Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Men's football
at the Games of the IX Olympiad
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics on a stamp of the Netherlands
DatesMay 27 – June 13

Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics tournament, won by Uruguay against Argentina, would be the precursor to the first FIFA World Cup held in 1930 in Uruguay.


Olympic Stadium Old Stadion
Capacity: 33,005 Capacity: 29,787
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics (Amsterdam)


Gold Silver Bronze
José Andrade
Juan Peregrino Anselmo
Pedro Arispe
Juan Arremón
Venancio Bartibás
Fausto Batignani
René Borjas
Antonio Campolo
Adhemar Canavesi
Héctor Castro
Pedro Cea
Lorenzo Fernández
Roberto Figueroa
Álvaro Gestido
Andrés Mazali
Ángel Melogno
José Nasazzi
Pedro Petrone
Juan Piriz
Héctor Scarone
Domingo Tejera
Santos Urdinarán
Ludovico Bidoglio
Ángel Bossio
Saúl Calandra
Alfredo Carricaberry
Roberto Cherro
Octavio Díaz
Juan Evaristo
Manuel Ferreira
Enrique Gainzarain
Alfredo Helman
Segundo Luna
Ángel Segundo Medici
Luis Monti
Pedro Ochoa
Rodolfo Orlandini
Raimundo Orsi
Fernando Paternoster
Feliciano Perducca
Natalio Perinetti
Domingo Tarasconi
Luis Weihmuller
Adolfo Zumelzú
Elvio Banchero
Virgilio Felice Levratto
Pietro Pastore
Gino Rossetti
Attilio Ferraris
Enrico Rivolta
Felice Gasperi
Alfredo Pitto
Pietro Genovesi
Antonio Janni
Fulvio Bernardini
Silvio Pietroboni
Andrea Viviano
Delfo Bellini
Umberto Caligaris
Virginio Rosetta
Giampiero Combi
Giovanni De Prà
Adolfo Baloncieri
Mario Magnozzi
Angelo Schiavio
Valentino Degani


Uruguay, winner of the tournament.

Up to 1928 the Olympic football tournament had represented the World Championship of football; (and understandably so: the 1920 (14), 1924 (22) and 1928 tournaments (17) all had greater participation than that of the first World Cup in 1930). Yet this presented a significant problem for the governing body, FIFA, since the tournament, though organised and run by FIFA, was an event subject to the ethical foundation that underpinned the Olympic movement.

That all Olympic competitors had to maintain an amateur status had, for a length of time, been a constraint that football was unable to uphold. Increasingly, FIFA had sought to appease those nations that required concessions in order that players could participate in the Olympics. This required there to be an acceptance that irregular payment could be made to players by national associations: the so-called 'broken time payments' by which loss of pay and expenses would be met. On February 17, 1928 the four 'home' associations of the United Kingdom, meeting in Sheffield voted unanimously to withdraw from FIFA in opposition to the manner in which the governing body was seeking to dictate on such matters and, as was noted 'that (the four Associations) be free to conduct their affairs in the way their long experience has shown them to be desirable'.[1]

For Henri Delaunay, President of the French Football Federation the writing was on the wall; FIFA must wait no longer to put into practice an international tournament, freed from ideological shackles. In 1926 he stated, at the FIFA Conference: 'Today international football can no longer be held within the confines of the Olympics; and many countries where professionalism is now recognised and organised cannot any longer be represented there by their best players'.[2] The day before the tournament began, on May 26, 1928 (Portugal played Chile; Belgium played Luxembourg in the opening games) the FIFA congress in Amsterdam presided over by Jules Rimet, voted that a new FIFA World Cup tournament be organised in 1930 and be open to all member nations. Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay would all lodge applications to host the event.


Domingo Tarasconi (Argentina) was the topscorer of the tournament with 10 goals.

Rome (1926) was the setting for one of those, now ignored meetings of the football chiefs that would have far-reaching implications. Three years had passed since the British Associations had asked FIFA to accept their definition of what an amateur player was; FIFA had refused. The Rome Convention was called to try to coax the British and Danes back into the fold; it proved only to distance them.

