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The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the first FIFA World Cup, the world championship for international football teams. It was played in Uruguaymarker from 13 July to 30 July. Fédération Internationale de Football Associationmarker (FIFA) chose Uruguay 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. All matches were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideomarker, the majority at the Estadio Centenariomarker, which was built for the tournament.

Thirteen teams, nine from the Americas and four from Europe, entered the tournament. Few European teams chose to participate due to the duration and cost of travel. The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. 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. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history.

Argentina, Uruguay, the USA and Yugoslavia each won their respective groups to qualify for the semi-finals. 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 Gamesmarker and the 1912 Olympic Games the football competitions had been organised by the Football Association and the Swedish Football Association respectively.

The preliminary schedule for the 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angelesmarker did not include football. FIFA and the International Olympic Committeemarker disagreed over the status of amateur players, so football was dropped from the Games. On 26 May 1928, at FIFA's 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 and with professionalism permitted. The membership voted 25–5 to accept the proposal. Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay all lodged applications to host the event. Uruguay's bid became the clear favourite for a number of reasons. Uruguay were reigning Olympic champions, and thus de facto world champions, the bid included plans to build a new stadium as a centrepiece, and the Uruguayan authorities also offered to refund the expenses of all participants. The other nations withdrew their bids, and Uruguay was chosen to host the tournament.


For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1930 FIFA World Cup squads.
Participating countries
The first World Cup was the only one without qualification. Every country affiliated with FIFA was invited to compete, and given a deadline of 28 February 1930 to accept. Plenty of interest was shown by nations in the Americas; Argentinamarker, Brazilmarker, Boliviamarker, Chilemarker, Mexicomarker, Paraguaymarker, Perumarker and the United States all entered. However, due to the long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean, very few European teams were inclined to take part. Some refused to countenance travel to South America in any circumstances, and no European entries were received before the February deadline. In an attempt to gain some European participation, the Uruguayan Football Association even sent a letter of invitation to the Football Association (FA), which was not a member of FIFA at the time. This was rejected by the FA Committee on 18 November 1929. Two months before the start of the tournament, no team from Europe had officially entered.
FIFA president Rimet intervened, and eventually four European teams made the sea trip: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The Romanians, managed by Costel Radulescu and coached by their captain Rudolf Wetzer and Octav Luchide, entered the competition following the intervention of newly crowned King Carol II. He selected the squad personally, and negotiated with employers to ensure that the players would still have jobs upon their return. The Romanians boarded the SS Conte Verde at Genoamarker, the French were picked up at Villefranche-sur-Mermarker on 21 June 1930;  and the Belgians embarked at Barcelonamarker. This is the same vessel which carried Rimet, the trophy and the three designated European referees: the Belgians Jean Langenus and Henri Christophe, plus Thomas Balway, a Parisien who may have been English. The Brazilian team were picked up when the boat docked in Rio de Janeiromarker on 29 June 1930 before arriving in Uruguay on 4 July 1930. It is at Rio that Balway was said to have learned that his wife had died in France. Yugoslavia travelled via the mail steamship Florida from Marseillemarker.


The thirteen teams were drawn into four groups, and all the games were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideomarker. Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and the USA were seeded, and were kept apart in the draw, which took place in Montevideo once all the teams arrived. Since there were no qualifying games, the opening two matches of the tournament were the first World Cup games ever played, 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 Centralmarker. France's Lucien Laurent was the scorer of the first World Cup goal.

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 group favourites Argentina. Injuries hindered France; goalkeeper Thépot had to leave the field after 20 minutes, and Laurent, after a fierce tackle by Luis Monti, spent most of the match limping. However, they held out for most of the match, only succumbing to an 81st-minute goal scored from a Monti free kick. The game featured an officiating controversy when referee Almeida Rego erroneously blew the final whistle six minutes early, with Frenchman Marcel Langiller clear on goal; play only resumed after protests from the French players. Though France had played twice in 48 hours, Chile had yet to play their first match. They faced Mexico the following day, gaining a comfortable 3–0 win.

Argentina's second match, against Mexico, featured the first penalty of the tournament. A total of five penalties, three of them controversial, were awarded during the match, which was refereed by the Bolivian coach Ulises Saucedo. Guillermo Stábile scored a hat-trick on his international debut as Argentina won 6–3, despite the absence of their captain Manuel Ferreira, who had returned to Buenos Aires to take a law exam. Qualification was decided by the group's final match, contested by Argentina and Chile, who had beaten France and Mexico respectively. The game 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, were expected to progress. However, in the group's opening match Yugoslavia gained an unexpected 2–1 victory over Brazil. Going into the tournament Bolivia had never previously won an international match. For their opener they paid tribute to the hosts by wearing shirts each emblazoned with a single letter, spelling "Viva Uruguay" as the team lined up. Both of Bolivia's matches followed a similar pattern, a promising start gradually transforming into heavy defeat. Against Yugoslavia, they held out for an hour before conceding, but were four goals down by the final whistle. Misfortune played its part; several Bolivian goals were disallowed. Against Brazil, when both teams had only pride to play for, the score was 1–0 to Brazil at half-time. Brazil added three more in the second half, two of them scored by the multi-sportsman Preguinho. 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. The Romanians made their man advantage pay; their 3–1 win included two late goals. This match had the smallest crowd of any in World Cup history. The official attendance was 2,459, but the actual figure is generally accepted to be around 300.

