Tuesday, 28 May 2024

FIFA World Cup: Uruguay, 1930

In 1930, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) organized the first-ever World Cup tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay. This historic event marked the beginning of a beloved sporting tradition that continues to captivate audiences around the globe.

The Birth of a Sporting Legacy

The inaugural World Cup boasted a total of 13 teams, including the host nation, Uruguay, as well as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, the United States, and Yugoslavia. All matches took place in three stadiums within Montevideo: Central Park, Pocitos Stadium, and Estadio Centenario, the iconic venue that witnessed the thrilling final between Uruguay and Argentina.

Fascinating Trivia

The 1930 World Cup was not only a gateway to a new era of international football but also a stage for remarkable stories and unforgettable moments. Here are some trivia highlights from that historic tournament:

  • The first two World Cup matches were held simultaneously on July 13, 1930. France triumphed over Mexico with a 4-1 victory, while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0. Both matches were played in Montevideo.

  • France’s captain during the first World Cup, Alex Villaplane, tragically met his demise 15 years later for alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Villaplane was later shot by French resistance fighters in July 1945.

  • The match between Romania and Peru on July 14, 1930, holds a unique record: it had the lowest recorded attendance with only 300 spectators present in Montevideo.

  • The Romanian team for the 1930 World Cup was personally selected by their football-crazy King Carol II. The players were granted a three-month leave with full pay by their employers.

  • Uruguayan goalkeeper Antonio Mazzali, a member of Uruguay’s Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 1924 and 1928, missed the 1930 finals. He had left the team’s hotel without permission to visit his family.

  • A referee’s mistake prematurely terminated the match between Argentina and France on July 15, 1930. Referee Almeida Rego mistakenly blew the whistle to end the match at the 39th minute of the second half, with Argentina leading 1-0. The game was resumed 30 minutes later, but no goals were scored during the “extra” time.

  • The USA trainer collapsed during the 1930 Semi-Final against Argentina. While rushing onto the pitch to attend to an injured player, he dropped a medicine box and accidentally broke a bottle of chloroform. The fumes overcame him, causing him to lose consciousness. Surprisingly, the injured player recovered without any treatment.

  • The semi-final matches witnessed identical 6-1 scores, as Argentina defeated the US, and Uruguay triumphed over Yugoslavia.

  • Thick fog caused delays for several boats carrying Argentine supporters to the 1930 Final, resulting in many of them missing the match. Only two out of the ten chartered boats arrived on time. Fortunately, the match referee was on the first boat.

  • The choice of the match ball for the final between Uruguay and Argentina became a toss-up. Both teams wanted to use their own “home-made” ball, and Argentina won the toss, using their ball in the first half, with Uruguay using theirs during the second half.

  • Hector Castro, who scored Uruguay’s winning goal in the 1930 Final, had only one hand due to a childhood accident.

  • Argentina’s defeat in the 1930 Final had an unexpected consequence: the overthrow of the Argentinian president. Irigoyen was ousted by a military coup fueled by deeply disappointed citizens.

  • The victorious Uruguayan players were celebrated as national heroes upon their return home. The municipality of Montevideo honored each player with a plot of land and a new house.

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World Cup Firsts

Alongside captivating trivia, the 1930 World Cup introduced several “firsts” that have left an indelible mark on the tournament’s history:

  • The first player to be replaced in a World Cup final due to injury was French goalkeeper Alex Thepot. After being kicked in the jaw by a Mexican player in the opening match, Thepot was substituted by midfielder Augustin Chantrel.

  • The first-ever World Cup match took place between Mexico and France on July 13, 1930, with France emerging as the victor in a 4-1 result.

  • Lucien Laurent of France etched his name in the history books by scoring the first goal of the World Cup in the 19th minute of the inaugural match.

  • Manuel Rocquetas Rosas of Mexico achieved the distinction of scoring the first penalty goal in World Cup history. He accomplished this feat against Argentina on July 19, 1930.

  • Bert Patenaude of the United States became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match. He accomplished this remarkable achievement against Paraguay in the first round of the 1930 tournament. It’s worth noting that some sources erroneously credit Guillermo Stabile of Argentina with the first World Cup hat-trick, which occurred two days after Patenaude’s feat.

  • The first-ever red card shown in a World Cup match was to Plácido Galindo or Mario de las Casas of Peru during their match against Romania on July 14, 1930. Various sources differ on the name of the player.


The 1930 FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay marked the beginning of a glorious football tradition that has captivated fans worldwide ever since. Thirteen teams competed in the tournament, and the matches took place in three stadiums within Montevideo. The event was characterized by incredible moments and intriguing trivia, from the first-ever World Cup match to landmark achievements by players. The victorious Uruguayan team returned home as national heroes, commemorated by the municipality of Montevideo with land and new homes. The 1930 World Cup forever remains a cherished chapter in football history.

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For more information on the 1930 FIFA World Cup, including videos and related pages, visit Auralpressure.com.