Football in Uruguay
Football is the most popular sport in Uruguay. The Uruguay national football team has won two FIFA World Cup titles and reached three additional semifinals. The national team won the first edition of the tournament in 1930, and won it again in 1950.
The sport was first introduced by British immigrants and expatriates in the 19th century. Some references say that the game had been introduced in 1880, at the English High School by Henry Castle Ayre. Henry Castle Ayre was born in Bedminster in March 1852. The first Uruguayan club team (Albion FC) was established at Montevideo, by an English teacher at the William Leslie Poole School in 1882.
Uruguay is a country with a population that currently does not exceed more than four million, and features a large concentration of professional football teams in the city of Montevideo. The two biggest club teams in the country's Primera División are Peñarol, which was established in 1891 (as Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club -CURCC-, until 1913, when changed to the present name), and Nacional, founded in 1899.
The Uruguayan national team have won more international tournaments than any other country. In the Copa América, they are the most successful team, having won 15 titles. Uruguay won the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, defeating fierce rivals Argentina in the final. In 1950, they won their second World Cup, defeating Brazil in the Maracanã in the final game. They have also won two Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928. Finally they also won the 1980 Mundialito - a competition in Montevideo for all of the countries that had ever won the World Cup.
Club football in Uruguay is dominated by two big Montevideo clubs, Peñarol/CURCC and Nacional. Penarol combined with CURCC have won the Uruguayan Primera División 49 times, and Nacional 44 times, since it began in 1900. These clubs have won 3 times each the Intercontinental Cup also been successful in South American competition, with Nacional having won the Copa Interamericana twice and Copa Libertadores three times, and Peñarol having conquered Copa Libertadores five times. Recently; 2011 Peñarol reached to the finals, and fell against Brazilian Santos FC.
Matches between Peñarol and Nacional are termed the Uruguayan Clásico, the longest running football derby outside Great Britain.
Most other clubs in top division are also from Montevideo. In the 2010–11 Uruguayan Primera División season, only one club, Tacuarembó came from outside the capital. Nowadays (2011–12) Cerro Largo is the only department that is represented in Uruguay's First Division.
Many Uruguayan footballers have been successful in European football, including current players Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Forlán, who has had a successful career in Spain with Atlético Madrid, where he won both the European Golden Shoe and Pichichi Trophy twice.
Alcides Ghiggia (full name Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra) played in the 1950 World Championship. He was born on December 22, 1926 and died on June 26, 2015. He is remembered for having scored the second goal at the 34th minute of the second half in the final match against Brazil, known as 'Maracanazo'.
Women's national team
The women's football national team of the AUF started in 1996 and the first official competition of the national team took place in 1998. They have played against national teams of South America and teams of other continents. There were won and lost matches, but they never missed the partnership spirit and the fair play. The most remarkable matches were against teams like Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, China and other teams. They never participed in a World cup, but they could achieve to participe in a Southamerican championship. This great team is made up of players aged 16 to 30 years. Its more recent games were against Brazil, on March 8, Colombia on March 10th and Venezuela on March 12, all in the same year.
Other notable first Division teams
Danubio Football Club is a club of professional football of the Montevieo-Uruguay. It was founded on March 1, 1932 and it plays in the First Division. It obtained four Uruguayan Championships at The First Division in 1988, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2014. At international competitions it reached the semi-final in the Copa Libertadores in 1989. In addition, to that according to the IFFHS Danubio is the third best Uruguayan club of the 20th century,just behind the two big Uruguayan teams. Its debut was in the Plaza de deportes en La Unión, which finished with a defeat scoring 1-0, but they did not give up themselves and it managed to turn itself a great club of the Uruguayan football. The team has 17 national titles and 17 official. Its stadium was inaugurated on August 25 in 1957.
- Sport in Uruguay
- Officials championships of football of Uruguay
- Uruguayan Primera División
- Uruguayan Football Stadiums
- Football: The first Hundred Years. The Untold Story. Adrian Harvey. Routledge 2005
- Fletcher, Paul. Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (aet). BBC. 2 July 2010.