Switzerland, a nation that favoured broken time payments suggested: It is not allowed to pay compensation for broken time, except in some well-circumscribed cases, to be fixed by each National Association. This challenge to the centralised authority of FIFA was disputed by the Football Association. In 1927 FIFA asked the Olympic committee to accept the concept of broken time payments as an overriding condition for the competing members. The British Associations consequently withdrew from the Olympiad and a few months later withdrew from FIFA (Association Football (1960))

It is quite clear that not only had professionalism advanced throughout the world; but so too were national sides benefiting from a situation whereby groups of the best players could be selected en masse, paid for their representation and still participate in the Olympics. It was a concept of great distaste to the British.

There was little question as to who were the favourites going into the tournament. Uruguay were rightly considered to be the strongest side with the Argentinians shading the advantage between the two. The shock of their previous victory had been felt at home and abroad. Upon returning home in 1924 they had ceded to a request to play a disbelieving Argentina in what transpired to be a bruising two staged contest; Argentinian fans hurling missiles at Jose Leandro Andrade to the extent that he had with adopt a position deep in-field. Scornfully, the Argentinians won.[3]

However, Uruguay, the defending Olympic champions, once again sent a formidable side made up, predominantly, by the personnel of their two biggest clubs: Nacional and, to a lesser degree, Peñarol. This time Argentina would be holding onto their coat-tails.

The Europeans

The competition was more competitive than the 1924 edition. Ten European nations (17 in all) had made the journey to the Netherlands for the competition, but few had any real pretentions to the title; the Italians had, however, come into impressive form defeated only twice in three years. The Italian coach, Augusto Rangone, had been fortunate; a beneficiary of the national federation's decision in 1923 to permit subsidies to cover player's lost wages. For two years his forward line had remained comparatively the same: Adolfo Baloncieri, Virgilio Levratto; even the loss of the Argentinian-Italian Julio Libonatti before the tournament was made good by the inclusion of Angelo Schiavio. Their semi-final with Uruguay should rightly rank as one of the key matches in football history.

Spain were, potentially, much to be feared. Defeated once since the last Olympic Games tournament their traditional tournament nerves would handicap them here, a key note that would strike throughout the coming years. The unavoidable loss of their experienced captain Pedro Vallana after their first game, though, would cost them dearly.

Final tournament

The Argentina team won the Silver Medal.

Perhaps the first round draw favoured the South Americans. Uruguay immediately dispatched the hosts, the Netherlands, 2-0 in front of 40,000 people with none of the controversy that had surrounded their previous encounter at the 1924 Summer Olympics. The game was calmly controlled by Jean Langenus, a performance which was recognised. Meanwhile, the Argentinians had little difficulty against the United States winning 11-2.

Elsewhere Germany had performed strongly but in the quarter-final Germany were put to the sword by the Uruguayans who beat them 4-1. In another quarter-final the Italians 'enjoyed' another of their close encounters with Spain. In the first game they reached a curious tie with the Spanish fighting back from a half time deficit to force a replay. In the replay three days later the Azzurri simply overran their opponents scoring 4 without response before the break. Virgilio Levratto's brace confirmed their superiority; once again Rangone kept faith in a largely unchanged team. Spain, on the other hand, had gambled by making five changes to Italy's two. Clearly less was more.

Portugal, after convincing wins over Chile (4-2) and, the wildly inconsistent Yugoslavia (2-1) [4] lost, dysmally, to Egypt 2-1; the African side repeating their customary Olympic shock to advance to a semi-final tie against Argentina. Egypt's 3-0 defeat of Hungary in 1924 would continue to sustain them well into the 1930s; a reason, if one were needed, for their entry into the 1934 FIFA World Cup.

