Pierre Boisrond

Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of the World Cup.

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Uruguay - Will 2006 bring back the glory days of 1950?

First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Marcelo Quiroga, a World Cup Fan living in New York, for correcting one of my statements in my previous article entitled “Marcelo Bielsa - A Coach with a Stubborn Philosophy”. Mr. Quiroga’s statement was the following: “Boca did not win 3 of the last five world championships but rather 3 of the Copa Libertadores (South American Championship).”

    In South America, we always believe that Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay will obtain their tickets to the World Cup. That is almost guaranteed. The only team that seems to disappoint the pundits, including myself, is Uruguay. However, we hope that Uruguay will make it to Germany.

    Why Uruguay should make it to Germany 2006? For their football history alone, the Celestial team deserves a seat for the next World Cup. I have followed the Uruguayan national team since 1986 with a fantastic Enzo Francescoli, but the talented Diego Armando Maradona ended Uruguay hope. Even then, it was a great performance by the man known as: “El Principe”, Enzo Francescoli. In 1990 in Italy, there were great hopes with players such as Ruben Sosa, Ruben Paz, Pablo Bengoechea; but Italy under the direction of Salvatore “Toto” Schillaci sent Uruguay packing. I was hoping to watch some fantastic football from Ruben Paz and Ruben Sosa, but it was a disappointing World Cup for them. Right after the game between Argentina and Yugoslavia in 1990, one of the RAI journalist asked Maradona in Italian, what did he think about the elimination of Uruguay? Maradona replied in Italian that Argentina would avenge the loss of Uruguay. We all knew what happened to the Italians at the “San Paolo Stadio di Napoli”, a place where Maradona was considered as a Saint.

    The current Uruguay team needs to go back to the national team archives so they could learn about the past great players such as: José Nasazzi, Héctor Scarone, Obdulio Varela, Juan Alberto Schiaffino, Schubert Gambetta, Pedro Rocha and Enzo Francescoli. It would be advantageous for players like Recoba and Diego Forlan to spend time watching the games played by these former greats.

    Since I’ve been watching football, Uruguay is the only team in South America that will cause Brazil a major headache. Let’s forget about Argentina beating Brazil at ease. As an Argentina fan, myself, I always suffer when Brazil is playing Argentina. Even in the 2002 qualifiers when Argentina was at its best and Brazil at its worst, Brazil and Vampeta managed to crucify Argentina, therefore making me a laughing stock to the Brazilian fans all over New York, Boston, and in my homeland, Haiti. Some even attempted to convert me into a Brazilian fan. My response to them, I would have rather converted to Uruguay. That statement did give me a peace of mind.

    I like Uruguay to be there because I believe that they play a rough game that could intimidate the giants of Europe. I like Uruguay to be there because, Besides Brazil and Argentina, that is the only team that can bring the World Cup back to the Americas. I don’t think that Colombia and Paraguay are there now. History does follow Uruguay with two World Cups (1930 and 1950) and winner of fourteen Copas Americas. Now, that shows us the prestige of the Uruguayan Football. Let’s hope that Uruguay can step it up in Germany, but first the Charruas must qualify. I don’t see any problem for them to grab one of the 5 places.

    In 2006, the world will be focused on Germany. At that time, it will be 56 years since the people of Uruguay had a chance to celebrate in the legendary “Estadio Maracana” in Rio de Janeiro, after beating Brazil at home in the 1950 World Cup Final in front of more than 150,000 fans. Despite all odds, Uruguay under the directions of Juan Alberto Schiaffino captured the world's attention and sent the Brazilians in a state of mourning. At that time, I was only (-19) years old; so I had to wait until 1978 to understand the Uruguay mystic -- I was only 9 years old. However, when older brothers were so passionate about the World Cup, somehow I managed to learn from them and became more passionate than all of them. As a young boy, I always appreciated Uruguay simply for the fact that the Uruguayan national team never made it easy for the Auriverde (Brazil).

    The time has come for Superstars like Recoba, Abreu, Diego Forlan to step it up to the highest level to bring the prestige back to Uruguayan football. I believe that we will see a fantastic Uruguay in Germany. It will be quite abnormal for me to list Uruguay with all its rich football history in the rank of the underdogs.

    As pundits, we learn not to make any prognostics, but again we will still make them even if we are wrong most of the time. Lately, we have seen what has happened in the World Cup. In 1990, Cameroon with Makanaky and Milla could have shocked the world by winning the World Cup for Africa. In 1994, we have also witnessed that Nigeria with Daniel Amokachi and Peter Rufai could have won the World Cup if it were not for the divine ponytail of the talented Italian, Roberto Baggio. Again, in 1998, Croatia with the magician Suker could have taken the World Cup back to the Slavic land. Finally in 2002, Senegal, USA, Turkey and South Korea could have taken the big prize.

    Well, let’s not count Uruguay out; Let’s not count the Charruas out; let’s hope that these current players will finish the work of Enzo Francescoli, better known as “Le Prince”, by the Haitian commentators.



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