Host na­tion: Brazil Games: 22 Goals: 88 (4 per match) Dis­missals: 0 Venues: 6 Win­ners: Uruguay Top scorer: Ademir (8 goals)

Thir­teen coun­tries headed to the third World Cup – an un­lucky num­ber for hosts, favourites and even­tual run­ners-up Brazil, not to men­tion debu­tants Eng­land, who were beaten 1-0 by a semi-pro­fes­sional USA side. These fi­nals fea­tured no knock­out matches, with the four group win­ners – Brazil, Spain, Swe­den and Uruguay – com­pet­ing in a mini-league to de­cide the best on the planet. In the de­ci­sive match, Brazil needed a draw while Uruguay, who had to win, tri­umphed 2-1. The re­sult haunted Brazil keeper Bar­bosa who, 13 years later, held a barbecue to burn the goal­posts used dur­ing the game. We as­sume most guests opted for burg­ers.


Brazil’s scin­til­lat­ing trio of in­side-for­wards – Ademir (the Golden Boot win­ner with eight goals), Jair and Ziz­inho – were ul­ti­mately out­done by three great Uruguayans: striker Juan Schi­affino, winger Al­cides Ghig­gia and in­spi­ra­tional box-to-box mid­fielder Ob­dulio Varela (left).


If Amer­i­can cen­tre-for­ward Joe Gaet­jens meant it, his div­ing header against Eng­land was a beauty. Renowned for his aerial au­dac­ity, his faint con­nec­tion with Wal­ter Bahr’s cross-shot di­verted the ball past Eng­land keeper Bert Wil­liams.


In­dia qual­i­fied for the tour­na­ment but didn’t turn up. Their ab­sence is usu­ally at­trib­uted to FIFA’S re­fusal to let them play with­out boots, but in fact the In­dian FA just thought the cost of trav­el­ling was too steep.


A har­bin­ger of in­dig­ni­ties to come, the Three Lions’ shock 1-0 loss to a USA team (far left) who in­cluded a post­man, dish washer and fu­neral direc­tor was such a sur­prise that some news­pa­pers thought a typ­ing er­ror meant Eng­land had won 10-1.


Against Uruguay, in front of 200,000 roaring fans at the Mara­cana (top), Brazil were such favourites that Jules Rimet had writ­ten his speech be­fore kick-off. Af­ter be­ing pul­verised for 47 min­utes – and go­ing 1-0 down (be­low) – Uruguay staged the great­est World Cup fi­nal up­set. As Brazil sat back, hop­ing to catch their op­po­nents on the counter, cap­tain Varela pow­ered his side for­ward. Goals from Schi­affino (sec­ond from bot­tom) and Ghig­gia si­lenced the crowd.


Trau­ma­tised by the de­feat, Brazil­ians blamed their white kit, which news­pa­per Cor­reio da Manha claimed suf­fered from a “psy­cho­log­i­cal and moral lack of sym­bol­ism”. Iron­i­cally, a Uruguayan il­lus­tra­tor won the com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign a pa­tri­otic new strip. His en­try – the iconic yel­low shirts with green trim and blue shorts – was meant as a joke.

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