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1938 FIFA World Cup
WorldCup1938poster.jpg
Tournament details
Host countryFlag of France.png France
Dates4 June – 19 June (16 days)
Teams15 (from 4 confederations)
Venue(s)10 (in 10 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of Italy.gif Italy
Runner-upFlag of Hungary.png Hungary
Third placeBrazil.png Brazil
Fourth placeFlag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden
Tournament statistics
Matches played18
Goals scored84 (4.67 per match)
Attendance375,700 (20,872 per match)
Top scorer(s)Brazil Leônidas (7 goals)
1934
1950

The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 to 19 June 1938. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.

Host selection

France was chosen as hosts by FIFA in Berlin on August 13, 1936. France defeated Argentina and Germany in the first round of voting. The decision caused outrage in South America where it was believed that the venue would alternate between the two continents; instead, it was the second tournament in a row to be played in Europe. This was the last World Cup to be staged before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Qualification

Main article: 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification

Because of anger over the decision to hold a second successive World Cup in Europe, neither Uruguay nor Argentina entered the competition, while Spain became the first country to be prevented from competing by war.

It was the first time that the hosts (France) and the title holders (Italy) qualified automatically. Title holders were given an automatic entry into the World Cup until 2006 when this was abolished.

Of the 14 remaining places, eleven were allocated to Europe, two to the Americas, and one to Asia. As a result, only three non-European nations took part: Brazil, Cuba and the Dutch East Indies. This is the smallest ever number of teams from outside the host continent to compete at a FIFA World Cup.

Austria qualified for the World Cup, but after qualification was complete, the Anschluss united Austria with Germany. Austria subsequently withdrew from the tournament, with some Austrian players joining the German squad (not including Austrian star player Matthias Sindelar, who refused to play for the unified team). Latvia was the runner-up in Austria's qualification group, but was not invited to participate; instead Austria's place remained empty, and Sweden, which would have been Austria's initial opponent, progressed directly to the second-round by default.

This tournament saw the first, and as of 2014 the only, participation in a World Cup tournament from Cuba and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It also saw the World Cup debuts of Poland and Norway. Poland and the Netherlands would not reappear at a finals tournament until 1974, while Norway would not qualify for another World Cup finals until 1994. A unified Germany team would not appear again until 1994.

Format

The knockout format from 1934 was retained. If a match was tied after 90 minutes, then 30 minutes of extra time were played. If the score was still tied after extra time, the match would be replayed. This was the last of the two World Cup tournaments that used a straight knockout format.

Summary

Germany, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Cuba and Brazil were seeded for draw taking place in Paris, on 5 March 1938.

Five of the seven first round matches required extra time to break the deadlock; two games still went to a replay. In one replay, Cuba advanced to the next round at the expense of Romania. In the other replay, Germany, which had lead 1–0 in the first game against Switzerland, lead 2–0 but eventually was beaten 2–4. This loss, which took place in front of a hostile, bottle-throwing crowd in Paris, was blamed by German coach Sepp Herberger on a defeatist attitude from the five Austrian players he had been forced to include; a German journalist later commented that "Germans and Austrians prefer to play against each other even when they're in the same team". This remains, as of 2014, the only time in World Cup history in which Germany failed to advance to the final eight (they did not enter in 1930 and had been re-admitted only after the 1950 WC).

Sweden advanced directly to the quarter-finals as a result of Austria's withdrawal, and they proceeded to beat Cuba 8–0. The hosts, France, were beaten by the holders, Italy, and Switzerland were seen off by Hungary. Czechoslovakia took Brazil to extra time in a notoriously feisty match in Bordeaux before succumbing in a replay; the South Americans proved too strong for the depleted Czechoslovak side (both Oldřich Nejedlý and František Plánička had suffered broken bones in the first game) and won 2–1. This was the last ever match to be replayed in a World Cup, with all winners of replay matches in 1938 having been eliminated in the next round.

Hungary destroyed Sweden in one of the semi-finals 5–1, while Italy and Brazil had the first of their many important World Cup clashes in the other. The Brazilians rested their star player Leônidas confident that they would qualify for the final, but the Italians won 2–1. Brazil topped Sweden 4–2 for third place.

The final itself took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris. Vittorio Pozzo's Italian side took the lead early, but Hungary equalised within two minutes. The Italians took the lead again shortly after, and by the end of the first half were leading the Hungarians 3–1. Hungary never really got back into the game. With the final score favouring the Italians 4–2, Italy became the first team to successfully defend the title and were once more crowned World Cup winners.

Because of World War II, the World Cup would not be held for another 12 years, until 1950. As a result, Italy were the reigning World Cup holders for a record 16 years, from 1934 to 1950. The Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, hid the trophy in a shoe-box under his bed throughout the Second World War and thus saved it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.

