Team Brazil in World Cup Football: Leonidas De Silva Made Early World Cup History

by on June 23, 2010
in FIFA World Cup

Ronaldinho Brazil

Along with twelve other teams, the Brazilian National Team was privileged to participate in the very first World Cup tournament held in 1930. They are also the only team to appear in every World Cup since its initiation and have won it more than any other team. Their five victories came in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. During their long history with the Tournament, the Brazilians have accrued a few unusual firsts and experiences. One player in particular, Leonidas De Silva, had some remarkable moments in the early years of Cup play. Here are just a few:

In 1938, during a Finals match against Team Poland, one of the Brazilian team members doffed his shoes because he preferred playing barefoot. Leonidas (the player in question) was ordered by officials to put his shoes back on. After doing so, he went on to score four goals in that match and was the top scoring player of that year’s Cup, scoring eight goals in four matches.
That’s the sort of thing that makes one wonder how many goals he might have scored if he’d been allowed to play with bare feet. (Side Note: It was widely reported during the ’38 Cup that Leonidas had a side job as a professional private eye!)

In the 1938 World Cup, the coach made a mistake and left Leonidas off the roster for a semi-final match against Italy. The team lost that match. Then, a couple of days later, in the third place match-up, it was Leonidas who helped Brazil win by scoring two goals for a four-to-two win over Team Sweden.