José Andrade (Uruguay)

José Andrade (Uruguay)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:13 pm
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José Leandro Andrade (1901-1957), a FIFA World Cup-winning football player from Uruguay, a pioneer nation in the history of black football players. From the "on the road" article about Andrade:
Uruguay were the first team to ever feature black players in an international game, international tournament and in the World Cup. In 1916 they took two black players, both great grandchildren of slaves, to Chile and the tournament that would become the Copa America.

When they defeated Chile 4-0, with Isabelino Gradín, one of the black players, having an absolute blinder, Chile asked that the game be anulled. Their reason; because Uruguay had black players in the team. Notion ignored, Uruguay went on to win the tournament.

When they went to Brazil in 1919 for another Copa America it was the first time that many of the black population in Brazil had seen a player of their own colour. Slavery had only been abolished in 1885 (fifty years after Uruguay) and Brazil were well behind in terms of integration.

Uruguay were well ahead of their time and Gradín who played in that tournament in Brazil became a massive hero, in particular, for Pelé.

Andrade represented Uruguay from 1923 to 1930, earning 34 caps for La Celeste. He won the 1924 and 1928 Olympic football tournament (the then-football world championships), and won the inaugural FIFA World Cup held in his home country in 1930.

Andrade's success would inspire black players across Uruguay and eventually around the world. He is part of Uruguay's proud football history, still written to this day. :)
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