FUTEBOL URUGUAYO:

'' É uma religião nacional. A única que não tem ateu. Somos poucos: 3,5 milhões de uruguayos. É menos gente do que um bairro de São Paulo. É um país minúsculo. Mas todos futebolizados. Temos um dever de gratidão com o futebol. O Uruguay foi colocado no mapa mundial a partir do bicampeonato olímpico de 1924 e 1928, pelo futebol. Ninguém nos conhecia.

O futebol uruguayo é o melhor? Não. No mundo guiado pelas leis do lucro, onde o melhor é quem ganha mais, eu quero ser o pior. Não poderíamos sequer cometer o desagradável pecado da arrogância. Seria ridículo para um país pequeno como o nosso. Não somos importantes, o que é bom. Neste mundo de compra e venda, se você é muito importante vira mercadoria. Está bom assim.

Como explicar Uruguay?.... Somos um pouco inexplicáveis. Aí é que está a graça".

EDUARDO GALEANO - Escritor

quinta-feira

JUGADOR URUGUAYO ISABELINO GRADÍN

Isabelino Gradín (MontevideoUruguay8 de julio de 1897 - Ib.21 de diciembre de 1944) fue un futbolista uruguayo. Jugaba como delantero y fue campeón de América en dos ocasiones con la selección celeste.
Descendiente de africanos de Lesoto, nació en 1897. Creció en el barrio Palermo de Montevideo.​
Murió en 1944, en un estado de tal pobreza que su familia debió recurrir a la caridad pública para sobrevivir luego del deceso de Isabelino.
Comenzó su carrera en 1915 en el club Agraciada que disputaba la Divisional Extra. Pasó rápidamente a Peñarol. Jugó luego en el Olimpia, club del que fue uno de los impulsores.​
Con Peñarol logró los campeonatos uruguayos de 1918 y 1921. Es uno de los máximos goleadores de la historia de la Primera División de Uruguay, habiendo marcado 101 goles en 212 partidos.​
Fue, junto a Juan Delgado, uno de los primeros futbolistas negros en disputar un torneo internacional. Luego de que Uruguay derrotara a Chile en el primer partido del Campeonato Sudamericano 1916, un dirigente chileno presentó una protesta, alegando que habían formado parte del equipo celeste dos "componentes africanos".
Gradín representó a su selección en las copas América de 1916,​ 1917​ y 1919,​ consagrándose como campeón en las dos primeras, además de ser el goleador y mejor jugador de la primera.​ Debido al cisma del fútbol uruguayo no pudo participar de varios Campeonatos Sudamericanos ni del torneo olímpico del 1924 (donde su país logró el oro en Colombes), y luego rechazó jugar en 1928.​
En total, disputó 24 partidos con su selección entre 1915 y 1927, marcando 10 goles.​ También jugó un partido con la selección de la Federación Uruguaya de Football.
Fue un destacado atleta, habiendo competido nacional e internacionalmente en pruebas de 200400 metros y 4 × 400 metros, registrando cinco récords sudamericanos.​ En 1919 logró las medallas de oro del Campeonato Sudamericano de Atletismo en las pruebas de 200 y 400 metros; en 1920 repetiría estos logros, agregando la medalla de oro en 4 × 400; en 1922 en el Campeonato Latinoamericano desarrollado en Rio de Janeiro alcanzó el primer lugar en 4 × 400 y 400 m.

ClubPaísAño
PeñarolFlag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay1915-1921
OlimpiaFlag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay1921-1929

Goleador de la Copa América1916
Mejor jugador de la Copa América1916

Isabelino Gradín Bicampeón Sudamericano
1916 y 1917

(English)

Isabelino Gradín (8 July 1897 in Montevideo – 21 December 1944) was a Uruguayan footballer and athlete. He was one of the greatest footballers in the early era of Uruguayan football and is regarded as one of the greatest Uruguayan players before the Uruguayan win at the 1930 FIFA World Cup. He played in the first South American Championship held in Argentina, where Uruguay became the first champions of the tournament. On July 2 of that tournament against Chile, where Uruguay would go onto win 4-0, Gradin and team mate Juan Delgado became the first black players in history to be fielded in an international tournament. Gradin was also part of the Uruguayan winning team of the 1917 South American Championship. He was also a four-time South American athletics champion in the 400 and 200 metres sprint.

