Monday, May 22, 2017

Toyota Cup – or the Intercontinental Cup. The new name did not capture the minds yet and actually never did, but one thing was already certain: the venue was comfortable enough for the Europeans and the date agreeable. Aston Villa vs Penarol. When one looks back, Penarol had more than the edge – unlike Aston Villa, they had much more well known names. But that could be only from the distance of time – at the real moment Europeans were familiar with the English squad, which was not particularly famous, but still had some newly discovered talent. May be that on paper, not so on the pitch – playing at the end of the year in Northern hemisphere theoretically favoured the English team. However, Penarol was on a roll: they won Copa Libertadores only a month earlier. And it showed. 
Shaw was perhaps the most dangerous Villa striker, but Penarol was perhaps better prepared to battle an English team: the long Uruguayan tradition to play fearless physical and dirty kind of football quickly took away whatever advantage in strength Aston Villa had. 
Aston Villa was 'impotent' in front of the net, according to El Grafico, but fair is fair: Penarol was determined to win and defended fought for every inch, to the last. 
It was not just defensive play – Penarol attacked dangerously in every opportunity. 
Jair shined – and made himself 'discovered'. 
He opened the result from a free kick in the 26th minute. 
Walkir Silva made it 2-0 in the 67th minute. Some sources, including the international statisticians site, give Charrua as a scorer – at best, it could be Silva's nickname, for there was player no with the name of the extinct aboriginal inhabitants of Uruguay on the pitch. Aston Villa was unable to return a goal and lost. 
Luis Paulino Siles CRC, Chan Tam Sun HKG, Toshiakazu Sano JPN
63.000, National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
1-0 Jair 27, 2-0 Silva 68

PEÑAROL:  (Coach:  Hugo Bagnulo)
Gustavo Fernández, Walter Olivera, Nelson Gutiérrez, Víctor Hugo Diogo, Miguel Bossio, Juan Vicente Morales, Venancio Ramos, Mario Saralegui, Fernando Morena, JAIR Gonçalves, Walkir Silva

ASTON VILLA:  (Coach:  Tony Burton)
Rimmer, Jones, Ken McNaught, Desmond Bremner, Williams, Evans, Mortimer, Cowans, Shaw, Peter Withe, Morley
The end – winners ready to celebrate.
Captain Walter Olivera lifts the Intercontinental Cup. 
At the top of the world.
Jair got one more trophy too – the player of the game gets brand new Toyota.
The triumphal moment.

Penarol won its 3rd Intercontinental Cup, a great success. 
Unfortunately, Aston Villa lost. Miracles cannot happen all the time – the team was no longer in the from which made them champions of England and Europe. To a point, Aston Villa overachieved and perhaps failed to build on their success. A good squad, but hardly extraordinary – no enough classy players to keep them on top for long. May be they were tired and preoccupied too – December is important and much demanding month in English football.  

 Kings of the world! Standing from left: Victor Hugo Diogo, Nelson Gutiérrez, Miguel Bossio, Walter Olivera, Juan Vicente Morales, Gustavo Fernández.
First row: Walkir Silva, Mario Saralegui, Fernando Morena, JAIR Gonçalves Prates, Venancio Ramos.
Fabulous year for Penarol – in their illustrious history that may not have been the most legendary squad, but certainly the season itself was one of their very finest. Champions of Uruguay, champions of South America, champions of the World. No doubt, due has to be paid to the man behind all that success: Víctor Hugo Bagnulo Fernández.
Nearly 70-years old Bagnulo (born 1915) was not all that well known internationally, but he was already a Penarol legend: he mastered the great Penarol of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the squad, which dominated the world – although, the fruits came under the guidance of Roberto Scarone.  Bagnulo, however, was successful too – before 1983, he already made Penarol champions 4 times and qualified Uruguay for the 1974 World Cup (not the best campaign, so he was replaced before the finals). 1982 was the finest year of his career, winning everything possible with Penarol – just before retirement, so it was fantastic to end his career as a conqueror of the world. 
 Penarol had a good chance to become domineering team, if one considers what they had at the end of 1982 – but it was not to be, largely for economic reasons. Bagnulo retired, which was inevitable, but, if it was an European club, Penarol would have hired reinforcements right away – something impossible in Uruguay.