Varallo passes away at 100

The last surviving player from the first World Cup soccer final
died in Argentina at the age of 100, FIFA.com reported Monday.

Francisco Varallo, known affectionately as Canoncito during his
playing days, had said losing the final to Uruguay in 1930 was the
biggest disappointment of his career.

He was only 20 when called up to the World Cup squad by
Argentina coach Juan Tramutola but scored a goal against Mexico in
the group phase and played in the final despite an injury
worry.

“I tested my fitness on the morning of the game and
decided to play,” he recalled years later. “I
wasn’t going to miss it for anything in the world.”

Argentina lost to the hosts 4-2 despite taking an early
lead.

“We came up short and we lacked a little steel,”
Varallo said in 2005.

A striker who scored 190 goals for Argentinian club side Boca
Juniors, he had celebrated his 100th birthday last February.

“The news that Francisco Varallo is no longer with us
fills us with great sense of loss, both for his qualities as a
person and an ambassador for our beloved sport,” FIFA
president Sepp Blatter said.

“In these grief-filled moments I can take immense pride
from the fact that a character such as Francisco Varallo, whom we
shall never forget, represented the football family with such
dignity.”