History of Football: FIFA World Cup - 1930

The first FIFA football World Cup tournament took place in Uruguay from 13th to 30th July, 1930 in celebration of that country’s centenary celebrations. The national football team had also retained their football title at the Summer Olympics of 1928 in the Netherlands and so were the prevailing dominant force in international football at that time. In the 1928 final they had beaten Argentina 2.1 after a replay.

The competition was by invitation only and featured just 13 teams. The cost and logistics for European countries to attend a tournament on the other side of the world was a major factor in so few being prepared to travel to Uruguay.

Seven countries from South America participated in the first World Cup: Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia. This is the highest amount of South American countries to have participated in any World Cup tournament and the only World Cup which contained more countries from South America than from Europe.

Frenchman Lucien Laurent scored the first ever World Cup goal in the 19th minute of the inaugural match on 13th July, 1930 between France and Mexico, played in front of a crowd of just 1,000.

King Carol II – a self-confessed football fanatic – personally selected the Romanian national team to compete in the tournament. The lowest recorded attendance for a World Cup Finals match was 300 spectators for the match between Romania & Peru in Montevideo on 14 July 1930. This match also featured the first player to be sent off in the World Cup finals. According to FIFA, the player was Peruvian defender Plácido Galindo, but other sources suggest that it was midfielder Mario de las Casas

The final was held in the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo on 30th July 1930 in front of a crowd of 93,000. It was won by Uruguay who beat Argentina again, 4.2, providing the continent of South America with its first World Cup champions. Uruguay’s scorers were Pablo Dorado, José Pedro Cea, Victoriano Santos Iriarte and Héctor Castro; Carlos Peucelle and Guillermo Stábile scored for Argentina.

The first Golden Boot (‘adidas Golden Shoe’ since 1982) award for most goals scored in the tournament was won by Guillermo Stábile of Argentina with 8 goals.

Winners: Uruguay

Runners-up: Argentina

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