History of Football: FIFA World Cup - 1950

The fourth FIFA football World Cup tournament took place in Brazil from 24th June to 16th July 1950. The Cup – known now as the Jules Rimet Cup to commemorate 25 years of Jules Rimet’s presidency of FIFA – was won by Uruguay for a second time after winning the inaugural trophy in 1930.

Alcides Ghiggia scored in all four of Uruguay’s matches becoming the first player to score in every round of the finals; Jairzinho became the second in 1970, scoring in all seven of Brazil’s matches in that tournament.

Unlike Italy and Austria, both Germany and Japan were banned from attempting to qualify for the 1950 tournament on political grounds. Italy qualified as the reigning champions from the last tournament to be held - in 1938 - before the Second World War broke out and prevented any World Cup tournaments from taking place in the 1940s.

A British team – England – qualified for the first time. Scotland also qualified but declined to take part as they were runners-up in that season’s Home International Championship and thus did not consider themselves to be champions of Britain. India also qualified but refused to take part after they were banned from playing barefoot. France also withdrew after Brazil refused to re-schedule their two first-round matches, which were 3,000km apart.

The final was held in the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on 16th July 1950 in front of a crowd of 199,850 – the largest ever attendance at a football match. Uruguay beat Brazil, 2.1, to top the Final Group on points. All other World Cups have been decided by one-off final matches. Uruguay’s scorers were Juan Alberto “Pepe” Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia; Albino Friaça Cardoso scored for Brazil.

The Golden Boot (‘adidas Golden Shoe’ since 1982) award for most goals scored in the tournament was won by Ademir of Brazil with 8 goals.

Winners: Uruguay

Runners-up: Brazil

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