1934 – Italy

World Cup 1934 Final

The Italian team – 1934 World Cup champion

World Cup 1934 Facts

World Cup 1934 Poster

1934 World Cup poster

  • Date: 27 May – 10 June
  • Final:  Italy – Czechoslovakia 2-1
  • 3rd place: Germany – Austria 3-2
  • Teams: 16
  • Stadiums: 8
  • Host cities: 8
  • Matches played: 17
  • Goals: 70
  • Attendance: 358,000
  • Top scorer: Oldřich Nejedlý (Czechoslovakia) (5 goals)

World Cup 1934 Background

Both Sweden and Italy wanted to host the 2nd World Cup in 1934. However on May 14 1932, Italy was allowed the honour since Sweden eventually withdrew before the vote.

This was the first time a country became a World Cup host country while not having participated in a World Cup before. Italy didn’t participate in the 1930 World Cup. This would also happen with Japan regarding the 2002 World Cup and with Qatar regarding the 2022 World Cup.

This World Cup knows a lot of controversies. In the year 1934 the dictator Mussolini was ruling over Italy by establishing a fascist regime. He used the 1934 World Cup to promote fascism with propaganda and media control. An example would be the presence of the Fascism symbol the fasces on the 1934 World Cup poster. Another controversy is the fact that certain referees made ‘strange’ decisions in favour of the Italian team. The rumour is that Mussolini was involved in the referee selection for Italian matches.

This World Cup would be bigger than its predecessor 4 years earlier. Instead of just 1 host city, there would be 8 host cities and 8 stadiums where the matches would be played.

World Cup 1934 Background

8 host cities in Italy

World Cup 1934 Participants

The 1934 World Cup in Italy is the first World Cup where countries needed to qualify in order to participate. 32 countries were interested but only 16 of them would participate in the 2nd World Cup.

Italy as a host country had to qualify for the 1934 World Cup as well. This was the first and only time a host country was not automatically qualified.

12 places for Europe were allocated to the following countries: Italy, Romania, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland. All European countries except for France, Belgium and Romania qualified for the first time.

Unlike the 1930 World Cup, there was a huge absence of Latin America countries in the 1934 World Cup. 

2 places for South America were allocated to the following countries: Brazil and Argentina. Both countries qualified automatically without any matches played since Chile and Peru withdrew.  Brazil and Argentina were the only South American countries to have made the long trip to Italy.

Uruguay which was hit by the Great Depression, did not participate either. They protested about the fact that many European countries refused to participate in the previous 1930 World Cup hosted in Uruguay. Therefore Uruguay is the first and last country so far which didn’t qualify for a World Cup after having won the previous World Cup.

The Home Nations (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) also refused to qualify for the 1934 World Cup. They perceived the annual British Home Championship as a superior tournament.

1 place for North/Central America and Caribbean was allocated to country United States. However, a qualification match had to be played against Mexico in Italy 3 days before the kick-off! United States submitted their entry after the official deadline which caused this last minute qualification match. The Mexican team that lost the match returned immediately to their country.

1 place for Africa was allocated to country Egypt which is the first African country to have qualified for a World Cup. It would take 7 World Cups before we would see Africa again in a World Cup.

Unfortunately for all non-European countries, they lost their first match which resulted in a short stay in Italy.

World Cup 1934 Match Ball

1934 World Cup match ball “Federale 102” – Consisting of 12 panels

World Cup 1934 Pools

Unlike in the 1930 World Cup, the 1934 World Cup excluded the pool stages. The World Cup started immediately with a knockout phase in order to change the tournament into a straight knockout tournament. This means there had to be a match winner from the beginning of the World Cup. If a match ended in a draw after 90 minutes, there would be 30 minutes of extra time. If the score is still a draw, the match would be replayed on the next day.

The 1934 World Cup started with 8 matches which all started at the same time. The winner of each match advanced to the Quarter-Finals. Both the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals started at the same time as well.

The Quarter-Finals stage and the match for the third place made their introduction in this World Cup.

There were 8 seed countries (top teams) which were Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Brazil and Italy. They were kept apart from each other in the first round.

The first round draw was made again a few days before the 1934 World Cup kick-off.

World Cup 1934 Stadiums

The 1934 World Cup was hosted in 8 cities and 8 stadiums rather than just 1 as was the case in the previous World Cup in 1930.

