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From Piendibene to Petrone — the evolution of the centre-forward in Uruguay
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-11 18:49:39
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
In the past, in the early days of Uruguayan football, the system adopted by the national team and most clubs, especially Peñarol, was the abanico. This system was an offensive system in which the centre-forward was a creative player, organizing the team's offensive plays. Through José Piendibene, this system was strengthened. The system itself, however, needed a centre-forward with high tactical and technical qualities aimed not at infiltration and any more incisive individual play, but at passing aspects and perception of the best position of a teammate.
As time went by, the Uruguayan National Team saw Piendibene losing more and more of his qualities due to his age. Hence, in such a way, a new player of the same style had to emerge to supply the offensive advances. However, a player of Piendibene's quality — attack commander — was of rare carat, so Uruguay had to alter its offensive tactics; the centre-forward became a player alongside or even ahead of both insiders.
Players were tested in such a way at the center of the attack. Among the highlights of contemporary Uruguayan football, Isabelino Grádin's quality of dribbling and speed was noticed and applied in the centre-forward position. With creative and combinatorial insiders, plus a steady supply of wingers, the idea of having a centre-forward scorer came about. However, this change was marked by the performances of a young centre-forward who looked more like a jet, with very high speed and a wide repertoire to wreak havoc on the opposite goal: Pedro Petrone.
When Petrone began to stand out in the first half of the decade, he began to be disputed by Uruguay's top teams. However, Club Nacional quickly managed to hire the young Uruguayan pearl. Tested in 1923, Petrone became one of the highlights of the South American Championship, thus consecrating such a new way of the offensive line in acting. Alongside more creative insiders, such as Pedro Cea and, especially, Héctor Scarone, Petrone served as a kind of completely incisive and aggressive player for the opposing goal. He was a true goals-corer, a player who scored almost every time he got a chance. Very different from a Piendibene or even the Argentine Gabino Sosa. Through Petrone, Uruguay established a new form of action for the centre-forward: the artillero.
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