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1934 World Cup: The Second Football World Cup

1934 word Cup

Where was the 1934 World Cup held?

The 1934 World Cup was the second FIFA Men’s World Cup and was held in Italy, starting on 27 May and ending on 10 June 1934.

Qualification for the 1934 World Cup

The 1934 World Cup was the first World Cup that teams had to qualify for, as in the first World Cup in 1930, all teams were invited.

The vacancies were distributed as follows: 12 for Europe, two for South America, one for North America and the Caribbean and one for Africa and Asia.

– Italy had to qualify even though they were the host country, it was the first and only time that the host country did not have automatic qualification.

The Uruguayan team (champions of the first FIFA World Cup), refused to participate in the Championship, in protest at the refusal of several European teams to go to South America for the first World Cup, which Uruguay hosted.

Another curious fact about the 1934 World Cup is that it was the only World Cup in which the world champion did not participate.

The first phase of the 1934 World Cup

The group stage format, used in the first World Cup in 1930, was discarded in favour of a tournament with knockout matches.

If a match ended in a draw after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time would be played. If the tie remained, the match would be replayed the following day.

The eight seeded teams – Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary – were kept separate.

The quarter-finals of the 1934 World Cup

In the quarter-finals Czechoslovakia beat Switzerland, Austria beat Hungary, Germany beat Sweden and, we had the first rematch in World Cup history, when Italy and Spain drew 1-1 even after extra time.

The first match was played in a very tough way, with many injured players on both sides: a hard tackle injured Spanish goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora in the first match, leaving him unable to participate in the play-off match, while on the other side, a hard tackle by the Spanish broke the leg of Italian Mario Pizziolo, who would no longer play for his national team.

Ricardo Zamora, Spanish goalkeeper in the 1934 Word Cup
Ricardo Zamora, Spanish goalkeeper in the 1934 Word Cup

The match was also marked by the memorable performance of Zamora, who, even injured, made miraculous saves, in one of the best performances of a goalkeeper.

In the play-off match, Italy beat Spain 1-0 (without goalkeeper Zamora, unable to play due to an injury sustained in the first match).

1934 World Cup semi-finals

In the semi-finals, Italy and Austria were considered the best teams in the tournament, and the press said that the winner of the match would surely be the champion.

Italy eventually beat Austria 1-0, the goal scored by Enrique Guaita.

In the other semi-final, in a quieter match, Czechoslovakia beat Germany 3-1.

The final of the 1934 World Cup

Czechoslovakia pinned their hopes on top scorer Oldřich Nejedlý and great goalkeeper František Plánička.

Conheça Nossos Canais

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Italy were playing at home and boasting the star-studded Giuseppe Meazza.

Czechoslovakia opened the scoring through Antonin Puc in the second half.

The final of the 1934 World Cup

Soon after, Italy equalised following a controversial move: midfielder Giovanni Ferrari’s arm wrestled the ball from the left side of the Italian attack, prompting much complaint from the Czechoslovakians.

The move continued with him passing to Raimundo Orsi, who dribbled past his marker and managed to shoot into the right corner of the goalkeeper Plánička.

The Czechoslovaks complained a lot and Swedish referee Ivan Eklind decided to consult the assistant referee, but the latter confirmed that the shot had been a normal one.

The match then went to extra time.

Italy went on the attack and took the lead five minutes into the first half of extra time.

After the Czech defence lost the ball, Enrique Guaita played in AngeloSchiavio, who shot almost from the edge of the penalty area. His shot was well blocked by Plánička.

After the turnaround, Italy locked themselves in defence and just waited for the final whistle.

The Top Scorer of the 1934 World Cup

Oldřich Nejedlý of Czechoslovakia was the top scorer of the 1934 cup with 5 goals scored.

The star of the 1934 World Cup

The Italian Giuseppe Meazza, was considered the best player of the 1934 World Cup. The player managed to become an idol at rivals AC Milan and Internarzionale, and today gives his name to the stadium shared by the two clubs in Milan.

Called up since he was 20 for the Squadra Azzurra, the striker scored 33 goals in 53 games he played.

Giuseppe Meazza was a complete player: as well as being a top scorer, he served his teammates like few others. He was the brains of Italy’s World Cup squad and scored two goals.

Final standings for the 1934 World Cup

The final standings of the 1934 World Cup, with Italy as winners and Czechoslovakia as runners-up, included Germany in third place, who beat Austria 3-2 in the third-place play-off.

 World Cup Series:


DUARTE, Orlando. Enciclopédia: Todas as Copas do Mundo. São Paulo: Makron Books, 1998.

FIFA.1934 FIFA World Cup Italy Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 15/01/2018.


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