In 1929, FIFA decided to hand the organisations of the first World Cup to Olympic Champions, Uruguay. FIFA felt they had earned the right and the Uruguayans were keen to build a stadium fit for the occasion.
The 1930 World Cup remains the only one without any qualification. In the end, thirteen teams participated with over half coming from South America as the European sides were reluctant to make the journey across the Atlantic.
The Uruguayan national team had dazzled football fans in Europe with their short passing game during the 1924 and 1928 Olympics where they claimed gold.
They had also won the Copa America six times before the World Cup was created. All this added up to a Uruguay victory on home soil, and they wouldn’t disappoint.
In their opening match, Uruguay narrowly defeated Peru before going on to smash Romania 4-0. These two wins were enough to set-up a semi-final with Yugoslavia who had won a group featuring Brazil and Bolivia.
Uruguay had no problems and a 6-1 thrashing further underlined the La Celeste’s strength.
In the final they met their great rivals and neighbours Argentina in front of a crowd of 93,000. The Argentines had also won their semi-final 6-1 to keep up a 100% record so many expected a tight contest.
Controversy before the game included what ball to use. Both sides had their own, preferred ball so it was decided that they would play the first half with Argentina’s and the second with Uruguay’s.
The first ever World Cup final goal is scored by Pablo Dorado after twelve minutes:
What Happened Next?
Argentina hit back and at half-time it was they who were leading 2-1.
In the second half the Uruguayans got to play with their own ball and came back to win 4-2.
A national holiday was declared the next day in Uruguay.