[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. Upon the arrival of the São Paulo delegation, a Montevideo daily was … Continue reading [Footballing] Blackness in a White Nation: Uruguay vs Brazil, 1913

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 … 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. May … Continue reading Football and Revolution 

Manyas: the origin of a Peñarol nickname

Carlos Scarone was born in barrio Peñarol, Montevideo, not long after his father arrived from Savona, Italy in 1887. The entire Scarone family, headed by Don Giuseppe, became immersed and enamoured in the local Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club, known simply as Peñarol. It was in the streets of that barrio where Carlos adopted a love … Continue reading Manyas: the origin of a Peñarol nickname

John Harley: the Scot who transformed Uruguayan football

I trusted everything Eduardo Galeano wrote about football. I still do. His writing was as authoritative as it was beautiful. He told us about those crazy English, who brought their exclusive game to Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and those lowly Creoles, who seized the pastime of the elite and made it their own. The Creoles invented el toque, … Continue reading John Harley: the Scot who transformed Uruguayan football