- Italy Manager Vittorio Pozzo (March 12, 1886-December 21, 1968) was still in charge as he had been in 1934.
He took charge of the National Team for the first time for the 1912 Olympics.
He returned as head coach in 1929. He would remain as Commissario Tecnico until 1948.
The only survivors from Italy’s 1934 World Cup winning squad were Giuseppe Meazza (now promoted as Captain), Giovanni Ferrari, Eraldo Monzeglio and substitute goalkeeper Guido Masetti.
Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 988 (Number 12),March 23-29, 1994(Silvio Piola and Vittorio Pozzo)
-In 1934, The Italians had drafted Oriundis (an Oriundo in particular refers to South Americans with Spanish or Italian ancestry), such as Argentinean-born stars such as Luisito Monti (Juventus), Raimundo Orsi (Juventus), Attilio Demaria (Ambrosiana-Inter) and Enrique Guaita (AS Roma).
For this 1938 Edition, the lone Orundi was Uruguayan-born Michele Andreolo who filled Luisito Monti’s role.
Photo From: La Grande Storia del Calcio Italiano, L'apoteosi di Parigi, Issue 8, April 1965
-In 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Italy had been triumphant. Pozzo called up Alfredo Foni, Pietro Rava, Sergio Bertoni, and Ugo Locatelli to the full squad.
-Before leaving for France, the squad trained initially in the Alps, above Stresa, on Lake Maggiore (just like in 1934) in May. This phase was to ‘detoxify’ the players and included rest, relaxation
Afterwards, they went to Cueno (in Piedmont) for the final phase of preparation. This was where the real physical and tactical training was accomplished.
Photo From: Calcio Illustrato, issue 22, June 1, 1938(Italy players)
Photo From: Il Calcio Illustrato, Giugno 1950, Supplemento Al. No 24(Italians training)
Photo From: Azzurri, Storia della Nazionale di calcio tre volte campioni del Mondo, 1910-1983
(Italians at the Port of Marseille)
Photo From: La Grande Storia del Calcio Italiano, L'apoteosi di Parigi, Issue 8, April 1965(Italy squad in training)
-Italy concluded its preparation with friendlies on two consecutive Sundays, against Belgium (May 15th at Milan) and vs. Yugoslavia May 22nd (at Genoa).
On May 15th, Belgium were defeated (6-1). Preceding the match, the B-squad (with Foni in command) defeated Luxembourg (4-0).
On May 22nd , Yugoslavia were defeated (4-0) with some of the missing elements from the Belgium match, such as Foni and Colaussi.
The B-Team defeated a South German selection XI (5-2).
Photo From: Calcio Illustrato, issue 22, June 1, 1938
(Foni and Rava in training)
Italy’s Preparatory matches/ Friendlies ahead of the World Cup:
Date: May 15, 1938
Venue: Milano -Stadio Comunale, San Siro
Attendance: 25, 000
Referee: Peter J. (Peco) Bauwens (Germany)
Italy 6-Belgium 1 (Giuseppe Meazza 17 pen, Michele Andreolo 28, Piero Pasinati 58, Silvio Piola 71, 80, 84 / Jean Capelle 2)
Italy: Aldo Olivieri (Lucchese) , Eraldo Monzeglio (Roma), Pietro Rava (Juventus), Pietro Serantoni (Roma) , Michele Andreolo (Bologna),
Ugo Locatelli (Ambrosiana -Inter), Piero Pasinati (Triestina), Giuseppe Meazza (captain) (Ambrosiana -Inter), Silvio Piola (Lazio), Giovanni Ferrari (Ambrosiana -Inter), Pietro Ferraris II (Ambrosiana -Inter)
Coach: Vittorio Pozzo
May 22, 1938
Venue: Genova -Stadio Comunale ‘Luigi Ferraris’
Attendance: 25, 000
Referee: Alfred Birlem (Germany)
Italy 4-Yugoslavia 0 (Luigi Colaussi 6, Silvio Piola 12, Giuseppe Meazza 62 pen, Giovanni Ferrari 84)
Italy: Carlo Ceresoli (Bologna), Alfredo Foni (Juventus), Pietro Rava (Juventus), Mario Perazzolo (Genova 1893), Michele Andreolo (Bologna), Ugo Locatelli (Ambrosiana -Inter), Piero Pasinati (Triestina), Giuseppe Meazza (captain) (Ambrosiana -Inter), Silvio Piola (Lazio), Giovanni Ferrari (Ambrosiana -Inter), Luigi ‘Gino’ Colaussi (Triestina)
Coach: Vittorio Pozzo
In 1937, after almost four years of power struggle, the Brazilian Confederation of Sports, chaired by Luiz Martha, returned to take charge of football in the country, recognizing the professional regime and absorbing the then dissident Brazilian Federation of football. The president of the FBF, Jose Maria Castello Branco, became the confederation's director and was named responsible for the Selection of the World Cup Team.