The following 8 cities and 8 stadiums were used in Italy:

Stadio Littoriale
Location: Bologna
Opened: 1927
Capacity: 38,279
Matches: 2
Status: Goes by the name Stadio Renato Dall'Ara and has been used in the 1990 World Cup
Stadio Giovanni Berta
Location: Florence
Opened: 1931
Capacity: 47,290
Matches: 3
Status: Goes by the name Stadio Artemio Franchi and is renovated in 1990 for Italia '90
Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Location: Genoa
Opened: 1911
Capacity: 36,703
Matches: 1
Status: Has been rebuilt in 1989 for the 1990 World Cup, it is one of the oldest Italian stadiums
Stadio San Siro
Location: Milan
Opened: 1926
Capacity: 55,000
Matches: 3
Status: Still exists and has been renovated in the 50s and 80s for the 1990 World Cup
Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli
Location: Naples
Opened: 1930
Capacity: 40,000
Matches: 2
Status: Destroyed by bombardments in World War II
Stadio Nazionale PNF
Location: Rome
Opened: 1911
Capacity: 47,300
Matches: 3
Status: Demolished in 1953 and has been replaced by the Stadio Flamini
Stadio Littorio
Location: Trieste
Opened: 1932
Capacity: 8,000
Matches: 1
Status: Does not exist anymore since it has been replaced by Stadio Nereo Rocco in 1992
Stadio Benito Mussolini
Location: Turin
Opened: 1933
Capacity: 28,140
Matches: 2
Status: Still exists and goes by the name Stadio Olimpico di Torino

World Cup 1934 Schedule

First Round
Date Home Team Results Away Team
27 May Sweden 3:2 (1:1) Argentina
27 May Austria 3:2 a.e.t. (1:1, 1:1) France
27 May Germany 5:2 (1:2) Belgium
27 May Spain 3:1 (3:0) Brazil
27 May Hungary 4:2 (2:2) Egypt
27 May Switzerland 3:2 (2:1) Netherlands
27 May Italy 7:1 (3:0) USA
27 May Czechoslovakia 2:1 (0:1) Romania
Date Home Team Results Away Team
31 May Czechoslovakia 3:2 (1:1) Switzerland
31 May Germany 2:1 (0:0) Sweden
31 May Italy 1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 1:1) Spain
31 May Austria 2:1 (1:0) Hungary
01 June Italy 1:0 (1:0) Spain
Date Home Team Results Away Team
03 June Italy 1:0 (1:0) Austria
03 June Czechoslovakia 3:1 (1:0) Germany
Match for third place
Date Home Team Results Away Team
07 June Germany 3:2 (3:1) Austria
Date Home Team Results Away Team
10 June Italy 2:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 0:0) Czechoslovakia

World Cup 1934 Memorable Matches

First Round

Spain – Brazil 3-1
Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa – attendance: 21,000

Not all key players from the Brazilian team traveled the long distance to Italy. This could be the reason why they lost their first match against Spain. The Spaniards José Iraragorri (2x) and Isidro Lángara scored for Spain. Center forward Leônidas da Silva  who would be more successful in the next World Cup, scored the only goal for Brazil. The loss resulted in immediate elimination and the team returned back to Brazil after a short stay in Italy.

World Cup 1934 Matches

4 Spanish defenders try to clear the ball from a Brazilian attack

Hungary – Egypt 4-2
Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli, Naples – attendance: ~12,000

This is the first World Cup match played by an African country. As the only participant from Africa, they lost the first match. The first half ended in 2-2. Both goals for Egypt were scored by winger Abdulrahman Fawzi. A 3rd goal scored by him was disallowed. Pál Teleki and Géza Toldi scored the 2 goals for Hungary in the first half. In the 2nd half forward Jenő Vincze scored the 3rd goal for Hungary and striker Géza Toldi scored his 2nd goal, the 4th goal for Hungary. Egypt had to make an early trip back home as well.

World Cup 1934 Matches

The Egyptian team

Italy – USA 7-1
Stadio Nazionale PNF, Rome – attendance: ~13,000

After USA’s last World Cup match in 1930 where they were beaten by Argentina with 6-1, it was Italy’s turn now. Italy crushed USA with 7 goals. Forward Angelo Schiavio scored a hat-trick and his 3rd goal is the 100th World Cup goal. Other players who scored a goal were Raimundo Orsi (2x), Giovanni Ferrari and Giuseppe Meazza. American Aldo Donelli was able to score the only goal for USA. Only 3 days after USA qualified for the 1934 World Cup in Italy, they were already eliminated.

