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Uruguay Soccer

Uruguay 1930Home of the First World Cup

The World Cup has a unique and fascinating history. The first games of the World Cup tournament were held on July 13, 1930 at Pocitos Stadium and Estadio Gran Parque Central in Montevideo, Uruguay. France won the first round of the Cup over Mexico by four to one, and the USA won over Belgium by three to one. Lucien Laurent of France was the first player to score a goal in Cup history. Eighteen matches were held in total, with seventy goals scored.

The World Cup was the dream of Jules Rimet, president at the time of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). His belief was that “soccer could reinforce the ideals of a permanent and real peace.” His vision was to establish an event that included professional and amateur athletes from around the globe. The Cup was named the Jules Rimet Cup in 1946. The World Cup is played every four years, except during World War II, in 1942 and 1946.

Uruguay was chosen as the host country because 1930 marked the centennial of t it’s constitution. Uruguay had also won two Olympic gold medals in football, and was the current world champion. The national football association offered to refund the costs of any team participating. Despite that offer, most European teams declined due to the distance and expense.

The first teams participating were from France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Romania from Europe; Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru from South America; and Mexico and the United States from North America. Unlike subsequent series, there was no qualifying round for the first World Cup. There were two rounds for that first tournament, with teams broken into four groups based on geographic regions. Brazil, USA, Argentina and Uruguay were seeded. Yugoslavia, USA, Uruguay and Argentina made the semi-finals. The tournament in 1930 was the only one that did not include any games between the semi-finals and finals. The third-place playoff was not established until 1934.

The World Cup Final of that first series was played between Uruguay and Argentina on the 30th of July, 1930. These two had faced off before in the 1928 Olympics. Uruguay beat the Argentineans four to two. The game was held at the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the tournament. The attendance was 93,000. Total attendance for the series was 434,500. Ten boats had been scheduled to carry Argentine fans from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, but they were insufficient. Between 10 -15,000 spectators made the journey from Argentina; the port was so overwhelmed that many were unable to debark until after kick-off. The stadium was full hours before the game began. The World Cup continues to be the most widely viewed sporting event in the world.

Top players from the first Cup series were Ferreyra, Monti, Stábile from Argentina, Thépot from France, and Andrade, Cea, Nasazzi and Scarone from Uruguay. Guillermo Stábile was the top scorer, with eight goals. The Uruguay team, founded in 1900, has since participated in eleven World Cup championships, and has won the Cup twice.

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