Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Football World Cup 1938

The Football World Cup of 1938 was played in France, the second tournament in a row to be played in Europe.

The decision of FIFA to hold the tournament in France caused outrage in South America where it was believed that the venue would alternate between the two continents. As a result neither Uruguay or Argentina entered the competition.

It was the first time that host and holders of the World Cup (Italy) qualified automatically, and with fifteen nations taking part; another team had an automatic entry into the next round – Sweden.

Five of the first round matches required extra time to break the dead lock and even after that two games still went to a replay.

The replays saw Switzerland oust Germany 4-2, while Cuba managed to pass through to the next round at the expense of Romania.

They both joined the other teams that had already gained qualification to the next round:


While the rest of the teams packed their bags and headed home:

Dutch East Indies

Sweden may have entered the competition at a later stage than the other teams, but they did so with style when they beat Cuba 8-0. The host nation were beaten by the holders, and Switzerland were seen off by Hungary.

Czechoslovakia took Brazil to extra time and eventually a replay, but the South Americans proved too strong for the Europeans as they were beaten 2-1.

The Semi-Finals saw Italy and Hungary go through to the final at the expense of Brazil and Sweden respectively.

The Final itself took place in the Stade Colombes, 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 defend the title and were once more crowned World Cup Winners.

Football World Cup

1930 | 1934 | 1938 | 1950 | 1954 | 1958 | 1962 |1966 | 1970 | 1974 | 1978 | 1982 | 1986 | 1990 | 1994 | 1998 | 2002 | 2006 | 2010