The 1934 World Cup did not have an opening game proper, because the round of 16 was played on the same day (May 27) and at the same time). Italy debuted at the National Stadium in Rome against the United States, still exhausted by their qualifier against Mexico three days before and with a combination of amateur players. The Italians got rid of their rival without hurry, with a convincing 7-1 The transalpine team was mostly made up of people from Juventus of Turin, but the star of that clash with a triple was Angelo Schiavio, from Bologna F.
Besides Italy, the countries with more options were those of Central Europe. The Austria team, led by Hugo Meisl, had only lost two games since 1931 and was known as Wunderteam, both for their offensive play style and their talented footballers, including Matthias Sindelar. he got to take the lead, Sindelar scored the tie and an extension was reached in which the Austrians prevailed by 3-2. The other favorite was Czechoslovakia, also with more troubles than expected. In their confrontation against Romania they had to come back with goals from Antonín Puč and Oldřich Nejedlý (2-1). Hungary needed four goals to break a competitive Egypt (4-2) and Switzerland qualified without trouble against the Netherlands (3-2) with a double by Leopold Kielholz, a forward who needed glasses to play.
Neither of the two South American teams could pass the round, although both were seeded. Argentina traveled to Italy with an amateur team, in which only two men (Devincenzi and Arcadio López) had international experience, and was not able to subdue Sweden, an opponent who did not play with professionals either. In a highly contested match, the Scandinavians ended up winning 3-2. The biggest surprise was the elimination of Brazil at the hands of Spain. The Spaniards played well and at the end of the first half they were winning 3-0 with goals from José Iraragorri and Isidro Lángara. And although the Brazilian star Leônidas da Silva cut distances in the resumption, it was not enough to avoid the defeat by 3-1. In addition, the goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora became the first to stop a penalty in the history of the tournament, thus all the qualifiers for the quarterfinals were European.
The most exciting match of this phase was the one that faced Italy and Spain at the Giovanni Berta stadium in Florence. In an extremely tough and physical match, Luis Regueiro scored after half an hour and the transalpine Giovanni Ferrari equalized before the break. The extension did not resolve the score and with 1-1 it was necessary to break the next day, on June 1st. Seven of the eleven Spanish starters missed that match due to injury or fatigue, including Ricardo Zamora with two broken ribs. In the end Italy prevailed by the minimum with goal of Giuseppe Meazza. The Spaniards claimed a foul on goalkeeper Meazza and filed a complaint because the referee, René Mercet, canceled two legal goals to Regueiro and Quincoces.The controversy did not prevent the pass of Italy to the semifinals.
The rest of the crashes were resolved in the regulation time. The Italian rival in the semifinals would be Austria, who got rid of Hungary 2-1. Horvarth and Zischek put Wunderteam ahead and striker György Sárosi cut back from the penalty spot, but the Magyars were outnumbered by the injuries, as changes were not allowed at that time. In Milan, Germany defeated Sweden 2-1 with more difficulties than expected; It was not until the second half when Karl Hohmann scored two goals in three minutes, decisive to decant the situation. And finally, Czechoslovakia needed to go back to convincing Switzerland to eliminate it 3-2, at the Benito Mussolini stadium in Turin.
The first semifinal between Italy and Austria, held at the San Siro stadium in Milan, ended with a victory by the minimum of the transalpine (1-0). Austria arrived with a good run of form and, despite having more problems than expected, reached the semifinals with title options.9 However, Hugo Meisl could not count on his organizer Johann Horvath due to injury and told his friend, Italian coach Vittorio Pozzo, “we have no choice.” Azzurra scored nine minutes through Enrique Guaita, in a somewhat controversial situation because the Austrians claimed a foul on goalkeeper Peter Platzer. In a closely matched game, the hosts held on defense and qualified for the final of their World Cup.
The other game, between Czechoslovakia and Germany at the National Stadium in Rome, was resolved with Czechoslovakian triumph 3-1. The star who got rid of the German defenders was the striker Oldřich Nejedlý, author of a hat-trick that crowned top scorer of the competition.The Germans could not do anything against the technical superiority of his rival, and goalkeeper František Plánička shortcut the few occasions these could get.
The 1934 World Cup was the first in which a match was played for third place, which faced the national teams of Germany and Austria. The match was played at the Giorgio Ascarelli stadium in Naples on June 7, three days before the final. The Austrian star Matthias Sindelar did not appear in the starting lineup, although the spine of the Wunderteam remained. The Germans dominated from the first minute and thanks to the goals of Ernst Lehner and Edmund Conen arrived 3-1 at halftime. Despite the goal of Karl Sesta to cut distances, Germany was proclaimed winner of the consolation final.
The final of the World Cup between Italy and Czechoslovakia was held in Rome on June 10, 1934, at 5:30 p.m., with more than 50,000 spectators who filled the National Stadium of the Fascist National Party under intense heat. as a favorite for his role as organizer and for the innovations of trainer Vittorio Pozzo, who introduced the preparation rallies (ritiro), the defensive system with pyramidal position and a physical game.However, the national press was aware that the Czechoslovaks they had many options thanks to goalkeeper Plánička and his fearsome line of attack, President Benito Mussolini, obsessed with the organizational success and the sale of the achievements of Italian fascism, brought together the transalpine team before the initial whistle and urged them in a speech Win at all costs Some of the players came to feel threatened by the message: the Italian-Argentinean Luis Monti, the first man to He was contesting two finals of a World Cup, he came to declare years later:
Benito Mussolini was present in the box of authorities with his military uniform, the Italian players, as was customary, made the fascist salute in the center of the field, while the Czechoslovakians maintained the formation. The surprise came when Swedish referee Ivan Eklind also raised his arm, as was later known at the request of the authorities.After the anthems, captains Gianpiero Combi and Plánička shook hands and witnessed the field draw.
The game was very close and exciting, Italy tried to threaten Plánička’s goal with aerial balls, unable to surprise the goalkeeper. For their part, the Czechoslovaks did not overcome the ironclad Italian defensive line and reached the break without goals on the scoreboard. In spite of the increasing local hardness and arbitration permissiveness, Czechoslovakia dominated the second half and in the 71st minute went ahead with a goal from Antonín Puč on a personal play. He had to make tactical variations to overcome the bohemian defenders Finally, Raimundo Orsi got the tie nine minutes from the end With the opponent already exhausted, Angelo Schiavio made the final 2-1 in the 95th minute of the extra time. Italy proclaimed itself world champion for the first time in its history.
Rome lived a party atmosphere after the final whistle. The teams from Italy, Czechoslovakia and Germany appeared on the pitch as the top three qualified. The Italians received two titles on the turf: The Victory Cup, by Jules Rimet, and a trophy given by Benito Mussolini, the Coppa del Duce, six times bigger than the previous one, and a bonus of 20,000. lire per head and were named “Commendadores al Merito Deportivo”.