BRAZIL’S greatest ever player Pele and his World Cup winning 1958 Brazil team-mates have returned to the stadium where they rose to world prominence.
The 5 - 2 victory over Sweden in the final at the Rasunda stadium in Stockholm set Brazil on the road to five World Cup titles and saw the country’s football team go from virtual unknowns to international football stars.
The two sides will meet again on Wednesday as the Rasunda stages its final international match.
“The biggest memory of being here is that Brazil was unknown until we won the World Cup,” said Pele, wearing a Sweden
“It’s still alive, this feeling of helping Brazil. Brazil started here. Before 1958 nobody knew Brazil - even the name on the flag was wrong and (player Mario) Zagallo asked them to fix it.
“We went to Hindas where the team was based, and nobody knew who Brazil was.”
That soon changed when Pele hit a hat-trick in the semi-final victory over France before scoring a double in the final.
“Brazil was playing so good in some games that everybody was cheering for Brazil,” said Pele.
Pele said the Swedish FA had promised their Brazilian counterparts some artefacts from the old stadium.
“That way, for Brazilians, it will never die,” he said.
Several of the players from both 1958 squads will be present at Wednesday’s match.
The Rasunda is to be demolished in November with a new national arena scheduled to open with a friendly against England the same month.
Wednesday’s match offers a chance for Brazil coach Mano Menezes to return home with a win after losing out in the final of the London 2012 Olympics 2 - 1 to Mexico.
The Brazilian football federation hinted before the Olympics that a disappointing result in London could cost Menezes his job, but a decision is not expected until the team returns to Brazil later this week.