- Mussolini wanted Italy to win at all costs and so tempted Argentina’s three best players to switch nationalities. Luis Monti, the tough, attacking centre half, Raimundo Orsi and Mario Magnozzi played for Argentina in 1930. They were of Italian descent and could therefore claim dual nationality, Italy offered them financial inducements to switch sides. FIFA did not have any clear-cut rules at that time regarding naturalization of players, so the trio played a big role on Italy’s triumph.
- Luis Monti helped the Italian club Juventus lift four league championships (1932, 1933, 1934 and 1935) and one Italian Cup in 1938.
- The Italian Football Federation made a profit of a million lire during this World Cup.
- Uruguay, piqued by the boycott of European countries four years ago and affected by a players’ strike, decided to stay at home. It was the first and only time that the holders did not defend their title.
- Right half back Attilio Ferraris smoked 30 to 40 cigarettes a day. The persuasive Pozzo made him cut down cigarettes gradually and Ferraris had a splendid World Cup.
(Text courtesy: The Football Fanatic’s Essential Guide 2018 World Cup Special by Novy Kapadia, published by Hachette India)
Lead Image Courtesy: Outside of the Boot