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Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-04-11 12:58:56
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This was a team that, as much as it already enchanted with their great football in South America, ended up, surprisingly — from a European point of view —, enchanting Europe with its highly sovereign football. From the full-back lineup to the forward line, the team had many world-class values. Consecrated with the title of Olympic champions, the Celeste Olímpica still managed, with a base team of the tournament, to win the Copa América of that same year, even without having José Leandro Andrade, one of its main players, and José Vidal, the centre-half of the Olympic team that scored the first goal in the history of Uruguay in the Olympics.
The South Americans could be described as truly technicians and hard-working footballers. While they were touring or competing at the Olympiads, they many times were asked questions regarding their combinations, which, according to the Europeans, were simple thus easy to execute. The delegations, withouth thinking twice, esnobed the Central European style, claiming lack of speed in their game.
Their style was interesting, a combination between the Scottish style and the Latin style. According to Martínez Languarda, Uruguay played an old Anglo-Saxon style. Their qualities were the constant quick combinations and the use of the burst of speed; precise passing, mainly the short combinations but also long passes were used; elegant style of their own, with great technique in every aspect. Their stamina was also excelente, a Uruguayan footballer seemed to not get so tired compared to a European footballer. Their vigour and determination in every single moment of the match were impressive traits of their football. For the Uruguayan footballer there was no lost ball, they would always run until the end.
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A COMMON SYSTEM IN SOUTH AMERICA.
In South America, it was common for wing half-backs to have a different variety than wing-halves in Europe. It was common to see them play more to the side of the field and in a way that was not as offensive as in other territories. In the case of this Uruguay team, Andrade had a more offensive aspect and used to advance much more than Alfredo Guierra, who remained further back, even though the right half-back still maintained his defensive role in the team. Uruguay is the adoption of the famous One-back system a system with a defensive characteristic that used the then old offside rule to the advantage of the team. In this system, a full-back — Pedro Arispe — played more forward, almost alongside the centre-half — José Vidal —, while the other full-back — José Nasazzi — stayed behind to intercept any play that did not put the opponent in offside. On the offensive side, after changing abanico to a system that supplies the centre-forward artillero, both inside forwards had more creative and defensive roles. Both positioned behind Pedro Petrone, Héctor Scarone and Pedro Cea were the ones to have these tasks, although still having attacking tasks. According to many experts at the time, the 'W' system itself emerged in South America on a large scale through the Uruguay of 1924.
Andrés Mazali, the goalkeeper and trainer of the team, was not much tested at the Olympiad, due to the Uruguayan defense being so aware of the actions, strong and exceptionally ported. Although Uruguay pressioned most of the time, Mazali, when the opponent team tried to break the defense, he made some importante saves and won the aerial disputes.
Dynamism and confidence: Nasazzi, Arispe and Tomassina. First, the caption of the team, the leader José Nasazzi — strong, tall, punctual — was always one of the best players of the team. Nasazzi did not play football matches but fought battles, he seemed that he was all the time concentrated and always looking for the right time to make a tackle or read the play to intercept a pass. When aerial plays were made, Nasazzi, with his height and smart positioning, cleaned the plays by hitting the ball to the side of the field. Nasazzi had the vigour and determination Which were inherent characteristics of Latin football at the time. Nasazzi used to launch actions to the forwards, as they would drop deep. Most of the long balls sent by Nasazzi were aimed to the right side, seeking the aerial qualities of Héctor Scarone and the incisive runs by Santos Urdinarán.
Contrary to Nasazzi characteristics, Arispe & Tomassina played a more ground game than Nasazzi. Arispe, who was often positioned in front of Nasazzi, did the dynamism of the defensive actions, but also had the tasks to break the opponent's first line with his speed and capacity to distribute the plays. Sometimes, Arispe would be seen as some type of old defensive midfielder whose main tasks were to start the plays through the middle. Ghierra, on the other hand, was more of a defensive half-back who would be a little behind Arispe in some moments of the match.
Ghierra Vidal Andrade
The main half-back line which was played in most matches was the combination between Andrade-Vidal-Ghierra. They combinated defensive actions, dynamism, offensive actions and control of the wings. Ghierra was the most withdrawn of the three, due to his characteristics and Pedro Arispe's. Whenever Arispe advanced more, he would cover his actions defensively. Ghierra was a more sistematic half-back, but did not advance that much, he was, indeed, more of a defensive half-back. The contrary was José Leandro Andrade, whose actions reflected either offensively and defensivaly with his unique style. Andrade was the ideal half-back, he defended excepcionally, was technically gifted and had an impressive athletical port. Contrary to what was Alfredo Ghierra, Andrade was used to cut inside and looking for the centralized play. Nevertheless, his main plays would be aimed directly to Santos Urdinarán, at the right side of the field. The centre-half Vidal adapted to the opponent. Vidal was tireless and helped to connect the actions with the inside trio. Often, Vidal would join the forward — that resulted in the first goal scored by Uruguay in Olympiads.
A DEADLY FORWARD LINE.
Bringing panic to the oposition defense was the Uruguyan offensive line. Their combinations, technique, outstanding fights for the ball were devastating. For a fact, their tactical combinations, although very fast, were simple one compared to the European's, yet their technique was sublime. The inside trio was outstanding, their plays exalted the South American class of the great master from the past. Scarone, the magician, was a complete footballer; Petrone, the deadly runner, combined his speed with outstanding capacity of shoothing with boot feet; Cea, the tireless insider, sure of ball mastery and an excepcional finisher. When scheming the offensive actions, the Uruguayan inside trio mainly had three jugadas:
Their combinations brought the best of the incisiveness of the Uruguayn style. Both insiders, with their will of getting the ball back, were important players in the defensive system, too. Both wingers were fast footballers with incisive actions. Romano, for instance, could run 100 meters in only 10.9 seconds. Urdinarán had a more agressive and deep game than Romano. Contrary to Romano's play stle, the right winger would rather centralize than score himself. Romano was more artistic and knew when to hold the ball.
1. The direct ball seeking Petrone burst of speed or his powerful shot;
2. They would join the wingers, Santos Urdinarán & Ángel Romano
, to create a 2-1 situation. Then, the wingers would centralize the ball seeking Scarone, Petrone & Cea;
3. Scarone & Cea would combine with Petrone to beat the defenders and acquire a better condition of shooting.
Romano Petrone Urdinarán
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