The FIFA World Cup 1934
was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's
national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May
to 10 June 1934.
The 1934 World Cup was the first for which teams had to qualify to take part. Thirty-two nations entered the competition, and after qualification, 16 teams participated in the finals tournament. Italy became the second World Cup champions, beating Czechoslovakia 2–1 in the final.
World Cup 1934 Facts
World Cup 1934 Background
Both Sweden and Italy wanted to host the 2nd World Cup in 1934. However on May 14 1932, Italy was allowed the honour since Sweden eventually withdrew before the vote.
This was the first time a country became a World Cup host country while not having participated in a World Cup before. Italy didn’t participate in the 1930 World Cup. This would also happen with Japan regarding the 2002 World Cup and with Qatar regarding the 2022 World Cup.
This World Cup knows a lot of controversies. In the year 1934 the dictator Mussolini was ruling over Italy by establishing a fascist regime. He used the 1934 World Cup to promote fascism with propaganda and media control. An example would be the presence of the Fascism symbol the fasces on the 1934 World Cup poster. Another controversy is the fact that certain referees made ‘strange’ decisions in favour of the Italian team. The rumour is that Mussolini was involved in the referee selection for Italian matches.
This World Cup would be bigger than its predecessor 4 years earlier. Instead of just 1 host city, there would be 8 host cities and 8 stadiums where the matches would be played.
World Cup 1934 Participants
The 1934 World Cup in Italy is the first World Cup where countries needed to qualify in order to participate. 32 countries were interested but only 16 of them would participate in the 2nd World Cup.
Italy as a host country had to qualify for the 1934 World Cup as well. This was the first and only time a host country was not automatically qualified.
12 places for Europe were allocated to the following countries: Italy, Romania, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland. All European countries except for France, Belgium and Romania qualified for the first time.
Unlike the 1930 World Cup, there was a huge absence of Latin America countries in the 1934 World Cup.
2 places for South America were allocated to the following countries: Brazil and Argentina. Both countries qualified automatically without any matches played since Chile and Peru withdrew. Brazil and Argentina were the only South American countries to have made the long trip to Italy.
Uruguay which was hit by the Great Depression, did not participate either. They protested about the fact that many European countries refused to participate in the previous 1930 World Cup hosted in Uruguay. Therefore Uruguay is the first and last country so far which didn’t qualify for a World Cup after having won the previous World Cup.
The Home Nations (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) also refused to qualify for the 1934 World Cup. They perceived the annual British Home Championship as a superior tournament.
1 place for North/Central America and Caribbean was allocated to country United States. However, a qualification match had to be played against Mexico in Italy 3 days before the kick-off! United States submitted their entry after the official deadline which caused this last minute qualification match. The Mexican team that which lost the match returned immediately to their country.
1 place for Africa was allocated to country Egypt which is the first African country to have qualified for a World Cup. It would take 7 World Cups before we would see Africa again in a World Cup.
Unfortunately for all non-European countries, they lost their first match which resulted in a short stay in Italy.
World Cup 1934 Pools
Unlike in the 1930 World Cup, the 1934 World Cup excluded the pool stages. The World Cup started immediately with a knockout phase in order to change the tournament into a straight knockout tournament. This means there had to be a match winner from the beginning of the World Cup. If a match ended in a draw after 90 minutes, there would be 30 minutes of extra time. If the score is still a draw, the match would be replayed on the next day.
The 1934 World Cup started with 8 matches which all started at the same time. The winner of each match advanced to the Quarter-Finals. Both the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals started at the same time as well.
The Quarter-Finals stage and the match for the third place made their introduction in this World Cup.
There were 8 seed countries (top teams) which were Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Brazil and Italy. They were kept apart from each other in the first round.
The first round draw was made again a few days before the 1934 World Cup kick-off.
World Cup 1934 Stadiums
The 1934 World Cup was hosted in 8 cities and 8 stadiums rather than just 1 as was the case in the previous World Cup in 1930.
The following 8 cities and 8 stadiums were used in Italy:
World Cup 1934 Schedule
World Cup 1934 Memorable Matches
Spain – Brazil 3-1
Not all key players from the Brazilian team traveled the long distance to Italy. This could be the reason why they lost their first match against Spain. The Spaniards José Iraragorri (2x) and Isidro Lángara scored for Spain. Center forward Leônidas da Silva who would be more successful in the next World Cup, scored the only goal for Brazil. The loss resulted in immediate elimination and the team returned back to Brazil after a short stay in Italy.
Hungary – Egypt 4-2
This is the first World Cup match played by an African country. As the only participant from Africa, they lost the first match. The first half ended in 2-2. Both goals for Egypt were scored by winger Abdulrahman Fawzi. A 3rd goal scored by him was disallowed. Pál Teleki and Géza Toldi scored the 2 goals for Hungary in the first half. In the 2nd half forward Jenő Vincze scored the 3rd goal for Hungary and striker Géza Toldi scored his 2nd goal, the 4th goal for Hungary. Egypt had to make an early trip back home as well.
