Uruguay v Brazil (1950 FIFA World Cup): Wikis


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Event 1950 FIFA World Cup
Date 16 July 1950
Venue Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Referee George Reader (England)
Attendance 173,850

Uruguay vs Brazil was the final match of the final group stage at the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The match was played at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 16 July 1950. With Brazil one point ahead of Uruguay going into the match, Uruguay needed a win while Brazil needed only to avoid defeat to claim the title of world champions.

Brazil took the lead shortly after half-time through Friaça, but Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalized for Uruguay mid-way through the half before Alcides Ghiggia hit the winning goal with just 11 minutes remaining in the match. The result is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in football history, and the term Maracanazo (Portuguese: Maracanaço, roughly translated as "The Maracanã Blow") has become synonymous with the match.



Positions before the final round
Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 Brazil 2 2 0 0 13 2 6.500 4
 Uruguay 2 1 1 0 5 4 1.250 3
 Spain 2 0 1 1 3 8 0.375 1
 Sweden 2 0 0 2 3 10 0.300 0

The road to the title in the 1950 World Cup was unique; instead of a knockout stage, the preliminary group stage was followed by another round-robin group. The final four teams were Brazil (host country and joint-top scorers from the group stage), Uruguay (who only had to play one match in their group, an 8–0 thrashing of Bolivia), Spain (who won all three of their group matches, against England, Chile and the United States), and Sweden (who qualified ahead of defending world champions, Italy).

Brazil won both of their first two matches convincingly, beating Sweden 7–1 and Spain 6–1 to go top of the group with four points going into the final match. With three points, Uruguay were close behind in second place, although they had had to come back from 2–1 down to draw 2–2 with Spain, before beating Sweden 3–2, the winning goal coming just five minutes from time. Coincidentally, and not by design, this resulted in the teams' final positions hinging on the last two fixtures. The match between Sweden and Spain would determine which team would take third place, with Sweden needing a win to move ahead of Spain, while Spain would claim third place with a draw. The match between Brazil and Uruguay, on the other hand, would decide the title; a draw would grant Brazil the title, whereas Uruguay had to win the match in order to win the championship.

Anticipated celebration

The specialized press and the general public had already started claiming Brazil as the new world champions for days prior to the final match, and they had reasons to do so. Brazil had won their last two matches with a very attack-minded style of play against which all efforts had proved fruitless. Uruguay, however, had encountered difficulties in their matches with Spain and Sweden, managing only a draw against Spain and a narrow victory over Sweden. When those results were compared, it seemed that Brazil were set to defeat Uruguay as easily as they had dispensed with Spain and Sweden.

On the morning of 16 July 1950, the streets of Rio de Janeiro were bustling with activity. An improvised carnival was organized, with thousands of signs celebrating the world title, and chants of "Brazil must win!". This spirit never ceased, right up until the final minutes of the match, which filled the Maracanã stadium with a paid attendance of 173,830 and an attendance estimated to be about 210,000 (a record for a football match that remains to this day).[1]

How Uruguay prepared

In Uruguay's locker room in the moments prior to the match, coach Juan López informed his team that their best chance of surviving the powerful offensive line of Brazil would come through adopting a defensive strategy. After he left, Obdulio Varela, captain of the team, stood up and addressed the team himself, saying "Juancito is a good man, but today, he is wrong. If we play defensively against Brazil, our fate will be no different from Spain or Sweden". Varela then delivered an emotional speech about how they must face all the odds and not to be intimidated by the fans or the opposing team. The speech, as was later confirmed, played a huge part in the final outcome of the game. In response to his squad's underdog status, the captain delivered the memorable line, "Muchachos, los de afuera son de palo. Que comience la función", which could be translated as "Boys, outsiders don't play. Let the show begin".




