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22/06/1925: Becske interviews Héctor Castro
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-06-07 18:12:17
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
THE ONE-ARMED URUGUAYAN FOOTBALL WONDER COMES TO BUDAPEST AND TAKES PART IN THE BUDAPEST-VIENNA MATCH
Frigyes Becske | 22/06/1925, Vienna
Héctor Castro makes a statement about himself, the greatness of Uruguay, continental football, the football situation in Uruguay, and professionalism.
Vienna’s football center, Ring Café, now has a new regular guest: Héctor Castro, the uruguayan champion team's wonderfully capable, one-armed forward. We have already written that Castro, who enjoys undivided sympathy for his football circles in Vienna because of his modesty, temperance and direct manners, is now being treated by the world-famous professor Spitzy, who is constructing a work schedule for him and will remain in Vienna for some time to come.
Hugo Meisl was recommended to his countrymen, and Hugo really treats him as if he were his own son. He takes care of his every step, is constantly with him and heaps his pet with all the signs of friendship. Héctor deserves this cordial treatment and, in front of Meisl, he shows the affection of the good and grateful boy.
Last Sunday, Hugo Meisl set him up for an amateur national team that compared his strength in Krems to that of a rural town. On this occasion, about 50 enthusiastic Viennese sportsmen — the leaders of the association, some managers, a newspaper writer and a kibitzer — also took part in the highly successful trip. They were quite delighted by Héctor Castro’s brilliant performance and can only comment on the phenomenal player’s abilities in superlatives.
Castro, who scored six goals alone in the 9:0 match in favor of Vienna, called me aside to talk undisturbed about his experience in Krems and the football situation in South America.
On the occasion of this conversation, which was interpreted by Vitkay, an Argentine college student living in Vienna, Castro told me the following.
KREMS AND HIS PLANS
Castro: I wanted to thank Father Meisl for the kindness he had accumulated during my stay in Vienna. I have never met such an expensive man and we will not rest until Meisl comes to visit us in Montevideo so that we can revenge ourselves enough for his attentiveness. Yes, for the sake of Meisl I tried very hard to give my play a nice and good game in Krems and I am very happy that I gave Meisl pleasure.
» We could have scored 5-6 more goals, but we didn't want to discourage the good old "countryside", as nine goals were just enough to highlight the superiority. After the match, he stayed in the audience’s place and wanted us to keep playing, and then when we set off from the field on foot to the city with the sounds of the song, the whole audience was with us and the march could provide a very impressive sight.
» Meisl radiated happiness and told me he would drink to our president in Spain, Mr. Pescara, who is only traveling back to Montevideo in early September to allow me to stay in Vienna until then.
» Meisl really wants me to be in a few more friendly matches here in Vienna and to take part in the trainings of the Vienna amateur teams. However, this would not be the only reason for me to stay here, but its main goal is to grow in Budapest. I would be in the Vienna-Budapest match to be decided on the 20th.
» It would be Meisl’s best wish and it would be inconvenient if this plan could not materialize. I would also like to get to know your compatriots personally and I would like to pass on my deepest and most sincere greetings to the Hungarian footballers.
Accompanied by these words, he handed me a business card written with his left hand and containing his greetings and asks me to pass it on to Hungarian fellow sportsmen:
He then went on to describe the sporting situation in South America. At my request, he first spoke about himself:
Castro: I am 21 years old and have been playing in the first team for 2 years. When I was five years old, I was hanging out at a lumberjack farm where, due to the carelessness of one of the workers, I suffered a serious injury to my right forearm, so I had to amputate it above my wrist. However, this injury did not prevent me from playing my favorite sport, football, and as early as the age of 13, I introduced myself to the audience as a inside right in a major match on a first-class Uruguayan team.
» My mother made me my first long pants before the game and you can imagine how proud I am that I am one of the great ones. I have been a member of the National Montevideo championship team for four years. I have been in the national team 30 times so far. I play the role of a customs officer in the port of Montevideo in my private life.
» My service schedule is very pleasant and I have enough time for training.
WHAT IS THEIR TRAINING METHOD?
Castro: Every Wednesday the whole team gathers and our line of defense plays against our forward line. Our trainer, Pedro Oliver, was one of the best in Uruguay. He was a centre-half, but he had to stop playing football due to a knee injury. He was only 32 years old and could have played for a long time.
» Oliver's training method is almost the same as the English training system, maybe it is a little different from the fact that our focus is on short-distance runs and start-ups.
— Who are the best players?
Castro: I consider Scarone and Petrone the best. Scarone has been in the national team 70 times and Petrone has been 55 times.
» The record is held by our left winger, Romano, who has played for the national team 103 times. Romano, by the way, is the only married man among the first players on the team and after appearing in the 100th national team, the federation presented him with a beautiful gold medal in recognition of his merits. After them, I consider Cea the best, who may surpass even them in terms of intelligence and idea.
— So what do you think of your own game? — I ask the humble Héctor.
Castro: No, sir, there are better teams. Our strongest rival is the counter-federation champion team, Peñarol.
» I made my debut against the club. The score was 1:0 for Peñarol. I can tell you, I didn't stand out. My mother even scolded me and advised me to stop playing football. Surely I still have a lot to learn!
— What are the referee like in Montevideo, do they have a large publicity and do they introduce professionalism to you?
Castro: South American referees are generally weak and are not highly respected by players, but scandals are rare because teams are quite disciplined.
» We have 25 to 30.000 spectators at important matches in Buenos Aires, but we have already played in front of an audience of 50 to 60.000. Argentine football is at a very high level and their national team’s two standard goalkeepers, Tesorieri and Crossi, represent a separate class. We only have four really big grounds in Montevideo, but the audience of the stands does not pay an entrance fee and that is why the revenue is not enough to make large-scale investments.
» Most of our associations are struggling financially and that’s why I don’t think professional football will be introduced to us. Football is a national affair for Uruguay, our most powerful propaganda tool. We don’t have a sports paper, but the big dailies on pages 1-3 deal with football events. Our club has 2.500 members, who pay 1 and a half gold pezo membership fees per month. The number of members of Peñarol is approx. It can be put on 1.300.
— So what is your opinion about the continent’s football sport and who do you consider the best players?
Castro: Based on what I have experienced so far, I consider the Czechs and Austrians to be better than our other international opponents.
» They have what — the Spaniards, Italians, etc haven’t experienced it — the versatility and refinement of the combination.
» The only thing I have to blame is the drag on the actions in front of the goal.
» With us, inside the area, the forward is really starting to come to the lounge, while for most European teams, the momentum is only in the field.
» Among the players, Zamora, Platkkó and Samitier, Sparta's half-back line Kolenáty — Káďa — Červený and Vienna's left wing, Fischer — Konrád II. hit the level of our best.
» We also invited Sparta and Vienna for a tour with us, although I don't think this tour will bring them much victory, we still play better at home, in our usual environment. However, in terms of presenting a foreign style of play, their performance, if created, could be of great interest.
» Andrade is not considered such a great player here as in Europe, where he may have gained so much popularity out of his penchant for exotics.
— How do you feel about us? — I had one last question.
Castro: If my mother, my bride, and so many good friends didn't live in Montevideo, I'd rather stay here in Vienna all the time, where I've found so many dear friends. I will always remember the many lovely hours I spent in the Ring Café as my most beautiful memories, but above all Meisl, whom I will have a hard time getting rid of.
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The interview ended and we took our seats again at the big round table, where a whole host of football players were already waiting for Castro to congratulate him on the Krems (for his six goals).