Monday, August 22, 2011


In France, Italy becomes a two-time winner. 

The fear of a World War. 
Spain is absent due to Civil War.
Good soccer from Brazil and Leonidas.
The Hungarians are the runner-up, and Brazil is third.
Leonidas, the "black diamond", scores the greatest number of goals.

August 15, 1936, just after the Olympic games had ended, 40 of ht 54 members at the FIFA Congress at the Kroll Opera, in Berlin, decided to let France host the 3r World Cup. For Jules Rimet, president of FIFA and the French Soccer Federation, this was a great triumph.

Europe was in the brink of war. Spain was fighting a Civil War. Hitler marched his troops into Austria with no resistance. The Uruguayans insisted on staying at home. Argentinians, feeling rejected, would also not participate. Of the 35 countries who had initially registered, only 27 remained. For the first time, the host country and the winner of the Cup automatically qualified for a berth. This rules holds true today.

Qualifiers were the Dutch Indies, after the United State and Japan withdrew; Cuba, after withdrawal of Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, and Surinam; Brazil also because Bolivia abstained; Germany and Sweden after eliminating Estonia and Finland; Norway and Poland, after they defeat Ireland and Yugoslavia; Romania because of Egypt's no-show; Switzerland after defeating Portugal; Hungary eliminated Greece and Palestine; Austria eliminating Latvia, Austria did not play in the finals following a decision by the German government; and Belgium and Holland, eliminated Luxembourg.    

Third World Cup was held June 4, 1938. On June 4 and 5, first Round was played. The Hungarians, in Rheims, trampled the Dutch Indies 6-0; in Colombes Stadium in Paris, the French easily defeated Belgians, 3-1. On June 4, 1938, Germany, playing against the Swiss at Parc des Princes. It was a normal game but tied; after 30 minutes overtime it was still tied. Germans were not able to win. Five days later, on June 9 playoff, still in Paris. First half, Germany were winning 2-0. But in the second half, the Swiss, with stamina, ran over their opponents, Scoring 4 goals knocking Germany out of the championship.

The Italians, in Marseilles, had a hard time winning against the Norwegians, 2-1. In Toulouse, Cuba was surprised to tie with the aged and tired Romanian team 3-2, playing overtime. 3 days later, Cuba eliminated Romania 2-1. In Le Havre, June 5, the dutch stunned Czechoslovakia by holding them 0-0. In overtime, Czechoslovakia eventually won 3-0. In Strasbourg, the Brazilians played their game against a strong Poland. Playing classic, agile, and quick soccer, Brazil was ahead 3-1 first half ended. During halftime, however, a downpour flooded the field, affecting playing surface also the entire look of the game. Second half, the Poles came back give it their all,and the game became very intense. there was Leonidas scored 4 goals in this game, on the other was Willimovsky, also scored 4 goals. At the end of regulation time the score was 4-4. In overtime Brazil scored twice more and won 6-5. They went to quarterfinals.

On June 12, the quarterfinals were played. All teams had to travel long distances to the next venue everyone went by train, except Italians, who had their own plane. Brazilians suffered the most from the trip. Cuban and Swiss, were tired. Cuba lost to Sweden, 8-0. The Swiss, were beaten by the strong Hungarians, 2-0. There was a real battle for Brazilians, on June 12, in Bordeaux, Brazil took in Czechoslovakia. 1934 finalist retained their stars goalie Planicka, so finde match was anticipated. Unfortunately, 2 Brazilian players, Machado and Zeze Procopio, were sent off, plus Riha from Czechoslovakia. Leonidas and Peracio were injuredand Planicka and Nejedly were taken to hospital. 25,000 spectators witnessed a 90-minute game and overtime still tied game, Violence reigned. In total 9 Brazilians and 8 Czechoslovakians were injured. A true war. 

2 days later, on June 14, 1938, the Brazilians entered the same stadium with a new team and the game was beautiful, fair and well played. Brazil won 2-1, Brazil was in the semifinals.

On June 12, French played against the Italians, at Colombes stadium in Paris with 58,455 spectators, the largest attendance during this World Cup. 1-1 first-half, but Italy improved in second Half and won 3-1.

For the semifinals, Brazil had to travel again and they have to play Italy 2 days after two games against Czechoslovakia, and had to do it without Leonidas. Brazil lost, 2-1. Italy was in the Finals. They would have play against Hungary, who had an easy victory against Swedes, 5-1, in Parc des Princes.

Brazil finished 3rd, beating Sweden int the consolation game 4-2.  

The third World Cup in France, had been quit a success with a total of 374,937 spectators. For the 55,000 Spectators and president of the French Republic, the finals was a fitting celebration. The French rooted the Hungarians though the Italians were clearly better; at halftime, they were already ahead 3-1. In the second-half Hungarians scored and the hopes were raised a little. However, ten minutes from time Italy scores 4-2 the final score. Italy was two-time World Cup winner - the best team without a doubt. If the 20's belonged to Uruguay, the 30's belonged to Italians, they won World Cups 1934 and 1938, and the Olympic Title in 1936.

The World Cup was interrupted, unfortunately, for the next 12 years by World War II. What would become of Soccer? And the World Cup? There would be no World Cup in 1942 or 1946, but Brazil would host the World Cup in 1950 and make it a success.  

Top Scorer:
8 Goals : Leonidas (Brazil)
7 Goals : Zsengeller (Hungary)
5 Goals : Piola (Italy)
4 Goals : Willimowski (Poland), Colaussi (Italy), Wetterstrom (Sweden
3 Goals : Abbegllen III (Switzerland), Romeu (Brazil), Sarosy (Hungary), Nyberg (Sweden)
2 Goals : Nicolas (France), Toldi (Hungary), Peracio (Brazil), Maquina (Cuba), Dobai (Romania), Nejedly (Czech), Jonasson (Sweden), Titkos (Hungary)
1 Goals : Gauchel (Germany), Veinante (France), Ferraris (Italy), Kohut (Italy), Kovacs (Romania), Isemborghs (Belgium), Tunas (Cuba), Piontek (Poland), Baratki (Romania), Brustad (Norway), Kostalek (Czech), Sosa (Cuba), Zeman (Czech), Hahnemann (Germany), Loerstcher (Switzerland), Socorro (Cuba), Wallaschek (Switzerland),  Bickel (Switzerland), Heisserer (France), Andersson (Sweden), Keller (Sweden), Kopecky (Czech), Roberto (Brazil), Meazza (Italy)