Tag Archives: Chile

Pelé In Valparaíso

During the 1962 World Cup in Chile, Brazil were based in Viña del Mar, where all of their group-stage fixtures were scheduled. But they trained and took part in warm-up matches in Valparaíso, a colourful, architectural hodgepodge of a port and home to one of Pablo Neruda’s residences.

The location of those sessions was the Estadio de la Compañía Chilena de Tabacos, a stadium built by the company of the same name for their workers based in the city. It served as a Sunday meeting place. The workers would play football, while their wives gossiped over picnics and their children frolicked amongst the nearby jacarandas and palm trees.

The visit of Brazil in 1962 left an impression on those who were fortunate enough to see them in action. “I was a kid and my friends and I went to watch Pelé, Garrincha. It was a real spectacle,” remembers Luis Zamora, later a gardener in the adjacent Jardín Suiza. “The pitch was like a pool table. It was so well-maintained.”

The photograph above supports his claims. The pitch is crisp and clean and provides vibrant contrast for the bright yellow and two-tone blue of Pelé’s kit. Groups of well-dressed onlookers gather in the background. There is a clear sense of time and place.

The stadium no longer exists. It was sold to the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in the late 1990s. In 2013, the land in which it stood was purchased by the investment consortium behind the controversial Parque Pümpin development, which is currently paralysed following dogged demonstrations from local residents.

But the stadium still lives on in the memories of those who once gathered there.


Enterreno Chile – Estadio Sausalito in the 1940s

I recently came across Enterreno Chile, an ever-expanding, user-submitted archive of photographs of Chile. There are entries for all tastes, including a solid collection of football-related images.

The photograph below is of the Estadio Sausalito, perched on the edge of the Laguna Sausalito in Viña del Mar. It was taken in the 1940s. Since then, the stadium has twice been rebuilt following earthquake damage: first, in the build up to the 1962 World Cup following the Valdivia earthquake of 1960; secondly, following the 2010 earthquake that took more than 500 lives.


At the 1962 World Cup, the stadium played host to eight matches, including the quarter-final between Brazil and England.

The current football archive at Enterreno Chile also includes images of matches from the 1962 World Cup, the 1945 and 1951 Clásicos between Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica, and of the Estadio Nacional in Santiago during various eras. Check it out here: https://www.enterreno.com/moments/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=futbol

The Surprising Subtlety of Claudio Borghi

With his pit-bull build and current employment as a grumpy and bitter television pundit, it is perhaps easy to overlook just how smooth and subtle a player Claudio Borghi was in his time.

Indeed, his standout performance for Argentinos Juniors against Juventus in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup final even briefly saw him touted as a future world star.

That never came to pass, but in the later years of his career, at various Chilean clubs, he produced a series of exquisite goals and assists, among them some wonderfully laconic lobs, that underlined his talent and inventiveness.

03:13 and 04:26 are particular favourites.