Uruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup (July 30, 1930) - History Key

Uruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup (July 30, 1930)

FIFA World Cup is probably one of the most watched sport events in the world. Its history is linked mostly to the great event of the 20th century, but every four years, another country makes history in this wonderful competition.

This day in history marks the first winner of the event: Uruguay. The competition started on July 13 and lasted until July 30, 1930. The international football association chose Uruguay as host because the country also celebrated 100 years since its first constitution and they also won the 1928 Olympic Games title.

All the matches were played in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo on three stadiums. Thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America) entered the tournament. Only a few European countries chose to participate because of the difficulty of traveling to South America.

Because of a dispute, a different ball was used in each half, one chosen by each team. Argentina's ball (top) was used for the first half, and Uruguay's ball (bottom) was used for the second half
Because of a dispute, a different ball was used in each half, one chosen by each team. Argentina’s ball (top) was used for the first half, and Uruguay’s ball (bottom) was used for the second half © Oldelpaso/CC BY-SA 3.0/Image Source: Wikipedia

The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group going further into semifinals. Argentina, Uruguay, USA and Yugoslavia were the teams that reached the semifinals. In the final, Uruguay and Argentina played where Uruguay won the match with 4-2. So, the first winner of the world cup is Uruguay.

Estadion Centenario,1930
Estadion Centenario,1930 © Image Source: Wikipedia

Later on you will find a few interesting and funny stories related to the FIFA World Cup between 1934 and 1950.

1934 FIFA World Cup – Football and Fascism

Benito Mussolini, the fascist leader of Italy, had a special feeling for sports and especially for soccer. So, in order to promote the cause of his regime, he organized the first World Cup in Europe. The entire competition was used by “Il Duce” for propaganda purposes. The winner was of course, Italy.

taly Squad, 1934
Italy Squad, 1934 © Image Source: thesefootballtimes.co

1938 FIFA World Cup – The French hated the Nazis

It was a World Cup marked by political events. The threat of a new world war was already felt by most of the people. Tortured by a bloody civil war, Spain withdrew from the competition. Germany “took” Austria a few months before the start of the tournament organized in France. Germany also tried to use most of the good players from Austria. Some of the players were jailed, but sadly some of them committed suicide (Austrian footballer Sindelar).

The French detested the Nazi regime, so they didn’t hesitate to encourage the opponents of Germany. With a powerful team, Germany was eliminated from the first match. Italy won the cup.

Germany Squad
Germany Squad © Image Source: footballtube.com

1950 FIFA World Cup – Brazil, a mourning nation

Football came back after 12 years of break caused by the WWII. The tournament was organized by Brazil and only 13 countries participated. England, the inventors of football, left their pride aside and followed the invitation. Until that time, England never participated in the World Cup. However they were eliminated from the first match by the US.

The funny thing is that India also qualified for the tournament, but they withdrew from it because FIFA rules didn’t allowed them to play barefooted. Uruguay joined the second time the tournament (they refused to play in Europe) and they managed to win in front of the hosts with 2-1. An entire nation ready to celebrate the first historic success, was shocked after Brazil lost the cup.

Uruguay football team pose before the start of the last match of the event, against Brasil, Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, 1950
Uruguay football team pose before the start of the last match of the event, against Brasil, Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, 1950 © Image Source: espn.com

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