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Mexico 19



FIFA awarded the World Cup 1970 final tournament to Mexico at the 34th FIFA Congress in Tokyo on 8 October 1964 during the Olympic Games.

Mexico had to compete with Argentina in the bidding process. They gained 56 votes, while Argentina only received 32. 

The Draw

The sixteen participating teams were divided into four 'geographical groupings', which also took into account the teams' strengths and even political considerations, at a draw conducted at the Maria Isabel Hotel, in Ciudad de México on 10 January 1970. The FIFA Organising Committee also announced that there would be no seeding of teams. All four teams were to play each other once.

Europe (1) Americas Europe (2) Rest of the World
England Brazil Belgium El Salvador
Italy Mexico Bulgaria Israel
USSR Peru Czechoslovakia Morocco
West Germany Uruguay Sweden Romania


The Build-Up

4 May: A 27-man England squad flew to Mexico City (the 28th, Francis Lee, flew out, four days later). They were met warmly by about a hundred Mexicans, when they arrived.

"Sir Alf Ramsey, the manager, said, when asked about their chances of retaining the Jules Rimet Trophy: ...I think we have an excellent chance and that we have a stronger party than in 1966...Provided we can acclimatize properly I think it will take a great team to beat us." - The Times

5 May: England had their first, light, training session, at the Reforma Athletic Club. Peter Bonetti (knee) and Jack Charlton (muscle strain) were treated for injuries picked up in the previous week's FA Cup Final replay.

"Sir Alf Ramsey, the England team manager, was busy coping with approaches from a number of reporters, tactfully telling them that interviews from players were banned until after the World Cup." - The Times

6 May: Brian Kidd spent the day in bed with a stomach complaint, whilst the rest of the squad went sightseeing.

7 May: The squad played nine holes of golf at the Hacienda Club.

8 May: England had two training sessions.

9 May: The squad played football and cricket against the British Reforma Club teams.

10 May: England played a thirty-minute friendly against the British press, with Jack Charlton as referee.

11 May: The squad trained behind closed doors.

12 May: The entire squad played in an eighty-minute practice match at the Olympic Stadium, in almost continual rain.

"the "Whites" beat the "Reds" 2-1, with Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters scoring for the winners and Allan Clarke for the losers." - The Times

'Back Home', a song recorded by the squad, reached number one in the UK. It was the first football-related single release ever to top the bestselling music chart, and it was to stay there for three weeks.

14 May: The players held an Olympic-style competition at the Reforma Club.

15 May: The squad visited the Teotihuacan Pyramids in the morning and trained in the afternoon.

16 May: In the second public practice match, the 'Whites' beat the 'Reds' 4-0, with goals from Geoff Hurst (2), Bobby Charlton and Allan Clarke.

18 May: The England squad arrived in Bogotá for the first of their two friendly internationals in South America.

19 May: England were unable to train in the Bogotá stadium, due to torrential rain.

20 May: England beat Colombia, 4-0, in Bogotá, after the second team beat the Colombians, 1-0.

"'England impressive on the launching pad'
...the flounce, the swagger, and the grandeur of Moore's team. They were men among boys, pacing themselves superbly, letting the ball do the work, using the whole breadth of the field as they sprayed their passes...
" - The Times

21 May: The squad arrived in Quito.

23 May: Sir Alf Ramsey announced his World Cup squad, and the six players that did not make the final list. Of those omitted, Peter Thompson and David Sadler decided to stay on and support the team, whilst the other four flew home after the Ecuador games.

24 May: England beat Ecuador, 2-0, in Quito, after the second team had beaten LDU, the champions of Ecuador, 4-1.

"'England win twice to keep morale high'
...it will take somebody only with the Brazilian sense of fantasy to unhinge them.
" - The Times

25 May: The squad flew back to Bogotá, where Bobby Moore was accused of stealing a gold bracelet on a visit to a jewellery store in the previous week. As his team mates left to return to Mexico City, Moore remained in Bogotá to face charges.

26 May: Bobby Moore appeared in court in Bogotá.

27 May: Following training in Mexico City, the squad were given a reception by the British Ambassador and then flew to their first round base, Guadalajara.