In March of 1938, National team Manager Adhemar Pimenta selected a group for the initial training sessions. Six players ended up being removed after medical evaluations.
Pimenta angered Flamengo fans for not calling up Waldemar de Britto, one of the Brazilian stars of the 1934 World Cup in Italy. The Botafogo fans complained the absence of Carvalho Leite.
Many Companies, as well as ‘Banco do Brasil’ participated in financing Brazil’s World Cup expedition.
It was reported that a dentist Alceu Batista offered free service to the players.
The majority of the funds were obtained through the thousands of stamps sold, with a raffle for a couple of tickets to accompany Brazil to the World Cup.
The first issue of 100,000 stamps was sold in a matter of days.
Each stamp was sold for 500 Reis, which resulted in collection for the expenses of the National Team in France. When buying a stamp the fan became a "patriotic investor" and could be considered - as the advertisement campaign proclaimed "part of the delegation".
Brazil manager Adhemar Pimenta received no political pressure from the various Confederations, but many observers commented that he was tactically unaware, especially of the popular WM Formation.
Adhemar Pimenta formed two teams to select his best squad. The ‘blue team’ included Batatais; Domingos da Guia, Machado; Zeze Procopio, Martim Silveira and Afonsinho; Lopes, Romeu Pellicciari, Leonidas da Silva, Peracio and Hercules. The other team, the ‘White team’ included Walter; Jau, Nariz; Britto, Brandao and Argemiro; Roberto, Luizinho, Niginho and Patesko.
Pimenta would never reveal which as the main team to keep the players on edge, but it was assumed that any team that featured Domingos Da Guia and Leonidas was the main team.
After 12 days of training in Rio, Pimenta proposed that the 28 selected players should spent two weeks in the Aguas de Caxambu, in Minas Gerais, for a training period of 30 days. CBD accepted this request.
As soon as they had got off the bus in the small mining town, the players were greeted by a band of music and had to listen to long speeches by the Mayor, Fabio Vieira Marques, and other local authorities. The delegation was then invited to visit the tourist attractions and meet and greet local politicians, etc.
Thus, the light training programmed for that first day had to be canceled due to lack of time.
Some journalists who accompanied the training commented that discipline was not the strong point of that group.
The Gloria and Lopes hotels, which hosted the National Team, were also casinos (gambling was a legal in Brazil in 1938), which distracted the players.
On April 5th, the head of Delegation, Castello Branco published the imposing ‘Ten Commandments of the Players of the Brazilian Seleção’. The tenth commandment said: "No element can discuss the ordained standard established by the CBD." And the ninth set the same thing in relation to the bonuses for cup wins. The problem was the CBD's offered salary was less than most players earned with their clubs.
The players wrote back to the Confederation asking the following:
1) Daily 25,000 Reis, which should be paid from the day of setting sail until the day of return.
2) 1.5 Million Reis per player.
3) Ordered monthly minimum of 1.5 Million Reis.
4) Bonuses of 500,000 Reis per win and 250,000 Reis per tie.
All the players signed the petition for wages and prizes, which seemed fair. Castello Branco publicly criticized the claim, even before talking to the players. Botafogo's President, Sergio Darcy, visibly outraged, ordered his players to withdraw the signatures of the document.
