June 29, 1958. Brazil beat hosts Sweden 5-2 to win their first FIFA World Cup, inspired by 17-year-old sensation Edson Arantes do Nascimento, to be known to the world simply as Pele. He became the youngest player to play in the tournament when he lined up against the USSR in the group stages. Then in the quarter-final he scored the only goal of the match against Wales. In the semi-final he netted a hat-trick against France and then scored twice against the Swedes in the final. Brazil’s entertaining brand of football earned them many new fans and helped them win four more World Cups. As for Pele, he is the only player to win three World Cup winners medals and is widely regarded as the finest footballer ever to have graced the game.
Also on June 29: London’s Globe Theatre, the ‘home of Shakespeare’, is destroyed in a fire (1613); Isabel Perón becomes President of Argentina (1974); the Seychelles gains independence from the United Kingdom (1976).
Born on June 29: Robert Schuman (1886), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900), Giorgio Napolitano (1925).