Five memorable games between England and Brazil
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Five memorable games between England and Brazil

England face Brazil in an international friendly this weekend as the two teams continue preparations for the upcoming European Championship and Copa America campaigns.

The Three Lions face off against the five-time world champions for the first time in seven years and will be looking to improve on a poor record against the South American superpower. England have won only four of the previous 26 encounters.

We’ve remembered five of the most memorable games between England and Brazil.

England 0-1 Brazil – World Cup group stage (1970)

The 1970 World Cup grouped together the champions of the previous two editions, as holders England took on 1962 winners Brazil.

Both teams had opened their campaigns with wins, Brazil showcasing their fun and flair in a 4-1 thrashing of Czechoslovakia, while England laboured to a 1-0 win over a robust Romania. In the high altitude and stifling heat at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, it was Brazil who took control of the group with a 1-0 win.

Brazil’s defence had been cited as a weak point but held firm. England opted for a man-marking approach, a gruelling system in the exhausting temperatures, and were punished.

The goal came from a fine Brazil move, as Tostao skipped around a pair of challenges before floating a cross into Pele. His first touch was immaculate to get the ball under control and his second was to shift it right for the onrushing Jairzinho, who blasted a finish high into the net.

England went on to suffer a quarter-final collapse to old rivals West Germany, while Brazil marched on and thrashed Italy in the final to be crowned as world champions for a third time. Their 1970 vintage is perhaps the finest of the lot.

Iconic Duos: Bebeto and Romario, the polar opposites who brought stunning synergy to the Selecao

Brazil 0-2 England – International friendly (1984)

John Barnes scored one of the all-time great England goals as the Three Lions bounced back from a low ebb to secure a famous win at the Maracanã.

England had been booed off the pitch just days earlier after a 2-0 defeat to USSR, with chants of ‘Robson out’ echoing around Wembley. Barnes’ brilliant goal might just have kept his manager in a job.

The winger picked up possession near the touchline before embarking on a zig-zagging run past several Selecao stars, leaving a trail of yellow in his path as he rounded the goalkeeper and tapped home to open the scoring.

Barnes then set up the second for Mark Hateley to head home as England secured their first win over the South Americans in 28 years – and first in the southern hemisphere.

Brazil 2-1 England – World Cup quarter-final (2002)

Brazil ended England’s World Cup dream after eliminating the Three Lions in 2002, securing a 2-1 win in an entertaining quarter-final.

Michael Owen capitalised on an error from Lucio to fire England ahead in Shizuoka, but Brazil bounced back to turn the tie around. Rivaldo levelled the contest just before half-time, stroking a finish into the far corner after a well-worked move.

David Seaman’s shocker handed Brazil the winner, with the goalkeeper caught flat-footed as Ronaldinho’s speculative free-kick deceived him to dip in. Ronaldinho’s red card set up a nervous finish, but the South Americans – and eventual champions – survived to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Iconic Performances: The night Ronaldinho received a standing ovation at the Bernabeu

England 1-1 Brazil – International friendly (2007)

England welcomed Brazil in a fixture to mark the opening of the new Wembley, though a late goal from Diego denied the Three Lions a first-night win at the rebuilt venue.

John Terry had headed England ahead as the captain rose above his marker to meet David Beckham’s free-kick, with the latter marking his return to the side after an international absence.

England were unable to hold on, however, and Diego headed in Gilberto Silva’s stoppage-time cross to earn the visitors a result.

Brazil 2-2 England – International friendly (2013)

Brazil returned the favour as England were the guests to celebrate the opening of the new Maracanã, a venue overlooked by the iconic statue of Christ The Redeemer.

An engrossing game saw England secure a draw despite being second-best for much of the contest, with a dominant Brazil team reliant on a late Paulinho equaliser to earn a share of the spoils.

Fred had fired Brazil into the lead in Rio de Janeiro, but England struck back as teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired in an equaliser.

Wayne Rooney’s deflected effort put England – who had been thankful for a fine goalkeeping performance from Joe Hart – in front, before Paulinho’s volley ensured Brazil avoided defeat on opening night.

Read – Five times England took teenagers to major tournaments

See more – The best England kits of all time as Nike reveals Euro 2024 jerseys

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