Wednesday, September 3, 2014

World Cup 1958: Missing players

The World Cup Finals was an interesting tournament.   A few dramatic events forced teams not to take their best players to the tournament, which gave way to the 17 years old Pele and Garrincha to shine in Sweden.

Hungary: Because of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the Soviet invasion that followed, several members of the Magical Magyars that charmed the world 4 years ago went into exile. Ferenc Puskás was 31 years old in 1958.  He was "club-less" and out of shape at the time of Sweden 1958.  But if there were no Soviet invasion, he would have been playing regularly from 1956, and would have arrived in Sweden in good shape.  His performance in 1958 onward proved that he could play at the highest level past the age of 31.  Sándor Kocsis and Zoltán Czibor were playing regularly outside of Hungary.  Gyula Grosics, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti went to Sweden, where they were eliminated in the first round. 



Argentina: As mentioned in a previous blog, Argentina lost
Omar SivoriAntonio Angelillo and Humberto Mashio 

due to oriundo.   Alfredo Di Stéfano was the best player in the world and he was also an Argentine too.  


England: The Munich air Disaster was only four months before the start of the World Cup Finals in Sweden. Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor would have been starters, and Eddie Colman probably would make the team too.  England went out in the first round.


Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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