Today the Academy teams who played matches yesterday had a recovery session, while the teams who played on Saturday had an off day. I got a chance to get (slightly) caught up with all the other work from my business, while at the same time preparing for two long days of fitness assessments, which start tomorrow at 2:00pm.
A friend who I met in the old city a few nights ago forwarded me a link to an excellent recently written article by Nick Rider, posted on The Independent’s website, titled Exploring Uruguay, the world’s most successful footballing nation.
The author – although he visited Uruguay solely to watch professional matches and tour the country’s many famous soccer stadiums and museums – seems to have coma away with a very similar impression of the country’s soccer culture as I have from my travels here.
If the title of the article isn’t enough of a giveaway, Rider goes on to say in no uncertain terms:
“And it’s true: Uruguay is without any challengers the most successful footballing country in the world, per capita. No other country this size has come even close.”
Rider also wonders aloud how some of the most humble Uruguayan professional clubs, like Montevideo’s Danubio, defy the odds by continually producing top quality players such as Edinson Cavani, Jose Maria Giminez, and Christhian Stuani – their youth academy has even earned itself the nickname “the University of Uruguayan Football.”
He visits the very largest and most popular clubs (Penarol and Ncional) and also some of the smaller, poorer, “barrio” clubs (unfortunately he did not visit the training grounds or home stadium of Canadian SC – maybe next time)!
And of course, no soccer fan’s visit to Montevideo would be complete without spending some time at the National Uruguayan Football Museum, located inside the Estadio Centenario, itself one of the most famous soccer stadiums in the world and home to the first-ever FIFA World Cup, which Uruguay won by defeating Argentina in the final match in front of 100,000 people.
This interesting and very well-written article made for a good read on my final day off in Montevideo. Below is a link. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and as always, please feel free to post your comments or feedback.