Another true football great passed away today. Carlos Alberto The guy who scored what many regard as the greatest team goal ever scored.

When Brazil scored their fourth goal the in the 1970 world cup final. Me and my mates were in in raptures we talked about it all night . .then all week. In fact 46 years on, we are still talking about it. but was it what it seemed ?

Until I recently watched a Sky tribute which included interviews with most of the players involved, I was convinced this iconic goal was a result of some wonderful pieces of improvisation from half-a-dozen truly world class players. It seems I was wrong. Astonishingly the whole thing was planned by the Brilliant Brazil Manager Mario Zagallo . .Rivelino tells us he even went through it piece by piece BEFORE the game.

Zagallo was viewed as a bit of a nutter by many Brazilians at the time. They were baffled when he decided to play Gerson, Tostao, Jairzinho, Rivelino and of course Pele all in the same team. That may seem obvious when you consider how brilliant they all were, but not so obvious when you consider that all five players were Number 10s. They all played Number 10 for their club sides; I never knew that.
We all knew that Rivelino was moved to the Left and Jairzinho the right, Gerson and Tostao played off Pele. But FIVE Number 10s in the same team?

Back to the goal. when Clodoaldo did his legendary dribble in front of his own penalty area, he saw Rivelino had dropped deep on the left. Zagallo`s outrageous plan was on.

Rivelino knocked the ball down the left flank, he knew Jairzinho had moved all the way across to the left and was waiting for it. Tostao and Gerson took defenders away Jairzinho drilled it into Pele, who knew he need only delay for a second. They all knew Carlos Alberto would be powering forward into the space vacated by Jairzinho.

Pele delayed just long enough, then without looking, plays an inch perfect pass straight into the path of Alberto who now resembles an Olympic sprinter. Zagallo`s plan was almost complete: The Brazilian captain was to get the honour of scoring THAT goal – he knew ten seconds before he made the run that he was going to make it... he knew it was his job to complete "The plan"! He batters it unceremoniously into the bottom corner!!!

RIP Carlos Alberto


Reader Comments (13)

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Tony Hill
1 Posted 26/10/2016 at 07:00:06
I watched the goal again and it is a thing of beauty. What I thought was remarkable, apart from the construction of the thing, was that it looked as though it could have happened in today's football – a lot of stuff even up to the '80s looks light years behind the modern game, but not Carlos Alberto's superb moment.

One of the two greatest pieces of team harmony I've ever seen, the other being Gareth Edwards's try against the All Blacks in 1973.

Don Alexander
2 Posted 26/10/2016 at 12:22:28
I saw the Brazilian Hibbo in 1970 too. Seems like a millennium ago.
Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 26/10/2016 at 12:48:43
Never saw him play, but to be the captain of arguably the World's greatest ever football team, tells me he was something special.

That goal you talk about in post #1, Tony, was a thing of footballing beauty, that I don't think I've ever seen eclipsed, and will always be one of the reasons I fell in love with the beautiful game!

Andy Crooks
4 Posted 26/10/2016 at 20:37:59
Lovely description of the goal, Darren. I had no idea there were so many similar players. I don't think though that he "battered" the ball. Having said that, I cannot think of a word that does justice to that strike. It was placed like a thunderbolt and there's no word for it.

That was the greatest World Cup, for me. The punditry at home was bold and fearless. England were great, Bally was great. It was sunny and happy and wonderful.

Don Alexander
5 Posted 26/10/2016 at 21:54:00
It was supernatural that he seemed to KNOW it would bobble just before he battered it because his strike was perfection.
Ray Roche
6 Posted 26/10/2016 at 22:22:40
Andy, that Brazil side were the best team I've seen, anywhere. They'd walk the Premier League today.

And If that totem pole Pogba, a man consumed by his variety of haircuts and obsessed with how he looks on Twatter, when he's not choreographing a new celebration for a goal he's yet to score that is, is worth 䀅m then Christ knows what Rivelino would be worth today.

Achingly beautiful football.

Jay Wood
7 Posted 26/10/2016 at 22:33:27
A very special person, never mind footballer, was lost to us yesterday.

To add to the OP, until Neymar was named captain of Brazil in the wake of their disasterous 2014 WC campaign, Carlos Alberto was Brazil's youngest ever captain.

What many perhaps don't know is, in the near 50 years after THAT goal and THAT final, he was ALWAYS addressed, by his peers, the public, the media – EVERYONE – as 'o capita.'

THE Captain.

When you look at the names of that astonishing 1970 side and add to it all the Brazilian greats who both went before them and followed them, that is some honour.

The deference and respect in which he is held in Brazil is absolute. All of his ex-clubs in Brazil, both as player and trainer (he had a very successful career in the latter) declared 3-days of mourning on the news.

He was on Brazilian TV just 2 days before his sudden passing, offering his as always forthright punditry which took no prisoners.

I am privileged to say I have been the recipient of a huge laughing bear hug off this great, GREAT man.

And tears roll down my cheeks anew as I write this, as they did yesterday when I first heard the news.

Obrigado por tudo, capita.

Stan Schofield
8 Posted 27/10/2016 at 12:48:20
Great goal, a great player, and a great team, the best I've ever seen. Brazil at that time always gave me the impression that they weren't too concerned about conceding goals, because they would just score more to ensure a win. Utterly beautiful football.

From an Everton perspective, in my opinion the great Brazil midfield of Rivelino, Gerson and Clodoaldo was equalled only by our own Ball, Harvey and Kendall. Our Holy Trinity should have been England's midfield then. If that had been the case, imagine the game between Brazil and England. A midfield battle that would have been a thing of beauty.

Tony J Williams
9 Posted 27/10/2016 at 13:07:37
It's everything about the lead up as well. The dribble, the absolute control of the ball twatted at you and turn. Especially the almost lazy-arse like pass from Pele, then – TWAT – Shit! did you see that? He must have a leg like a traction engine.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 27/10/2016 at 14:31:40
Darren, I owe you an apology mate, because I didn't read any of your thread and just posted on seeing the headline.

A fascinating story about a crackpot of a coach, and good players being able to play anywhere!

I enjoyed Jay's post, he seems to know quite a bit about the great Brazilians, and wonder if we will ever see their likes again?

Paul Tran
11 Posted 28/10/2016 at 13:54:30
Great post and thread, Darren. I remember watching the game as a six-year old with me arl feller. We both jumped up as that goal went in. A rare occasion when the team that deserved to win the world cup actually won it.

Just to add to the nostalgia, I've just finished Johan Cruyff's autobiography. A cracking read just for the chapter on tactics alone. Some interesting mentions of Martinez and Koeman amidst a varied and interesting career of another genius. Reading his thoughts on tactics gives an insight into what Martinez was trying to do and how he got it horribly wrong.

RIP The Captain and to No 14.

Jack Convery
12 Posted 28/10/2016 at 18:25:51
A great fullback, captain and footballer. His shot / goal was one of those moments thats stays with you forever. I never knew about the No 10s but great footballers can play anywhere and they were great players, legends one and all – what a team. RIP Carlos.
Julian Exshaw
13 Posted 29/10/2016 at 10:14:17
That goal. A goal you never tire of watching, when footballers weren't overpaid or vastly overrated as they are today. The Mexican sun, the glorious yellow shirts, the atmosphere. How can we ever forget? Descanse em paz, Senhor Carlos Alberto.

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