The XI of the France team at the 1934 World Cup


To continue our series on the XI of the French team at the World Cup, let’s go to the year 1934. This edition marked the beginnings of the rise of a future strong nation of football. However, the course was not yet exemplary.

Back to the team that went to the final knockout stage, eliminated by big favorite Austria after extra time (3-2).

Difficult to know exactly the tactical system but it looked a lot like a 4-2-4.

Alexis Thépot conceded three pawns in this meeting. The doorman of the Blues marked the spirits for several years. On the last goal of the Austrians, the striker scored in a wide offside position and the tricolor goalkeeper did not even jump thinking that the flag was going to rise.

Nothing at all, the realization is validated in the turmoil and Thépot was criticized for not having played the action. Too bad for the captain at the time…

Edmond Delfour made a decent match often overtaken by the Austrian wingers. In this role called « right half » (a kind of side), the Corsican player was in difficulty.

Delfour was nearing the end of his career and didn’t have as much boot anymore, to be honest. He was one of five veterans to have competed in the three pre-war Worlds.

Jacques Désiré Mairesse was a rock of this formation from the top of his 1m74 only. On Austria’s last goal, the ball went behind his back at the worst of times.

Mairesse had had a rather interesting encounter so far. It will be his only participation in a World Cup and his last selection with his country.

Etienne Mattler participated for ten years in the beginnings of the French team in international football. His 80 meter allowed him to relieve many aerial duels.

Like Delfour, he participated in the first three Worlds before the Second World War. A framework that has been crowned French club champions several times.

George Verriest had the responsibility of containing the terrible attacker Sindelar. « If he goes to the bathroom, you go too« , slipped to him as an instruction from his coach. The beginnings of marking with panties in a way.

In the end, the Austrian striker scored but was much less dangerous than usual. At the end of extra time Verriest gave hope by scoring the penalty in the 118th minute. His team failed to equalize afterwards.

Noël Liétaer only participated in the course from 1933 to 1934 in order to reach the final table of the World Cup. He was able to evolve as a left half either with his two clubs in Pas-de-Calais or in Blues.

His score was sluggish and he only wore the blue tunic once, then in December before retiring from international football.

Frédéric Keller is the first player in the history of RC Strasbourg to have been called up to the French team. He will only have played 7 games in 4 years with little impact on the tricolor formation.

During this match against Austria, few echoes came from its overall score.

One of the first legends of Olympique de Marseille. Joseph Alcazar was also the first OM player to wear the jersey in history. The Spanish-French had scored more than 130 goals in less than 200 games for Marseille.

During the qualifying match for the World Cup as against Austria, no feat of arms for him. His international career quickly came to a halt.

He was the offensive star of the Blues until 1938. Jean Nicolas scored a quadruple to qualify France for the final phase (6-2 against Luxembourg) and scored again against Austria.

However, he was stunned following a duel against one of his teammates. The RC Rouen striker never fully came to his senses, but that didn’t stop him from finding the net. 21 goals in 25 selections for Nicolas in his career.

At the time of this World Cup, Roger Rio is only 23 years old. His experience is still limited and the pinnacle of his career is approaching. He never made an impression during his first years as a professional before becoming a real RC Rouen artificer alongside Nicolas.

Rio has spent his entire career in Normandy, a favorite land of football at the time.

Alfred Aston learned of his call-up for the 1934 World Cup in the sports newspaper Car of the time. The right winger did not score during this meeting against Austria but was always powerful. A fast and rigorous profile in the efforts.

He often swapped with Nicolas during the match, without any real impact on the opening of this international summit.



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