France 1938 World Cup Finals

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Paris, France by Chris Karidis on Unsplash.

France - Hosted the third World Cup, in 1938.

The Ball is Round Football Index: World Cup Finals: France 1938.

France - Hosted the third World Cup, in 1938.

The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.

Austria (who had already qualified for the tournament, after a play-off match with Latvia) withdrew and some of their players appeared for Germany.

England were offered a spot in the finals, in Austria's place, but the English didn't accept FIFA's invitation and so the finals started with 15 teams; Sweden receiving a bye.

World Cup History - France 1938

Uruguay and other South American nations were again disgrutled; they wanted the tournament in Argentina. Argentina withdrew, leaving Brazil the only representative from South America.

The Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) represented Asia without playing a single game in qualifying. Japan were at war with China and the United States refused another pre-finals play-off; having beaten Mexico on their way to Italy 34.

For the first time, the World Cup holders and host nation automatically qualified; although the hosts wouldn't win the tournament on home turf for the third competition in succession and Italy were to make it two out of two instead; comfortably beating the hosts in the Paris quarter-final, before overcoming Brazil in their semi-final and dominating Hungary in the final.

Sadly, the World War years meant no more World Cup football until Brazil 1950.

15 Countries Competed at France 1938

Belgium Belgium
Preliminary (1:3).

Travel to Brazil Brazil
Preliminary (6:5 aet); Quarter-finals (1:1) (2:1); Semi-finals (1:2); Third place (4:2).

Cuba Cuba
Preliminary (3:3) (2:1); Quarter-finals (0:8).

Czech Republic Czechoslovakia
Preliminary (3:0 aet); Quarter-finals (1:1) (1:2).

Indonesia Dutch East Indies
Preliminary (0:6).

France France
Preliminary (3:1); Quarter-finals (1:3).

Germany Germany
Preliminary (1:1) (2:4).

Holland Holland
Preliminary (0:3 aet).

Hungary Hungary
Preliminary (6:0); Quarter-finals (2:0); Semi-finals (5:1); Finalist (2:4).

Italy Italy
Preliminary (2:1 aet); Quarter-finals (3:1); Semi-finals (2:1); Winner (4:2).

Norway Norway
Preliminary (1:2 aet).

Preliminary (5:6 aet)

Romania Romania
Preliminary (3:3) (1:2).

Sweden Sweden
Bye; Quarter-finals (8:0); Semi-finals (1:5); Third place (2:4).

Switzerland Switzerland
Preliminary (1:1) (4:2); Quarter-finals (0:2).

Preliminary Round

4th June
Paris: Switzerland vs Germany (1:1 aet)

5th June
Le Havre: Czechoslovakia vs Holland (3:0 aet)
Marseille: Italy vs Norway (2:1 aet)
Paris: France vs Belgium (3:1)
Reims: Hungary vs Dutch East Indies (6:0)
Strasbourg: Brazil vs Poland (6:5 aet)
Toulouse: Cuba vs Romania (3:3 aet)

Replays -- 9th June
Paris: Switzerland vs Germany (4:2)
Toulouse: Cuba vs Romania (2:1)

Quarter-Finals -- 12th June, 1938

Antibes: Sweden vs Cuba (8:0)

Bordeaux: Brazil vs Czechoslovakia (1:1 aet)

Lille: Hungary vs Switzerland (2:0)

Paris: Italy vs France (3:1)

Replay -- 14th June
Bordeaux: Brazil vs Czechoslovakia (2:1)

Semi-Finals -- 16th June, 1938

Marseille: Italy vs Brazil (2:1)

Paris: Hungary vs Sweden (5:1)

Third Place -- 19th June, 1938

Bordeaux: Brazil vs Sweden (4:2)

1938 World Cup Final
19th June:
Italy vs Hungary (4:2)

How many appearances each country has made in the World Cup Finals.

World Cup Finals

Uruguay 1930:
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.

Italy 1934:
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.

France 1938:
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.

Brazil 1950:
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.

Switzerland 1954:
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.

Sweden 1958:
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.

Chile 1962:
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.

England 1966:
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Mexico 1970:
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.

W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.

Argentina 1978:
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.

Spain 1982:
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.

Mexico 1986:
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.

Italy 1990:
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.

USA 1994:
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.

France 1998:
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.

Korea-Japan 2002:
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.

Germany 2006:
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.

South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.

Brazil 2014:
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.

Russia 2018:
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.

Qatar 2022:
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.

United 2026:
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.

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