The 1950 World Cup


As a warm-up for the 2022 World Cup, Sambafoot publishes a retrospective of all editions of the World Cup. This week we are talking about the fourth edition, which was held in 1950.

After a 12-year hiatus due to the Second World War (1939 to 1945), the FIFA World Cup returned to center stage in 1950. Brazil was chosen as the host country for the most important competition in world football, and the tournament returned to South American soil for the first time since the 1930 Uruguay Cup.

The Brazilians’ enthusiasm for the World Cup turned to frustration when the competition ended. After the low participation in the 1930 Cup, other European teams came, and even Italy, then double champions, tried to win an unprecedented third title on this occasion. In this article, you will learn the main details of how Brazil hosted the World Cup for the first time.

1950 World Cup history

The main reason why FIFA chose Brazil as the host country for the 1950 World Cup was that Europe was in a state of complete disarray after the end of World War II. The South American country was, in fact, the only candidate to host the tournament.

The stadiums were all ready, due to the Brazilians’ passion for football. The tournament was considered a success in terms of infrastructure and equipment. There were six venues, the Independência (Belo Horizonte), Vila Capanema (Curitiba), Eucaliptos (Porto Alegre), Ilha do Retiro (Recife), Pacaembu (São Paulo) and Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro) stadiums.

Group draw

On May 22, 1950, the official draw for the tournament took place, which was to take place between June 24 and July 16. Brazil, as the host country, was the top seed and the first to enter the competition. Check out the group from the host country below.

  • Brazil;
  • Yugoslavia;
  • Switzerland ;
  • Mexico.

Brazil’s record

Brazil had a perfect campaign before reaching the 1950 World Cup final – they didn’t lose a single game. After finishing top of their group, our team, along with the winners of the other four groups, qualified for a final four. In this phase, everyone would compete once, so that the first one would become the grand champion.

Brazil matches before the decision

  • Group stage: Brazil 4-0 Mexico, June 24 at the Maracanã stadium (81,000 people);
  • Group stage: Brazil 2-2 Switzerland, June 28, in Pacaembu (42,000 people);
  • Group stage: Brazil 2-0 Yugoslavia, July 1, at the Maracanã (142,000 people);
  • Final phase four: Brazil 7-1 Sweden, July 9, at the Maracanã stadium (138,000 spectators);
  • Final four-man phase: Brazil 6-1 Spain, July 13, at the Maracanã stadium (152,000 people).

Disappointment in the final

After the two big wins in the first four games of the finals, Brazil could be crowned by drawing against Uruguay in the last game of the competition (July 16). The team could count on an Ademir de Menezes in great form – he finished the Cup as top scorer, with nine goals.

Friaça even opened the scoring for the hosts, two minutes after the start of the second half. But the crowd was disappointed to see the Uruguayans turn things around with goals from Schiaffino (21 minutes in the second half) and Ghiggia (34 minutes in the final period).

The event became known as the Maracanazzo and is considered one of the biggest upsets in football history. It’s also because more than 200,000 people were in attendance for the match at the Maracana Stadium – the biggest attendance in football history.

Facts and figures

  • Uruguay thus becomes twice world champion, with Italy;
  • Brazil’s victories in the last four remain their biggest Cup victories;
  • The number of spectators for the final match (200,000 people) was the largest in the history of world football;
  • The Cup’s top scorer was Ademir de Menezes of Brazil with nine goals;
  • – The average attendance per match was 47,000 people.

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