Brazilian soccer first came to prominence in the 1950s when they reached their first World Cup final. However, the true golden era for the team came in 1958. This marked the beginning of a great era in which Brazil dominated international soccer for up to a decade.
Pele was on fire for Santos. As such, he soon began to play for the Brazilian soccer team. Pele was a great forward, and with him spearheading the team, along with other talented players, they were potential world beaters.
In 1958, Sweden hosted the World Cup. That set the stage for Pele and Brazil to win their first Jules Rimmet trophy. Brazil were very strong at the back in this tournament as they kept four clean sheets and conceded no goals in the group stages. In the semifinals the attacking flair and adventure of Brazil came to the forefront - and so did Pele. He scored a second half hat-trick against France to seal a 5 - 2 victory for Brazil and their place in the final. In that game Brazil was ready for Sweden, and Pele scored two more goals to ensure a 5 - 2 victory. It was their first win in the cup, and it would not be their last.
In 1962, Brazil defended the trophy. However, Pele was out of most of the World Cup through injury. Despite this, the Brazil had plenty of great players; and the likes of Garrincha, Vava and Zito provided the inspiration and attacking potency for the team. With them, they reached another final. This time they played Czechoslovakia. Despite going a goal down, Brazil got back in the game and won 3 - 1. Consequently, they retained the trophy.
In 1966, Brazil visited England hoping for a historic World Cup hat-trick. However, this cup was, in fact, most disappointing for them as they limped out in the group stages. Defeat to Portugal proved decisive in this cup.
The golden era was not over for Brazilian soccer. In the 1970 World Cup, Pele, Jairzinho and co were better suited to Mexico's humidity. They began the cup with a good 4 - 1 win against the Czechs and an even better 1 - 0 victory against the champions England. In that game Banks made a fantastic save from a Pele header to keep the score down, but the Brazilians still emerged victorious.
In the knock-outs, Brazil's flair and flamboyance were too much for Peru and Uruguay that lost 4- 2 and 3 - 1 respectively. In the final Brazil whitewashed the sterile Italians 4 - 1 and won their third Jules Rimmet trophy in four. A terrific Alberto strike from outside the Italian box after a series of incisive Brazil passes sealed the victory.
With that victory Pele retired from the team. The golden era of Brazilian soccer had ended, as they would not win another World Cup for over two decades. They had won three World Cups, and their great attacking soccer set the standard for future Brazilian soccer teams.