From the Cup Archives
- Published 6.06.18
1950 World Cup
The 1950 World Cup, held in Brazil from June 24 to July 16 was the fourth edition of the mega event. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been cancelled due to World War II.
Uruguay clinched the Cup for the second time by beating hosts Brazil 2-1 in the deciding match of the four-team final group. This was the only tournament not decided by a one-match final.
It was also the first tournament where the trophy was referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Jules Rimet’s presidency of Fifa.
Italy’s national team was weakened severely as most of its starting line-up perished in the Superga air disaster one year before the start of the tournament. The Italians were eventually persuaded to attend, but travelled by boat rather than by plane.
Both Germany (still occupied and partitioned) and Japan (still occupied) were not permitted to participate in qualification.n Italy’s national team was weakened severely as most of its starting line-up perished in the Superga air disaster one year before the start of the tournament. The Italians were eventually persuaded to attend, but travelled by boat rather than by plane.n Both Germany (still occupied and partitioned) and Japan (still occupied) were not permitted to participate in qualification.
A number of teams refused to participate in the qualifying tournament, including most nations behind the Iron Curtain, such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
In Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Burma all withdrew, leaving India to qualify by default. After the draw, the Indian football association decided against going to the World Cup, citing travel costs, lack of practice time, team selection issues and valuing the Olympics over the World Cup.
With 8 goals, Brazil’s Ademir was the top scorer of the tournament.
1954 World Cup
The 1954 World Cup was held in Switzerland from June 16 to July 4. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game. The tournament was won by West Germany, who defeated Hungary 3-2 in the final, giving them their first title.
For the first time there was television coverage and special coins were issued.
Hungary’s 9-0 win against Korea during the group stages remains the biggest margin of victory in World Cup history, later equalled by Yugoslavia over Zaire (9-0) in 1974 and Hungary over El Salvador (10-1) in 1982. With 11 goals, Sandor Kocsis was the top scorer in the tournament.
1958 World Cup
The 1958 World Cup was hosted by Sweden from June 8 to 29. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5-2 in the final for their first title. The tournament is also notable for marking the debut on the world stage of a then 17-year-old Pele.
With 13 goals, Just Fontaine was the top scorer. As of 2018, no player has ever scored more goals in a single World Cup Final stage.
The final saw many records made in World Cup history. At age 17, Pele became the youngest player to participate in, score, and win a World Cup final. Conversely, Nils Liedholm became the oldest player to score in a World Cup final at 35 years, 263 days.
The final is also notable for many firsts in World Cup. The match marked the first time two nations from different continents (Europe and South America) met in a World Cup final. It also marked the first and only World Cup hosted in Europe not won by a European team; a feat mirrored in 2014 where a World Cup hosted in the Americas was not won by a team from the Americas for the first time, with Germany beating Argentina 1-0 at the final.