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months before Mexico 1970 began Tostao, who the previous month had been the principal star of Brazil’s successful qualification campaign (ten goals in six games), was told he would never be able to play football again. A clearance from Corinthians defender Ditao had smashed the 22-year-old Cruzeiro icon in the eye, causing a detached retina which medics feared would leave him permanently blinded. After surgery in Houston, Texas, he was cleared to return to training just two-and-a-half months before the World Cup. Tostao was initially scared of heading the ball, however, and Zagallo and Brazil doctor Lidio Toledo both felt inclined to overlook him, until 11th-hour persuasion from Pele helped convince them otherwise. A nutmeg on Bobby Moore, two goals and four assists later and Tostao had a winners’ medal, which he gave to Doctor Roberto Abdalla – the man who had operated on him in Houston.

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