- Austria did not appear in the 1938 finals after winning the qualifying competition because Austria was annexed by Germany and no team were chosen to replace Austria in the finals. Sweden had a walk over in the scheduled match against Austria, and went on to reach the semi-finals.
- At the start of a 1938 finals match against Poland, Brazilian player Leonidas took off his boots because he wanted to play in the muddy pitch barefooted. The referee immediately ordered Leonidas to put his boots back on, and Leonidas scored 4 goals in that match, and finished top scorer of the 1938 tournament with 8 goals in 4 matches.
- Brazilian player Leonidas was left out of the team for the 1938 semi-final against Italy as the Brazilian coach wanted to save Leonidas for the Final. It was obviously a wrong decision as Brazil unexpectedly lost 2-1 to Italy in the match. Ironically, in the third-place match two days later, Leonidas scored two goals and helped Brazil achieve a 4-2 victory over Sweden.
- Brazilian player Leonidas, the top scorer of World Cup 1938, had a job as a private eye.
- The only player to score four goals in one match and still end up on the losing team was Poland's Ernst Willimowski against Brazil in 1938. Leonidas of Brazil also scored 3 goals in that match when his team won 6-5.
- As Italian skipper Peppino Meazza scored the penalty kick in a 1938 Semi-final, his shorts, torn earlier in the game, slipped down to leave him exposed. His celebrating team-mates surrounded him until a new pair of shorts were produced.
- Right before the Italy and Hungary 1938 Final match, the Italian players received a telegraph from Rome which read 'Win or die !' Fortunately the team won and did not have to find out if it was a hoax or not.
World Cup Firsts
- Indonesia was the first Asian country to appear in the World Cup finals, competing as the
Dutch East Indies in 1938.
- The first time numbers were used on players' shirts in World Cup was in the 1938 finals in France.