Gradín was born in Montevideo in 1897 and was a great-grandson of African slaves from the kingdom of Lesotho (known today as South Africa). He was brought up in the Palermo barrio in Montevideo.

Club career
Gradín arrived at Peñarol in 1915 where he immediately made an impression, gaining selection for the national team in his first year. Over the course of his career he played in Uruguayan League championship in 1918 and in 1921. He played 212 games for Aurinegros, scoring 101 goals. After a dispute with the club he walked away from Peñarol in 1921.
In 1922 he was involved in the founding of the new Olimpia FC (later known as River Plate). Gradín played at Olimpia until his retirement from football in 1929 though his focus in his later career was on athletics rather than football.

International career
At the age of 18 Gradín made his international debut in July 1915 against Argentina in Montevideo.

1916 South American Championship
The 1916 South American Championship, in which Uruguay took out their first continental championship, is considered to have been Gradín's career high point. As the age of 19 he finished the tournament with three goals and was leading goalscorer for the tournament.
Gradín's racial background became an issue with Chile complaining before and after their match with Uruguay that the Uruguayans were unfairly selecting "Africans". They were unhappy with the selection of Gradín and his team mate Juan Delgado. The complaints were particularly bitter after Gradín scored two goals in Uruguay's 4–0 defeat of the Chileans. Gradín scored his third goal of the tournament in Uruguay's defeat of Brazil which won Uruguay the championship.

1917 South American Championship
Although a member of the title-winning Uruguay squad for the 1917 South American Championship he did not make it onto the pitch for any of their matches.

1919 South American Championship
At the 1919 South American Championship Gradín was more successful in getting on the pitch, playing all of Uruguay's matches at the tournament and scoring two goals. Unfortunately for him Brazil prevailed over Uruguay in the playoff final which is recorded as the longest game in history: Brazil 1 - Uruguay 0 (150 minutes = 90 +15 +15 +15 +15).
Gradín's presence as a black man in the Uruguayan team in Brazil was a matter of much controversy given the Brazilian reluctance to select black players in their national teams. Many black Brazilians vociferously supported Gradín despite the fact that he was from a rival country.

1920s
After the 1919 championships Gradín only played sporadically for the national team. This was partly due to his siding with the rebel Federación Uruguaya de Football against the mainstream Uruguayan Football Association. In 1924 Gradín played for a rebel Uruguayan national team organised by the FUF against an Argentine national team organised by the Asociación Amateurs de Football. This led to him missing out on selection during Uruguay's successful tournament run in which they won several South American Championships and an Olympic gold medal.
By the time he played his last international in July 1927, against Argentina in Montevideo, he had played 24 times for the national teams, scoring 10 goals. He refused selection for the Uruguayan team to the 1928 Olympic Games.

Playing style
Although Gradín was a natural left-footer, he was proficient with both feet. He built a reputation on his explosive pace, accurate crossing and powerful shooting.
Gradín's playing style inspired Peruvian poet Juan Parra del Riego to compose a poem Polirritmo al jugador de fútbol in his honour.

Athletics
While still playing football, Gradín also managed to be a successful athlete.

Club
Gradín began his club athletics career with Plaza de Deportes Nº 1 before transferring to Club Atlético Olimpio in 1918.

International competition
In 1918 he won two medals at the Campeonato de Iniciación, a gold medal in the 400 metres and a bronze medal in the 200 metres.
At the 1919 South American Championships in Athletics he won gold medals for the 200 metre and 400 metre sprints.
He followed up his 1919 success at the 1920 South American Championships in Athletics by successfully defending both his 200 and 400 metres titles.
In 1922 at the unofficial South American Championships known as the Campeonato Latino-Americano, Gradín won a gold medal in the 400 metres sprint.

Later life and death
Gradín spent his final years destitute and in poverty. By 1944 Gradín had become seriously ill and was in hospital. On 17 December 1944, on the day they had won the Uruguayan championship, the whole Peñarol team visited him at the Pasteur Hospital, dedicating their win to him. He died on 21 December 1944, four days later.
A biography of his life was released in 2000 by Uruguayan author Carina Blixen entitled Isabelino Gradín : testimonio de una vida.
A square in Montevideo is named in his honour. In 2009 a memorial star was placed in the square by the Montevideo local government.


PLAZUELA ISABELINO GRADÍN - MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY