13th July marks the day in history when the inaugural FIFA World Cup was organised in Uruguay, in 1930. On the 100th anniversary of the country’s constitution and also for successfully retaining the 1928 Olympics title, Uruguay was chosen as world Cup hosts by FIFA.
Initially there were only thirteen teams that took part in the tournament (seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America). Few European teams did not take part in the tournament due to difficulty in travelling to South America. The teams were divided in groups of 4-3-3-3, with winner from each group advancing to the next round, the semi-finals. Majority matches were played in Uruguay’s Estadio centenrio, Montevideo.
All four group winners, Uruguay, Argentina, USA & Yugoslavia advanced to the semis. In the first semi-final, Argentina outplayed USA with a difference of five goals (6-1), a similar result was seen in the second semi-final where the host’s Uruguay defeated Yugoslavia with the same margin and Pedro Cea also completed his hat-trick.
Pre-match atmosphere was not so good, as a debate spurred between Argentina and Uruguay, when the teams failed to agree on who should provide the match ball, therefore FIFA had to intervene and it was then decided that the match ball for the first half will be provided by Argentina, whereas the match ball for the second half will be provided by the hosts. Argentina’s midfielder Luis Monti played the final match despite receiving death warnings on the eve of the match. The match referee was John Langenus, who was a Belgian national and he only agreed to officiate the final a few hours before the match, upon assurance that he will be provided security. One of his demands was that a boat should be made ready at the harbour, so that in-case things go violent, he can still easily escape.
-Argentina's matchball, which was used in the first half-
-Uruguay's match ball, which was used in the second half-
The final was a recap of the 1928 Olympic final in which Uruguay defeated arch-rivals Argentina with a difference of two goals to one (2-1). The final took place at the Estadio Centenrio, with an estimated attendance of 68,000 (including 15000) Argentinian fans.
-Estadio Centenrio, Montevideo-
The hosts opened up the scoring through Pablo Dorado’s goal, however Argentina displayed great passing abilities and within eight minutes they scored a goal and now both the teams were on level pegging. A few minutes before halftime tournament’s leading goal scorer Guillermo Stábile placed his side ahead of Uruguay, although the opposing side protested but referee’s decision stayed. In the second-half Uruguay seemed more aggressive and scored an equaliser, shortly after Monti missed a goal scoring opportunity. Now on level pegging, Uruguay begun to attack and ten minutes later, through Iriarte’s goal Uruguay were now leading. Just before fulltime Castro scored another goal, putting his side two goals ahead of the rivals. Langenus soon gave the fulltime call and the hosts clenched the title on their home ground. Then FIFA president Jules Rimet presented the World Cup trophy to Dr Paul Jude, who was then president of Uruguayan Football Association.
-Dr Paul Jude (president of Uruguayan Footbal Association) is presented World cup trophy by FIFA president Jules Rimet-
Argentina’s Guillermo Stábile became the top scorer with eight goals, the second and third spots were taken by Pedro Cea (Argentinian) with five goals and Bert Patenaude (American) with four goals.
-Famous photographs from the final-
-Belgian referee Jean Langenus (wearing a tie) Uruguayan captain Jose Nasazzi (left) Argentina's Manuel Ferreira (right)-
-World Cup poster-