Italy – USA 7-1
After USA’s last World Cup match in 1930 where they were beaten by Argentina with 6-1, it was Italy’s turn now. Italy crushed USA with 7 goals. Forward Angelo Schiavio scored a hat-trick and his 3rd goal is the 100th World Cup goal. Other players who scored a goal were Raimundo Orsi (2x), Giovanni Ferrari and Giuseppe Meazza. American Aldo Donelli was able to score the only goal for USA. Only 3 days after USA qualified for the 1934 World Cup in Italy, they were already eliminated.
Sweden – Argentina 3-2
Not a single Argentinian player from the 1930 World Cup Final was included in this World Cup’s team due to internal disputes. This may very well be the reason why they lost the first match. Argentina took the lead twice by goals scored by Ernesto Belis and Alberto Galateo. It was Swedish striker Sven Jonasson who scored the 2 equalizers. Striker Knut Kroon scored the 3rd and decisive goal for Sweden.
All the non-European countries were eliminated in the first round. This means the Quarter-Finals consisted of European countries only. This was the first and last time so far this has happened in World Cup history.
Italy – Spain 1-1, 1-0
Their first match was played with lots of aggressiveness. Several players became injured and as a result played their last World Cup match. Italian player Mario Pizziolo who broke his leg and Spanish goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora were unable to play the rematch. This rough match resulted in a 1-1 match scored by Spaniard Luis Regueiro and Italian Giovanni Ferrari. Therefore, the first extra match in World Cup history had to be played. Both countries played each other again the next day and in the same stadium. It was Italian forward Giuseppe Meazza who became the hero of the match. He was the only player to have scored in the entire match resulting in the elimination of Spain and a ticket to the Semi-Final.
Italy – Austria 1-0
Austria was also known as the Wunderteam (Wonder Team). They were considered as the favourite for the World Cup trophy with 14 unbeaten matches from 1931 to 1932. Trainer Hugo Meisl emphasized on a successful short passing game style. The World Cup however ended here for Austria. The wet field conditions prevented Austria from implementing their strategy properly. Due to 1 goal only scored by Italy, Austria had to play the match for the third place. It was striker Enrique Guaita who scored Italy to their first World Cup Final.
Czechoslovakia - Germany 3-1
Germany which has beaten Belgium with 5-2 in their first match, was to weak for Czechoslovakia. All 3 goals were scored by striker Oldřich Nejedlý. With his 3 goals he became the 1934 World Cup top scorer with 5 goals in total. Rudolf Noack scored the only goal for Germany. This was the first and last time Germany lost against Czechoslovakia. Both teams would encounter each other 2 more times before the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia in the early 90s. The 2nd time was in the 1958 World Cup (2-2) and the last time in the 1990 World Cup Quarter-Final match which was won by Germany with 1-0.
World Cup 1934 Final
The 1934 World Cup was a knockout tournament. This meant every match had to be won from the start in order to reach the Final. It was both Italy and Czechoslovakia that made it to the Final. Unlike the 1930 World Cup Final, this was the first all-European Final in World Cup history.
On the 10th of June, the Final was played in Stadio Nazionale PNF in Rome with around 45,000 attendees. In the Final no goal was scored until 15 minutes before the end of the match. It was Czechoslovakian player Antonín Puč (71′) who scored the 1-0. In less than 10 minutes before the end, Italian player Raimundo Orsi managed to change the 0-1 score to 1-1 (81′) with a nice curling shot. In extra time (first Final where extra time had to be played), only 5 minutes were needed by Italy to change the score into a final 2-1. It was Italian Angelo Schiavio (95′) who scored the winning goal. For the 2nd time in a row, a host country has won the World Cup again.
Czechoslovakia would only play once more in a World Cup Final 28 years later. Italy however, would prove themselves once again in the next World Cup.
A funny fact: Italian player Raimundo Orsi tried to copy the exact same curling shot as he had shot in the Final scoring the 1-1. The press photographers wanted to take a shot of his skill the next day after the Final. But after more than 20 attempts, he was still not able to perform the shot successfully. He failed each time.
World Cup 1934 Records
Did You Know
World Cup 1934 FIFA Awards
World Cup 1934 FIFA All-Star Team
What is interesting about the World Cup 1934 FIFA All-Star Team, is the fact that player Luis Monti is included as an Italian player. However in the World Cup 1930 FIFA All-Star Team, he is included as well, but as an Argentinian player. This means he played 2 Finals for a different country. He is the only player who has done this in World Cup history. As mentioned in Did You Know, he was one of the players who was from Italian descent but born in Argentina.
World Cup 1934 in Action
World Cup English