Mexico 1970

Aesthetically, the most beautiful World Cup Finals. It’s not just the football – although 1970 gave us not only Banks’ save, the near-goal-from-the-halfway-line and history’s greatest dummy. It’s the quality of the light – and it’s the crowd, who resemble the extras in that 1960s Bond film you’ve still to see:


4 Replies to “Mexico 1970”

  1. Being in colour helped to, though I guess the 1966 world cup finals were on film (and I suppose earlier ones too given colour film was hardly a new invention?)

    I go away for a day and six posts on MTMG – are you making a late challenge for Britain’s Most Stakhanovite Blogger?!

  2. Why did they have time in those days to stand still on the edge of the box and mesmerise a defender into standing still too? Partly it seems to be because they tended to have more attackers in the box and so they can keep hinting at options. Was it also because the midfield didn’t get back at speed to help the defence?

  3. Perhaps because if you have lots of attackers in the box, the other defenders aren’t free to help the man facing the guy with the ball?

  4. Colour: thus far, the earliest colour film I’ve found specific to football is that 1954 World Cup Final sequence, but the earliest colour film I’ve seen dates from 1906. The Friese-Green collection (early ’20s) shows footballers, but the only actual action features one of the players’ baby son sullenly poking at a ball bigger than himself. I’m betting that some of the 1936 Olympic matches were filmed in colour, as colour film was something of a Nazi obsession. Anything I find I’ll put here if I can. 1966 was filmed on high quality colour stock, but the weather was often pretty miserable, so 1970 it is not.

    As regards mesmerising defenders, perhaps the answer is simply tactical. The Brazilians took tactics VERY seriously (e.g. they invented the flat back four as we know it today in 1958, complete with attacking full backs). It might just be that in 1970 European defences were once again confronted with something entirely new, played by men with superior skill, and couldn’t cope. And no, I think you’re right – the midfield wouldn’t necessarily have tracked back at this point in time.

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