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Brazil in the World Cup 1930

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Matches and Players

Brazil in the 1930 World Cup - Brazil

The line-up for the match against Yugoslavia:
the man in suit is Pindaro de Carvalho (coach);
Brilhante, Fausto, Hermógenes, Itália, Joel and Fernando;
Poly, Nilo, Araken, Preguinho and Teóphilo.

The team (line-up in the first match, against Yugoslavia): Joel; Brilhante and Itália; Hermógenes, Fausto and Fernando; Poly, Nilo, Araken, Preguinho (C) and Teóphilo.
Substitutes: Velloso (G), Zé Luiz, Oscarino, Benevenuto, Ivan Mariz, Fortes, Pamplona, Benedito, Russinho, Carvalho Leite, Doca and Moderato.
Coach: Píndaro de Carvalho.

The Matches:
»Brazil 1 x 2 Yugoslavia
»Brazil 4 x 0 Bolivia

There were only three countries in the Group; only the first of the Group (Yugoslavia) progressed to the next round (semi-final).
Yugoslavia would be beaten by Uruguay in the semi-final, to finish the World Cup tied with United States in third place.

The Preparation

There was no qualifying for the first World Cup.

FIFA invited as many countries as possible, but only thirteen of them accepted the invitation.
There were no inter-continental flights at the time, a trip from Europe to America required a few weeks on a ship.

1930 World Cup poster
1930 Poster.

All Brazilian players, except one (Araken), who went to the World Cup in Uruguay played in teams of Rio de Janeiro.
This happened because the Brazilian Federation, which has always been located in Rio de Janeiro, refused to invite managers from the São Paulo Federation to compound the staff which would go to Uruguay, and, in response, the teams from São Paulo refused to relief their players to the Brazilian team (according to a provisional list, thirteen players from São Paulo would have served the Brazilian team).
Araken was playing with Santos, a team from São Paulo, but he volunteered to go to the Cup anyways.

Even though the Brazilian football had reached a good technical level in 1930, the directors sent to manage the team in Uruguay lacked experience and professionalism.
The head of staff was Afrânio Costa, who had won the silver medal of target shooting in the Olympics of Antuerpia, in 1920, but who knew absolutely nothing about football. Many friends of the directors were sent as journalists. The coach, Píndaro de Carvalho, arrived to Montevidéu a few days before the Cup, a few days after the players had already arrived.

The Brazilian team was more amateur than professional.

The Matches

Brazil first match

A Historic photography:
Brazil enters field for the first match in a World Cup.

The first match of Brazil in a World Cup happened on June 14th 1930, against Yugoslavia, in the Parque Central stadium, Montevideo.
Temperature was nearly zero celsius (32 F). The cold affected much more the Brazilians, coming from a tropical country, than the Yugoslavians, accustomed to rigorous winters.
Yugoslavia scored 2 x 0 in the first half. During the half time break, the Brazilians used blankets and drank hot tea to try to warm themselves.
At 17 minutes of the second half, Preguinho included his name in the History of Brazilian football, by scoring the first goal of the Brazilian team in a World Cup.

In fact, very few people in Brazil know who Preguinho is; born on February 8th 1905, Preguinho was the captain of the Brazilian team in 1930; he would score another two goals in the following match against Bolivia, to become the first Brazilian striker in World Cups; he was a player of Fluminense (considered an aristocratic team, at that epoch), and his name was João Coelho Netto (his nick, Preguinho, means "small nail" in Portuguese).

Brazil x Bolivia

Brazilian team lined up for the match against Bolivia.

When Brazil and Bolivia started their match, they both knew they were already disqualified. Yugoslavians had won Bolivia three days earlier, and they were already qualified to the next stage.
Brazil won by 4 x 0. The coach substituted six players who had staged in the first match (substitutions during the match were not allowed until 1970). Preguinho scored two goals, and Moderato another two.

Brazil finished its first World Cup in the sixth position, one winning, one loss, five goals pro, one goal against.

Yugoslavia proceeded to the semi-final, but lost to Uruguay by 6 x 1. The other semi-final was between Argentina and the surprising USA; Argentina won also by 6 x 1, but the first half finished only 1 x 0.

The first final of a World Cup was disputed by two South American countries, Argentina and Uruguay. Eighty thousand people (twenty thousand from Argentina) attended the match in the Centenario stadium. Argentina was winning the first half by 2 x 1, but Uruguay finished the match with a 4 x 2 victory; for several days and nights, Uruguayans celebrated the title in the first World Cup.

World Cup 1930 - Other Info

Brazil x Yugoslavia
Brazil vs Yugoslavia.

Brazil x Bolivia
Brazil vs Bolivia.

FIFA Archives of the 1930 World Cup.

This page shows some other historic photos of the matches of Brazil in the 1930 World Cup.

None of the Brazilian players who went to Uruguay became famous in Brazil. The first Brazilian idol in World Cups was Leonidas da Silva, who played in 1934 and 1938.
In the first decades of the 1900s, the most famous Brazilian player was Arthur Friendereich. He was the first legend of Brazilian football, and many people claim that Friendereich was better than Pelé; according to some statistics, he scored more goals than Pelé.
Friendereich pereformed in the Brazilian teams which won the America Cup in 1919 and 1922. Unfortunately, he played with São Paulo FC, and was one of the players not released by the São Paulo Federation to go to the Uruguay World Cup.

On May 26th 1928, FIFA elected Uruguay as the host of the first World Cup. Uruguay had won two gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games, which were hitherto the most important football tournament in the world; the Uruguayans had excellent reasons to believe they could celebrate the centenary of their Independence with a victory in the World Cup.
FIFA had troubles to persuade the European teams to go the Cup. Teams would have to take a fifteen days trip by boat from Europe to Uruguay, stay twenty days at most, and another fifteen days back. For professional teams, that would be a waste of money; for amateur teams, that could mean losing their jobs.
The most important countries (Italy, Spain, Hungary and Germany) declined straight away they the invitation.
Only by personal request of FIFA's President, Jules Rimet, did four European countries accept to go to Uruguay: France, Yugoslavia, Romania and Belgium. All these four countries took the same ship; on their way, they stopped in Rio de Janeiro to pick up the Brazilian team, as well.