World Cup 1934 Matches

The Italian team

Sweden – Argentina 3-2
Stadio Littoriale, Bologna – attendance: ~15,000

Not a single Argentinian player from the 1930 World Cup Final was included in this World Cup’s team due to internal disputes. This  may very well be the reason why they lost the first match. Argentina took the lead twice by goals scored by Ernesto Belis and Alberto Galateo. It was Swedish striker Sven Jonasson who scored the 2 equalizers. Striker Knut Kroon scored the 3rd and decisive goal for Sweden.

World Cup 1934 Matches

Swedish goalkeeper Anders Rydberg punches the ball away from Argentinian captain Alfredo De Vincenzi

All the non-European countries were eliminated in the first round. This means the Quarter-Finals consisted of European countries only. This was the first and last time so far this has happened in World Cup history.


 Italy – Spain 1-1, 1-0
Stadio Giovanni Berta, Florence – attendance: ~45,000

Their first match was played with lots of aggressiveness. Several players became injured and as a result played their last World Cup match. Italian player Mario Pizziolo who broke his leg and Spanish goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora were unable to play the rematch. This rough match resulted in a 1-1 match scored by Spaniard Luis Regueiro and Italian Giovanni Ferrari. Therefore, the first extra match in World Cup history had to be played. Both countries played each other again the next day and in the same stadium. It was Italian forward Giuseppe Meazza who became the hero of the match. He was the only player to have scored in the entire match resulting in the elimination of Spain and a ticket to the Semi-Final.

World Cup 1934 Matches

Goalkeepers and captains Gianpiero Combi (Italy) and Ricardo Zamora (Spain) before the match


Italy – Austria 1-0
Stadio San Siro, Milan – attendance: ~60,000

Austria was also known as the Wunderteam (Wonder Team). They were considered as the favourite for the World Cup trophy with 14 unbeaten matches from 1931 to 1932. Trainer Hugo Meisl emphasized on a successful short passing game style. The World Cup however ended here for Austria. The wet field conditions prevented Austria from implementing their strategy properly. Due to 1 goal only scored by Italy, Austria had to play the match for the third place. It was striker Enrique Guaita who scored Italy to their first World Cup Final.

World Cup 1934 Matches

The Austrian team

Czechoslovakia – Germany 3-1
Stadio Nazionale PNF, Rome – attendance: ~10,000

Germany which has beaten Belgium with 5-2 in their first match, was to weak for Czechoslovakia. All 3 goals were scored by striker Oldřich Nejedlý. With his 3 goals he became the 1934 World Cup top scorer with 5 goals in total. Rudolf Noack scored the only goal for Germany. This was the first and last time Germany lost against Czechoslovakia. Both teams would encounter each other 2 more times before the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia in the early 90s. The 2nd time was in the 1958 World Cup (2-2) and the last time in the 1990 World Cup Quarter-Final match which was won by Germany with 1-0.

World Cup 1934 Matches

The captains shake hands before the match: Fritz Szepan (Germany) and František Plánička (Czechoslovakia)

World Cup 1934 Final

World Cup 1934 Final

Goalkeepers and captains Gianpiero Combi (Italy) and František Plánička (Czechoslovakia) shake hands before the 1934 World Cup Final in Rome

The 1934 World Cup was a knockout tournament. This meant every match had to be won from the start in order to reach the Final. It was both Italy and Czechoslovakia that made it to the Final. Unlike the 1930 World Cup Final, this was the first all-European Final in World Cup history.

On the 10th of June, the Final was played in Stadio Nazionale PNF in Rome with around 45,000 attendees. In the Final no goal was scored until 15 minutes before the end of the match. It was Czechoslovakian player Antonín Puč (71′) who scored the 1-0. In less than 10 minutes before the end, Italian player Raimundo Orsi managed to change  the 0-1 score to 1-1 (81′) with a nice curling shot. In extra time (first Final where extra time had to be played), only 5 minutes were needed by Italy to change the score into a final 2-1. It was Italian Angelo Schiavio (95′) who scored the winning goal. For the 2nd time in a row, a host country has won the World Cup again.

Czechoslovakia would only play once more in a World Cup Final 28 years later. Italy however, would show another great performance in the next World Cup.

World Cup 1934 Final

Angelo Schiavio scoring the 2-1 in extra time

A funny fact: Italian player Raimundo Orsi tried to copy the exact same curling shot as he had shot in the Final scoring the 1-1. The press photographers wanted to take a shot of his skill the next day after the Final. But after more than 20 attempts, he was still not able to perform the shot successfully. He failed each time.

