England arrived in Mexico to defend the trophy with a team which was generally agreed to be better than the one which had won it in 1966, but from 2-0 up in the quarter final against West Germany, they went on to lose 3-2 in extra time.
The Germans were then beaten in extra time themselves, going down 4-3 to Italy in the semi finals, while Brazil beat Uruguay 3-1.
It had always been agreed that the first country to win the Jules Rimet Trophy three times would get to keep it, and both sides in the final had that chance. Brazil took it, capping a 4-1 win with what is arguably the most famous goal in World Cup history, finished off by Carlos Alberto.
The tournament is often cited as the best World Cup ever, and that year's Brazilians as the finest team ever to win it. It was to be the end of their golden era however – Pele never played another World Cup match, and Brazil didn’t win the tournament again for 24 years.
And as for the trophy which Brazil got to keep, it was stolen in Rio in 1983 and never seen again, believed to have been melted down for gold.