Mea Copa – 1986 Semi-Finalists: Brazil

In the continued series of posts about the 4 semi-finalists in my Mea Copa replay of the 1986 World Cup played in Mexico, today I highlight the Brazilian National Team.

Note:  For more information about the game, Mea Copa, please refer to this post.

Superstars Zico and Socrates, captains of The Seleção in Mexico 1986

BRAZIL

When the tournament began, Brazil was the consensus pick to win the Cup.  Led by Socrates and Careca, and with the legendary Zico coming off the bench, the seleção seemed set to redeem themselves after a disastrous exit from the 1982 World Cup held in Spain.

Things couldn’t have started off better in 1986, however, as they breezed into the Quarterfinals, scoring 9, allowing 0 against Spain, Northern Ireland, Algeria, and Poland.

But in the Quarterfinals, the Brasileiros met a worthy opponent in Michael Platini and the French side.

It was Michael Platini’s 31st birthday, June 21, 1986, when France and Brazil squared off with a slot in the Semi-Finals at stake.  Though on the downside of his career (he would retire just a year later), he was still a feared striker.

cut from the newspaper account of the game

 

Through the magic of youtube.com, the match – in it’s entirety! – is embedded below.  Watch it, football fans.  It’s a triumph of “total football” or “futebol arte.”  It was a classic game, worthy of the hype.  I won’t give away the ending, but if you’d rather read about it, here is a newspaper account of the match from the Sydney Herald.

It’s amazing to me that we live in a world where this kind of history is readily available with 5 minutes of searching the internet.  Enjoy!

When the Group Stage of this Mea Copa replay was over and the Round of 16 was set, I was excited to see that Brazil and France were in different sides of the bracket – meaning that there was a potential in this replay for a World Cup Final pitting these two powers against each other.  I admit I was disappointed when Spain pulled out the last minute 2-1 (a.e.t.) victory against a higher ranked French squad.

Brazil’s superior squad should have a slight advantage over the lower-ranked Mexican side in the Semi-Final matchup, but playing at altitude against the home country anything can happen.  I look forward to the match.

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