[Footballing] Blackness in a White Nation: Uruguay vs Brazil, 1913

In August 1913, Montevideo hosted a Brazilian football team for the first time when a combined São Paulo league side toured the Río de la Plata. While the first official Uruguay-Brazil international match took place in 1916, the Paulista visit was no less significant. Continue reading “[Footballing] Blackness in a White Nation: Uruguay vs Brazil, 1913”

Óscar Míguez

Luis Suárez is just one goal away from equalling Uruguay’s all-time World Cup scoring record. If he isn’t already, he’ll soon be considered the greatest striker – if not footballer – in the country’s history. But most remain unaware of the player whose record Suárez is about to break, Óscar Míguez, who holds the record of 8 goals scored at two World Cups (5 in 1950 and 3 in 1954). Continue reading “Óscar Míguez”

The Return of the Combination: a Uruguay World Cup 2018 preview..

When one says ‘Uruguay midfield’ the first thing that comes to mind is probably the head of Egidio Arévalo Ríos. Who could forget that little human Pac-Man, hounding opponents alongside Diego Pérez at the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa América? That combative midfield has become symbolic of the current generation of Uruguayan football and a central, seemingly natural expression of the mythical Garra Charrúa. The country has had little option. So insignificant in size, Uruguay has had to fight for everything, stretching its resources to achieve near impossible feats. Continue reading “The Return of the Combination: a Uruguay World Cup 2018 preview..”

African professionals? Uruguay’s Black stars of the 1916 Copa America

Uruguay went into the 1916 Campeonato Sudamericano in Buenos Aires seeking not only redemption, but reaffirmation. Of course, they there to avenge the humiliating 4-1 defeat suffered against Argentina at the Revolución de Mayo tournament six years earlier. More importantly, however, the tournament was an opportunity for Uruguay to measure both their progress as a nation and to confirm their exceptional place in America. And reflecting this growing sense of Uruguayan exceptionalism was the presence of two Black players in their squad, Juan Delgado and Isabelino Gradín. Continue reading “African professionals? Uruguay’s Black stars of the 1916 Copa America”

Football and Revolution 

In 1964, Mario Benedetti described football as anesthesia. It was a social drug, co-opted and exploited by governments who encouraged the people to forget their problems. If only for ninety minutes, football was an escape from social and economic uncertainties that would otherwise control one’s life. Five years later, Benedetti’s words still held true. Continue reading “Football and Revolution “

The 1909 Tottenham-Everton tour of the River Plate

Uruguayans always looked to the British. Since those early days in the open spaces of Punta Carretas, the Uruguayan’s relationship with the game of the ‘crazy English’ evolved from curiosity, to admiration, to imitation. Given the opportunity, the Uruguayan took the game and made it their own. They say from there developed that famous, home-grown Creole style, Continue reading “The 1909 Tottenham-Everton tour of the River Plate”