Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Between 1921 and 1930, Laurent played for the semi-professional team Cercle Athlétique de Paris , before being taken on by Sochaux, then a works team for the car manufacturer Peugeot, where he worked. As an amateur player, he only received basic expenses from the French Football Federation while at the tournament in Uruguay.
It was in Uruguay that Laurent made history by scoring the first ever World Cup goal: a volley in the 19th minute of a game against Mexico on July 13, 1930. France won the game 4-1, but lost their remaining group matches to Argentina and Chile, and were thus eliminated. Laurent was ruled out of the third game due to injury.
Injury then also denied Laurent a place in the squad for the 1934 World Cup and he moved to Rennes, playing for them until 1937, then for RC Strasbourg until 1939. In all, Laurent played 10 times for France, but scored only one other goal.
When World War II came, Laurent was called up to join the armed forces and was taken prisoner by the Germans. He spent three years as a POW, was released in 1943 and played the remaining three years of wartime football for Besançon . In 1946, Laurent retired from playing and went on to become a trainer and youth coach. He was the only surviving member of the 1930 French team to see France lift the 1998 World Cup on home soil.
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