Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One last South American stop: Chile. The local powerhouse Colo-Colo from the capital Santiago de Chile won yet another title in 1972. Should this trivia be mentioned at all?
Why not? This squad was the first Chilean team I saw. Thrilled by the expansion of my football geography, I searched further and eventually learned that the club is named after famous Indian chief. So rebellion and resistance were part and parcel of the attractiveness of the club. Correspondingly, the most popular Chilean club. And again correspondingly, the most successful Chilean club – which is the point where resistance ends and shrewd business begins… In 1972 Colo-Colo were international mediocrity, but wait for later years. At the moment – go back to earlier postings and take one more look at 1974 scandals.

Here is Carlos Caszelly, one of the best ever Chilean players and committed leftist. Two years before General Pinochet ended the supposed socialist paradise for Caszelly. Two year before football made the most weird truce of political enemies – Pinochet agreeing to tolerate the Left Winger, because he is great right winger for Chile; and Caszelly agreeing to remain Left Winger playing for Right Winger dictator in the name of the same country.