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16th Minute, Silvio Piola, Italy v Hungary, 1938 World Cup Final


France were chosen to host the 1938 World Cup which sparked criticism and protest from South America with Uruguay and Argentina pulling out. They thought the hosting of the tournament should alternate between the two continents. Italy were World Champions having won the tournament on home soil four years earlier.

In their first match, the champions struggled to get past Norway but they impressively beat the hosts in the next round and a joyful and talented Brazil side in the semi-finals. These three wins saw them through to the final against Hungary who had enjoyed an easier path to Paris.

The final got off to lightning start with Italy going ahead after just two minutes but it didn’t take long for the Hungarians to hit back and level things.

The Goal

Italy take the lead again as Silvio Piola finishes off a neat move…

What Happened Next?

Italy won the final 4-2 with Piola getting another and retained the Jules Rimet trophy. It would take Italy forty-four years to win their third World Cup though. Piola made 566 appearances in Serie A, finishing top scorer three times but never won a title. He died in 1996 and soon after had two stadiums named in his honour.


22min film here shows the players relaxing before the final, arriving to the stadium, lining-up and of course the highlights of the match…

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