Meazza stars in singular Greek tragedy

Every good journey, it has been said, starts with a singular step. That initial step for a FIFA World Cup™ horde now takes place in a Opening Match of a tournament, though that was not a box in 1934. On Sunday, 25 Mar 1934, a truly singular diversion took place when Italy played a World Cup qualifier – a usually hosts in a story of a foe to do so.

Four years earlier, with Europe in a midst of an mercantile crisis, 13 teams entered a 1930 World Cup in Uruguay by invitation with no gift routine required. However, when it came to organising a contest in Europe, seductiveness irritated after a success of a initial competition, and a rough turn was indispensable to revoke a 32 invited teams down to 16 finalists.

Qualifying began in Jun 1933 and ran adult until USA’s final qualifier opposite Mexico – remarkably only 3 days before a finals themselves kicked off on 27 May. Two months earlier, a hosts had to secure a place in their home finals, and were drawn to face Greece.

Despite Italy’s accessible better to Austria a month previously, and Greece’s win over Bulgaria in February, a Greeks went into a qualifier as outrageous underdogs. Italy had remained dominant in their 7 games in 1933, while Greece’s feat over Bulgaria was their initial feat given Dec 1930, a empty run going behind over 11 matches.

Italy lined adult in front of 20,000 narrow-minded supporters during a San Siro with a feared brazen Giuseppe Meazza in Vittorio Pozzo’s starting XI. His heroics for a inhabitant side would after see a track renamed in his honour, and he would not defect a fans that afternoon. A few others in a choice would go on to write their names into Italian history, with 6 of a group that began a diversion opposite Greece starting 77 days after in a World Cup Final in Rome.

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