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Which country won the first football World Cup?

Uruguay is the country that won the first football World Cup. The first FIFA World Cup was held in the nation of Uruguay itself in 1930.

The football World Cup, also known as the FIFA World Cup is the biggest single sporting tournament in the world. It is only second to the Olympics as the most followed and most popular competition and nearly half of the planet watches and follows matches of the FIFA World Cup. The World Cup final is also one of the world’s most popular events, and is watched by over 2 billion people almost regularly.

The tournament is hosted by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, also known as FIFA. It is held every four years and the first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. Since then, it has been hosted on every occasion, except in 1942 and 1942 because of the Second World War.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Qatar and France are the defending champions of winning the World Cup in 2018 in Russia. But which country won the first World Cup, where was it held, and how many countries participated? Let’s discuss below:

First Football World Cup is held in Uruguay in 1930

The decision to host the football World Cup for the first time was taken at the FIFA Congress in May, 1928. While Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden were all interested in hosting the tournament, Uruguay were awarded the right to hold the first FIFA World Cup because the nation was celebrating its 100th anniversary of independence in 1930 and hosting the football World Cup particularly appealed to the government. Uruguay also had a very popular football culture as well as a prominent national team who won back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics in 1924 and 1928.

FIFA officially announced Uruguay as the hosts of the first FIFA World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Barcelona in 1929. Uruguay’s national football federation had also agreed to cover all costs of the 1930 FIFA World Cup, including the travel and accommodation of participating sides.

FIFA World Cup 1930: Teams, Format, and Venues

Group 1Argentina, Chile, France, Mexico
Group 2Yugoslavia, Brazil, Bolivia
Group 3Uruguay, Romania, Peru
Group 4USA, Paraguay, Belgium

The first-ever FIFA World Cup that took place in Uruguay was held on an invitational basis. Every country that was affiliated with FIFA back then was invited to compete. It was the only tournament in FIFA World Cup history where the finals were held without any qualifying matches.

While several North and South American showed plenty of eagerness and excitement about participating, getting European teams to make the long journey to South America to play in the World Cup would be a more significant challenge.

In the end, 16 teams agreed to participate in the tournament but the number was reduced to 13 after Egypt, Japan, and Siam decided to withdraw from the competition. The 13 teams that finally took part were: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, United States of America, Uruguay and Yugoslavia.

The teams were divided into four groups with Group 1 including four sides while the remaining three groups had three teams each. The Round-Robin format was implemented in the group stages and the topmost team from every group participated in the semi-final knockout stages.

All the matches in the 1930 FIFA World Cup were played in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. Three stadiums were used for the competition: Estadio Centenario, Estadio Pocitos and Estadio Gran Parque Central.

The Estadio Centenario was built specifically for the tournament and to commemorate the centenary of Uruguay’s independence. It was the primary stadium of the World Cup and also hosted the final of the inaugural edition.

Which country won the first Football World Cup final?

Both hosts Uruguay and Argentina secured dominant wins in the semi-finals and made their way to the final of the first FIFA World Cup. It was a repeat of the 1928 Olympic Games final where Uruguay had won 2-1 after a replay.

Held at the Estadio Centenario on July 30, the official attendance in the final was recorded at 93,000. The tournament had captured the imagination of millions of people around the world and had proven to be a big hit. Argentina, who share a border with Uruguay, saw several fans making the trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo by water.

Before the final match even begun, there was a major controversy surrounding the ball that will be used. Both teams tried to supply the match ball and in the end, FIFA president Jules Rimet intervened and it was decided Argentina would supply the ball for one half while Uruguay would do the same for the other half.

Also Read: Argentina unbeaten run

On the field, however, the match proved to be even more dramatic and became a pulsating affair. Pablo Dorado scored the goal that put the hosts ahead after 12 minutes. However, Argentina looked dominant and displayed superior passing and movement.

Their efforts were rewarded as winger Carlos Peucelle restored parity in the contest just eight minutes later after beating Uruguay goalkeeper Enrique Ballestrero. In the 37th minute of the contest, Argentina took the lead of the contest through Guillermo Stabile and they went into half-time with a 2-1 lead.

Uruguay came back roaring in the second half where the match was played with the football that had been supplied by them. At the hour mark, Pedro Cea levelled proceedings once again to make it 2-2.

10 minutes later, Santos Iriarte restored Uruguay’s initial advantage in the man as they led by a goal. Despite Argentinas’ best efforts heading into the final stages of the contest, they failed to come back and the result was virtually sealed when Hector Castro scored the final goal of the day to make it 4-2 in favour of the hosts. Uruguay were crowned the first-ever World Cup winners on home soil as joy erupted in the stands and the national government declared a public holiday on the next day.

Uruguay won the first football World Cup and the head of the Uruguayan Football Association, Raul Jude was awarded the trophy by FIFA president Jules Rimet, with the trophy being later named after him.

FIFA World Cup 1930 records

Top-scorersNationNo. of goals
Guillermo StabileArgentina8
Pedro CeaUruguay5
Bert PatenaudeUSA4
Carlos Peucelle, Peregrino Anselmo, Preguinho, Ivan BekArgentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Yugoslavia3

Of course, several records were set in the very first FIFA World Cup held in 1930. The recognition of the first teams to play a World Cup match is held by France, Mexico, USA, and Belgium as two matches were played at the same time on the opening day on July 13.

France won their match against Mexico by a 4-1 margin and striker Lucien Laurent went on to become the very first goalscorer in World Cup history after finding the back of the net inside 19 minutes against Mexico. USA won their match against Belgium 3-0 and their goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas became the first player to keep a clean sheet in the World Cup.

Another played from the United States of America went on to set a major record as Bert Patenaude scored the first hat-trick in World Cup history on July 17 against Paraguay. It was the first of three hat-tricks that would be scored in that tournament as Guillermo Stabile and Pedro Cea also bagged three goals each against Mexico and Yugoslavia respectively.

Stabile would go on to star for Argentina in the tournament and finished as the top-score of the 1930 FIFA World Cup with eight goals and Cea followed him with five. Both of them also got on the scoresheet in the final on 30 July, 1930.

Alberto Horacio Suppici, who was the coach of Uruguay at the time, was only 31 years old when he led his team to the 1930 FIFA World Cup title. Till today, he holds the record for being the youngest coach ever in the game to win a football World Cup.


How many goals were scored in the first football World Cup in 1930?

A total of 70 goals were scored across 18 matches of the FIFA World Cup 1930, at an average of 3.89 goals per match.

When was FIFA established?

Federation International de Football Association, known as FIFA, was set up as the highest governing body of world football in 1904.

Which countries refused to participate in the 1930 FIFA World Cup?

Egypt, Japan, and Siam decided to withdraw from the first-ever FIFA World Cup in 1930, reducing the number of participants from 16 to 13 teams.

Which countries played the final of the first football World Cup?

Hosts Uruguay and their neighbours Argentina contested the final of the first football World Cup. The match was won 4-2 by Uruguay.

Who finished as the top goal-scorer in the first FIFA World Cup in history?

Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile finished as the highest goal-scorer in the inaugural edition of the competition with eight goals.



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