Subject: WC30 : history
From: (augusto)
Date: Feb 27, 1997

It was in Barcelona, May 1929, that FIFA's congress aproved the project of its president, Jules 
Rimet, to have a first world cup taking place in the following year. Uruguay was picked as 
host, in fair recognition to that country's outstanding performance in the Olympic games ( gold 
medal in 1924 and 1928 ). That's why until today, the Uruguayans are referred to as the 
"celeste olimpica" (olympic sky-blue shirts ). Another argument was Uruguay's independence 
100th anniversary. That's why Montevideo's stadium got named as "Centenario".

But many European countries were not happy with that choice, and Italy, from the beginning, 
refused to participate. Later on, other european countries joined the Italian boycott, but 
apparently to mask the unwillingness to face a daring cross-ocean trip in those days.Therefore, 
of the thirteen participants, only four were European :France, Yugoslavia, Rumania and 

Skipping technical details of the games, the groups were:
1: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, France
2: Brazil, Yugoslavia, Romenia
3: Uruguay, Peru, Rumania
4: United States, Paraguay, Belgium

Centenario stadium, especially built for the event, wasn't ready in time for the beginning of the 
cup, partly because of heavy rains. So the first games had to be held at Penarol and Nacional 

There is controversy over the date of the first world cup game ever. Historical records display 
confliting dates. By comparison of different sources, it's turned out that WC30 started on July 
13th. But indications are that two games were held in that same day : France x Mexico, and 
USA x Belgium. According to FIFA, USA and Belgium inaugurated the world cup. The game 
had a 10,000 attendance and ended with the Americans winning by 3x0. Still according to 
FIFA, the 2nd game had France beating Mexico 4x1 with about 1,000 attendance.

As to the first score in WC history, it gets still more controversial, since FIFA's records did not 
specify the beginning times of the two games, which could possibly have started near 
simultaneously. Thus, it could be guessed that the first goal was scored either by USA's 
McGhee or France's Lucien Laurent. There are sources which don't quite coincide with FIFA's 
official bulletims, and indicate Frace 4x1 Mexico as the opening game and Laurent as the first 
scorer. Some sources mention a curiosity in that particular game: Laurent ended as goal keeper 
to replace his mate who got injured, as no substitutions were allowed. And Laurent "won" 
back the goal he had previously scored.

Another curiosity : still in the first phase, Argentina was leading 2x1 against France when 
brazilian referee Almeida Rego whistled the end of the game with still 6 minutes left. The 
mostly Uruguayan crowd, eagerly wanting the elimination of the traditional rival neighbors, got 
furious and invaded the field. Police finally got things under control, and the referre ended up 
having to call back the two teams for the remaining 6 minutes. Didn't help, Argentina kept the 

Brazil got virtually eliminated in its first game, losing 1x2 to Yugoslavia. Preguinho, heading 
in, scored Brazil's first goal in a world cup. It didn't help winning 4x0 against Bolivia. 
Brazilians were without their best team, as result of disputes between Rio and Sao Paulo. 

Yugoslavia, Uruguay, Argentina and USA advanced. The semifinals thenhad identical results: 
Argentina 6x1 USA, Uruguay 6x1 Yugoslavia.

The final took place on July 30th, 1930 at just finished Centenario stadium, packed. The day 
before, especial security measures had to be taken to control possible riots between local fans 
and the thousands of Argentinian fans present. Minutes before the game, a tough dispute as to 
which ball should be used. Coin was dropped by belgium referee John Langenus and the 
Argentinian favorite ball got chosen.

Dorado opened the score for the locals at 12 minutes, with Peucelle tieing things up at 18. 
Stabile, the top scorer of WC30 (8 goals), took Argentina to the lead at 37, setting on fire the 
Argentinian crowd which chanted "Victoria o muerte !" ( win or death ! ). That way ended the 
first half.

Came 2nd half. A bit confused tatically, the Uruguayans went body-and-soul after the win. 
Pedro Cea tied at 12. Iriarte, shooting from long range made it 3x2 to the "celeste". And, at 
last minute, Hector Castro sealed things up : 4x2, Uruguay , first soccer world champion. A 
title with a flavor of third consecutive one, because of the previous Olympics.

The 1930 champions had the following team :
Nasazzi, Mascheroni (defense);
Andrade, Fernandez, Gestido (midfield);
Dorado, Scarone, Hector Castro, Pedro Cea, Iriarte (attack);

WC30 had no single tie, with average of 4 goals per game.

The obvious frustration on the Argentinian side had a few violent incidents. The day after, 
Uruguayan consulate in Buenos Aires asked for police protection after most windows had 
glasses broken.