DVD Review: Boys from Brazil

By Simon Head
Last updated : 03 October 2006

Boys from Brazil is the BBC’s history of the Brazilian national team, up to and including the Mexico ’86 World Cup. Yes, it’s an old programme, but it is still well worth hunting down.


Here you’ll see the great names of Brazilian football, some of the most talented players to ever play the game.


Watch the flickering black and white pictures of the early Brazil sides and marvel at 17-year-old Pele achieving world stardom by scoring twice in the 1958 World Cup Final. They would go on to retain that title in Chile in 1962, thanks to a young star called Amarildo.


They were cruelly kicked out of the 1966 tournament by Portugal, but by 1970, they were unstoppable.


The World Cup team of 1970 is widely regarded as the best World Cup winning side of all time. Packed with players of mind-blowing ability, they took the World Cup by storm. Striker Jairzinho scored in EVERY game as Brazil slayed all before them. We saw the lethal left foot of Roberto Rivelino, the clever forward play of Tostao and the perfect passing of Gerson. But the shining star above all these world-class players was Pele - he made the game look so easy. Even his misses were amazing. The football they played was breathtaking – and their final goal against Italy in the final in Mexico City is thought by many to be the ‘perfect’ team goal.


The years between 1974 and 1978 saw Brazil in transition, but there was no shortage of stunning goals from the likes of Rivelino, Jairzinho, Dirceu and Nelinho. They were still good, but no longer the best.


But in 1982, Brazil produced probably the best side not to win the World Cup. Junior, Falcao, Socrates, Eder and the genius of Zico formed part of the most skilful, attacking side seen in the last 25 years of international football. They were a joy to watch (and my favourite side ever – Ed), but they ultimately fell at the hands of the host nation Italy – and their legendary goalscorer Paolo Rossi.


They were back in 1986, thrilling the crowd with fantastic football once again. Seventeen year old Josimar make his international debut at right back and scored past the legend Pat Jennings from all of thirty yards, then scored an even better solo goal against Poland just a few days later. We saw the predatory instincts of striker Careca, and the return of Zico. To round it all off, they played in one of the most dramatic World Cup matches ever staged. In searing heat, Brazil lost out to France in a heart-stopping penalty shootout after one of the all-time great football matches.


For those of you who have seen these Brazil sides in action, you’ll probably already have a good idea just how good this DVD is. If you’re one of our younger readers and think Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos are amazing, you simply have to get this video. It’s a football education. It’s the way football should be played – and that’s why, for so many people around the world, Brazil is their second team when it comes to the World Cup.


Gills365 Verdict: ***** 5 STARS
"The best football you’re ever likely to see, from the best players to have played the game. This DVD is a must-have for any football fan."

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