November 17, 2009

Uruguay: 2009-10 Primera División.

Filed under: Uruguay — admin @ 6:38 pm


The Primera División de Uruguay plays Apertura and Clausura competitions like many Latin American leagues,  but the champion for the season is determined by a two-legged final between the Apertura and Clausura winners,  played in June each year (but in 2009 played in August after fan violence had forced postponements).  Reigning champions are Nacional. 

The Uruguayan football scene has been dominated for decades by two clubs…Peñarol and Nacional.  Like over 80% of the clubs in the top division,  these two clubs are from the capital,  Montevideo.  The fact that Montevideo has the lion’s share of clubs in Uruguay’s top flight is understandable,  given that there is no city in the country larger than 100,000 population other than Montevideo (population, 1.3 million).  In recent years,  though,  some other clubs have won the championship…Defensor Sporting in 2008,  and Danubio in 2007.  And currently in this season’s Apertura,  trophy-less club Liverpool (named after the city in England) are in first place after 11 rounds  {Primera División de Uruguay table,  here}.

 Here are galleries of Peñarol,  Nacional,  Defensor Sporting,  and Danubio…

Peñarol vie with Nacional for the postion as the biggest club in Uruguay.  A 2006 survey showed that 45% of fans in Uruguay supported Peñarol,  while 35% supported Nacional.  Peñarol won the first 2 Copa Libertadores competitions,  in 1960 and 1961.  Their fifth and last Copa Libertadores title was in 1987.  During all this period,  and in fact from the start of the professional era in Uruguay in 1932 straight through to 1975,  there were only two different Uruguayan champions,  Peñarol or Nacional.  In total,  Peñarol have amassed 4 amateur titles (last in 1929),  and 36 professional titles (last in 2003),  and their original club, CURCC amassed 5 amateur titles,  making a total of 45 titles for the club.  Most everyone counts this number as Peñarol’s total national titles,  except for some Nacional supporters,  who insist CURCC were a different club than Peñarol.  Peñarol have been enduring financial problems for a number of years now,  and have not won a Uruguayan title in 6 seasons.

Peñarol’s roots lie in the the national railways union.  The club originated in 1892 as the football branch of the Central Uruguay Railways Cricket Club (est. 1891).  Peñarol was the village 10 km. from downtown Montevideo where the football club played.  The club took as it’s colors and kit design the black/yellow striping of railway signs and warning barriers.  CURCC won 5 titles betwen 1900 and 1911,  during the early years of the amateur era in Uruguay.  Fan violence led the Central Uruguay Railways company to disassociate itself with the football club,  and Club Atlético Peñarol was established in early 1914.



Club Nacional de Football was formed in 1899,  the result of an alliance between the Uruguay Athletic Club and the Montevideo Football Club.  The implicit point about the club’s name is that they are the national club for Uruguayans,  as opposed to,  say,  a football club that was formed by workers,  many foreign,  at a foreign-owned company (ie, CURCC/Peñarol).

Nacional have won 3 Copa Libertadores titles,  their first in 1971,  their second in 1980,  and their third in 1988.  Domestically,  Nacional have won 42 titles,  11 in the amatuer era,  and 31 in the professional era.   Nacional have won 3 titles (2005, 2005-06, and 2008-09) since their rival Peñarol’s last championship.  Nacional also had an impressive showing in the Copa Libertadores earlier this year,  making it all the way to the Semi-Finals.  One of the cool things about Nacional is that unlike Peñarol,  they still play many of their games in their own stadium,  the seething cauldron known as the Parque Central,  which still has parts of the stadium that date back to it’s opening in 1900.  Here is a YouTube video about Pargque Central’s rebuilding in 2004,  which starts off with some nice shots of Uruguayan football circa the 1900s to the 1920s…I’m guessing that one of those elements of the stadium that still exist from the original design a century ago can be seen at the 0:45 point in the 10:29 video  {click here (YouTube, ‘Gran Parque Central-nuestra casa’,  by jonasuy1, May, 2008).


Defensor Sporting Club was formed in 1913.  The club won their first Uruguayan title in 1976,  breaking a  44-year title domination by Peñarol and Nacional.  They won that title with a solid defensive style,  and to this day they are known for their ultra consevative style.  Defensor Sporting has won one title in each decade since then,  with their fourth coming in 2007-08.  Earlier this year the club had a successful run in the 2009 Copa Libertadores,  beating Boca Juniors in the Round of 16,  to make it to the Quarter-Finals,  where they lost to eventual champions Estudiantes de La Plata.  Defensor Sporting Club are one of the few first division clubs in the world with a stadium that has a sea view.



Danubio was formed by Bulgarian immigrants,  in 1932  with their name referencing the Danube River.  The club plays in the working class neighborhood of Jardines del Hipódromo.  Danubio won their first title in 1988,  their second title in 2004,  and their third title in 2006-07.  Danubio are regarded as having one of the best youth set-ups in the country,  providing many players to the national under-17 and under-20 teams.



Leading scorers gallery…


Thanks to Rodolfo Vergendad for asking for a map of the Uruguayan Primera División in the comments section.

   Thanks to Footiemap site,  for info on club location {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here},  and at {click here}.

Thanks to TodoPorLaMismaPlata site {click here}.   Thanks to {click here (set at Henrique von Hertwig’s photo of the Centenario}.   Thanks to Parque Central official site {click here}.   Thanks to TodosNacional fansite {click here (translated)}.   Thanks to World {click here (set at Stadiums in Uruguay)}.   Thanks to {click here (set at search: Defensor Sporting Estadio Luis Franzini)}.   Thanks to Virtual {click here}.   Thanks to Danubio fansite LosDanuStones {click here}.   Thanks to FutbolMania12 (El blog del hincha No. 12) {click here}.  

Thanks to (Deportes Uruguay) {click here (click here for translated)}.   Thanks to Danubio Fútbol Club site {click here}.

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