World Cup 1934 Final

Italy = Blue (Coach: Vittorio Pozzo)
Czechoslovakia = White (Coach: Karel Petrů)

World Cup 1934 Records

  • 9 of the 12 European countries qualified for the first time: Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland
  • Only World Cup where the champion of the previous World Cup (Uruguay) was not participating
  • Italy is the first European country to win a World Cup
  • Italy is the 2nd country to win a World Cup
  • Italy is the 2nd country to win a World Cup as host country
  • Italy is the 2nd country to win every match before winning the Final
  • Countries had to qualify for the first time to participate in the World Cup
  • Only World Cup where the host country had to qualify
  • Quarter-Finals stage and the match for the third place were played for the first time in this World Cup
  • Match Italy – Spain (1-1) is the first match that ended in a draw
  • Match Austria – France (3-2) is the first match where extra time was played
  • First time Africa participated in a World Cup (Egypt)
  • First World Cup goal scored by an African country is scored by Egyptian Abdulrahman Fawzi in the match against Hungary (2-4)
  • Only World Cup where the last 8 teams are all European teams
  • First time all 4 Semi-Finalists are European teams
  • The Final is the first World Cup Final where extra time had to be played
  • Brazilian Waldemar de Brito is the first World Cup player to have missed a penalty (against Spain)
  • Italian player Angelo Schiavio scored the 100th World Cup goal in their first match against USA (7-1)
  • The very first rematch was played in this World Cup: Italy – Spain (1-0)
  • 1934 World Cup has a record low average of attendance per match: 23,235
  • 1934 World Cup has the lowest attendance in World Cup history: 390,000
  • Italy was the first country to be a host country while never having played a World Cup before

Did You Know

  • Egypt would only qualify for their next World Cup in 1990, coincidentally also hosted in Italy for a 2nd time
  • Next time an African country qualified for a World Cup was in 1970
  • Few players of the Italian team were of Italian descent but born in Argentina, which was controversial in that time
  • Few of these Italian descent players born in Argentina, played for the Argentinian team as well: Luis Monti, Enrique Guaita and Raimundo Orsi
  • Italian player Luis Monti played for Argentina in the 1930 World Cup
  • Italian player Luis Monti is the only player to have played a World Cup Final for 2 different countries (Argentina 1930 and Italy 1934)
  • Only World Cup where Brazil won 0 matches
  • Only 1 rematch had to be played to determine the winner
  • FIFA president Jules Rimet stated the 1934 World Cup didn’t belong to FIFA, but to the Fascist party
  • Aside to the Jules Rimet trophy, another trophy (6 times larger than the Jules Rimet trophy) was created and awarded after the Final which has the name La Coppa del Duce, named in honour of Mussolini
  • For the first time it was possible to follow the matches through live radio broadcasts in certain countries
  • Federale 102 match ball contains 12 panels as the 1930 World Cup balls
  • Federale 102 match ball was made by local supplier ECAS in Italy

World Cup 1934 FIFA Awards

  • Golden Ball: Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)
  • Silver Ball: Matthias Sindelar (Austria)
  • Bronze Ball: Oldřich Nejedlý (Czechoslovakia)
  • Golden Boot: Oldřich Nejedlý (Czechoslovakia) (5 goals)
  • Silver Boot: Edmund Conen (Germany), Angelo Schiavio (Italy) (4 goals)
  • Bronze Boot: Leopold Kielholz (Switzerland), Raimundo Orsi (Italy) (3 goals)
World Cup 1934 FIFA Awards

Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)

World Cup 1934 FIFA Awards

Oldřich Nejedlý (Czechoslovakia)


World Cup 1934 FIFA All-Star Team

What is interesting about the World Cup 1934 FIFA All-Star Team, is the fact that player Luis Monti is included as an Italian player. However in the World Cup 1930 FIFA All-Star Team, he is included as well, but as an Argentinian player. This means he played 2 Finals for a different country. He is the only player who has done this in World Cup history. As mentioned in Did You Know, he was one of the players who was from Italian descent but born in Argentina.

Ricardo Zamora (Spain)Jacinto Quincoces (Spain)
Eraldo Monzeglio (Italy)
Luis Monti (Italy)
Attilio Ferraris (Italy)
Leonardo Cilaurren (Spain)
Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)
Raimundo Orsi (Italy)
Enrique Guaita (Italy)
Matthias Sindelar (Austria)
Oldřich Nejedlý (Czechoslovakia)

World Cup 1934 in Action

1934 World Cup summary

1934 World Cup and history

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