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 Uruguayan team spent the four weeks preceding the match in a training camp, at which strict discipline was exercised. Goalkeeper Andrés Mazali was dropped from the squad for breaking a curfew to visit his wife. One hundred years to the day of the creation of Uruguay's first constitution, the hosts won a tight match against Peru 1–0. The result 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 a significant number of new caps, were reputedly nicknamed "the shot-putters" by an unnamed source in the French contingent. They beat their first opponents, Belgium, 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, played in windy conditions, 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 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. With the USA having secured qualification, the final match in the group was a dead rubber. Paraguay beat Belgium by a 1–0 margin.


The four 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.

In the second semi-final there were 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.

Third and fourth place

The now-traditional third place playoff was not established until 1934, so the 1930 World Cup is unique in having no match take place between the semi-finals and the final. Occasional sources, notably a FIFA Bulletin from 1984, incorrectly imply that a third-place match occurred and was won 3–1 by Yugoslavia. Accounts differ as a whether a third-place was originally scheduled. According to a 2009 book by Hyder Jawad, Yugoslavia refused to play a third-place match because they were upset with the refereeing in their semi-final against Uruguay. A FIFA technical committee report on the 1986 World Cup included full rankings of all teams at all previous World Cup finals; this report retrospectively ranked the United States third and Yugoslavia fourth, a practice since continued by FIFA.


The resounding wins for Uruguay and Argentina in the semi-finals meant the final was a repeat of the matchup in the 1928 Olympic final, which Uruguay won 2–1 after a replay.

The final was played at the Estadio Centenariomarker on July 30. Feelings ran high around the La Plata Basin, dispelling any uncertainty as to whether the tournament had captured the imagination of the public. The ten boats earmarked to carry Argentine fans from Buenos Aires to Montevideo proved inadequate, and any number of assorted craft attempted the crossing. An estimated 10–15,000 Argentinians made the trip, but the port at Montevideo was so overwhelmed that many did not even make landfall before kick-off, let alone reach the stadium. At the stadium, supporters were searched for weapons. The gates were opened at eight o'clock, six hours before kick-off, and at noon the ground was full, the official attendance 93,000. 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. Uruguay made one change from their semi-final lineup. Castro replaced Anselmo, who missed out due to illness. Monti played for Argentina despite receiving death threats on the eve of the match. The referee was Belgian Jean Langenus, who only agreed to officiate a few hours before the game, having sought assurances for his safety. One of his requests was for a boat to be ready at the harbour within one hour of the final whistle, in case he needed to make a quick escape.

The hosts scored the opening goal through Pablo Dorado, a low shot from a position on the right. Argentina, displaying superior passing ability, responded strongly. Within eight minutes they were back on level terms. Carlos Peucelle received a Ferreira through-ball, beat his marker and equalised. Shortly before half-time leading tournament goalscorer Guillermo Stábile gave Argentina a 2–1 lead. Uruguay captain Nasazzi protested, maintaining that Stábile was offside, but to no avail. In the second half Uruguay gradually became ascendant. Shortly after Monti missed a chance to make the score 3–1, Uruguay attacked in numbers, and Pedro Cea scored an equaliser. Ten minutes later a goal by Santos Iriarte gave Uruguay the lead, and just before full-time Castro made it 4–2 to seal the win. Langenus ended the match a minute later, and Uruguay thus added the title World Cup winners to their mantle of Olympic champions. Jules Rimet presented the World Cup Trophy, which was later named for him, to the head of the Uruguayan Football Association, Raúl Jude. The following day was declared a national holiday in Uruguay; in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Airesmarker, a mob threw stones at the Uruguayan consulate.

Only one player from the final, Francisco Varallo (who played as a forward for Argentina), is still alive as of 2009.

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.


matches took place in Montevideomarker. Three stadiums were used: Estadio Centenariomarker, Estadio Pocitos, and Estadio Parque Centralmarker. The 100,000 capacity Estadio Centenario was built both for the tournament and as a celebration of the centenary of Uruguayan independence. Designed by Juan Scasso, it was the primary stadium for the tournament, referred to by Rimet as a "temple of football". The stadium hosted 10 of the 18 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 Nacional and Peñarol, the 20,000 capacity Parque Central and the Pocitos.


First round

Group 1

3 3 0 0 10 4 +6 6
3 2 0 1 5 3 +2 4
3 1 0 2 4 3 +1 2
3 0 0 3 4 13 −9 0

Group 2

2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 4
2 1 0 1 5 2 +3 2
2 0 0 2 0 8 −8 0

Group 3

2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 4
2 1 0 1 3 5 −2 2
2 0 0 2 1 4 −3 0

Group 4

2 2 0 0 6 0 +6 4
2 1 0 1 1 3 −2 2
2 0 0 2 0 4 −4 0

Knockout stage




8 goals

5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

2 goals (cont.)
1 goal


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