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Brazil in the World Cup 1934 - Italy

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Matches and Players

Pedrosa, Martim, Armandinho, Tinoco, Patesko, Luizinho,
Luis Luz and Leonidas da Silva;
Attila, Sylvio Hoffman, Waldemar de Brito, Canalli, Germano,
Carvalho Leite, Octacílio and Waldir.
Brazil in the 1934 World Cup - Italy


The team: Pedrosa, Sylvio Hoffman, Luiz Luz; Tinoco, Martim (C), Canalli; Luisinho, Waldemar de Brito, Armandinho, Leônidas, Patesko.
Substitutes: Germano (G), Octacílio, Ariel, Waldir, Carvalho Leite and Attila.
Coach: Luiz Vinhaes.

The Match:
»Brazil 1 x 3 Spain.

Sixteen countries played in the World Cup; all matches were play-offs; all eight teams which passed to the second round were European.


The Preparation

Brazil and Peru should play in the qualifyings for the 1934 World Cup; Peru withdrew, and Brazil was automatically qualified (Argentina and Chile should play in the other group, but Chile also withdrew, and Argentina qualified).
Uruguay, then current title holder, as a retort from the European absences in the 1930 World Cup, also refused to participate of the World Cup in Italy.

Just like in 1930, bureaucratic problems prevented Brazil from taking the best team to the World Cup.

Poster 1934 world cup
Poster 1934

In 1934, Brazil football was in the process of transitioning from amateurship to professionalism.
Two entities co-existed: one old Brazilian Confederation, which congregated the still amateur teams, and one new Brazilian Federation, to which most of the important teams in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo were already committed.
FIFA, however, did not officially recognize the new Federation, and commissioned the old Confederation to define the Brazilian National team.

The entities tried to reach an agreement, but the new Federation refused to relief their players.
Botafogo, from Rio de Janeiro, was the only major team still affiliated with the Confederation. The Brazilian Confederation called up nine players from Botafogo, and signed temporary contracts with eight players from other professional teams (Sylvio Hoffman, Luis Luz, Tinoco, Luisinho, Waldemar de Brito, Armandinho, Leônidas da Silva and Patesko).
Brazil took only seventeen players to the World Cup 1934.

Brazilian team training for the cup Brazil going to the Cup

Photos above: the Brazilian team training for the Cup aboard the ship.


Brazil left to Italy on May 12th 1934, aboard Biancamano, a rather small and uncomfortable ship.
Besides the poor infrastructure, Brazilians suffered with the lack of a professional physical instructor. Not used to long journeys, all players suffered sea sickness.
The ship stopped over in Barcelona, to pick up the Spanish team.

The Matches

The trip to Europe took thirteen days.
The team arrived on a Friday, and on Sunday they played the match against Spain (that's to say: the players were very tired).

Brazil was aware that Spain was the favourite. While many of the best Brazilian players hadn't gone to the Cup, Spain had several world class players, the most famous of whom was the goalkeeper Ricardo Divino Zamora.

Brazil vs. Spain - World Cup 1934

Brazil x Spain. It is clear that Leônidas would score a goal,
but the Spanish defender saved it with his hands. The referee
(from Germany), in the background, turns a blind eye.

The Spaniards scored 2 x 0 in the first half. In the second half, Leônidas da Silva scored the only Brazilian goal in that Cup, and Langara finished it up for Spain.

Brazil lost, but with complaints. Tinoco, one of Brazilian defenders, accused the referee of having pretended not seeing a Spaniard defender saving a goal with his hands; the photo to the left is an evidence that Tinoco was right, and a penalty kick shoud be anotated to Brazil.

Spain would lose the following match, against Italy. Italy would then beat Austria to reach the final, against Czechoslovakia. Italy won, but the match, very tight, was decided only in the 30 minute extension time, with a goal by Schiavo.
Benito Mussolini was in the tribune of the Nazionale stadium, and started out the Italian celebration of their first World Cup championship.

World Cup 1934 - Other Info

»FIFA Archives of the 1934 World Cup.

»The most important Brazilian player was Leônidas da Silva. One of the best Brazilian players of all time, Leônidas would be the main striker of the 1938 World Cup (click the link to read more about Leônidas).

»At least one Brazilian was world champion in 1934. Attilio de Maria was a descendant of Italians born in Brazil; according to Italian legislation, de Maria was still Italian citizen, and could play in the national team.

»Waldemar de Brito, besides playing in this Cup, entered Brazilian football History as the man who would later discover a talented child called Pelé.