Preliminary round

May 27, 1928
Portugal  4–2  Chile
Vítor Silva  38'
Pepe  40', 50'
Valdemar Mota  63'
Report Saavedra  14'
Carbonell  30'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 2.309
Referee: Youssuf Mohamed (EGY)

First round

May 27, 1928
Belgium  5–3  Luxembourg
R. Braine  9', 72'
Versijp  20'
Moeschal  23', 67'
Report Schutz  31'
Weisgerber  42'
Theissen  44'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 5.834
Referee: Lorenzo Martínez (ARG)

May 28, 1928
Germany  4–0   Switzerland
Hofmann  17', 75', 85'
Hornauer  42'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 16.158
Referee: Willem Eymers (NED)

May 28, 1928
Egypt  7–1  Turkey
El-Hassany  20' (pen.)
Riad  27'
Mokhtar  46', 50', 63'
El-Sayed Hooda  53'
El-Zobeir  86'
Report Refet  71'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 2.744
Referee: Marcel Slawick (FRA)

May 29, 1928
Italy  4–3  France
Rosetti  19'
Levratto  39'
Banchero  43'
Baloncieri  60'
Report Brouzes  15', 17'
Dauphin  61'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 2.509
Referee: Henri Christophe (BEL)

May 29, 1928
Portugal  2–1  Yugoslavia
Vítor Silva  25'
Augusto Silva  90'
Report Bonačić  40'
Old Stadion (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 1.226
Referee: Alfred Birlem (GER)

May 29, 1928
Argentina  11–2  United States
Ferreira  9', 29'
Tarasconi  24', 63', 66', 89'
Orsi  41', 73'
Cherro  47', 49', 57'
Report Kuntner  55'
Caroll  75'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 3.848
Referee: Paul Ruoff (SUI)

May 30, 1928
Spain  7–1  Mexico
Regueiro  13', 27'
Yermo  43', 63', 85'
Marculeta  66'
Mariscal  70'
Report Carreño  76'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 2.344
Referee: Gabor Boronkay (HUN)

May 30, 1928
Netherlands  0–2  Uruguay
Report Scarone  20'
Urdinarán  86'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 27.730
Referee: Jan Langenus (BEL)


June 1, 1928
Italy  1–1  Spain
Baloncieri  63' Report Zaldua  11'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 3.388
Referee: Domingo Lombardi (URU)

June 4, 1928
Italy  7–1  Spain
Magnozzi  14'
Schiavo  15'
Baloncieri  18'
Bernardini  40'
Rivolta  72'
Levratto  76', 77'
Report Yermo  47'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 4.770
Referee: Hans Boekman (NED)

June 2, 1928
Argentina  6–3  Belgium
Tarasconi  1', 10', 75', 89'
Ferreira  4'
Orsi  81'
Report R. Braine  24'
Vanhalme  28'
Moeschal  53'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 16.399
Referee: Gamma Malcher (ITA)

June 3, 1928
Uruguay  4–1  Germany
Petrone  35', 39', 84'
Castro  63'
Report Hofmann  81'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 25.131
Referee: Youssuf Mohamed (EGY)

June 4, 1928
Egypt  2–1  Portugal
Mokhtar  15'
Riad  48'
Report Vítor Silva  76'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 3.448
Referee: Giovanni Mauro (ITA)


This meant that in the semi-final Italy played Uruguay. The Italians selected Giampiero Combi in goal, Angelo Schiavio, in attack. Both would be crowned World champions at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. In this game the Uruguayans stormed to a convincing lead by the break; Levratto's goal in the second half flattered the Italians because Uruguay ran out comfortable winners by the odd goal in 5; José Pedro Cea, Hector Scarone scoring for the Celestes.

June 6, 1928
Argentina  6–0  Egypt
Cherro  10'
Ferreira  32', 82'
Tarasconi  37', 54', 61'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 7.887
Referee: Pedro Escartín (ESP)

June 7, 1928
Uruguay  3–2  Italy
Cea  17'
Campolo  28'
Scarone  31'
Report Baloncieri  9'
Levratto  60'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 15.230
Referee: Willem Eymers (NED)

Bronze medal match

June 9, 1928
Italy  11–3  Egypt
Schiavo  6', 42', 58'
Baloncieri  14', 52'
Banchero  19', 39', 44'
Magnozzi  72', 80', 88'
Report Riad  12', 16'
El-Ezam  60'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 6.378
Referee: Jan Langenus (BEL)

Gold medal match

Uruguay-Argentina captains, referee Johannes Mutters and linesmen before the final match.

