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Fifty years ago, Brazil taught the world to play, in colour

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Fifty years ago this month, modern football was born at the World Cup in Mexico, kicking and yelling, and live in vibrant colour for a global audience.

This weekend marks the anniversary of the quarter-finals of that tournament as a star-studded cast played a thrilling series of knock-out games which built to a dazzling final, when the first World Cup broadcast in colour ended with an unparalleled display by a technicolour team.

Mexico in 1970 was not the first World Cup broadcast live. Four years earlier 400 million watched England beat West Germany in the final. But that tournament was shown in black and white. Battered Brazil, the reigning champions, limped out playing, as far as viewers could tell, in two shades of grey.

In Mexico, their yellow and green glowed in the sunshine.

Most viewers still watched in black and white. But the games were shot in colour and when the many iconic moments are replayed, that is how they are seen. And that is how the competition is remembered, even by its greatest star.

“I watch it because there are a lot of videos available and TV programmes,” Pele told FIFA’s website. “If I’m not careful, I always start crying.”

The tournament gave Pele his third winner’s medal but the images also cemented his reputation as the world’s greatest player, partly because of three spectacular near misses: a shot from his own half against Czechoslovakia, a header saved by England’s Gordon Banks and the dummy that almost turned a Tostao pass into a goal against Uruguay.

“I was at my peak,” Pele said. “We had a fantastic side and everyone expected us to win, which gave me the shakes.”

The quarter-finals all kicked off at noon on June 14.

Gigi Riva scored twice and Gianni Rivera once as Italy beat hosts Mexico 4-1.

Rivellino, Tostao and Jairzinho, but not Pele, scored as Brazil beat Peru 4-2.

Reigning champions England, with many of the stars of 1966 but not an ailing Banks and not, by the end, Bobby Charlton, substituted with his team two goals up to protect him from the heat, lost 3-2 in extra time to West Germany. Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller were among the German scorers.

Pele said watching replays of Brazil at the 1970 World Cup makes him cry. PHOTO: MEXSPORT DIGITAL IMAGES/AFP/File / OMAR MARTINEZ

In the semi-finals, in Guadalajara, Brazil gave Uruguay a one-goal start but won 3-1. Again Pele didn’t score, but Clodoaldo, Jairzinho and Rivellino did.

In Mexico City, the other semi-final was heading for a 1-0 Italian win until Karl-Heinz Schnellinger scored a 90th-minute equaliser for West Germany.

Extra time was 30 minutes of mayhem.

Mueller gave West Germany the lead. Tarcisio Burgnich levelled and Riva put Italy ahead. Mueller replied, but a minute later Rivera gave Italy victory.

The abiding image is of Beckenbauer playing much of the game extravagantly strapped after dislocating a shoulder when West Germany had already used both substitutes.

‘Everybody is still talking about it’

The best was yet to come.

Italy were a good team, with the extravagantly gifted Sandro Mazzola. The defence was built on the great Inter Milan side, pioneers of ‘catenaccio’, with Giacinto Facchetti at its heart. Brazil tore them apart.

At an altitude of 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) in dazzling sunshine in the Azteca, Brazil produced a display of attacking football that touched Olympian heights.

Mario Zagallo, Brazil’s coach, later said he thought the 1-0 victory over England “was the best game of the tournament…a high-class game of chess.”

Yet Brazil’s attacking display in the first colour World Cup final set a benchmark against which every one of the tens of thousands of matches broadcast since is measured.

Pele leapt to celebrate with teammates Tostao, Carlos Alberto and Jairzinho. PHOTO: AFP/File / STF

Pele gave Brazil the lead with his fourth goal of the competition.

“I told myself before the game, he’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else —- but I was wrong,” Burgnich said later.

Roberto Boninsegna levelled, but in the second half Gerson and Jairzinho put the match beyond reach.

It was as if Brazil were inventing football. They finished with a flourish, scoring one of the great team goals with four minutes left as full-back Carlos Alberto finished a mesmerising eight-man move by lashing home Pele’s deft pass.

“I realise how beautiful and how important that goal was, because everybody is still talking about it,” Carlos Alberto told the BBC years later.

“Nobody talks about Pele’s goal, the first goal, the second goal. It is always about the fourth goal. I think it was the best goal ever scored in a World Cup.”

It was a fitting exclamation mark at the end of what might have been the best World Cup.

Reporting and photos: AFP

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Catch the wind with Kitesurfing World Champion Youri Zoon at COMO Cocoa Island

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Embark on an exhilarating kitesurfing odyssey from May 6th to 20th, 2024, at COMO Cocoa Island alongside Youri Zoon, celebrated for seizing the kitesurfing world championship twice. Under his seasoned guidance, amplify your kitesurfing prowess, whether you’re a neophyte craving the fundamentals or a seasoned aficionado striving for intricate manoeuvres and airborne thrills.

Kitesurfing merges windsurfing, surfing, and wakeboarding for a dynamic water sport. Using controllable kites, riders harness wind power to glide across the ocean’s surface while being set against the backdrop of endless horizons and azure waters.

Throughout his residency, Zoon will conduct guided kitesurfing sessions, offering novices a gentle introduction to the sport or empowering veterans to elevate their abilities. Additionally, Zoon will host enlightening COMO Conversations, delving into his personal journey to kitesurfing eminence and the obstacles he surmounted along the way.

