Carlos Alberto, Brazil’s World Cup-winning captain at Mexico 1970, has passed away at the age of 72.
Alberto’s presence in the Brazil side that won the country’s third World Cup would be enough to confirm his legend – but one contribution in particular has truly cemented it.
It came with Brazil 3-1 up against Italy in the 1970 World Cup final and the result was one of the greatest team goals ever scored.
After goals from Pele, Gerson and Jairzinho had put Brazil in control, a bedraggled Italy attempted in vain to make a late foray into Brazil’s half.
It came to nothing and Tostao ran away with the ball. Brazil knocked five passes around with a nonchalance they had entirely earned and the ball made its way to Clodoaldo.
Clodoaldo’s next move was to take the ball away from four Italians with a supreme succession of the most sumptuous shoulder drops and stepovers you’re ever likely to see. The crowd greeted the skill with a roar and Clodoaldo moved the ball on to Roberto Rivelino.
Rivelino received the ball on the left wing, just before the centre circle, before firing a long ball up to his team mate Jairzinho, whose touch was so good it undermined the power with which Rivelino had hit it.
Jairzinho then turned and jogged menacingly towards Italy’s captain, Giacinto Fachetti, who squared up to the Brazilian on the edge of the penalty area, and forced him to play the ball to Pele, in the centre.
Pele took a couple of touches, and then slowed everything down. With all the effort of a parent playing football in the park with their kids, Pele nudged the ball into what looked to be an empty space.
But then Carlos Alberto came into view like a steam train, and walloped the ball, with the aid of a friendly bobble, right into the opposite corner of Enrico Albertosi’s net.
The goal added gloss to the scoreline and was the perfect way for one of the greatest football teams of all time to show just how good they were.