Leonidas da Silva and Domingos da Guia, Brazil's two highest paid players at the time, were in Bahia playing friendly matches for Flamengo. On April 5th, when they returned to Rio de Janeiro, from where they would go to Caxambu, both heard the news. And they decided to stay in the city until the financial situation was resolved. Although they had never said this in public, it was clear that without any agreement, they would not even go to Caxambu and France.
Photo From: III Fussballweltmeisterschaft 1938 Frankreich, Author Robert Franta(Leonidas at Flamengo)
Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 988 (Number 12),March 23-29, 1994(Domingos Da Guia)
After a week, everything finally settled peacefully. The CBD stated that its financial department would ‘think long and hard about it’ and that the players would have their full salaries paid by the confederation while they were playing for the National Team. The bonuses were set at 800 francs per victory and 400 per tie, more or less the equivalent of what the players had requested. On April 10th, Leonidas and Domingos accepted the proposal and joined the National Team for the first time to train in Caxambu.
The only incident during the training period at Aguas Minas was a dislocation in the clavicle suffered by goalkeeper Walter of Flamengo on April 18th. Walter returned to Rio de Janeiro to consult a specialist and many believed he would be cut. But 12 days later, upon boarding to Europe, Walter arrived and was given a clean bill of health to travel. On the return from Minas Gerais to Rio, Ademar Pimenta announced the availability of six players (Dominguinhos, Thadeu, Cerni, Marreta, Placido and Caxambu).
Pimenta also made some innovations during the training: he would mix and match two defenses, a "light" and another "weight", and did the same thing with the strikers. Every day he mixed up defenders and attackers. When the training in Caxambu ended, journalists and leaders were absolutely confused. In his last interview before leaving Brazil Ademar Pimenta was questioned by a Rio magazine: "The attack that would have been in France will be light or heavy? he responded: "Either one or another, or a mixture of the two."
After the training period, the Brazilian delegation embarked aboard the transatlantic ‘Arlanza’, headed for France, on April 30th, 1938.
There were stops at Salvador and Recife before crossing the Atlantic.
There was a stopover in Dakar before setting anchor at Marseille on May 15th.
During the 15 days of travel, Pimenta would make his first mistake. Officers and press professionals kept giving their opinion on who should play and who should leave the team. Pimenta selected Brazil’s squad with the intention to please and satisfy everyone.
Brazil had 20 full days to prepare for its first match. From Marseille, the squad traveled by train to Paris and stayed at the ‘Saint Germain’ and ‘Henri IV’ Hotels.
Two days later they traveled by train to their training camp at Niederbronn in Alsace.
In another source, Brazil’s journey and dates are as follows:
Brazil arrived in France on May 20th, 1938, 15 days before their first match. They sailed on April 30th, from the Guanabara Bay, on board the ‘Arlanza’. (In a different source, it is stated that they left from Rio de Janeiro aboard a Polish Ship called ‘Koscisusko’ and that they arrived at Cherbourg on May 16th and went via Paris to Niederbonn).
Photo From: L’Equipe-La Coupe Du Monde, Volume 1, 1930-1970(Brazil players upon arrival at France)
-Brazil’s last match prior to playing Poland for their first match in the World Cup on June 5th, 1938, had been in the Copa America Final on February 1st, 1937 at Buenos Aires (Argentina 2-Brazil 0). This was a stretch of 16 months that the National Team had been out of action.
-Since Brazil did not have an Official Team Doctor. Brazil defender Nariz (February 8, 1912-September 19, 1984) would act in that capacity as he was a doctor himself.
Nariz had personally set up in Botafogo, the medical post for a squad. Until then, injured players were directly taken to hospitals, which made their recovery slower.
-Brazil squad had not taken a masseur with them. The Argentinean player Carlos Volante would fill that role when the team arrived in France.He was not officially part of the Brazil delegation.
Photo From: Coupe Du Monde 1938-La Coupe du Monde Oubliee, Author Victor Sinet