Venues

Ten cities were planned to host the tournament:

Antibes Bordeaux Le Havre Lille
Stade du Fort Carré Parc Lescure Stade Municipal Stade Victor Boucquey
Capacity: 7,000 Capacity: 34,694 Capacity: 22,000 Capacity: 15,000
Stade du Fort Carré, Antibes, France Panorama Chaban-Delmas Stade municipal du Havre - Wedstrijd Nederland-Tsjechoslowakije, WK 1938 LilleOM-1937
Paris Reims Strasbourg
Parc des Princes Stade Olympique de Colombes Vélodrome Municipal Stade de la Meinau
Capacity: 48,712 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 21,684 Capacity: 30,000
Paris-Parc-des-Princes Stade Yves du Manoir Colombes7 Stade Auguste-Delaune 2 Tribünen Stade de la Meinau fassade2
Lyon Marseilles Toulouse
Stade Gerland
(the only match there was cancelled)
Stade Vélodrome Stade Chapou
Capacity: 40,500 Capacity: 48,000 Capacity: 35,472
Stade-Gerland-RWC2007 Vue du virage Depé StadiumToulouse3

Of these, all but Lyon ultimately hosted matches. Lyon did not due to Austria's withdrawal.

Squads

For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1938 FIFA World Cup squads.

Results

First round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                           
5 June – Marseille            
 Flag of Italy.gif Italy (aet)  2
12 June – Paris
 Flag of Norway.png Norway  1  
 Flag of Italy.gif Italy  3
5 June – Paris
   Flag of France.png France  1  
 Flag of France.png France  3
16 June – Marseille
 Belgium.png Belgium  1  
 Flag of Italy.gif Italy  2
5 June – Strasbourg
   Brazil.png Brazil  1  
 Brazil.png Brazil (aet)  6
12 June – Bordeaux
(replayed 14 June)
 Flag of Poland.png Poland  5  
 Brazil.png Brazil  1 (2)
5 June – Le Havre
   Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia  1 (1)  
 Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia (aet)  3
19 June – Paris
 Netherlands.png Netherlands  0  
 Flag of Italy.gif Italy  4
5 June – Reims
   Flag of Hungary.png Hungary  2
 Flag of Hungary.png Hungary  6
12 June – Lille
 Flag of the Netherlands.png Dutch East Indies  0  
 Flag of Hungary.png Hungary  2
4 June – Paris
(replayed 9 June)
   Switzerland.png Switzerland  0  
 Switzerland.png Switzerland  1 (4)
16 June – Paris
 Germany.png Germany  1 (2)  
 Flag of Hungary.png Hungary  5
5 June – Lyon
   Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden  1   Third place
 Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden  w/o
12 June – Antibes 19 June – Bordeaux
 Flag of Austria.png AustriaSweden were awarded a walkover as Austria were unable to compete because of the Austrian Anschluss in March 1938.</ref>  —  
 Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden  8  Brazil.png Brazil  4
5 June – Toulouse
(replayed 9 June)
   Flag of Cuba.png Cuba  0    Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden  2
 Flag of Cuba.png Cuba  3 (2)
 Romania.png Romania  3 (1)  

First round

4 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Switzerland Switzerland.png 1–1
(a.e.t.)
Germany.png Germany Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 27,152
Referee: John Langenus (Belgium)
Abegglen Soccerball 43' Report Gauchel Soccerball 29'

5 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Hungary Flag of Hungary.png 6–0 Flag of the Netherlands.png Dutch East Indies Vélodrome Municipal, Reims
Attendance: 9,000
Referee: Roger Conrié (France)
Kohut Soccerball 14'
Toldi Soccerball 16'
Sárosi Soccerball 25'88'
Zsengellér Soccerball 30'67'
Report

5 June 1938
Sweden Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg w/o Flag of Austria.png Austria Stade Gerland, Lyon

5 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Cuba Flag of Cuba.png 3–3 (a.e.t.) Romania.png Romania Stade Chapou, Toulouse
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Giuseppe Scarpi (Italy)
Socorro Soccerball 44'103'
Magriñá Soccerball 69'
Report Bindea Soccerball 35'
Barátky Soccerball 88'
Dobay Soccerball 105'

5 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
France Flag of France.png 3–1 Belgium.png Belgium Stade Olympique de Colombes, Paris
Attendance: 30,454
Referee: Hans Wüthrich (Switzerland)
Veinante Soccerball 1'
Nicolas Soccerball 16'69'
Report Isemborghs Soccerball 38'

5 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Italy Flag of Italy.gif 2–1 (a.e.t.) Flag of Norway.png Norway Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 19,000
Referee: Alois Beranek (Germany)
Ferraris Soccerball 2'
Piola Soccerball 94'
Report Brustad Soccerball 83'

Main article: Poland v Brazil (1938 FIFA World Cup)
5 June 1938
17:30 (WEST)
Brazil Brazil.png 6–5 (a.e.t.) Flag of Poland.png Poland Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg
Attendance: 13,452
Referee: Ivan Eklind (Sweden)
Leônidas Soccerball 18'93'104'
Romeu Soccerball 25'
Perácio Soccerball 44'71'
Report Scherfke Soccerball 23' (pen.)
Wilimowski Soccerball 53'59'89'118'

