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


In Uruguay, football is life and death. The desire to win has led to desperate actions that would normally be written off as lunacy in other parts of the world. Indeed, incidents involving Luis Suárez and Álvaro Pereira show how such a desire continues to this day. Every match, Uruguayans leave everything on the pitch to prove themselves to the world. The World Cup of 1954 showed … Continue reading Hohberg

Clásico de la Fuga: the day they never returned

On October 9, 1949, Peñarol and Nacional played the 193rd edition of the Uruguayan Clásico. Despite torrential rain lashing Montevideo since the early morning, the Estadio Centenario was filled to capacity, with an excited and expectant Peñarol support forming the majority in the stands. And they had reason to be excited. The arrival of Emerico … Continue reading Clásico de la Fuga: the day they never returned


Héctor Scarone, José Nasazzi, Obdulio Varela. Such names are synonymous with Uruguay's achievements from another time. Whether it were the skill and opportunism of Scarone, the brute force of Nasazzi, or the pure inspiration of Varela, each left an imprint in the collective memory of Uruguayan football lovers. Joining them is Diego Forlán. He carried … Continue reading Forlán


The first welfare state in the Americas. The first to field black players in international tournaments. The first South American champions, and the first world champions. They hosted the first World Cup. They invented the vuelta olimpica (the victory lap). They invented futsal. They were the first to recognize the Armenian genocide, the first to … Continue reading Gardel

‘Pepe’ and ‘La Celeste’: another re-think of the ‘garra Charrua’

"Those at FIFA are a bunch of old sons of bitches" To those familiar with contemporary debates surrounding the governance of world football, the statement above is not shocking. When muttered by a current head of state however... Indeed, these words were spoken by José 'Pepe' Mujica, president of Uruguay, as he described the treatment … Continue reading ‘Pepe’ and ‘La Celeste’: another re-think of the ‘garra Charrua’