1938 FIFA World Cup
|Coupe du Monde 1938|
|Dates||4 June – 19 June (16 days)|
|Teams||15 (from 4 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||10 (in 10 host cities)|
|Champions||Italy (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||84 (4.67 per match)|
|Attendance||375,700 (20,872 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Leônidas (7 goals)|
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 to 19 June 1938. Italy retained the championship (and thus became the only team to have won two FIFA World Cups under the same coach, or Vittorio Pozzo), beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.
France was chosen as hosts by FIFA in Berlin on August 13, 1936. France defeated Argentina and Germany in the first round of voting. The decision caused outrage in South America where it was believed that the venue would alternate between the two continents; instead, it was the second tournament in a row to be played in Europe. This was the last World Cup to be staged before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Because of anger over the decision to hold a second successive World Cup in Europe, neither Uruguay nor Argentina entered the competition, while Spain became the first country to be prevented from competing because of it being at war.
Of the 14 remaining places, eleven were allocated to Europe, two to the Americas, and one to Asia. As a result, only three non-European nations took part: Brazil, Cuba and the Dutch East Indies. This is the smallest ever number of teams from outside the host continent to compete at a FIFA World Cup.
Austria qualified for the World Cup, but after qualification was complete, the Anschluss united Austria with Germany. Austria subsequently withdrew from the tournament, with some Austrian players joining the German squad (not including Austrian star player Matthias Sindelar, who refused to play for the unified team). Latvia was the runner-up in Austria's qualification group, but was not invited to participate; instead Austria's place remained empty, and Sweden, which would have been Austria's initial opponent, progressed directly to the second-round by default.
This tournament saw the first, and as of 2014[update] the only, participation in a World Cup tournament from Cuba and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It also saw the World Cup debuts of Poland and Norway. Poland and the Netherlands would not reappear at a finals tournament until 1974, while Norway would not qualify for another World Cup finals until 1994. A unified Germany team would not appear again until 1994.
The knockout format from 1934 was retained. If a match was tied after 90 minutes, then 30 minutes of extra time were played. If the score was still tied after extra time, the match would be replayed. This was the last of the two World Cup tournaments that used a straight knockout format.
Five of the seven first round matches required extra time to break the deadlock; two games still went to a replay. In one replay, Cuba advanced to the next round at the expense of Romania. In the other replay, Germany, which had led 1–0 in the first game against Switzerland, led 2–0 but eventually was beaten 2–4. This loss, which took place in front of a hostile, bottle-throwing crowd in Paris, was blamed by German coach Sepp Herberger on a defeatist attitude from the five Austrian players he had been forced to include; a German journalist later commented that "Germans and Austrians prefer to play against each other even when they're in the same team". This remains, as of 2014[update], the only time in World Cup history in which Germany failed to advance to the final eight (they did not enter in 1930 and had been re-admitted only after the 1950 WC).
Sweden advanced directly to the quarter-finals as a result of Austria's withdrawal, and they proceeded to beat Cuba 8–0. The hosts, France, were beaten by the holders, Italy, and Switzerland were seen off by Hungary. Czechoslovakia took Brazil to extra time in a notoriously feisty match in Bordeaux before succumbing in a replay; the South Americans proved too strong for the depleted Czechoslovak side (both Oldřich Nejedlý and František Plánička had suffered broken bones in the first game) and won 2–1. This was the last ever match to be replayed in a World Cup, with all winners of replay matches in 1938 having been eliminated in the next round.
Hungary destroyed Sweden in one of the semi-finals 5–1, while Italy and Brazil had the first of their many important World Cup clashes in the other. The Brazilians rested their star player Leônidas confident that they would qualify for the final, but the Italians won 2–1. Brazil topped Sweden 4–2 for third place.
Before the finals, Benito Mussolini sent a telegram to the team, saying "Vincere o morire!", which is literally translated as "Win or die!". However, this was not meant to be a literal threat, but instead just an encouragement to win. The final itself took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris. Vittorio Pozzo's Italian side took the lead early, but Hungary equalised within two minutes. The Italians took the lead again shortly after, and by the end of the first half were leading the Hungarians 3–1. Hungary never really got back into the game. With the final score favouring the Italians 4–2, Italy became the first team to successfully defend the title and were once more crowned World Cup winners.
