World Cup 1938

The third world cup was also held in Europe, much to the chagrin of the South Americans. This time, Argentina joined Uruguay in boycotting the finals. 16 teams were due to take part, with hosts France and holders Italy being granted automatic qualification. However, due to the Anschluss, Austria had to withdraw.

In the first knockout round, Sweden were granted a bye (having been drawn to play Austria) and were joined in the second round by France, Italy, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Hungary and Cuba. From these quarter finalists, the semi final line ups of Italy v Brazil and Hungary v Sweden were drawn.

In the final, played in Paris on 19 June, Italy successfully defended their title, beating Hungary by 4-2. Due to WWII, the Italians were to retain the world cup until 1950.

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