On July 13, 1930, the first-ever goal was scored in a World Cup match with Lucien Laurent finding the back of the net in the clash between France and Mexico.
The first matches of the World Cup were played simultaneously with France facing Mexico and the United States taking on Belgium.
But it was France’s Lucien Laurent who etched his name in the history books when in the 19th minute of the clash, he fired past Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Bonfiglio from just outside the penalty area, before a 4444 crowd at the Estadio Pocitos.
Remembering that goal 90 years ago, Laurent gave an interview to FIFA.com back in 1998.
Here are the excerpts:
On the voyage to Uruguay
“Fifteen days to get there and 15 days to come back.”
The French federation had a job getting a team together because several of the players they selected had to pull out. Their bosses wouldn’t let them take two months off. I worked for Peugeot at the time, as did three of my team-mates: my brother Jean, Andre Maschinot, and Etienne Mattler.”
The voyage was free of incident, the peace and tranquillity of the crossing only being broken by the sound of the three teams jogging on the deck.
On the historic first-ever World Cup goal
“Our goalie kicked it to the [central defender] who switched it to our right-winger [Ernest Liberati]. He beat the full-back and sent over a cross which I managed to volley from about 12 yards into the corner”.
In 1930, Peugeot sponsored the 2-week boat trip that took the French team to Uruguay to play the first #WorldCup. On 1 condition: 3 employees had to be added to the team. On July 13th, 1930, Peugeot employee Lucien Laurent scored the first ever #WorldCup goal in history. #URUFRA pic.twitter.com/tlp9eQksHO
— Emma Coolen (@emmacoolen24) July 6, 2018
“When I scored my goal, which was the first of the tournament and my first for France, we congratulated each other but without jumping all over one another like they do now. There’s too much bad behaviour, too much cheating, and not enough respect for the opposition and the referee. And international players are looked after like babies these days. Everything gets done for them, whereas we had to sort things out for ourselves”.
“Of course, back then I couldn’t have imagined the significance the goal would have. We didn’t even know the World Cup would last. I remember when I got home, there was just a tiny mention in one of the papers. [Football] was in its infancy”.