Sunday, October 5, 2014

5 October 1957 - The Marvelous José Andrade

On 5 October 1957, José Leandro Andrade died of tuberculosis at a nursing home in Montevideo at the age of 55. The left half earned multiple honors with the Uruguayan national team, including two Olympic gold medals and one World Cup trophy.

Born in Salto, Uruguay in 1902, Andrade played for a number of Uruguayan and Argentinian clubs in his career, but spent the majority of his time with Uruguayan clubs Nacional and Peñarol. He first appeared for the national side in 1923 and was a key member of the team that defeated Switzerland 3-0 in the gold medal match for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. At that tournament, he became the first black man to play competitive football at the international level on the continent and earned the nickname "The Black Marvel."

He repeated that gold medal success with Uruguay in the 1928 Summer Olympics, defeating Argentina in the final, but suffered an eye injury during a semi-final match against Italy that eventually left him blind in one eye.

In 1930, Uruguay hosted the first World Cup and, fittingly, claimed the first trophy, again defeating Argentina in the Final. Andrade was named to the tournament's All Star Team. The Final was his last appearance for the national side.

In 1994, France Football magazine named him #10 in their list of the top 100 players in the World Cup.

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