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20 Interesting & Quirky Facts about the 1930 FIFA World Cup

1. Many countries declined the invitation to the tournament since Uruguay seemed too far. Overseas journey was the only feasible option then as the commercial aviation really took off after half-a-century (mid 50s) of Wright Brother’s invention in 1903.

2. It was the first and the last tournament in FIFA World Cup history to have more countries from South America than Europe.
3. Never after the 1930 FIFA World Cup, 7 or more South American teams participated or qualified.

4. 1930 FIFA World Cup together with 1950 World Cup, was the only ever FIFA World Cup which ended without a play off for the third place.

5. Romania, France and Belgium and the Brazilian national team, travelled together with the ship named SS Conte Verde. Can you see that happening now? Hilarious, isn’t it?

6. Speaking of hilarious. USA’s coach knocked himself out as he ran on to the field to treat his player. He dropped a bottle of chloroform and inhaled fumes when he bent over to pick it up. He had to be stretchered off.

7. Uruguay’s goal keeper Andrés Mazali became the first ever to be expelled from a World Cup team. He never played for the national team again, after sneaking up from the team hotel, which was prohibited by the strict trainer Alberto Suppici.

8. The final match was played with two different balls because of a dispute between the countries. The 1st ball was chosen by Argentina and was used in the first half and the 2nd one was chosen by Uruguay for the second half.

9. Argentina’s coach Juan Jose Tramutola was just 27-years-old, whereas Chile’s coach Gyorgi Orth was 29.

10. Estadio Centenario was specially built to celebrate the countries’ 100th birthday and it wasn’t completed until the 5th day into the tournament.

11. The 5-time World Champions Brazil lost their first ever World Cup match (to Yugoslavia 2-1).

12. The lowest ever attendance of any World Cup match (300) was recorded in Uruguay, 1930 when Romania played Peru at Estadio Pocitos. The final on July 30, 1930 was held at Estadio Centenario with 93,000 spectators.

13. More than 30,000 Argentines crossed the River Plate to attend the final on July 30, 1930.

14. Last surviving player of the 1930 World Cup died after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on August 30, 2010 (age 100 years). He was an Argentinian.

15. Alex Villaplane, the skipper of French team, was executed in 1944 for collaborating with the Germans.

16. Uruguay’s national association offered to pay for all the costs of the travelling countries ( accommodation and travelling) and thus were given a nod to host the World Cup.

17. Uruguay were the champions of the football competition in Olympics of 1924 and 1928. 1930 was the 100th anniversary of the country’s constitutional birthday.

(The Winners of the first FIFA World Cup)
18. The team from Bolivia wore shirts which together spelt: VIVA URUGUAY. (to salute their hosts)

19. This was the first event to introduce the round robin concept in group stage. It wasn’t implemented in 9 Olympics tournament before this.

20. The team from Romania was selected by King Carol II himself and the players were promised jobs and money after the tournament.

For detailed info on the 1930 FIFA World Cup


Venue: One host city in Montevideo (Uruguay)

3 Stadiums: Estadio Centenario (capacity – 90,000), Estadio Parque Central (capacity – 1900), Estadio Pocitos (with capacity of just 1000 people)

Date: 13 July to 30 July 1930

Participants: Total 13

South America (7 countries) – Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia

Europe (4 countries) – France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Romania

North America (2 countries) – USA ad Mexico

Uruguay (defeated Argentina 4 – 2)

Third place: USA

Goals: 70 goals in 18 matches

Top Scorer: Guillermo Stábile (Argentina) – 8 goals

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