In the aftermath of their team’s exit from a major tournament, football fans tend to spend the next couple of days in depression… before in some cases, scrabbling around for someone else to follow for the rest of the event. Last year, following Uruguay’s elimination, I infuriated most people I know here by switching to Argentina. I was always going to do that: the sheer comedy factor of them winning […]

Date: June 28, 2015 6 like

Football has never, ever been about justice. If you want justice, go to the law courts. The reason for its extraordinary, enduring, ever-growing appeal all over the world is that it’s about stories, controversy… and above all, drama. Well, we got ourselves plenty of drama in Santiago last night. Where Uruguay defended admirably, missed a glorious chance to take a shock lead… only to be undone by that other key […]

Date: June 25, 2015 4 like

Football is, and has always been, a very, very strange game. No other sport gives the impression of being so, for want of a better term, ‘democratic’: on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. David can beat Goliath. Dreams can come true: even if the opponent has 20 chances, and you only have one. Wigan Athletic can win the FA Cup; Greece or Denmark can win the European Championship; […]

Date: June 21, 2015 10 like

Imagine a world in which the President of a domestic football association can be removed by his own government for gross corruption: yet instead of being ostracised by the world game, in fact receives a promotion. All the way to President of the continental confederation and the FIFA Executive Committee: whose daily activities make his previous life look like a picnic. That parallel universe was, until only two days ago, […]

Date: May 29, 2015 2 like

“For Pedro Arispe, homeland meant nothing. It was the place where he was born, which meant nothing to him because he had no choice in the matter, and that was where he broke his back working as a peon for a man who was the same as any boss in any country. But when Uruguay won the 1924 Olympic title in France, Arispe was one of the winning players. While […]

Date: April 16, 2015 1 likes

Throughout Oscar Washington Tabarez’ last four-and-a-half years in charge of the Uruguayan national team, there have always been two competing narratives in my mind. At different points, one has gained sway over the other; many Uruguayans, I venture to suggest, share them too. And even now, with El Maestro beginning to head towards his sixty-eighth birthday, and La Celeste recuperating after a disappointing World Cup, both narratives remain as valid […]

Date: November 22, 2014 1 likes

With the World Cup now over, and still more than 10 months until a Luis Suarez-less Uruguay defend the Copa America in Chile, this Blog has been full of discussions over the identity of La Celeste’s next coach, and style of the team. More technical? More defensive? Oscar Washington Tabarez? Diego Aguirre? Someone else? But what is continually not being understood is just how redundant and irrelevant those arguments are […]

Date: August 3, 2014 8 like

As I type, we are a little over 4 days on from Uruguay’s elimination from these twentieth FIFA World Cup Finals. The dust is finally settling. The madness (and it most certainly has been madness) is abating. People are moving on: but questions, very big ones, remain for the future. What of Uruguay’s style? What of their approach? What of their next coach? And maybe most of all: what of […]

Date: July 3, 2014 6 like

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