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The Third World Cup was held in France in 1938 thanks mainly to Jules Rimet the Frenchman who was instrumental in getting the tournament started 8 years ago. Argentina were very confident that the World Cup would be held by them due to one World Cup being held in Europe and one in South America as well as World War II tensions rising high in Europe, but it went to France. This caused Argentina to pull out of the World Cup. The tournament was in the same format as Italy 1934 Straight Knockout to the finals. The tournament had only 15 teams due to Austria’s withdrawal because of the Anschluss to Germany in March. Out of the 15 participating Nations 12 were from Europe 2 from South America being Brazil, Cuba, and the Dutch East Indies from Asia (Known as Indonesia today).
Round 1
Well with only 15 teams in this tournament 1 lucky team would draw a bye in the first round and that would be Sweden. Germany and Switzerland played to a 1-1 draw in the opening match and Switzerland won the replay 4-2. Cuba also needed a replay to beat Romania 2-1 after a 3-3 draw. Czechoslovakia beat Holland 3-0 with Nejedley scoring in his 2nd World Cup tournament and the hosts France beat Belguim 3-1. Hungary hammered the Dutch East Indies 6-0 and defending champions Italy needed extra time to beat Norway 2-1. Brazil beat Poland 6-5 after Extra Time. Brazilian Superstar Leonidas scored a hatrick in reply to a World Cup Record set by Poland’s Willimowski who scored 4 goals in a single game and ended up on the losing team.


Holders Italy vs Hosts France. Italy’s coach Vitorrio Pozzo made his team wear a Full Black Strip in support of Italy’s and Mussolini’s Fascist Ruling Style. Italy won 3-1. The 2nd Quarterfinal saw Sweden’s blast Cuba 8-0. Wetterstrom and Keller both scored hatricks. Hungary beat Switzerland 2-0 and Brazil needed a replay to beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 after a very heated 1-1 draw in which 3 players were Dismissed, 2 from Brazil and 1 from the Czech’s. Czech Captain & Keeper Planicka broke his right arm but continued playing and star striker Nejedly broke his right leg and hence left the pitch. 3 Brazilians including Leonidas also left the pitch during play because of injury. This game is known as the ‘Battle of Bordeaux’ and was one of the most brutal games of World Cup history. Brazils Leonidas scored in both games. (Picture of star Czech Goal Keeper Planicka saving a Brazilian attack in the first match)

Semi-FinalsItaly managed to beat Brazil 2-1 thanks again to Guiseppe Meazza who scored Italy’s second goal. However Brazilian Coach Ademar Pimenta strangely left out star player Leonidas in order to rest him for the final. Brazil did not reach the final. Hungary blasted Sweden 5-1 thanks to a Zsengeller hatrick to join Italy.
Third Place Playoff
Brazil beat Sweden 4-2 to finish 3rd with Leonidas, this time playing, again scoring twice to be the leading goal scorer of the World cup with 7 goals.
Well for the first time we had a nation defending the World Cup. Italy had done a great job so far having reached the finals. This time their opponents were Hungary who had a moral boosting victory against Sweden in the semi-finals. Italy took the lead after just 6 minutes through Coloaussi but Hungary equalized immediately through Titkos. Silvio Piola Italy’s player of the tournament restored Italy’s lead 8 minutes later. Coloaussi scored a second 10 minutes from halftime to give Italy a 3-1 lead at the break. Italy played a solid defensive game after the break until Sarosi of Hungary broke through to get 1 goal back. But Piola made sure Italy become the first nation ever to successfully defend the FIFA World Cup title by scoring his second and Italy’s 4th. Italy became World Champions Again. Captain Guissepe Meazza (Photo Below) and Ferrara both won their second consecutive World Cup winners medals. Vitorrio Pozzo also won his second World Cup as Manager which is still a World Cup Record for a manager.

World War II was in full swing and would prevent the FIFA World Cup from taking place until 1950. Mussolini’s Italy was at the centre of World War II. The Jules Rimet Trophy was hidden by Italian Vice-president of FIFA Dr. Ottorino Barassi in a shoe box under his bed. This saved the trophy falling into the hands of occupying troops and being lost.


Italy’s President Mussolini sent a telegram to the Italian players which read “Vincere o morire” directly translated as “Win or Die”. The entire world including Hungarian goalkeeper Antal Szabo was told of this terrifying telegram. Hungary lost the final to Italy letting in 4 goals. The Hungarian Goalkeeper Antal Szabo was quoted as saying “I may have let in 4 goals, but at least I saved their lives.” However “Vincere o morire” is translated directly as “Win or die” but in Italian Sports Vernacular it simply meant “Give it your all Guys”. Woops I wonder how Antal Szabo feels about it now.
WOZA 2010 WOZA will take a break for the next 2 Weeks as it is Holiday Season. This is a good time to a break as well because the FIFA World Cup did not take place for another 12 years due to World War II.
See you NEXT Year.


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