In time of heated discussions about the soccer calendar in Brazil, such as the one established after CBF released the 2020 date planThere is a reminder in history that one day the calendar was worse. In the case of Brazilian football, in a not so distant past.
On the cover of the Sports notebook of December 11, 1994, Folha published the following call: "Grêmio will have to play three matches today". Between late games and redials, the tricolor team, led by Luiz Felipe Scolari, played three duels of the Gaucho Championship that day. One at 14h (Aymoré), another at 16h (Santa Cruz) and the third at 18h (Pelotas).
They had a goalless draw with Aymoré, beat Santa Cruz 4-3 and beat Pelotas 1-0 in the only game in which Felipão led the tricolor team from the edge of the pitch.
But there is a case in world football history that will hardly repeat itself.
In the 1920s, Uruguay's Nacional also entered the field three times on the same day. But with an aggravation in relation to the gremistas: the Uruguayan club played each of these clashes in a different country.
Due to a split in Uruguayan football in 1922, in which Peñarol broke with the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF), which had prevented him from playing a friendly match with Racing (ARG), in Argentina, the national calendar began to change. be divided between the tournament of the Association and that of the FUF (Uruguayan Football Federation), dissident institution and headed by Peñarol.
In 1925, when the entities were unified, thanks to the intervention of the country's president, José Serrato, the season began indefinitely about the calendar.
The AUF Uruguayan Championship began only in May. Seeking to take advantage of olympic success From the country, champion of the previous year in France, the National undertook a six-month tour of Europe to strengthen its image and that of Uruguayan football abroad.
There were 159 days of touring European fields, in a total of 38 games, with 26 wins, seven draws and only five losses. Also, the cast that featured Héctor "Manco" Castro, nicknamed this way because he had lost his right hand In a childhood accident, he scored 130 goals and conceded only 30.
On May 17 of that year, the National played a friendly match in Brussels and another in Paris. To honor both commitments, he split the 24-name cast between the two trips.
This cast was even reinforced by players from other clubs in Uruguay, who sent athletes as a way to represent the country abroad.
Among them, José Leandro Andrade and José Nasazzi, who were from Bella Vista and were Olympic champions with Celeste in 1924 and 1928, and world champions in 1930 (with Nasazzi of captain) –All in all 13 Olympic champions in the group.
But injury problems forced the team into another bizarre situation.
In the French capital, and unable to count on injured striker Pedro Petrone, Nacional appealed to a selfless fan who traveled with the delegation, Román Maciá, who appears in the club's official records as a starter in a 3-0 win over a combined French-Swiss.
In Belgium, with no fans wearing the team's jersey, the rest of the squad won 2-1 in a local match.
"There was real anxiety in sports circles to witness today's collision, which gave the combined European republics a real test of fire. The impression made by the Uruguayans on their first stay in Paris after the Olympic Games did not fade, and the Parisian public feels a real fondness for them, "wrote the reporter sent by the Uruguayan newspaper El Diario.
Club Nacional de Football's third game on May 17 took place thousands of miles away in Montevideo in the only official match the club played that day. Just, however, the least important.
For the Uruguayan Cup, called that way but that was, in fact, the Uruguayan Championship itself, the National visited Bella Vista in the Olivos stadium and was tied 1-1.
The group of players that entered the field was basically made up of reserves that stayed in the country. The exception was the seasoned 29-year-old Pascual Somma, who was not fond of long trips and did not go to Europe – despite being Olympic champion in 1924.
The tour of the European continent, which lasted until August, was beaten by the French (6-0), Belgian (5-1), Swiss (5-1) and Catalan (4-0) teams, as well as other curious episodes. and typical of a football of other times. Like the 13-1 rout against Manacor FC of the Balearic Islands, a team that was reinforced in this match by four athletes from the Nacional delegation.
(tagsToTranslate) national (t) uruguay (t) montevideu (t) sheet