José Leandro Andrade
José Andrade c. 1926.
|Full name||José Leandro Andrade|
|Date of birth||November 22, 1901|
|Place of birth||Salto, Uruguay|
|Date of death||5 October 1957(aged 55)|
|Place of death||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
José Leandro Andrade (November 22, 1901 – October 5, 1957) was an Uruguayan footballer who played at wing-half. He was nicknamed 'The Black Marvel' (maravilla negra). During his prime he was regarded as one of the finest footballers in the world.
Andrade was born in Salto in 1901 to an Argentine mother. José Ignacio Andrade, who is believed to have been his father, was listed on his birth certificate as a witness. The older Andrade, who was 98 years old at the time of José Leandro Andrade's birth, had been an expert in African magic and is believed to have been an African-born slave who had escaped from Brazil.
Prior to the introduction of professional football in Uruguay he worked in a number of jobs. He at one time worked as a carnival musician playing the drums, violin and the tambourine, and at another time led the drums corp for carnival comparsa Libertadores de Africa. At various times in his life he also worked as a shoeshiner and as a newspaper salesman.
As a teenager Andrade played for Montevideo club Misiones.
Andrade earned 34 appearances with la Celeste Olimpica scoring one goal between 1923 and 1930.
South American Championship
Andrade won his first Olympic gold medal at the 1924 Olympic football tournament in Paris. He was recognised as being the first black international football player to play Olympic football. He was nicknamed The Black Marvel and The Black Pearl, the latter a name later used in reference to Pelé.
In reaction to the 1924 Olympic win the Uruguayan team were challenged to a two match series by Argentina. In the second match at the Estadio Sportivo Barracas in Buenos Aires Andrade was pelted with stones by the Argentine crowd to which Andrade and the rest of the Uruguayan team responded by throwing the stones back. In the ensuing riot a member of his team was arrested and the Uruguayans refused to play out the remainder of the match.
In 1928 he won his second Olympic gold medal at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. During the semi-final match against Italy Andrade collided with a goal post, seriously injuring an eye. This later deteriorated to the point that he became blind in that eye.
1930 FIFA World Cup
Despite not being at his peak he managed to be one of Uruguay's best players as they won the 1930 World Cup. At the end of the tournament he was selected in the All-Star team. In 1994, he was selected by France Football as number ten in their World Cup Top-100.
Andrade was also credited with being an intelligent and honest player who never celebrated his goals. He was a dynamic, fast and highly technical player who was able to dominate the pitch without the physicality of many of his team mates.
After touring nine European countries with Andrade's Uruguayan club side Nacional, in 1925 attracted a total of over 800,000 spectators. Andrade played half of that tour when he was told by a doctor in Brussels that he had contracted syphilis he disappeared to Paris on hearing the news. Andrade did not return to Montevideo until two months later there a reporter said he had lost weight and seemed in a state of depression, he underwent a course of treatment. Andrade had lost some pace but none of his skill and went on to secure international titles for Uruguay. It was said he had gone blind in one eye after a semi-final against Italy, Andrade had run into a goalpost and it was speculated, the injury was so serious he was later blinded in one eye. Others said his blindness and deteriorated health was caused by syphilis.
Andrade was a guest at the 1950 FIFA World Cup when Uruguay won their second world championship. His nephew Víctor Rodríguez Andrade, a member of the 1950 team, had adopted Andrade as his second surname in honour of Andrade. In 1956 German journalist, Fritz Hack, searched Montevideo for Andrade for six days, He found him living in terrible conditions in a basement of a flat. Andrade was too intoxicated to understand Hack's questions. Within a year, Andrade died, penniless and alcoholic, in an asylum in Montevideo at age 56.
- IFFHS Football Player of the Century: 29th
- FIFA World Cup: Bronze Ball 1930
- FIFA World Cup: All-Star Team 1930
- France Football's World Cup Top-100 1930–1990:10th
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- Murray, Bill; Murray, William J (1998). The world's game: a history of soccer. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06718-5.
- Oliver, Brian (25 May 2014). "Before Pelé there was Andrade". The Guardian (Online new site). The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
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