Because of World War II, the World Cup would not be held for another 12 years, until 1950. As a result, Italy were the reigning World Cup holders for a record 16 years, from 1934 to 1950. The Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, hid the trophy in a shoe-box under his bed throughout the Second World War and thus saved it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.
Ten cities were planned to host the tournament:
|Stade du Fort Carré||Parc Lescure||Stade Municipal||Stade Victor Boucquey|
|Capacity: 7,000||Capacity: 34,694||Capacity: 22,000||Capacity: 15,000|
|Parc des Princes||Stade Olympique de Colombes||Vélodrome Municipal||Stade de la Meinau|
|Capacity: 48,712||Capacity: 60,000||Capacity: 21,684||Capacity: 30,000|
(the only match there was cancelled)
|Stade Vélodrome||Stade Chapou|
|Capacity: 40,500||Capacity: 48,000||Capacity: 35,472|
Of these, all but Lyon ultimately hosted matches. Lyon did not due to Austria's withdrawal.
For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1938 FIFA World Cup squads.
|5 June – Marseille|
|12 June – Paris (Olympique)|
|5 June – Paris (Olympique)|
|16 June – Marseille|
|5 June – Strasbourg|
|12 June – Bordeaux
(replayed 14 June)
|5 June – Le Havre|
|19 June – Paris (Olympique)|
|5 June – Reims|
|12 June – Lille|
|Dutch East Indies||0|
|4 June – Paris (Princes)
(replayed 9 June)
|16 June – Paris (Princes)|
|5 June – Lyon|
|12 June – Antibes||19 June – Bordeaux|
|5 June – Toulouse
(replayed 9 June)
4 June 1938
|Abegglen 43'||Report||Gauchel 29'|
|Hungary||6–0||Dutch East Indies|
Sárosi 25', 88'
Zsengellér 30', 67'
|Socorro 44', 103'
Nicolas 16', 69'
5 June 1938
|Leônidas 18', 93', 104'
Perácio 44', 71'
|Report||Scherfke 23' (pen.)
Wilimowski 53', 59', 89', 118'
5 June 1938
9 June 1938
Lörtscher 22' (o.g.)
Abegglen 75', 78'
9 June 1938
|H. Andersson 9', 81', 90'
Wetterström 32', 37', 44'
|Heisserer 10'||Report||Colaussi 9'
Piola 51', 72'
|Leônidas 30'||Report||Nejedlý 65' (pen.)|
14 June 1938
16 June 1938
|Jacobsson 19' (o.g.)
Zsengellér 39', 85'
16 June 1938
Meazza 60' (pen.)
Match for third place
19 June 1938
Leônidas 63', 74'
19 June 1938
|Report||Colaussi 6', 35'
Piola 16', 82'
With seven goals, Leônidas is the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 84 goals were scored by 42 different players, with two of them credited as own goals.
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Own goals
FIFA retrospective ranking
In 1986, FIFA published a report that ranked all teams in each World Cup up to and including 1986, based on progress in the competition, overall results and quality of the opposition. The rankings for the 1938 tournament were as follows:
|Eliminated in the quarter-finals|
|Eliminated in the round of 16|
|15||Dutch East Indies||1||0||0||1||0||6||−6||0|
- Ashdown, John (2014-04-22). "World Cup: 25 stunning moments … No11: Austria's Wunderteam". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- "History of the World Cup Final Draw" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Hesse-Lichtenberger, Ulrich (2003). Tor!: The Story of German Football. London: WSC Books. p. 85. ISBN 095401345X.
- "Jules Rimet Cup". FIFAWorldCup.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Sweden were awarded a walkover as Austria were unable to compete because of the Austrian Anschluss in March 1938.
- Actually from Austria, but finally representing the German Football Association because of the Anschluss.
- RSSSF credits this goal as coming in the 118th minute.
- RSSSF credits this goal as coming in the 111th minute.
- RSSSF credits this goal as coming in the 90th minute.
- RSSSF credits goal in the 81st minute as coming in the 61st minute.
- RSSSF credits the goal in the 32nd minute as coming in the 22nd minute.
- RSSSF credits goal in the 80th minute as coming in the 60th minute.
- RSSSF credits this goal as coming in the 89th minute.
- FIFA initially credits this goal to Leônidas, but changed it to Roberto in 2006. Archived November 16, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- RSSSF credits the goal in the 82nd minute as coming in the 85th minute.
- "page 45" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- "FIFA World Cup: Milestones, facts & figures. Statistical Kit 7" (PDF). FIFA. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013.