FIFA World Cup 1938

FIFA World Cup 1938 was the third staging of the World Cup and was held in France from 4 to 19 June 1938. The tournament was won by Italy, who defeated 4–2 in the final. It was the last World Cup to be staged before the outbreak of the Second World War. Italy's triumph had been overshadowed by the Anschluss of Austria; the 1938 edition was anticipated with far more interest. France was chosen as host by FIFA after the withdrawal of Italy, , and .

FIFA World Cup 1938 saw the return of champions , who had boycotted the 1934 tournament. and also returned after missing the previous edition. Czechoslovakia, Dutch East Indies, Cuba, Norway, and Poland all made their debuts at the 1938 World Cup. The format of the tournament was similar to 1934, with sixteen teams divided into four groups of four. Then Quarter-Final stage took place, with the winners of each group progressing to the semi-finals.

The final was held at the Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris and was contested by Italy and Hungary. The Italians took an early lead through Gino Colaussi in the 6th Minute, but Hungary struck back through Pal Titkos's goal in the 8th Minute. Italy restored their lead in the 16th Minute through Silvio Piola and doubled their lead in the 35th Minute goal by Gino Colaussi but Hungary fought hard and scored a goal in the 70th Minute of the 2nd half. But Italian striker Silvio Piola scored a goal in the 82nd Minute to complete a 4-2 win for Italy.

Italy became the first team to successfully defend the title and were once more crowned World Cup winners. Because of World War II, the World Cup would not be held for another 12 years, until . As a result, Italy was the reigning World Cup holder for a record 16 years, from 1934 to 1950. The Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, hid the trophy in a shoe box under his bed throughout the Second World War and thus saved it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.

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