World Cup 30s – 60s

World Cup Brazil 2014 Guide

World Cup 1930 – Uruguay

The first World Cup was held in Uruguay since they were Olympic football champions and to celebrate 100 years of independence. Jules Rimet had to persuade teams to make the long trip to Uruguay, which was done overseas. The World Cup started with 2 matches where French player Lucien Laurent scored the first goal in World Cup history. Only 1 city Montevideo hosted all the matches. It was host country Uruguay which won the first World Cup, by beating Argentina with 2-4 in the Final.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1930All FIFA affiliates were invited to join1930
19301 host city1930
19302 opening matches1930
19301 team per pool advances to the next round1950
1930Unequal team pools19501934, 1938
1930Play-offs / Rematches1958
1930Leather match balls1982
19302 points for a group match win1990
1930Simultaneous matches1994
1930Mini league format in the first pool-1934, 1938
1930Golden Boot Award-
1930Semi-Finals stage-1950, 1974, 1978
World Cup 1930

1930 World Cup poster

World Cup 1934 – Italy

The first World Cup hosted in Europe. A total of 16 countries participated, making it the highest amount of participants of all 1930s World Cups. Most of the South American countries refused to participate, since many European teams were unwilling to participate in the 1930 World Cup. Africa participated for the first time, which was country Egypt. This World Cup is considered as controversial, since Prime Minister Benito Mussolini used the tournament for political propaganda. It was Italy, the first European country, which won the World Cup by defeating Czechoslovakia with 2-1.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1934Complete knockout format1938
1934Match for the third place-1950
1934Quarter-Finals stage-1950, 1974, 1978, 1982
1934Multiple host cities and stadiums-
1934World Cup qualification rounds-
World Cup 1934

1934 World Cup poster

World Cup 1938 – France

The 3rd World Cup was hosted in Europe again. This resulted in a refusal again from several South America countries to participate, since they expected for South America to host the 1938 World Cup. Asia participated for the first time, it was Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It was planned for 16 countries to participate, however Austria withdrew since the country joined Nazi Germany. The team consisting of both German and Austrian players was eliminated after the first round against all expectations. Italy won the World Cup Final again with 4-2 against Hungary, and is the first country to have won a World Cup 2 times.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1938World Cup champion qualifies automatically2002
1938Host country qualifies automatically-
World Cup 1938

1938 World Cup poster

World Cup 1950 – Brazil

Due to World War II, the 40s World Cups were cancelled. It took 12 years for the next World Cup to take place after the 1938 World Cup.

The 2nd World Cup to be hosted in South America was the 1950 World Cup. This would be the last World Cup to contain unequal pools. The format was unique since the Final round was a mini tournament and no real Final match was played. England participated for the first time, however against all expectations they lost against USA. with 1-0. This match is considered as 1 of the greatest upset in World Cup history. But a greater upset in World Cup history was the Final Brazil against Uruguay which goes by the name Maracanazo. Somehow Uruguay managed to beat Brazil, the ultimate favourite, with 2-1.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1950Mini league format in the Final round1950
1950World Cup trophy referred as Jules Rimet trophy1970
1950Host country plays opening match-1954,1962, 1974 till 2002

World Cup 1950

1950 World Cup poster

World Cup 1954 – Switzerland

The 3rd World Cup to be hosted in Europe introduced a unique format again. Teams of each pool didn’t play against all other teams in the pool, only against 2 teams. This is the first time 4 pools contained 4 teams. The World Cup is also known for its many records such as total goals scored and goal average. The Golden team of Hungary made an impressive performance and it seemed pretty obvious they would win this World Cup. However in the Final against West-Germany they lost with 2-1. This match is also called the Miracle of Bern. This seems reasonable since they also played against each other in the first round and West Germany lost with 8-3!

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1954First round seeded against unseeded format1954
1954The top teams of each pool played against each other in the Quarter-Finals1954
1954Runners-up of each pool played against each other in the Quarter-Finals1954
195416 countries divided in 4 pools 1978
19542 teams per pool advance to the next round-1986, 1990, 1994
1954World Cup logo-
1954Use of numbers on the back of the shirts-

World Cup 1954

1954 World Cup poster

World Cup 1958 – Sweden

The 6th World cup was less experimental when it comes to the format. No real unique format was used and the round-robin/mini tournament format in the first round was introduced again. This is the only World Cup where all Home Nations participated  together (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales). French player Just Fontaine scored a record of 13 goals, making him the ultimate top scorer of the tournament. After this World Cup everyone knew who Brazilian player Pelé was. He was the hero of the Final match against Sweden and scored the final goal resulting in a 2-5 score. This was the first time Brazil won a World Cup.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1958Goal average to determine who will advance1966
1958The top teams of each pool played against the runners-up of each pool in the 2nd round-
World Cup 1958

1958 World Cup poster

World Cup 1962 – Chile

After 2 World Cups hosted in Europe, it was time to choose a South American country again for the 1962 World Cup. The 1960 Valdivia earthquake destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and stadiums. However Chile was able to finalize the preparations on time. The World Cup is known for the defensive play style many countries were using and the violence and aggressiveness on the field. 1 violent match in particular, Chile against Italy was considered a disgrace and is named the Battle of Santiago. Brazil became for the 2nd time World Cup champion by beating Czechoslovakia with 3-1.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1962World Cup song-1970
1962Pools are referred as groups-

World Cup 1962

1962 World Cup poster

World Cup 1966 – England

The 8th World Cup didn’t contain any African countries due to a boycott. The countries didn’t agree to play a play-off first against an Asian team in order to participate. There was some stress a few months before the World Cup, since the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen. Luckily, it was found by a dog named Pickles a few days later. Debutant Portugal made an impressive performance by reaching the third place and North Korea was the first Asian country to reach the Quarter-Finals. It was host country England which won the Final against West Germany with 4-2, which includes a controversial goal by English player Geoff Hurst.

What was new

FirstWhatLastExceptions
1966World Cup mascot-
1966Drug testing-
1966Players were not allowed to join national teams when played in a different national team before-
World Cup 1966

1966 World Cup poster

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