Francisco Varallo, player at 1st WCup, dies at 100

Former Argentine soccer star Francisco Varallo, the last
surviving player from the first World Cup in 1930, died Monday. He
was 100.

His death in La Plata, Argentina, was confirmed by his former
Argentine club Gimnasia y Esgrima, which did not specify a cause of
death.

Varallo played in the final between Uruguay and Argentina in
Montevideo, Uruguay. Argentina lost 4-2.

He began his career with the club Gimnasia y Esgrima, but made
his mark with Boca Juniors. He is Boca’s second-leading scorer with
194 goals, behind only current striker Martin Palermo. Varallo was
nicknamed ”Canoncito” (little canon) for his powerful shot.

He won national titles with Gimnasia in 1929 and with Boca in
1931, 1934 and 1935. He retired in 1940 and worked as a coach with
Boca’s lower-division teams and coached Gimnasia in 1957-59.

Varallo gave an interview earlier this year to soccer’s world
governing body to mark his 100th birthday. He said the loss to
Uruguay was his greatest disappointment.

”I achieved a lot of nice things in my career,” he told FIFA.
”I represented the national team and was Boca’s record goalscorer.
However, in my whole life I’ve never felt such a bitter pain as
losing that World Cup final against Uruguay in 1930.”

Argentina led 2-1 at halftime. After that, Varallo said the
Argentines were soundly beaten.

”We ran out of steam, to tell you the truth,” Varallo said.
”With all due respect to my teammates, we weren’t gutsy enough.
How I cried that day. Even now when I look back it still makes me
angry.”