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El Gráfico, 1928: Uruguay to renew its success?
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-16 17:38:49
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What is said in "El Grafico" of Buenos Aires about the Uruguayan team.
The South Americans who, for the Europeans, appear as the most fearsome opponents of the Olympic Tournament, feel, in turn, very little hope of renewing the successes obtained in 1924 by the representative team of Uruguay.
As for the role that awaits the Uruguayan team — with everything and that this time it will be made up of players from the two Associations that previously existed in that nation and that today have been merged into one — here are the unflattering forecasts that a chronicler does in the columns of "El Grafico" in Buenos Aires.
On my last visit to Montevideo, made a few days ago, I suffered a great disappointment. I believed that my compatriots would take the matter of the next Olympiad very seriously, aware of the importance of the presentation in Amsterdam of the 1924 champions. I did not forget that the somewhat provincial temperament would manifest itself in those continuous sports discussions; but I imagined that, in the face of a general interest, personal interests would be abolished, for the good of all Uruguayans who, inside and outside the country, have lived the most glorious days of our football. But the disappointment was great, and I returned without being able to think of Amsterdam with optimism.
Having found Dr. Narancio, the father of victory, I begged him to tell me something about the Uruguayan footballers going to Holland, and with his arms raised he replied melancholy: I'm super neutral, and don't talk to me about that dizziness. Then I found Chiappara, who had no qualms about making the interesting statements that we published in our previous issue, quite pessimistic, by the way. The well-known journalist Lorenzo Batlle Berres was another of those who expressed his discontent.
Those of us who fondly remember memorable days from afar, those of us who have in our retinas the vision of countless games in which the Uruguayans enjoyed victory and knew how to fall as heroes, see us with pitiful eyes as the laurels wither. In Peru, the world champions were represented by a team without harmony, lacking in training, morally and physically broken. How right Chiappara was to oppose that unfortunate intervention! But a trip to Peru is always a reason for greed, and looking for arguments of mistaken optimism, the necessary pesos are voted, and there one goes on an adventure. But let's leave the past behind, when it is the future that worries us the most in these moments in which reality intends to dispel the last hopes.
Although it is intended to hide, it is noticed with the naked eye. Uruguayans are going through a bad time in football. Most of those players who in Paris produced the admiration of the world are in decline. They themselves would not be able to repeat just one of the feats that gave them so much fame. Let's admit that in goalkeepers, they are not in inferior conditions, but in full-backs. Nasazzi, the so-called Terrible, has suffered an unfortunate accident that has made all the doctors who attended him ponder. There is no certainty of curing him, of leaving him in a position to act again as he did in matches that will last in his memories. Arispe is a bit overweight, and I don't think it will be very easy for him to return to his heyday. The half-back line suffers from the lack of a centre-half, although I understand that can be replaced by Gestido, Fernández or Uslenghi: as for the wing halves, Andrade is not the same regular player, as he usually has fatal afternoons, and Vanzino, who would substitute Ghierra, despite having been the best half-back of the Uruguayans in Lima, it is difficult for him to resist the serious matches that will have to be held without prejudice. However, I confess that the difference is not so much in the defensive lines as in the attack.
It is no mystery that the secret of the Olympic victory was in the Uruguayan quintet. Those five men formed a machine that rolled over the enemy act and opposed it. A few minutes into the match, Petrone had already achieved a goal and the defense. Then when that quintet lost its axis, everything fell apart. There was missing the man who, without playing better than his teammates, was the one who crystallized hopes. Cea and Scarone cortaban the advances of the artillero, and he left the goalkeepers without a chance.
This is what the Uruguayan team currently lacks: forward line. The task is to find a centre-forward, and since the interests of friendship are superior to the collective ones, to those of sport, three names are discussed; Petrone, Borjas and Piendibene. The first is in poor physical condition, but still he is the best of the three. Borjas has never been like Perucho, much less like Piendibene. And we arrived at the point that, precisely, we wanted to deal with: Piendibene.
I have for El Maestro the respect that his unmatched campaign inspires. I remember when I was a child I would go to the courts just to see him play, alone. From these same columns, on other occasions, I have tried to express all my admiration for the best centre-forward that existed for these payments. Because of all this, because of that past that I have not forgotten, I watch Piendibene's departure for Amsterdam with terror. It would be committing the greatest aberration. In Europe they would be disconcerted to see someone who has left an indelible memory in two generations of fans perform. Those who, due to an error of bias, believe that Piendi can integrate an international line do not have a bit of feeling for all that glorious past of the great footballer. Or is it that they have not seen him play when he was the great figure of the fields? Because otherwise this phenomenon is not explained. It cannot be, it must not be. Piendibene himself would be an enemy of his candidacy.
This important detail shows us the lack of criteria that many journalists and leaders of Uruguayan football suffer from. If the representative team of the 1924 champions is going to be formed with the same eyes, the result is foreseen. It seems that the previous lesson that Dr. Narancio gave to all those who believe more in fame than in positive values has been forgotten, when the father of victory constituted the team that triumphed in Paris, including a majority of unknown players. for amateurs, but capable and enthusiastic. Why is it not going to be possible to form another one now? The plan presented by Chiappara well in advance, foresaw that case. The selection began with time, it gave room for new values to emerge, capable of representing us with better success than these already declining players, who for several years have been traveling, getting tired and losing responsibility for the shirt they wear.
I maintain that among the many Uruguayan players who have not been offered the opportunity to fully display their conditions, there is probably Petrone's substitute. But should he not be found, there are still two men to turn to. They are Castro and Cea, the latter trained to occupy the position of axis. I understand that they are two good left insiders; but that position would always be filled with one of the two and they would have the center, which is the most important thing. As for the other positions in the line, they can be filled with less work, although I do not believe that a quintet like the one in 1924 will be formed. In order to demonstrate the truth of my pessimism, the following information is enough for me; Scarone is still the best Uruguayan forward; however, he is far from being the insider who amazed European audiences four years ago. However, I insist on the convenience of the aforementioned search.
Do the Uruguayan players know what their presence in Amsterdam represents? If they went for a walk they would be confused among the thousands of sports outsiders who will flock to the Dutch capital. But it is the champions of 1924, the ones who provoked unlimited admiration, who came from a country where the general belief imagined its inhabitants with feathers on their heads, like the redskins. They want to see them play, there is a desire to know that intelligent and precise game that amazed thousands of spectators. Hence the great responsibility, increased this time with the intervention of other teams from South America.
If they attend in bad conditions, it will be believed that the previous victory was the work of chance, when in front that was backed by a defense that was actually achieved by the overwhelming power of that line did not gather the same power, which wasted the great flow of their energies before giving ground.
A duty of patriotism obliges the leaders and players to present themselves at the Olympiad with a team capable of repeating the previous achievement, or, at least, capable of honorably defending the prestige already achieved. Otherwise, I don't think the Uruguayans should intervene in the Olympiad.
It's still time.
I understand that it is already a little late to organize things as Chiappara had foreseen them in his projects presented to the Council of the Association and that they slept for two months in the folders. However, there is still time to do something more, if to do so personal interests are dispensed with for the benefit of the collective.
Like the previous time, I think the time has come not to choose titles, but rather men who have a good game, are strong and willful.
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