against him in a 4: 4 draw, and then Yashin was held culpable as the hosts beat the Soviet team in the quarter finals. On this occasion Yashin’s embarrassment was compounded when Eladio Rojas, overwhelmed at having scored past the world’s best, could not restrain himself from embracing the Soviet keeper.
Another curious incident involving the Soviet team came in their game against Uruguay, when Igor Netto advised the referee that an apparent goal by his team mate Chislenko had in fact entered via the side netting. (Thierry Henry? Maradona?)
For the eventual champions Brazil Pele’s contribution was brief, as he was injured early in their second game (against Czechoslovakia). Fortunately for Brazil Garrincha was in the best form of his life, prompting the now famous headline in the El Mercurio newspaper:

¿De qué planeta procede Garrincha?

Sadly, the usually immaculate Czech goalkeper Viliam Schrojf, a hero of earlier stages, suffered the indignity of having the worst game of his career in the final.


One Comment

  1. It will be great to watch World Cup 2010 – Quarter-Finals: 2, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.

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