FIFA World Cup balls have an identity on their own today. With flashy designs rooted in the culture of the host nation, it is a much-awaited part of every World Cup.
Unlike now, where we have a standard ball with a standard design, Uruguay 1930 had no such thing. This was not an issue, until the final. Argentina refused to play the final with the ball provided by the hosts. Uruguay refused to accept the demand and things came to a standstill.
Finally, FIFA intervened and decided that a ball provided by Argentina will be used in the first half and one provided by Uruguay to be used in the second half.
Before we get to the game, a word about the atmosphere. 100,000 thousand of fans were said to be in attendance for the final. Argentinian fans, who came in dozens of boats, were screened for weapons both at the port and the stadium.
The referee for the final wasn’t decided until a few hours before the kickoff. John Langenus agreed to officiate the game, only under the condition that his safety was guaranteed. It is said that he also demanded a getaway boat, in case things went wrong.
And finally, the first-ever World Cup final began.
This is where it gets interesting.
At the end of the first half, Argentina was leading 2-1, using a ball it brought back from its home.
But in the second half, Uruguay struck three goals with its own ball. Three goals were scored and Uruguay won the first-ever World Cup, 4-2.
Did the ball make a difference? Or was it just that Uruguay found a little longer to find its feet in front of its fans on such a huge occasion? We will never know.