With Europe still recovering from World War II, the 1950 World Cup was held in Brazil, which built the now legendary Maracana stadium specially for the event.
England made their first World Cup finals appearance, but were humiliatingly beaten 1-0 by the United States and sent home early.
Marques de Menezes Ademir, leading scorer of 1950 tournament with eight goals for Brazil, had everything: good physique, balance, exceptional speed allied to excellent ball control.
The decisive match, however, provided a surprise as Uruguay stunned Brazil, who had earlier thrashed Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1, before a world record crowd of 193,850 at the Maracana.
Albino Cardosa Friaca put Brazil ahead two minutes after half-time, but goals by Alcides Ghiggia and Juan Schiaffino made Uruguay world champions for the second time.AFP
1950 WORLD CUP TRIVIA
- For the first time since 1930 four qualifying groups were used instead of knockout stages. The four group winners had to contest a series of six matches. So, farcically, there was no official World Cup final as such. Brazil v Uruguay was the deciding match in the final pool.
- The four British Football Associations had rejoined FIFA and were eligible to enter, but only England made the trip. England won their first ever World Cup tie 2-0 v Chile in Group Two. Their next game was against rank outsiders United States in Belo Horizonte. England rested the great Stanley Matthews, but still had the likes of Tom Finney, Billy Wright and Stan Mortensen in the side. But it was a Haitian-born centre-forward named Larry Gaetjens who made headlines by scoring the winning goal to create a sensation that shook world sport.
- Overall attendance figures for all 22 games was 1.337 million, the first time over one million spectators had been recorded at a major tournament.
- This was the first World Cup finals in which no players were sent off.