|1950 Football World Cup - Brazil|
IV Campeonato Mundial de Futebol
Official 1950 Football World Cup poster
(final tournament: 13)
||Uruguay (2nd title)
(4.00 per match)
(60,773 per match)
The 1950 Football World Cup is the only one which never had a single final match. It was also the first year that the cup itself would be referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Rimet's presidency of FIFA. It was won by Uruguay, who won the inaugural competition in 1930.
World War II meant that the World Cup had not been held since 1938; it also meant that most of Europe lay in ruins after the ravaging effects of the war. As a result, the honour of hosting the World Cup fell to Brazil, the only country that applied. The group stages of that year's tournament took a strange form, with some groups containing two, three, or four teams. This was because some nations qualified for the tournament and then withdrew. India withdrew after qualification because FIFA would not allow the team to play barefoot. Germany and Japan, both under occupation, were not permitted to compete.
The British nations were able to take part, having rejoined FIFA four years earlier, after 17 years of self-imposed exile. It was decided to use the 1949-1950 British Home Championship as a qualifying group, with whoever finished first and second qualifying. England finished first and Scotland second, but the Scots said that they would not go as they were not British Champions. Turkey withdrew as well.
A combined Great Britain team had recently beaten the rest of Europe 6-1 in an exhibition match and England went into the competition as one of the favourites. However, it was not to be, as they went crashing out in a shocking 1-0 defeat by the USA (when the score appeared in English newspapers, many thought it was a typo), which combined with their 1-0 defeat by Spain led to Spain continuing to the Final Pool.
The Final Pool took the form of a final group stage, involving all teams who won their group stage: Brazil, Spain, Sweden, and Uruguay. The overall winner of the World Cup for 1950 would be the team that managed to finish on top of this group. Brazil outscored everyone with a 7-0 thrashing of Sweden and 6-1 rout of Spain. In the decisive match, Brazil were sitting on top of the Final Pool and had one game left to play – Uruguay who lay just behind in second and only a point behind. On July 16th in the Estadio Maracanã, the host nation had only to draw against Uruguay and the trophy would be theirs. After such crushing victories over Spain and Sweden, it looked certain they would take the title, especially as the home nation went ahead in the second minute of the second half, thanks to a goal from Friaça. However, Uruguay equalised and then with just over 11 minutes left to play, went ahead 2-1 and Uruguay were crowned World Cup Winners for a second time.