Francisco Varallo

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Francisco Varallo
Franciscovarallo.jpg
Personal information
Full name Francisco Antonio Varallo
Date of birth (1910-02-05)5 February 1910
Place of birth La Plata, Argentina
Date of death 30 August 2010(2010-08-30) (aged 100)
Place of death La Plata, Argentina
Playing position Inside-right
Youth career
12 de Octubre
Estudiantes LP
Gimnasia LP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1928–1930 Gimnasia LP
1930–1931 Vélez Sársfield (loan) 0 (0)
1931–1940 Boca Juniors 210 (181)
National team
1930–1937 Argentina 16 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Francisco Antonio "Pancho" Varallo (locally: [fɾanˈsiʰko βaˈɾaʒo]; 5 February 191030 August 2010[1]) was an Argentine football forward. He played for the Argentine national team from 1930 to 1937. He was a member of Argentina's squad at the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. During his career, Varallo won three leagues titles with Boca Juniors, and with 181 goals, is the club's second highest all-time leading goalscorer in the professional era.[1]

Varallo died in his home-town of La Plata on 30 August 2010, at the age of 100, as the last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup.[2]

Early years[edit]

Varallo was born in La Plata (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina), on 5 February 1910. He made his debut at the age of 14, and early in his career gained the nickname cañoncito (in English: "little cannon") for his shooting ability.[1]

At the age of 18, Varallo had a trial with Estudiantes de La Plata, scoring eleven goals in three games for the club. However, the board of the club where Varallo was a youth team player were supporters of Estudiantes' town rivals Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, and therefore denied him the opportunity to join Estudiantes. Varallo ultimately joined Gimnasia, making his debut for the club's reserve side, before making his debut for the first team in 1929.[1] During his first season with Gimnasia, Varallo won the amateur league championship with the club, defeating Boca Juniors in the final.[3]

In 1930, the forward was loaned for free by Gimnasia to Vélez Sársfield to play for the team during their Pan-American tour.[4] He totaled 16 goals during the tour.[4]

Boca Juniors[edit]

Varallo moved to Boca Juniors for the start of the 1931 season (the first professional season in Argentina)[3] for a fee of approximately $8000.[5]

He continued to play for the club for the next nine years during which time he won the Argentine Primera División three times, in 1931, 1934 and 1935, as well as coming runner up in 1933, when he was the top goalscorer in the league and of South America scoring 34 goals.[1]

In his nine years at Boca Juniors he became the club's top goal-scorer of the professional era, with 180 goals in 210 League games (scoring average 0.85 per game),[6] a record that stood until 2008 when it was broken by Martín Palermo.[3]

During the 1930s Varallo formed strong partnerships with teammates Roberto Cherro and Delfín Benítez Cáceres, who both also scored over 100 goals for the club. In 1938, he was only able to play one game because of a bad knee injury and, although he played more frequently the next year, was forced to retire in 1940, aged 30.[3]

International career[edit]

Varallo was a member of Argentina's squad at the inaugural World Cup in 1930, held in Uruguay, where he was the youngest player.[7] He played in all three of the team's group games; scoring one goal in the match against Mexico, but missed the semi-final against the United States due to injury.[8] However, he was fit to play in the World Cup final against Uruguay and started at inside right forward.[3] Argentina were leading 2–1 at half time, but eventually lost to the hosts 4–2.[8]

Varallo was also a member of the Argentine team that won the South American Championship in 1937. He scored three goals during the tournament, including a brace in the 2–1 win over Chile.[1]

Honours[edit]

Season Team Title
1929 Gimnasia de La Plata Primera División Argentina
1931 Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1934 Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1935 Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1937 Argentina South American Championship

Records[edit]

  • 1933 Topscorer in Argentina and South America 34 goals.[3]
  • Boca Juniors second highest goalscorer in the professional era: 181 goals (Record broken by Martín Palermo in 2009).[9]
  • FIFA Order of Merit 1994.[9]
  • CONMEBOL Order of Merit 2006.[9]
  • The last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup.[3]

International goals[edit]

Argentina's goal tally first

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 25 May 1930 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–0 1–1 1930 Copa Newton
2. 19 July 1930 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Mexico 4–1 6–3 1930 FIFA World Cup
3. 14 December 1933 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Uruguay 1–0 1–0 Friendly
4. 30 December 1936 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Chile 1–0 2–1 1937 South American Championship
5. 2–0
6. 23 January 1937 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–3 2–3

After retirement[edit]

Varallo retired from football in 1940, due to injury problems.[3]

Varallo's career was recognised in 1994, when he was awarded with the FIFA Order of Merit for his contributions to football.[3] He has also received honours from the Argentine Football Association and the South American Football Confederation.[7]

In his late 90s Varallo had joked that he would have to come out of retirement should Martín Palermo overtake his record of 181 professional goals for Boca.[1]

He marked his 100th birthday in February 2010 in his hometown near Buenos Aires by recalling the 1930 clash between his country and neighbouring Uruguay. In an interview he gave to FIFA to mark his birthday, he stated that losing in the final to Uruguay was his 'greatest disappointment'.[10]

Death[edit]

Varallo died on 30 August 2010, in his hometown of La Plata at the age of 100. Leading tributes to the former player, FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated that "The news that Francisco Varallo is no longer with us fills us with great sense of loss, both for his qualities as a person and an ambassador for our beloved sport ... In these grief-filled moments I can take immense pride from the fact that a character such as Francisco Varallo, whom we shall never forget, represented the football family with such dignity".[11] The president of the South American Football Confederation Nicolás Léoz also released a statement expressing sadness at Varallo's death.[12]

Following his death, both of his former clubs, Gimnasia and Boca announced a day of mourning, while the South American Football Confederation announced that a minute's silence was to be held during all Copa Sudamericana fixtures the following week.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Football glory Francisco Varallo dies at age 100". Buenos Aires Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "El gol está de luto". Olé (in Spanish). 30 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brian Glanville (31 August 2010). "Francisco 'Pancho' Varallo obituary". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Historia del Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield" (in Spanish). VelezSarsfield.net. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Varallo, el goleador del siglo (Spanish)". La Razon. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Francisco Varallo (1910–2010)". LECHAMPIONS.it. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Last survival of World Cup 1930 dies". Xinhua. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Francisco Varallo, the last surviving player from the first World Cup final, dies aged 100". London: Daily Mail. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Francisco Varallo, 100 not out". FIFA. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Last surviving player from first World Cup final dies". BBC News. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "An idol bids final farewell". FIFA. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "En memoria de un pionero de nuestra grandeza" (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Profundo dolor por el fallecimiento de Varallo" (in Spanish). Argentinian Football Association. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 

External links[edit]