In the final the Uruguayans played Argentina who had trounced Egypt who would now fold like a house of cards; clearly out of their depth against more sophisticated opposition, conceding 6 goals to Argentina and as many as eleven to Italy in the Bronze medal match.

The final itself was a close - run affair. Both nations had been undefeated in competitive matches against other nations but had traded losses to each other since the last Olympic competition. The interest, understandably, was immense. The Dutch had received 250,000 requests for tickets from all over Europe.

Once again, there was little in it; the first game finished 1-1. The tie went to a replay. Uruguay's Scarone converted the winner in the second half of that game. It seemed only fair and fitting that on May 18, 1929, the Barcelona congress voted that Uruguay be the first nation to host a World Cup.

June 10, 1928
Uruguay  1–1 (a.e.t.)  Argentina
Petrone  23' Report Ferreira  50'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 28.253
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

June 13, 1928
Uruguay  2–1  Argentina
Figueroa  17'
Scarone  73'
Report Monti  28'
Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)
Attendance: 28.113
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

Consolation first round

The consolation tournament was ratified by FIFA but, as it was not organized by the Amsterdam Olympic organization, Olympic historians do not consider these matches to be part of the 1928 Summer Olympics.[5]

June 5, 1928
Netherlands  3–1  Belgium
Ghering  4'
Smeets  6'
Tap  63'
Report P. Braine  85'
Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, Rotterdam
Attendance: 20.000
Referee: Gamma Malcher (ITA)

June 5, 1928
Chile  3–1  Mexico
Subiabre  24', 48', 89' Report Sota  15'
Monnikenhuize, Arnhem
Attendance: 5.000
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

Consolation final

June 8, 1928
Netherlands  2–2  Chile
Ghering  59'
Smeets  66'
Report Bravo  55'
Alfaro  89'
Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, Rotterdam
Attendance: 18.000
Referee: Guillermo Comorera (ESP)


Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
30 May - Amsterdam            
   Uruguay  2
3 June - Amsterdam
   Netherlands  0  
   Uruguay  4
28 May - Amsterdam
     Germany  1  
   Germany  4
7 June - Amsterdam
    Switzerland  0  
   Uruguay  3
29 May - Amsterdam
     Italy  2  
   Italy  4
1 and 4 June - Amsterdam
   France  3  
   Italy (Rematch)  1 (7)
30 May - Amsterdam
     Spain  1 (1)  
   Spain  7
10 and 13 June - Amsterdam
   Mexico  1  
   Uruguay (Rematch)  1 (2)
28 May - Amsterdam
     Argentina  1 (1)
   Egypt  7
4 June - Amsterdam
   Turkey  1  
   Egypt  2
29 May - Amsterdam
     Portugal  1  
   Portugal  2
6 June - Amsterdam
   Yugoslavia  1  
   Argentina  6
27 May - Amsterdam
     Egypt  0   Third Place
   Belgium  5
2 June - Amsterdam 9 June - Amsterdam
   Luxembourg  3  
   Argentina  6    Italy  11
29 May - Amsterdam
     Belgium  3      Egypt  3
   Argentina  11
   United States  2  


11 goals
6 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal


  1. Beck, Peter J. (19 August 1999). "BRITISH FOOTBALL AND FIFA, 1928-46: GOING TO WAR OR PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE?". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 September 2005.
  2. Glanville, Brian (2005). The Story of the World Cup. London: Faber and Faber. p. 15.
  3. "Uruguay 1930". Archived from the original on 15 July 2007.
  4. Miladinovich, Misha. "Yugoslavia National Team List of Results 1920-1929". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  5. "Football at the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Games: Men's Football". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
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