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1938 FIFA World Cup
Tournament details
Host country Argentina
Dates 14-29 May
Teams 16 (from 4 confederations)
Venue(s) 2 (in 2 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy (2nd title)
Runners-up Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Third place Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States
Fourth place Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Tournament statistics
Matches played 17
Goals scored 64 (3.76 per match)
Attendance 597,421 (35,142 per match)
Top scorer(s) Italy Giuseppe Meazza (6 goals)
Italy 1934
Flag of Sweden 1950

The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the seventh FIFA World Cup to be held since its inception in 1906. The bids started to come in 1933 and lasted until August 13, 1936, where Argentina won the bid to host the World Cup. This is eight years after the first World Cup to be held in South America. Fourteen teams advanced to the main competition joining Argentina (host nation) and Italy (defending champion). The Dutch East Indies became the first team to qualify through to the World Cup from the Asian region.

Italy won the World Cup for the second consecutive time after they defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in the final held in Buenos Aires. While United States finished in 3rd place after defeating Portugal in the curtain-raiser match.

Background

On February 17, 1935, FIFA brought back knockout format which in 1910 was a failure in the country of Austria. The attempt at the possibility of doing a knockout competition was further strengthened by the recent Olympic competition which was held in Germany with crowds over an average of 35,000 people.

Bids

Argentina was chosen to be the host of the 1938 FIFA World Cup after it was the only bid to come from the South America region. This meant that it would be the second time that South America would host the event after eight years.

Qualifying

Main article: 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification

Qualifications for the 1938 FIFA World Cup began in January 1937 with the WEFF Championship being held in Italy. 16 teams made it through to the finals with Latvia, Dutch East Indies and Romania all making their debuts. Denmark returned to the World Cup for the first time in 24 years while Belgium was the highest team to not make it through to the World Cup as they were ranked 4th at the time.

Seeding

Pot 1 Pot 2

Draw

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                           
May 14 - Avellaneda            
 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy  5
May 20 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria  0  
 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy  3
May 14 - Buenos Aires
   Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina  0  
 Flag of Chile.svg Chile  2
May 25 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina  4  
 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy  5
May 15 - Avellaneda
Replayed: May 18
   Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal  1  
 Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark  1 (0)
May 20 - Avellaneda
 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil  1 (3)  
 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil  1
May 15 - Buenos Aires
   Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal  2  
 Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland  0
May 29 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal  2  
 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy  2
May 16 - Buenos Aires
   Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands  0
 23x15px Romania  3
May 21 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Yugoslavia  1  
 23x15px Romania  1
May 16 - Avellaneda
   Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States  2  
 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch East Indies  0
May 26 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States  5  
 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States  2
May 17 - Avellaneda
   Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands  3   Third place
 23x15px Hungary  3
May 21 - Avellaneda May 29 - Buenos Aires
 Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay  2  
 23x15px Hungary  0  Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal  1
May 17 - Buenos Aires
   Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands  1    Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States  2
 23x15px Latvia  1
 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands  5  

Round 1

The first round of the World Cup saw the debutants of the Dutch East Indies, Latvia and Romania in the World Cup. Only Romania would qualify to the quarter-finals from the three teams as they defeated Yugoslavia 3-1 with Stefan Dobay scoring a double. In other results from the opening round, Brazil and Denmark had to go to a second match after the first match ended in a 1-1 draw. The replay though would be a different story as Brazil dominated to win 3-0. Switzerland also was a shock elimination in the opening round as they joined Yugoslavia with a loss to Portugal while Italy gained an easy passage through into the quarters after defeating Bulgaria 5-0 with Giuesppe Meazza scoring a double.

