Brazil 1950 World Cup

Due to World War Two the World Cup was put on hiatus for twelve years, thus granting Italy the record of the longest spell as World Champion, a total of sixteen years.  Because of the war, FIFA had troubles finding a nation to host the tournament.  It was widely felt, that with the world in the state that it was in a sporting event wasn’t high on the list of priorities.  But the game’s governing body was determined to resurrect the competition and Brazil was chosen as hosts. 

Only thirteen teams participated and the groups took on an unbalanced look.  Two groups contained four teams, one of three and the last one consisted of just two teams.  This was the first World Cup that the England national team had attended.  They were highly fancied to do well but suffered two one nil defeats including a shocking loss at the hands of the United States and despite beating Chile were on their way home early..

The host nation began the tournament in fine style defeating Central American neighbours Mexico by four goals to nil.  After drawing their second game with Switzerland, they bounced back to record a fine two nil victory over Yugoslavia to top the group.  The host nation was joined in a final group stage by Sweden who eliminated two times winners, Spain who won all three of their group games and 1930’s winners Uruguay who won their only game against Bolivia eight goals to nil. 

The Samba Stars began the final group in imperious form by thrashing European nations Sweden and Spain 7 – 1 and 6 – 1 respectively with star player Ademir scoring four goals in the two games on his way to winning the golden boot and becoming the second successive Brazilian to be top goal scorer.  After two games, the hosts stood atop of the table with South American rivals Uruguay just one point behind.  A record crowd of 199, 954 turned up to see the two footballing heavyweights vie for the title of World Champion.  Brazil only needed a draw to secure their first ever World title and got off to the best possible start when Friaca put them one nil up, two minutes into the second half.  Uruguay forced and equalizer and with eleven minutes to go Alcodes Ghiggia slotted home the winner to stun the expectant crowd and grant Uruguay their second World title and put them level with Italy as two time winners.

Statistics:

Matches: 22
Goals: 88 (average 4 per game)
Attendance: 1 043 500 (average 47 431 per game)
Golden Boot Winner: Ademir (Brazil) 9 goals

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