Not even with their 1958 World Cup champions, Garrincha, Didi, Nilton Santos, Zagallo, Djalma Santos and, above all, Pelé, did Brazil manage to prevent hosts Argentina from lifting the 1959 Copa América. Staged at the Monumental de Núnez Stadium, in Buenos Aires, the competition was the first and also the last King Pelé took part in. With eight goals in six matches, Pelé became the top scorer of the tournament, but was unable to clinch the title, the only one missing in his trophy cabinet.
After being held by Peru to a 2-all draw, the Brazilian squad locked horns with Argentina for the title, knowing that the Argentineans were coming from a 5-match winning streak. The home team, with a completely revamped side in relation to the victorious 1957 squad, were spurred on by a crowd of 85 thousand enthused fans and secured the tie that handed them their 12th South-American Cup. Paraguay and their talented defender Lezcano and fine striker Cayetano Ré ended third.