May 14, 1938
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy 5-0 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
Meazza Soccerball shade 15'58'
Piola Soccerball shade 12'
Colaussi Soccerball shade 41'
Ferrari Soccerball shade 79'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 34,254


May 14, 1938
Flag of Chile.svg Chile 2-4 Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina
Domínguez Soccerball shade 23'
Muñoz Soccerball shade 77'
Zozaya Soccerball shade 16'76'
Mata Soccerball shade 31'
Scopelli Soccerball shade 55'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 68,474


May 15, 1938
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark 1-1 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil
Sørensen Soccerball shade 25' Tim Soccerball shade 76'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 29,516


May 15, 1938
Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland 0-2 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Peyroteo Soccerball shade 53'
Pinga Soccerball shade 76'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 44,913


May 16, 1938
23x15px Romania 3-1 Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Yugoslavia
Dobay Soccerball shade 13'62'
Kovács Soccerball shade 41'
Marjanović Soccerball shade 67'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 35,252


May 16, 1938
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch East Indies 0-5 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States
Nemchick Soccerball shade 23'57'82'
McEwan Soccerball shade 13'
Rae Soccerball shade 61'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 18,433


May 17, 1938
23x15px Hungary 3-2 Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay
Turay Soccerball shade 17'
Zsengellér Soccerball shade 59'
Sas Soccerball shade 82'
Varela Soccerball shade 29'34'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 29,885


May 17, 1938
23x15px Latvia 1-5 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Vestermans Soccerball shade 5' van Spaandonck Soccerball shade 47'78'
Vente Soccerball shade 23'
van Heel Soccerball shade 41'
de Boer Soccerball shade 69'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 33,626

Replay

May 18, 1938
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark 0-3 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil
Leônidas Soccerball shade 28'62'
Romeu Soccerball shade 47'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 24,515

Quarter Finals

The quarter-finals of the World Cup saw the defending champions in Italy knocking out the hosts (Argentina) with three different goal scorers being on the scoresheet in the win. The Netherlands also qualified through to a semi final after a fifth minute goal from Frank Wels giving the win to the Dutch as they would be meeting the United States after a tight battle which saw them just get over Romania after Ray Volz scored the winner in the 85th minute of play. The other match saw Portugal qualify through to their first semi after defeating Brazil 2-1.

May 20, 1938
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy 3-0 Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina
Piola Soccerball shade 32'
Meazza Soccerball shade 74'
Colaussi Soccerball shade 79'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 61,611


May 20, 1938
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil 1-2 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Leônidas Soccerball shade 55' Peyroteo Soccerball shade 25'
Soeiro Soccerball shade 79'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 26,155


May 21, 1938
23x15px Romania 1-2 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States
Bindea Soccerball shade 44' Nemchick Soccerball shade 33'
Volz Soccerball shade 85'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 26,733


May 21, 1938
23x15px Hungary 0-1 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Wels Soccerball shade 5'
Estadio Independiente, Avellaneda
Attendance: 18,599

Semi Finals

May 25, 1938
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy 5-1 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Meazza Soccerball shade 15'42'
Piola Soccerball shade 26'79'
Locatelli Soccerball shade 18'
Cruz Soccerball shade 26'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 39,543


May 26, 1938
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States 2-3 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Volz Soccerball shade 27'
Nemchick Soccerball shade 52'
Smit Soccerball shade 1'
van Heel Soccerball shade 20'
Vente Soccerball shade 77'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 39,214

Third Place Playoff

May 29, 1938
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal 1-2 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States
Cruz Soccerball shade 14' McAlees Soccerball shade 35'
Volz Soccerball shade 66'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 10,145

Final

May 29, 1938
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy 2-0 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Ferrari Soccerball shade 32'
Meazza Soccerball shade 68'
Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires
Attendance: 56,553

Goalscorers

6 goals

5 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Tournament Rankings

File:1938 FIFA World Cup (ah).png
R Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy 4 4 0 0 15 1 +14 8
2 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 4 3 0 1 9 5 +4 6
3 Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States 4 3 0 1 11 5 +6 6
4 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal 4 2 0 2 6 8 -2 4
Eliminated in the quarter finals
5 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil 3 1 1 1 5 3 +2 3
6 23x15px Romania 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 2
7 23x15px Hungary 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 2
8 Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina 2 1 0 1 4 5 -1 2
Eliminated in the opening round
9 Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark 2 0 1 1 1 4 -3 1
10 Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0
11 Flag of Chile.svg Chile 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0
12 Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Yugoslavia 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0
13 Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
14 23x15px Latvia 1 0 0 1 1 5 -4 0
=15 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch East Indies 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

Notes