1930 World Cup


The A to Z of the 1930 tournament...

As holders of the Olympic title and the fact that 1930 marked its 100 years of independence, it was appropriate to choose Uruguay to host the first World Cup tournament.


The ball used in the final was a great debate, rumour has it that for the first half a ball from Uruguay was used and then for the second half Argentina had the rights and chose one of theirs.


Centenario was the venue of the first ever world cup final. The no-frills bowl was home to 10 of the 18 matches, including all three knockout contests, earning its place in history as a "temple of football" (so called by Jules Rimet himself). It's still the national stadium today, with a ferocious atmosphere, as anyone who witnessed the recent play-off battles with Australia will testify.


De Las Casas of Peru has the unwanted accolade of being the first ever person sent off at a world cup tournament, in their match against the USA.


Every game had at least one goal scored in it, some as many as eight.


France met Mexico in the opening match and duly thrashed them 4-1.


The number of games totalled at eighteen, and the number of goals scored was an impressive 66. Averaging over 3 goals per game.


Hat-trick confusion. There still seems to be a difference of opinion on who scored the tournament's first ever hat-trick. Whilst FIFA and a number of other sources give America's Bertram Patenaude the honour of having scored the first World Cup hat trick (17 July 1930, against Paraguay), others insist it was Guillermo Stabile of Argentina, with three goals two days later against Mexico.


The isolation of many of the top European teams was due to the distance that had to be travelled. Even though the Uruguayan government was willing to pay expenses, many refused to travel.


The Jules Rimet trophy or "Victoire Aux Ailes d'Or" trophy, was made for the winners. A statuette 30cm high, made of solid gold and weighing 4 kg, it was the daddy of all trophies.


King Carol of Romania gave his players three months off from their jobs and a guarantee that they would be re-employed on their return, as well as granting amnesty to suspended players. Oh yes, and he also appointed himself as coach.


Lombardi of Uruguay was the referee of the first ever tournament fixture.


Montevideo was the venue for all the games, with its three stadiums (Centenario, Pocitos and Parque Central). Celebrations in Montevideo went on for several days and nights and the day after the famous victory, the 31 July, was proclaimed a national holiday.


Uruguayan captain Jose Nazassi was the first man to hold aloft the Jules Rimet trophy.


The organizer of the inaugural world cup was one Hugo Meisl, an Austrian who also created the Mitropa Cup.


Pablo Dorado has the enviable record of being the first ever scorer in a world cup final.


Qualification. For the first ever World Cup there were no qualifying rounds - participation was by invitation only. 12 said yes, the rest is history.


The referee for the final was a Belgian named Langenus.


Guillermo Stabile of Argentina was the tournament's top scorer with 8 goals, thus becoming the first winner of the Golden Shoe/Boot award.


The thirtieth of July 1930 is a date every football fan should know - the date of the first World Cup final.


Uruguay were the first nation to hold the world cup and also its first winners. The first final was contested by the hosts and their neighbours Argentina. After trailing 2-1 at the interval, Uruguay went on to prevail 4-2 and thus won the cup which had been designed by French sculptor Abel Lafleur.


The voyage to Uruguay from Europe was a long and tedious journey. Belgium, France, Yugoslavia and Romania, set sail on 21 June 1930 from Villefranche-Sur-Mer with the liner "Conte Verde" reaching Rio de Janeiro on 29 June, where they picked up the Brazilian squad and arrived in Montevideo on the 4th July.


Why no England? Moaning about having to play in the same tournament as countries they went to war against, and arguing with FIFA over the definition of 'professional footballer', led to England's footballing wilderness. They wouldn't compete in the competition for another 20 years.


The final XI's...
Uruguay: Ballesteros, Nasazzi, Mascherano, Andrade, Gestido, Fernandez, Dorado(1), Scarone, Castro(1), Cea(1), Irearte(1)
Argentina: Botasso, Della Torre, Paternoster, Evaristo J, Monti, Saurez, Peucelle(1), Varallo, Stabile(1), Ferreyra, Evaristo M.


Yugoslavia have the distinction of being the first European team to reach the semi finals.


Zumelzu of Argentina was the first player to score a penalty; he actually scored 2 v Mexico. Mexico's M Rosas also scored 2 penalties also. Great game.