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Frascara: Copa América 1942

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-05-01 19:52:06


Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
OPINION ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP
— Felix D. Frascara | 20/02/1942 —

Once again in contact with the readers of Estadio, which is like saying with Chilean sport. Nothing is more pleasing for me than to get back to you, even if it is in writing, since I must sincerely add that with all my heart I would prefer to do it personally.
To vary the fear... let's talk a little about football! Since the director of that magazine, who is kindness personified, has deigned to host me in his pages, I will occupy this space to refer to the XIV South American Football Championship and the opinion that its development has earned me. Of course, here, in this same magazine, Chilean fans have the opportunity to listen (read) the word of a critic as authoritative as Alejandro Scopelli. He is one of the few — very few — who, in addition to having played football very well, know how to see it and analyze it. In his shadow I shelter to defend myself or, better, to go unnoticed... THAT ONE OF 37.
We cannot escape comparisons when we deal with any sports topic. Whether it is individual figures, teams or championships. Those of us who have been making visual a profession for some years now, adorn ourselves with evocations.
Insisting on that rule, well, I have to start by saying that I perfectly remember the last South American Championship that I know was held in Buenos Aires. It was in the month of January 1937. Subsequently I have not had the opportunity to witness any event of this nature. Five years away, I have now gone to Montevideo. In only one aspect did this tournament surpass that other: in the number of participating teams. It is that a record has just been broken in this sense, a record for others auspicious. Seven countries have competed. That number had never met. And it is to be hoped that the record is broken in future Championships, because in soccer the increase in contenders means diffusion and diffusion always brings progress, not only in the purely sporting order.
He said that the only maiite in that aspect had surpassed this contest from five years ago. If we go from quantity to quality, we will have to change the tone. For the record, I am not referring to a single team, or to a specific match, but to the Championship as a whole. In 1937, good football was seen in all the matches, matches of pulsating interest abounded and there was no shortage of emotional situations or brilliant passages. I know that also last year, in Santiago de Chile, it was played better than now, based on references from those who witnessed and performed in the tournament that took place at the magnificent Andean Stadium. Now, on the other hand, in 1942, the matches that I witnessed in Montevideo, without exception, did not reach the average level of the technical and spectacular quality of the matches that are played weekly for the Argentine professional first division championship. I DON'T BELIEVE IN DECADENCES
The mediocre level of soccer seen in this subcontinental tournament has given reason to say that the popular game is in decline in South America. I do not believe it. I can not believe it. There is no reason to admit it. Other factors outside the football standard have had an influence. We have well-known cases such as Chile, Argentina and Brazil, which could not present their best teams. Let us add to them that unexpected defections were noted, particularly among Chileans and Argentineans. you also have to take into account that not all the equipment was properly prepared, with the necessary anticipation. In a word: the XIV South American Championship cannot be taken as an exponent of the state of football in different countries. All the teams could have been better and acted (better, especially the three that I have mentioned. But I know from what I see here, in Buenos Aires, that there is no decadence in Argentine soccer. And they should know the same you with respect to Chilean soccer. It is also possible — and I understand that this should be thought about — that the Montevidean climate is not the most propitious for all men from other countries perform regularly.
Apart from these considerations, allow me to add another thought: I don't believe in night football. There is something more than a reason of taste. I speak in the sporting sense. Soccer as a means of physical culture needs the sun, but it also needs the sun as a show. Playing at night, the footballers perform less, the public loses a lot of details and, in general, the game is a bit random. I have always said that I find something of a "variete" number in it. I don't conceive of night football in the same way that no one could conceive of a night bullfight. Spectacle of colors and movement, skill and bustle, all vitality and youth, must be performed while the day is young. WON THE MOST REGULAR.
Forgive me for escaping from the main topic. And back to the Championship. To what was seen in the imposing Centenario Stadium in Montevideo. With reference to the performances of the Chilean team, I prefer to leave the floor to my friend Alejandro Scopelli and to those other highly valued colleagues from Santiago, excellent comrades, who due to their knowledge and experience must be in far superior conditions than mine to express their opinion. As for the unfortunate incident of the match — the match that was well split in the middle — with Argentina, I have already exposed in El Gráfico my way of thinking. I believe that Chile was harmed by the referee and that nobody, honestly, can deny it, but I also believe that they proceeded rashly by adopting the serious measure of ordering their withdrawn from the field.
The final placement of the different teams in the standings seems to me perfectly adjusted to the performance they had throughout the Championship.
Chile owes its penultimate place to the notable failures at the beginning, but later it was seen that they would have occupied another, more flattering place if they had been able to count on the help of men like Livingstone from the beginning and, let's also say it, if they had been left free players to act with their usual style and modalities.
Uruguay made merits to win the title. It is not appropriate to deny it, at all. The final match was well won. It was a match, in my opinion, that would have ended in a tie, even if it lasted and in which a single situation was enough to define it in favor of anyone. The opportunity presented itself to Zapirain and he took advantage of it extremely well. From then on, the Uruguayan team, which had been outclassed during the first half, took control of the actions and justified the victory. That, as for the final match. But I understand that the celestial ones deserved to be champions, because theirs was the most regular team in the Championship, in all their presentations. It had more harmony than quality. There were no dazzling figures or a striking game, but he had enough efficiency and enthusiasm to go saving his commitments clearly and without a doubt. This victory will do Uruguayan football a lot of good.
The Argentines, on the other hand, with more expressive labels, with superior individual quality, always being candidates on paper, in the forecasts, had to make an effort in all the matches, with the sole exception of the match with the Ecuadorians. This was partly due to that the team, which did not carry within itself the full representation of Argentine football, never delivered what was expected of them, while the rivals performed their best performances of the Championship against the albiceleste team.
Establishing a whimsical image, a somewhat circuslike comparison, it could be said that the Argentine team hopped on one foot and the Uruguayan walked more slowly, but supporting both firmly. Each of those jumps called attention, but could also cause a slip. The other, walking calmly, arrived maintaining the rhythm of the game and without slipping.
Brazil followed with dignity. They presented the best defense of the Championship and one of the best that Brazilian football has had in recent times.
Paraguay, quick and enthusiastic, led Peru, more stylized, but less resolute on offense. And Chile, which could have been above them, had to resign itself with a position inferior to its background. Ecuador was a sympathetic presence, more worthy of being considered a cordial friendship than a rival force.
I suppose that the space that the management of Estadio and the patience that the readers have shown me must have been exhausted, so that all that remains is for me to print my name with the same emotional affection with which I would extend my hands to shake of those of all my friends in Chile, to whom I owe unforgettable moments.