On This Day In 1934, Italy played the first and to date, the only World Cup qualifying match for a host country, beating Greece 4-0 before a crowd of 20,000 at the San Siro in Milan. Gli Azzurri(a nickname for Italy national team) went on to win the 1934 World Cup, beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final. This was the first of Italy’s four world cup titles. For the 1938 World Cup, FIFA decided that the hosts(France hosted the tournament that year) should qualify automatically. That practice continues to this day, making Italy the only host in history to play a World Cup qualifier. The 1934 World Cup was best remembered as the first World Cup in history to include a qualification stage.

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