Costel Radulescu

1930 FIFA World Cup

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the first FIFA World Cup, the world championship for international football teams. It was played in Uruguay from 13 July to 30 July. FIFA chose Uruguay as hosts at the Barcelona conference on 18 May 1929, as the country would be celebrating the centenary of its independence and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics.

Thirteen teams participated; nine from the Americas and four from Europe. Few European teams chose to participate due to the duration and cost of travel. The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, and were won by France and the USA, who beat Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0, respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. In the final, hosts and pre-tournament favourites Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people, and became the first nation to win a World Cup.


In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic football tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event at the next three Olympiads: 1920–1928 (in the 1908 Olympic Games and the 1912 Olympic Games the football competitions had been organised by the Football Association and the Swedish Football Association respectively).

The 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of football in the United States, as American football had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. On 26 May 1928, at the Amsterdam conference and on the opening day of the Olympic football tournament, FIFA president Jules Rimet announced plans to stage a tournament independent of the Olympics, open to all FIFA members. Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay would all lodge applications to host the event..


For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1930 FIFA World Cup squads.

The first World Cup was the only one without qualification. Every country affiliated with FIFA was invited to compete. 28 February 1930 was set for teams to accept Uruguay's invitations. Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, the United States and Mexico all registered in time, but the date passed without a single trans-Atlantic country agreeing to play. Due to the long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean, very few European teams were attracted enough to take part. The Uruguayan Football Association even sent a letter of invitation to the Football Association (at that time not a member of FIFA). This was rejected by the FA Committee on 18 November 1929 ; two months before the tournament started, no team from Europe had officially entered. FIFA president Jules Rimet intervened, along with the Uruguayan government, which promised to pay the travel expenses of any European team.

Eventually four European teams made the sea trip: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The Romanians (who had lost to Yugoslavia a month before the competition but who would win the Balkan Cup in 1931), managed by Costel Radulescu and coached by their captain Rudolf Wetzer and Octav Luchide, boarded the SS Conte Verde at Genoa, the French were picked up at Villefranche-sur-Mer on 21 June 1930 ; and the Belgians embarked at Barcelona. This is the same vessel which took Jules Rimet, the trophy itself and the three designated European referees: the Belgians Jean Langenus and Henri Christophe and Thomas Balway, a Parisien who may have been English. The Brazilian team were picked up when the boat docked in Rio de Janeiro on 29 June 1930 before arriving in Uruguay on 4 July 1930. It is at Rio that Balway was said to have learnt that his wife had died in France. Yugoslavia travelled via the mail steamship Florida from Marseille.

Of the journey Lucien Laurent said "We were 15 days on the ship "CONTE VERDE" getting out there. We embarked from Villefranche-sur-Mer in company of the Belgians and the Yugoslavians. We did our basic exercises down below and our training on deck. The coach never spoke about tactics at all..."


The thirteen teams were drawn into four groups, with all the games being played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and the USA were seeded, and were kept apart in the draw that took place in Montevideo. The USA were seeded on account of the professional soccer league in the USA at the time. Since there were no qualifying games, the opening two matches of the tournament were the first ever World Cup games, taking place simultaneously on July 13; France beat Mexico 4-1 at the Estadio Pocitos, while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0 at the same time at the Estadio Gran Parque Central. France's Lucien Laurent was the scorer of the first ever World Cup goal. Laurent later said: "We were playing Mexico and it was snowing, since it was winter in the southern hemisphere. One of my team mates centred the ball and I followed its path carefully, taking it on the volley with my right foot. Everyone was pleased but we didn't all roll around on the ground - nobody realised that history was being made. A quick handshake and we got on the with game. And no bonus either; we were all amateurs in those days, right to the end.

Group 1

The first group was the only one to contain four teams: Argentina, Chile, France and Mexico. Two days after France's victory over Mexico, they faced Argentina. The only goal of the game was scored by Argentina's Luis Monti from a free kick. The game featured an officiating controversy when referee Almeida Rego erroneously blew the final whistle six minutes early; play only resumed after protests from the French players. Argentina's second match, against Mexico, featured the first penalty of the tournament. A total of five penalties were awarded during the match which was refereed by the Bolivian coach Ulises Saucedo, three of them controversial. Guillermo Stábile scored a hat-trick on his international debut as Argentina won 6-3. Qualification was decided by the final group match, between Argentina and Chile who had beaten France and Mexico respectively. The game which was marred by a brawl sparked by a foul on Arturo Torres by Monti. Argentina won 3-1 against their neighbours and progressed to the semi-finals.

Group 2

The second group contained Brazil, Bolivia and Yugoslavia. Brazil, the group seeds, sent a team composed primarily of players from Rio de Janeiro due to an internal dispute, but were nonetheless expected to progress. However, in the group's opening match Yugoslavia gained an unexpected 2-1 victory. Both teams beat Bolivia comfortably (although there was considerable confusion during the Brazil v Bolivia game when, for 45 minutes, the teams were attired in the same colours. Ulises Saucedo's side finally changing into an alternate kit). Yugoslavia qualified for the semi-finals.

