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Football, Men

Date15 July – 2 August 1952
StatusOlympic
LocationHelsingin Olympiastadion, Helsinki / Töölön Pallokenttä, Helsinki / Kotkan Urheilukeskus, Kotka / Kupittaan Jalkapallostadion, Turku / Lahden Kisapuisto, Lahti / Ratinan Stadion, Tampere
Participants294 from 25 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament.

For the first time since the war, teams from Eastern Europe entered the football tournament. Although nominally amateurs, most of their players were able to dedicate all their time to sports, paid by the state. Their teams would dominate Olympic football tournaments until amateur restrictions were lifted in 1984. The first shock occurred in the qualifying round, as tiny Luxembourg defeated Britain 5-3. Highly anticipated was the Soviet team that had not played any internationals save for two matches against Turkey in the 1920s. They survived the qualifier against Bulgaria after overtime, and then drew 5-5 against Yugoslavia before being eliminated in the replay.

The biggest attraction at the Helsinki football tournament was probably the Hungarian team. Later known as the “Golden Team” at home and the “Mighty Magyars” abroad, the team featured many stars, including the legendary Ferenc Puskás. They defeated 1948 gold medallist Sweden 6-0 in the semis, and 1948 runner- up Yugoslavia in the final for an undisputed title. In 1953, the Hungarian team played one of the most famous matches outside of the World Cups, defeating England at Wembley 6-3. Virtually the same squad was expected to take home the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, but was upset in the final by West Germany 2-3, in what became known as the “Miracle of Bern”.

PosNrTeamNOCWTLPts
1HungaryHUN5001020–2Gold1
2YugoslaviaYUG411926–13Silver2
3SwedenSWE30169–8Bronze
4Unified Team of GermanyGER20248–83
=5DenmarkDEN20147–6
=5BrazilBRA20149–64
=5TurkeyTUR10123–85
=5AustriaAUT10125–6
=9Soviet UnionURS11138–9
=9PolandPOL10122–3
=9EgyptEGY10126–7
=9LuxembourgLUX10126–5
=9ItalyITA10128–36
=9CuraçaoAHO00101–2
=9NorwayNOR00101–4
=9FinlandFIN00103–4
=17IndiaIND00101–10
=17BulgariaBUL00101–2
=17GreeceGRE00101–2
=17FranceFRA00101–2
=17ChileCHI00104–5
=17NetherlandsNED00101–57
=17Great BritainGBR00103–5
=17RomaniaROU00101–28
=17United StatesUSA00100–8
DNSMexicoMEX–––
DNSSaarSAA–––

Qualifying Round (15 – 16 July 1952)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 15 Jul 19:00YUG 10 – 1IND
Match #2 15 Jul 19:00HUN 2 – 1ROU
Match #3 15 Jul 19:00DEN 2 – 1GRE
Match #4 15 Jul 19:00URS 2 – 1
AET
BUL
Match #5 15 Jul 19:00POL 2 – 1FRA
Match #6 16 Jul 19:00BRA 5 – 1NED
Match #7 16 Jul 19:00ITA 8 – 0USA
Match #8 16 Jul 19:00EGY 5 – 4CHI
Match #9 16 Jul 19:00LUX 5 – 3
AET
GBR
Match #10 16 JulAHO bye
Match #11 16 JulSWE bye
Match #12 16 JulGER bye
Match #13 16 JulTUR bye
Match #14 16 JulFIN bye
Match #15 16 JulNOR
walkover
MEX
Match #16 16 JulAUT
walkover
SAA

Round One (19 – 22 July 1952)

Single-elimination

Match #1 19 Jul 19:00AUT 4 – 3FIN
Match #2 20 Jul 19:00GER 3 – 1EGY
Match #3 20 Jul 19:00URS 5 – 5YUG
Match #4 20 Jul 19:00BRA 2 – 1LUX
Match #5 21 Jul 19:00HUN 3 – 0ITA
Match #6 21 Jul 19:00DEN 2 – 0POL
Match #7 21 Jul 19:00SWE 4 – 1NOR
Match #8 21 Jul 19:00TUR 2 – 1AHO
Replay #1 22 Jul 19:00YUG 3 – 1URS

Quarter-Finals (23 – 25 July 1952)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 23 Jul 19:00SWE 3 – 1AUT
Match #2 24 Jul 19:00GER 4 – 2
AET
BRA
Match #3 24 Jul 19:00HUN 7 – 1TUR
Match #4 25 Jul 19:00YUG 5 – 3DEN

Semi-Finals (28 – 29 July 1952)

Single-elimination.

Match #1 28 Jul 19:00HUN 6 – 0SWE
Match #2 29 Jul 19:30YUG 3 – 1GER

Final Round (1 – 2 August 1952)

Medal round.

Match 1/2 02 Aug 19:00HUN 2 – 0YUG
Match 3/4 01 Aug 19:00SWE 2 – 0GER

Rankings

Goals
Shots
Shots on Goal
Fouls Committed
Yellow Cards
Red Cards