The first FIFA World Cup, a global competition for men’s national association football teams, was held in 1930. Uruguay hosted it from July 13 to July 30, 1930. Uruguay was chosen as the host country by FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, because the country would be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the adoption of its first constitution and because the Uruguayan national football team had successfully defended its football championship at the 1928 Summer Olympics. All games were held in the tournament’s home stadium, the Estadio Centenario, in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
Thirteen teams entered the competition, including two from North America, four from Europe, and seven from South America. Due to the difficulty of traveling to South America, only a few European teams decided to compete. The teams were split up into four groups, and the group with the most points advanced to the semifinals. The United States and France won the first two World Cup games, which were played simultaneously and were won by Mexico (4-1) and Belgium (3-0), respectively. The first World Cup goal was scored by France’s Lucien Laurent, and Jimmy Douglas of the United States had the first tournament shutout on the same day.
In order to go to the semi-finals, Argentina, Uruguay, the United States, and Yugoslavia all won their respective groups. In the championship match, Uruguay, the tournament’s hosts and pre-tournament favorites, defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of 68,346 spectators to win the World Cup for the first time.