16 July 1950
15:00 BRT
Uruguay  2 – 1  Brazil Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Attendance: 173,850[2]
Referee: George Reader (England)
Schiaffino Goal 66'
Ghiggia Goal 79'
(Report) Friaça Goal 47'
GK Roque Máspoli
SW Matías González
RB Víctor Rodríguez Andrade
CB Eusebio Tejera
LB Schubert Gambetta
CM Julio Pérez
CM Obdulio Varela (c)
CM Omar Oscar Míguez
RF Alcides Ghiggia
CF Juan Alberto Schiaffino
LF Rubén Morán
Uruguay Juan López Fontana
GK Moacyr Barbosa
RB Augusto
CB Juvenal
LB Bigode
DM José Carlos Bauer
DM Danilo
AM Zizinho
AM Jair
RF Friaça
CF Ademir
LF Chico
Brazil Flávio Costa


The game began the way most people had already foreseen: an avalanche of Brazilian attacks against the Uruguayan defensive line. Unlike Spain and Sweden, however, the Uruguayans managed to withstand the barrage of shots launched against their goal by the Brazilian strikers. The first half ended scoreless, and even though the score still favored Brazil, Uruguay's strategy managed to subdue the intensity of the crowd.

Brazil scored the first goal of the match only two minutes after the interval, re-igniting the crowd's reaction. Once again, Varela played a big role when he took the ball and disputed the validity of the goal to the referee (arguing that the player was offside). Varela calmed down, then took the ball to the center of the field, and shouted to his team, "Now, it's time to win!".

Then, Uruguay actually managed to turn the tide on Brazil. When faced with a capable Uruguayan attack, Brazil showed their defensive frailty, and Juan Alberto Schiaffino scored the equalizer in the 66th minute. The crowd died down a bit, before erupting into cheers for their local team again shortly after (since the draw still favoured Brazil). Later, Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia, running down the right side of the field, scored another goal, with only 11 minutes remaining on the clock. The crowd was now dead quiet and remained so until English referee George Reader signalled the end of the match with Uruguay winning 2–1. Former FIFA president and mastermind of the World Cup, Jules Rimet, would then comment about what happened, "The silence was morbid, sometimes too difficult to bear". The once roaring crowd of two hundred thousand people stood in disbelief as they were being "stripped" of a title they had already considered rightfully theirs.


Final positions
Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 Uruguay 3 2 1 0 7 5 1.400 5
 Brazil 3 2 0 1 14 4 3.500 4
 Sweden 3 1 0 2 6 11 0.545 2
 Spain 3 0 1 2 4 11 0.364 1

Jules Rimet had already prepared a speech in Portuguese to congratulate the winners, whom he expected to be Brazil. With their result and celebration trounced, the organizers of the World Cup left Rimet alone on the field, holding the cup in his hands. Without any fancy ceremony to back him up, Rimet had to actually call out for Varela in order to present him with the trophy. The Brazilian Football Confederation had made 22 gold medals with the names of the players imprinted on them (at that time, FIFA did not present medals to the winning team), which eventually had to be disposed of. A Brazilian victory song entitled "Brasil os vencedores" ("Brazil The Victors"), was composed several days prior to the final and was to be played in anticipation of a Brazilian win. The song was never performed.

Brazilian society was in utter shock after the event. Many newspapers refused to accept the fact that they had been defeated, famous radio journalist Ary Barroso (briefly) retired, and some fans even went so far as to commit suicide.[3] The players of the time were vilified by the fans. Many went silently into retirement, while some others were never considered for the national team again.

Brazil decided to change the design of their national uniforms after the defeat since they considered it to be a jinx. Before the Maracanazo, Brazil's home shirt was white with a blue neckline along with white shorts, and this is when they changed it for what they use today, yellow shirt with a green neckline along with blue shorts.

"Maracanazo" as slang

The term Maracanazo is often used as a slang in Latin American football culture. It usually refers to the victory of an underdog playing in Maracanã stadium either against the Brazil national football team or against one of the so called quatro grandes (Portuguese for the big four, referring to the four most popular teams in the city; namely Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo).


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