Group 3

Hosts Uruguay were in a group with Peru and Romania. The opening match in this group saw the first sending off in the competition, when Plácido Galindo of Peru was dismissed against Romania. Romania made their man advantage pay; their 3-1 win included two late goals. Due to construction delays at Estadio Centenario, Uruguay's first match was not played until five days into the tournament. The first to be held at the Centenario, it was preceded by a ceremony in honour of the Uruguayan centenary celebrations. The hosts won a tight match against Peru 1-0 which was viewed as a poor performance by the Uruguayan press, but lauded in Peru. Uruguay subsequently defeated Romania with ease, scoring four first half goals to win 4-0.

Group 4

The United States dominated the fourth group. The US team, which contained one ex-professional of British origin, and some international migrants along with mostly natural-born players, were reputedly dubbed "the shot-putters" by an unnamed source in the French contingent. Their first opponents, Belgium, were beaten 3-0. The ease of the victory was unexpected; Uruguayan newspaper Imparcial wrote that "the large score of the American victory has really surprised the experts". Belgian reports bemoaned the state of the pitch and refereeing decisions, claiming that the second goal was offside. The group's second match witnessed the first tournament hat-trick, scored by Bert Patenaude of the United States against Paraguay. Until 10 November 2006 the first hat-trick that FIFA acknowledged had been scored by Guillermo Stábile of Argentina, two days after Patenaude; however, in 2006 FIFA announced that Bert Patenaude's claim to being the first hat-trick scorer was valid, as teammate Tom Florie's goal in the match against Paraguay was reattributed to Patenaude. The four eventual group winners, Argentina, Yugoslavia, Uruguay, and the United States, moved to the semi-finals.


The two semi-final matches saw identical scores. In the first semi-final, a Monti goal half-way through the first half gave Argentina a 1-0 half-time lead against the United States. In the second half the strength of the United States team was overwhelmed by the pace of the Argentinian attacks, the match finishing 6-1 to Argentina. The American management made their anger felt to Jean Langenus but without appeal.

In the second semi-final; shades of the 1924 Summer Olympics match between Yugoslavia and Uruguay. Here, though, Yugoslavia took a surprise lead through Sekulić. Uruguay then took a 2-1 lead, but shortly before half-time Yugoslavia had a goal disallowed due to a controversial offside decision. The hosts scored four more in the second half to win 6-1, Pedro Cea completing a hat-trick.


The final was thus contested between the finalists from the 1928 Olympics, Uruguay and Argentina. Because the now-traditional third-place match was not established until 1934, the 1930 World Cup is unique in not having any games take place between the semi-finals and the final. However, some sources, notably a FIFA Bulletin from 1984, imply that a third-place match occurred and was won 3-1 by Yugoslavia. This information has never officially been confirmed.

The final was played at the Estadio Centenario on July 30. The stadium gates were opened at eight o'clock, six hours before kick-off, and at noon the ground was full, officially holding 93,000 people. A disagreement overshadowed the build-up to the match as the teams disagreed on who should provide the match ball, forcing FIFA to intervene and decree that the Argentine team would provide the ball for the first half and the Uruguayans would provide their own for the second. The game ended 4-2 to Uruguay (who had trailed 2-1 at half time) who added the title World Cup winners to the mantle of Olympic Champions, as Jules Rimet presented the World Cup Trophy, which was later named for him. The following day was declared a national holiday in Uruguay; in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires a mob threw stones at the Uruguayan consulate.

Only one player from that final, Francisco Varallo (who played as a striker for Argentina), is still alive as of 2007.

France, Yugoslavia and the United States all undertook friendlies in South America following the competition. Brazil played France on 1 August 1930, Yugoslavia on 10 August 1930 and the United States on 17 August 1930 , while Argentina hosted Yugoslavia on 3 August 1930


All matches took place in Montevideo. Three stadiums were used: Estadio Centenario, Estadio Pocitos, Estadio Parque Central. The 100,000 capacity Estadio Centenario was built both for the tournament and as a celebration of the centenary of Uruguayan independence. It was the primary stadium for the tournament, referred to by Jules Rimet as a "temple of football". The stadium hosted ten of the eighteen matches including both semi-finals and the final. However, a rushed construction schedule and delays caused by the rainy season meant the Centenario was not ready for use until five days into the tournament. Early matches were played at smaller stadiums usually used by Montevideo football clubs, the 20,000 capacity Parque Central and the Pocitos.


First round

Group 1

Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
3 3 0 0 10 4 6
3 2 0 1 5 3 4
3 1 0 2 4 3 2
3 0 0 3 4 13 0

Group 2

Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
2 2 0 0 6 1 4
2 1 0 1 5 2 2
2 0 0 2 0 8 0

Group 3

Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
2 2 0 0 5 0 4
2 1 0 1 3 5 2
2 0 0 2 1 4 0

Group 4

Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
2 2 0 0 6 0 4
2 1 0 1 1 3 2
2 0 0 2 0 4 0

Knockout stage





8 goals

1 goal

See also


External links

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