Guests may arrange activities with Zoon at their leisure, with plenty of time to make the most of our private island comforts, from massage treatments at COMO Shambhala to sandbank dinners under the stars and more.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Zoon’s affinity for kiteboarding burgeoned at the tender age of 13. A prodigious talent, he swiftly amassed accolades, securing victories at the Junior European Championships and Dutch Nationals in his inaugural year. Subsequently clinching the world title in 2011 and 2012, Zoon’s enduring passion for the sport fuels his ongoing commitment to mentorship and coaching, ensuring his legacy endures both on and off the water.

Nestled within South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island beckons discerning travelers with its intimate enclave of 33 overwater villas. Renowned for its iconic Dhoni Water Villas, which pay homage to Maldivian maritime heritage, this idyllic retreat offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and indulgence. Accessible via a scenic 40-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport, COMO Cocoa Island promises an unrivalled blend of luxury and seclusion.

For details on COMO Hotels and Resorts or to plan your next escape, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/cocoaisland.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts successful second season of Full Moon Futsal Cup

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa celebrated the culmination of the highly anticipated Full Moon Futsal Cup on March 31, 2024. The tournament, which commenced on March 17th, brought together 12 teams from neighboring resorts in Malé Atoll, fostering a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

SO/ Maldives emerged victorious after a thrilling final match, securing the coveted title of Full Moon Futsal Cup Champions 2024. Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, presented the winning team with the Championship trophy and gold medals during a closing ceremony. Additional prizes, medals, and certificates were awarded to recognize the exceptional talent displayed by all participants.

“We are honored to have hosted and participated in such a vibrant tournament,” Mohamed El Aghoury commented, reflecting on the event’s success. “The Full Moon Futsal Cup celebrates not only sportsmanship but also fosters strong bonds within the resort community.”

Throughout the tournament, all teams showcased exceptional skill, determination, and teamwork, captivating spectators and fellow competitors alike. Notably, Sheraton Maldives’ own associate teams, Team Sheraton and Team Furana FC, participated with commendable spirit.

This involvement aligns with Marriott International’s Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) initiative, which prioritizes fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued. The participation of the Young Professionals ARG team specifically exemplifies the group’s dedication to community building, skill development, and mentorship. The tournament provided a platform to spotlight the energy and potential of young professionals, promoting their growth and contributing to the organization’s future success.

Extending beyond a sporting event, the Full Moon Futsal Cup embodies the values of unity, friendship, and healthy competition. This aligns with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s commitment to fostering community connections and Marriott International’s TakeCare philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of physical well-being among associates.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa extends its sincere gratitude to all participating teams, supporters, sponsors, and organizers who contributed to the resounding success of the Full Moon Futsal Cup 2024. The resort eagerly anticipates continuing this tradition of sporting excellence and camaraderie in the years to come.

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Dive into memorable underwater adventure with Baros Maldives’s Eco Explorer Experience

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In today’s world, where the fragile balance of marine ecosystems teeters on the edge, to call for sustainable tourism practices resonates louder than ever. Baros Maldives, deeply rooted in its respect for nature, leads the way in conservation and preservation. Baros’s Eco Explorer Experience stands as a testament to the island’s commitment, inviting guests to not just observe but to actively contribute to the safeguarding of our underwater sanctuaries.

Nestled on a lush, natural island paradise, Baros is a sanctuary surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine life, boasting a world-class house reef, celebrated for its unparalleled beauty and biodiversity, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike.

The Eco Explorer Experience is a carefully curated immersive experience designed for those who seek to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean. This experience is more than an adventure; it’s a journey of discovery and contribution, offering intimate encounters with the marvels of the sea, all while promoting marine conservation.

With this experience, Baros guests enjoy a myriad of enriching activities, culminating in a bespoke photobook documenting the essence of their Eco Explorer journey beneath the waves.

Coral Restoration and Conservation: Participants will immerse themselves in coral ecology, by planting personal coral gardens under the guidance of Baros’s resident Marine Biologist. This hands -on experience not only fosters coral growth but also contributes to the restoration of these vital habitats. Through the Coral Cube initiative, guests will apply innovative techniques like using fast plug cement to build thriving underwater ecosystems. The Baros marine team will share bi-annual updates with the guests so that they can follow the growth of their corals.

Marine Life Identification: This educational session equips guests with the knowledge to identify different fish species and understand their vital roles within the marine ecosystem. Equipped with snorkelling gear and new insights, guests will explore Baros’s world- class house reef during a snorkelling tour, guided by the resident marine biologist, to witness the vibrant marine life.

Night Snorkelling and Bioluminescence: As night falls, the reef reveals a different kind of beauty. With UV lights, guests will explore this nocturnal wonderland, observing the reef’s inhabitants in a new light. This magical experience is not only enchanting but also educational, offering insights into coral health and the ecosystem’s delicate balance.

Baros recognises the fragility of the marine environment and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism practices. The Eco Explorer Experience is more than a holiday activity, it’s an invitation to become part of a larger movement, advocating for the protection and preservation of our marine environments.

Join the Baros marine team on this extraordinary journey. Together, dive deeper, explore further, and unveil the boundless wonders of the ocean, ensuring they remain vibrant for generations to come.

For bookings and more information, please visit www.baros.com or contact Baros directly at reservations@baros.com or call +960 664 26 72.

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