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World Cup France 1938
The World Cup championship played in France was the last one before World War II and turned out to be the least attended to. Once again British teams and Uruguay didn't enter the qualifiers, Austria didn't participate because of its political situation and Argentina backed out of the competition after the draw. The team from Yugoslavia that had won the bronze at the championship of 1930 didn't qualify in 1938. The defending champion (Italy) and the hosting team (France) were automatically entered in the competition. In all, 15 out of 16 qualified teams showed up in France.
The World Cup was played in the play-off system. In the first round, after a fierce match and additional time Poland, a first-time player in the cup, lost to Brasil 5:6. In the second phase Brasil put up a fight with Czechoslovakia and won the game, only to lose to Italy, the defending champion, in the semi-finals. Even though the German team was strengthened by Austrian players, it failed to defeat Switzerland. The Hungarians did well, beating strong teams from Switzerland and Sweden on its way to the final game. They were then easily defeated by the favourite team from Italy. The Italians won for the second time and defended their title as World Cup champion. The Brazilian team won 3rd. place after a 4:2 victory over Sweden.
Top players of the tournament: Domingos, Leônidas, Martim (Brasil), Plánicka (Czechoslovakia), Aston (France), Sárosi (Hungary), Andreolo, Meazza, Piola, (Italy), Wilimowski (Poland).
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