The 19th FIFA World Cup is now underway in Brazil, and that gives us an excuse to revisit the first World Cup, played in July, 1930 in Uruguay. Only 13 teams participated in the tournament, and all matches were played in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital. In the semi-finals, the United States lost to Argentina, 6-1. Uruguay crushed Yugoslavia by the same score. In the end, Uruguay, the favorites all along, triumphed over Argentina (4-2) before a home crowd of 93,000, to become the winner of the inaugural FIFA World Cup.
Recently restored by FIFA, the 13-minute video above lets you revisit the action from the 1930 tournament, and particularly from the championship game. Argentina led going into halftime, but then José Pedro Cea, Victoriano Santos Iriarte (aka “El Canario”), and Héctor Castro went to work and sealed the deal for Uruguay. The footage is bittersweet to watch — sweet, because it’s fun to watch the moves of those historic footballers; bitter, because it’s hard not to think wistfully about those athletes, then in their prime, who have long since passed.