England v Brazil: Five Classic Encounters


History has ensured that England vs Brazil is always a special occasion. The nation that gave birth to the game loves to test itself against the country that truly mastered it - and did so with such crowdpleasing swagger. Brazil, even when they haven't shone on the world stage for over a decade, are still a big deal, so were the obvious choice to face the Three Lions on the occasion of the FA's 150th anniversary. Ahead of the Wembley friendly, we've picked out five of the best matches between England and Brazil...

1970 - Brazil 1-0 England (World Cup)

This isn't just the most famous match between these two nations; it's one of the definitive World Cup games. The two sides met in the face melting Guadalajara heat in the second game of Group 3, knowing that whoever won would be blessed with a far easier route to the final. England, who boasted a defence that was the envy of most, set about frustrating the seleção's legion of breathtaking attackers. Bobby Moore's brave tackling set the tone, but it required a scarcely believable save from Gordon Banks to deny Pelé the opener (see below). In the end, the South Americans' pressure would pay off. Tostão danced past some flimsy challenges on the edge of the area and scooped a pass to Pelé, who squared for the onrushing Jairzinho. 'The Hurricane' made no mistake, blasting past Banks into the roof of the net. The World Cup holders toiled in the scorching sun, but were unable to find the equaliser. Brazil went on to lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time, while England trudged back to old Blighty after West Germany avenged their 1966 defeat.


1984 - Brazil 0-2 England (friendly)

Sometime you have to play your opponents at their own game. By 1984 Brazil were well-established as the protectors of o jogo bonito, with the likes of Socrates and Zico having taken up the baton as the 1970 generation faded. The 1982 World Cup may have ended in disappointment, but the Verde-Amarela would still have been confident of seeing off an England side that had failed to even qualify for the 1984 European Championships. But Bobby Robson's side stunned a packed crowd at the Maracana, thanks in no small part to John Barnes' wondergoal (see below). Receiving the ball on the left wing, Barnes sets off on a freewheeling run reminiscent of Brazilian great Garrincha. As defenders tried in vain to stop him, Barnes just kept going. And going. Eventually, he has the good sense to slot home, setting up a memorable victory. Mark Hately added a second (from a Barnes pass) to seal the win, but there was no doubting who the real hero was.


2002 - England 1-2 Brazil (World Cup)

Ah, another tale of what could have been for England. Sven-Goran Eriksson's side snuck through the group stages thanks in large part to a scrappy win against Argentina, but hopes were boosted by the 3-0 dismantling of Denmark in the round of 16. The reward was a quarter-final date with Brazil, in what would turn out to be one of the more heartbreaking quarter-final exits of the 2000s. Michael Owen gave the Three Lions a dream start, displaying his zippy opportunism to steal the ball from Lucio before dinking it brilliantly past Marcos. The equaliser, finished by Rivaldo following a bounding surge from Ronaldinho, was glorious, but England were still in the match at half-time. But anguish was just around the corner. There appeared to be little danger as Ronaldinho lined up a free-kick from miles out, but the ball looped cruelly over David Seaman and into the far corner. The toothy playmaker was later sent off, but Eriksson's side couldn't muster a fightback.


1962 - Brazil 3-1 England (World Cup)

Another major tournament, another Brazil win over England (I hope you've spotted the pattern here). There was very little argument over who was the better side in Chile, however; the seleção were in sensational form as their romped towards their second World Cup. The mercurial Garrincha was the star of the show, nodding home the opener before later adding a third with a curled effort from twenty yards. Plenty happened between those strikes - Gerry Hitchens notched an equaliser, Vavá restored Brazil's lead, Jimmy Greaves took care of a canine pitch invader (see video below) - but England never looked like living with Aymore Moreira's side.


1992 - England 1-1 Brazil (friendly)

This pre-Euro 92 friendly won't go down as a classic, but is certainly noteable for one reason. Gary Lineker had the chance to equal Bobby Charlton's record of 49 England goals when he stepped up to take a penalty against Brazil at Wembley. His record from 12 yards was excellent - he had scored all four of his spot-kicks for England - but on this occasion Lineker opted for a cheeky dink, only to look on in horror as Brazilian goalkeeper Carlos scrambled across his line to make a save. Lineker would never score again for his country as Match of the Day and dodgy crisp adverts beckoned.

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