Football World Cup 1934 » Winner – Teams – Statistics – History
Held in Italy, the 1934 FIFA World Cup involved 16 participating teams representing their respective nations. These included 12 European teams, one from Africa and three from the Americas. The grand football event lasted for 15 days between late May and early June that year. The host nation, Italy, beat Czechoslovakia in the tournament-decider to be declared winners.
This was the second ever FIFA world cup competition. With participant teams for the inaugural tournament in Uruguay four years prior having been sourced on an invitational basis, this was the first tournament of its kind to be preceded by a qualification process.
Participating Teams of the 1934 World Cup Finals
All participant nations merited their inclusion in the tournament after emerging past a qualifying stage that involved 32 nations. Being the first World Cup to be held in Europe, the continent where football was birthed, a majority of the slots (12) were awarded to European teams. These included Hungary, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
Even the host nation was not spared the difficulties of the qualifying rounds as the Italian national team had to warrant their entry into the group stages. Egypt was the sole African representatives while Argentina and Brazil made it to the tournament without playing any qualification matches after withdrawals from other South American countries. The USA clinched the final spot reserved for teams from the Americas a few days to the tournament’s kick-off.
Of the 16 teams, eight were seeded and could only meet starting from the second round of matches. All teams from outside Europe had been knocked out of the competition by the end of the initial round.
The strong South American teams such as Argentina, who were expected to mount a challenge against the European nations, had come into the tournament with weak squads. In the second round, Spain, Hungary, Switzerland, and Sweden suffered defeat at the hands of Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, respectively. Germany and Austria were knocked out at the penultimate stage, leaving Italy and Czechoslovakia to contest the final.
Winner of the World Cup 1934
The host nation, Italy, won the FIFA World Cup in 1934 after coming from behind to beat a determined Czechoslovakian side 2-1; in a match held at the Stadio Nazionale PNF in Rome. At the semi-final stage, three goals by mercurial Czech striker Nejedly ensured they comfortably saw off a powerful German side, while Italy had narrowly beaten Austria 1-0 in a closely contested match.
Prior to kickoff, the final match was touted to be a close one, with the Czech players adopting an exquisite style of play that could counter the Italians rampant attack. The Azzurri frontline included the legendary GiusseppeMeazza and company. The home team was also under the tutelage of one of the most revered football managers of that time, Vittorio Pozzo. After a barren first half, the Czechoslovakians drew first blood through Antonin Puc with less than 20 minutes of regulation time left on the clock.
An 81st-minute equalizer from Raimundo Orsi brought the home side back into the game. With the home crowd rallying behind them, star player Angelo Schiavio sunk their Eastern European rivals with a goal in extra time (95th minute) to put Italy ahead and eventually win them the title.
The home team was presented the Jules Rimet trophy in front of a large spectator crowd, with an attendance of 55, 000 being recorded on that day.
The Story of the 1934 FIFA World Cup
The process of selecting the venue for the 1934 edition of the global football event involved eight conferences. FIFA’s executive board made the decision to pick Italy over Sweden at the last of these meetings held in Stockholm in 1932. With the host country falling under the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini at the time, the government was keen to use the tournament as a platform to portray their ideologies as progressive.
They thus ensured that officials organized a flawless spectacle. Rome, the host city, boasted the beautiful venues and the hosts didn’t disappoint from the jump either; as they thumped USA 7-1 to kick off their quest in style.
Winners of the inaugural edition, Uruguay, opted out of the competition as retaliation after most European countries decided not to participate in the 1930 event; which was held in the South American nation. British teams- England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland- also failed to participate as their respective football associations were at crossroads with FIFA at the time.
This tournament saw some FIFA rule changes being introduced, key among them being the scrapping of group stages (utilized at the preceding tournament) in favor of knockout rounds. Also, there was to be extra time in situations where teams were still drawn equal after 90 minutes of regulation time. Other new stipulations included match replays on subsequent days in instances where teams were still tied level even after extra time.
The hosts were forced to abide by the latter rule during the second knockout phase as they drew Spain 1-1 after added time.