Rasunda – Birthplace Of The Pele Legend
On 29 June 1958 at the Rasunda Fotbollstadion on the outskirts of Stockholm, the world’s eyes were opened to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, who at the age of 17 helped Brazil to the first of their five FIFA World CupsIM, scoring two goals in his country’s 5-2 final victory over Sweden. Pele had already made a name for himself at the same venue five days earlier by scoring a hat trick in Brazil’s semi-final victory against France by the same score. This legendary Swedish stadium thus prides itself on having provided the launchpad for the career of Pele, considered by many to be the best footballer of all time.
At the end of the final, Pele was carried off on his team-mates’ shoulders. The then teenager could not hold back the tears and when King Gustav VI of Sweden presented Brazil with the Jules Rimet trophy on that rainy night at Rasunda, Pele, still caught up in the emotion of the occasion, responded with a bow. “I was only 17. When the King of Sweden descended from the royal box and came towards the middle of the pitch to shake my hand, it was like a dream,” said Pele.
However, Rasunda, located in the municipality of Solna six kilometres north-west of Stockholm, is not just famous for providing Pele’s springboard to global fame, as it is also one of only two stadiums that have hosted both the men’s and the women’s World Cup final. In addition to providing the backdrop for Pele and Garrincha’s triumph with Brazil in the 1958 FIFA World Cup™ final, Rasunda also staged the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in which Norway prevailed over Germany 2-0. The only other stadium to have hosted the men’s and women’s
World Cup final is the Rose Bowl in the USA, which witnessed a Romario-inspired triumph by Brazil in 1994 and victory for the USA’s women in 1999.