If there are any football (soccer) historians out there, perhaps you can help me answer a theoretical question that I wonder about from time to time.
There were no World Cups in 1942 or 1946–obviously because of world events. The last World Cup before World War II was in 1938 in France. It was won by Italy. The next World Cup was held in 1950 in Brazil. It was won by Uruguay.
Had there been World Cups in 1942 and 1946 who would have won? Or, I guess more accurately, who could have won? Assuming all nations played, even the Home Nations, who are the contenders? Uruguay, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, England, Scotland? I am having trouble thinking who would be strong enough.
I do not know much about the state of the football world in 1942, but 1946 would have been an extremely interesting tournament. Argentina could draw upon the legendary River Plate side known as La Máquina. Italy’s national team was made up almost entirely of players from Il Grande Torino (before the Superga tragedy of 1949.) Brazil’s 1950 side was starting to take shape, and Hungary was a regional powerhouse, even before the Golden Team. England would have had Stanley Matthews at the height of his powers.
Tournament location plays a part, and of course the best team does not always win. So, dear reader who do you think would have won the lost World Cups? Assume whatever host country you want.