Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tim Vickery in South America

In 'Back Home,' his excellent account of the 1970 World Cup, Jeff Dawson does a disservice to the first kings of the global game - after 90 minutes of their quarter-final with the Soviet Union, he writes "the score is that old Uruguayan party piece, 0-0".

Just 16 years earlier, Uruguay produced a very different party piece in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. They beat Scotland 7-1, ended England's campaign in with a 4-2 win in the quarter-finals, but then fell 4-2, after extra time, to the great Hungarians in the semi-final.

It was the first time Uruguay had lost a World Cup match and six years later, when World Soccer magazine was launched, its inaugural edition carried a feature arguing that this was the greatest match ever played.

In recent decades it has been Brazil who have been renowned for artistic football, but once upon a time this image belonged to Uruguay.

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