Host Brazil loses in the 1950 final
World governing body FIFA decided in 1946 in Luxembourg to resume the World Cup competition in 1950, re-baptising the trophy as the Jules Rimet Trophy in honour of the Frenchman who came up with the idea of a world competition and with sole candidates Brazil taking its first turn as host.
England, which had formed its own federation in 1929, had only just agreed to join FIFA, having declined to compete in the initial three World Cups.
It finally agreed to take part in Brazil, where football was developing into a national obsession.
Proof of this was the decision to begin work on the Maracana stadium, designed to accommodate a staggering 200,000 spectators in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.
The tournament moved back to a first round round-robin format, but England, which arrived as one of the favourites, was stunned 1-0 by the United States and never recovered, losing again to Spain and exiting the tournament in miserable fashion.
Another first round surprise was the failure of holder Italy to progress, although it had been crippled by the loss of 18 players from the great Torino team, killed when its plane, travelling from Lisbon, ploughed into the Superga church near Turin.
The host satisfied its eager supporters and finished top of a challenging group that featured Yugoslavia, Mexico and Switzerland, while Spain, Sweden and Uruguay (whose only first round opponent was Bolivia) also advanced to the final group phase. Brazil hit 13 goals in its next two matches, many of them scored by Ademir and Chico.
The winner of the title would be decided in the final match between Brazil and Uruguay.
The 1930 champion was made of stern stuff, however, and defended valiantly in the face of relentless Brazilian attacks.
Just as Uruguay was beginning to gain confidence, Brazil grabbed the opener with a goal by Friaca just after the break, sending the fans into hysterics.
Stunned into action, Juan Alberto Schiaffino of Uruguay then silenced the crowd with a blistering shot that gave Barbosa no chance and levelled the scores with 24 minutes left.
The visitor could now sense victory and surged forward in search of the winner, which arrived in the 81st minute.
Ghiggia worked a one-two with Perez down the right side and when he finished his run with a powerful shot to beat Barbosa, Uruguay was World champion and Brazil went into mourning. Uruguay celebrated in style, 20 years after its initial success on home soil at the first ever World Cup. — AFP