5 June 1938
18:30 (WEST)
Czechoslovakia Flag of Czech.jpg 3–0 (a.e.t.) Netherlands.png Netherlands Stade municipal, Le Havre
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: Lucien Leclerq (France)
Košťálek Soccerball 93'
Nejedlý Soccerball 111'
Zeman Soccerball 118'
Report

Replays

9 June 1938
18:00 (WEST)
Germany Germany.png 2–4 Switzerland.png Switzerland Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 20,025
Referee: Ivan Eklind (Sweden)
Hahnemann Soccerball 8'
Lörtscher Soccerball 22' (o.g.)
Report Walaschek Soccerball 42'
Bickel Soccerball 64'
Abegglen Soccerball 75'78'

9 June 1938
18:00 (WEST)
Cuba Flag of Cuba.png 2–1 Romania.png Romania Stade Chapou, Toulouse
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Alfred Birlem (Germany)
Socorro Soccerball 51'
Fernández Soccerball 57'
Report Dobay Soccerball 35'

Quarter-finals

12 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Switzerland Switzerland.png 0–2 Flag of Hungary.png Hungary Stade Victor Boucquey, Lille
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Rinaldo Barlassina (Italy)
Report Sárosi Soccerball 40'
Zsengellér Soccerball 89'

12 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Sweden Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg 8–0 Flag of Cuba.png Cuba Stade du Fort Carré, Antibes
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Augustin Krist (Czechoslovakia)
H. Andersson Soccerball 9'81'90'
Wetterström Soccerball 32'37'44'
Keller Soccerball 80'
Nyberg Soccerball 84'
Report

12 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
France Flag of France.png 1–3 Flag of Italy.gif Italy Stade Olympique de Colombes, Paris
Attendance: 58,455
Referee: Louis Baert (Belgium)
Heisserer Soccerball 10' Report Colaussi Soccerball 9'
Piola Soccerball 51'72'

12 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Brazil Brazil.png 1–1 (a.e.t.) Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Attendance: 22,021
Referee: Pal von Hertzka (Hungary)
Leônidas Soccerball 30' Report Nejedlý Soccerball 65' (pen.)

Replay

14 June 1938
18:00 (WEST)
Brazil Brazil.png 2–1 Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Attendance: 18,141
Referee: Georges Capdeville (France)
Leônidas Soccerball 57'
Roberto Soccerball 62'
Report Kopecký Soccerball 25'

Semi-finals

16 June 1938
18:00 (WEST)
Hungary Flag of Hungary.png 5–1 Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Lucien Leclerq (France)
Jacobsson Soccerball 19' (o.g.)
Titkos Soccerball 37'
Zsengellér Soccerball 39'85'
Sárosi Soccerball 65'
Report Nyberg Soccerball 1'

16 June 1938
18:00 (WEST)
Italy Flag of Italy.gif 2–1 Brazil.png Brazil Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 33,000
Referee: Hans Wüthrich (Switzerland)
Colaussi Soccerball 51'
Meazza Soccerball 60' (pen.)
Report Romeu Soccerball 87'

Match for third place

19 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Sweden Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg 2–4 Brazil.png Brazil Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: John Langenus (Belgium)
Jonasson Soccerball 28'
Nyberg Soccerball 38'
Report Romeu Soccerball 44'
Leônidas Soccerball 63'74'
Perácio Soccerball 80'

Final

Main article: 1938 FIFA World Cup Final
19 June 1938
17:00 (WEST)
Hungary Flag of Hungary.png 2–4 Flag of Italy.gif Italy Stade Olympique de Colombes, Paris
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Georges Capdeville (France)
Titkos Soccerball 8'
Sárosi Soccerball 70'
Report Colaussi Soccerball 6'35'
Piola Soccerball 16'82'

Goalscorers

With seven goals, Leônidas is the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 84 goals were scored by 42 different players, with two of them credited as own goals.

7 goals

5 goals

4 goals
3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Own goals

FIFA retrospective ranking

In 1986, FIFA published a report that ranked all teams in each World Cup up to and including 1986, based on progress in the competition, overall results and quality of the opposition. The rankings for the 1938 tournament were as follows:

R Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Flag of Italy.gif Italy 4 4 0 0 11 5 +6 8
2 Flag of Hungary.png Hungary 4 3 0 1 15 5 +10 6
3 Brazil.png Brazil 4 2 1 1 12 10 +2 5
4 Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden 3 1 0 2 11 9 +2 2
Eliminated in the quarter-finals
5 Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia 2 1 1 0 4 1 +3 3
6 Flag of France.png France 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 2
7 Switzerland.png Switzerland 2 0 1 1 1 3 −2 1
8 Flag of Cuba.png Cuba 2 0 1 1 3 11 −8 1
Eliminated in the round of 16
9 Romania.png Romania 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 1
10 Germany.png Germany 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
11 Flag of Poland.png Poland 1 0 0 1 5 6 −1 0
12 Flag of Norway.png Norway 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0
13 Belgium.png Belgium 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 0
14 Netherlands.png Netherlands 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 0
15 Flag of the Netherlands.png Dutch East Indies 1 0 0 1 0 6 −6 0

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