After two World Cup championships in Europe, FIFA decided that South America would be the host continent - and it was a straight shoot-out between Chile and Argentina.
When Chile was wracked by earthquakes that killed thousands in 1960, Argentina looked favourites. But an impassioned call by President Dittborn won the day and the country's regeneration was led by the building of new stadiums in time for the tournament.
Brazil, on somewhere approaching homesoil and with almost the same squad as four years before, were undoubtedly favourites. Pele, still only 21, had become the complete forward and Garrincha's development had been similar.
Sweden, meanwhile, had been the highest profile victims of a new qualifying process from which England had been the sole home nation qualifiers.
England qualified for the second round as runners-up to a Hungarian team who in Florian Albert had a player with many of the qualities of the 'Marvellous Magyars' of 1954. He scored the winner in the two nations' group meeting.
Brazil eased out of their group, but not without cost. Pele, who had been in shining form in the 2-0 opening win over Mexico, ripped a thigh muscle in the 0-0 draw with Czechoslovakia.
He was to play no further part in the finals. Amarildo, however, was a decent replacement and became known as the 'White Pele' for his efforts in the tournament. Garrincha and Vava were also there to take up the goalscoring burden.
The Chilean World Cup is now recognised as being one of the poorest tournaments in terms of football, a legacy in which no small a part was played by the disgraceful scenes that took place in Santiago when Chile met Italy.
The game erupted into a flurry of kicks and punches and though two Italians were sent off it should have been many more. The 'Battle of Santiago' ended in a 2-0 victory for the hosts and a police escort for the players as they left the field prematurely.
England met their nemesis in Garrincha in the quarter-finals. West Germany lost to Yugoslavia in revenge for successive quarter-final defeats in the last two tournaments as Sekularac pulled the strings.
The Czechs, marshalled by left-half and captain Josef Masopust, squeezed past the Hungarians. In another surprise result for the hosts, they managed to beat the highly-fancied Soviet Union.
|Zito heads in the goal that broke Czech hearts. (Empics)|
But there was to be no fairy story in the semi-final as the tried and tested combination of Garrincha and Vava scored two goals each against them.
For Garrincha however, heartbreak looked in store after he was sent off for retaliation. Somehow and perhaps with not a little greasing of palms, the Brazilian FA managed to get his ban overturned by FIFA.
The Czechs were their final opponents, having beaten Yugoslavia in the semi-final with a late surge in the last ten minutes.
And a shock looked on the cards when Masopust made a burst past his attackers to put his team ahead on 15 minutes. But not for long as Amarildo rose to the occasion to score from a seemingly impossible angle.
Czechoslovakia held on gamely and it would take a fantastic move started and finished by Zito in the 68th minute to break them. Then Vava became the first person to score in two finals when he capitalised on a goalkeeping mistake from Schrojf. The cup was Brazil's again.
They had become only the second team to retain the trophy and it had largely been achieved without Pele.
Considering that Italy's double win was achieved at a time of stay-aways and pull-outs, no team had ever dominated the world scene like this before.