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Historic debuts and improbable comebacks: when Russia play Brazil
The USSR were making their first appearance at the World Cup in 1958 when they also came across Brazil for the first time in their history. The tournament in Sweden also marked the beginning of Pele’s era of stardom. In this pre-match photo, the man who would go on to win the World Cup three times (standing third from the left) was only 17 years old. In the match itself, Brazil emerged victorious thanks to a brace from Vava. Both teams qualified from their group, but the Soviet Union’s participation in the competition was curtailed at the quarter-final stage whereas Brazil went all the way.