28 May: Moore flew back to Mexico, after the judge announced that he did not have enough evidence to justify a charge of theft.

29 May: Moore rejoined the squad for training at Club Atlas.

30 May: A 45-minute practice match was staged at Club Atlas, with the second team surprisingly beating the first eleven, 3-1. Osgood (2) and Bell scored for the reserves, and Lee netted for the first eleven. Peter Thompson, omitted from the final squad, played for the reserves.

31 May: The squad had a half-hour practice match in the Jalisco Stadium. Sir Alf commented that the pitch was bumpy and in poor condition.


First Phase Table
Group C
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Brazil 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5 6
England 3 2 0 1 2 1 +1 4
Romania 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 2
Czechoslovakia 3 0 0 3 2 7 -5 0
2 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
England 1 Romania 0 [0-0]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (50,560)

"...once again they played as a studied, cool unit with scarcely a flaw in defence and always full of running up front...
"Moore...played a magnificent game, showing no ill-effect from his experiences of the past fortnight." - The Times, 3 June 1970

3 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
Brazil 4 Czechoslovakia 1 [1-1]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (52,897)
Rivelino, Pelé, Jairzinho (2)
6 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
Romania 2 Czechoslovakia 1 [0-1]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (56,818)
Neagu, Dumitrache (pen)
7 June 1970 - 12:00noon CST
Brazil 1 England 0 [0-0]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (70,950)

"England...in the mere matter of chances, might well have won and certainly drawn.
"...Moore and his men bent their every fibre to rescue their cause...
"...a match of endless activity..." - The Times, 8 June 1970

10 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
Brazil 3 Romania 2 [1-2]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (50,804)
Pelé (2), Jairzinho
Dumitrache, Dembrowski
11 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
Czechoslovakia 0 England 1 [0-0]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (49,292)
Clarke (pen)

"...an almost embarrassing performance from the world champions...
"...after the dubious award of the penalty the crowd's attitude changed from indifference to abusive hostility.
"...it was...in midfield and attack, where they produced insufficient evidence to convince even many of their supporters that they can again overcome West Germany." - The Glasgow Herald, 12 June 1970.
(The London newspapers on strike)

The Second Phase

14 June 1970 - all 12:00noon CST
Uruguay 1 USSR 0 [0-0] AET
Estadio Azteca, ciudad de México (96,085)
Italy 4 Mexico 1 [1-1]
Estadio Nemesio Díez Riega, Toluca (26,851)
Guzmán OG, Riva (2), Rivera
Brazil 4 Peru 2 [2-1]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (54,233)
Rivelino, Tostão (2), Jairzinho
Gallardo, Cubillas
West Germany 3 England 2 [0-1] AET
Estadio de Guanajuato, León (23,357)
Beckenbauer, Seeler, Müller
Mullery, Peters

"...a remarkable battle royal in the midday sun which was finally a cruelty to man.
"...the better side won in the end.
"...England wrongly proceeded to...pack the perimeter of their penalty area and concede the central areas..." - The Times, 15 June 1970

"England were...far too cautious.
"The system of playing only two forwards...is unsuited to Mexico's heat, height, and humidity.
"The terse comments of the management have not helped England's cause in public relations." - The Guardian, 16 June 1970

Quarter Finals

Semi Finals

17 June 1970 - both 4:00pm CST
Brazil 3 Uruguay 1 [1-1]
Estádio Jalisco, Guadalajara (51,261)
Clodoaldo, Jairzinho, Rivelino
Italy 4 West Germany 3 [1-0] AET
Estadio Azteca, ciudad de México (102,444)
Boninsenga, Burgnich, Riva, Rivera
Schnellinger, Müller (2)


Third Place Play-off

20 June 1970 - 4:00pm CST
West Germany 1 Uruguay 0 [1-0]
Estadio Azteca, ciudad de México


The 1970 Final

21 June 1970 - 12:00noon CST
Brazil 4 Italy 1 [1-1]
Estadio Azteca, ciudad de México
Pelé, Gérson, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto