"La Nuestra" "our style" originated in Argentina in the 1920s. He perfectly characterizes the early philosophy of local football. Then all the clubs of the silver country danced from the attack. Even after ten years, nothing has changed. Thus, in the Argentine championship from September 1936 to April 1938, none ended dryly. But not just balls. Often the Argentines got much more pleasure from a spectacular feint than from a common goal.
This fact was emphasized by the writer Ernesto Sabato in his entire novel "On Heroes and Graves." Characterizing our style, Umberto D'Arcangelo tells the story of two deadly Independiente forwards, Alberto Salina and Manuel Seoane. "Once after the first half, Manuel said to Alberto, 'Come on, hang on to me, and I'll come up with something and score.' At the beginning of the second half, the events unfolded according to Seoane's script. Lalin hung up, and Manuel distinguished himself.
After the goal, Seoane ran to Lalin with open arms and shouted: "You see, Alberto, I said!" To which he replied: "I saw, but you know, this goal is like that; I was not thrilled by it." I would call this the main problem of Argentine football. Manuel never cared about such nonsense. He just loved to score. And it doesn't matter how: passing with the ball from the center of the field or the meter into the empty net.
When you look at the old photos of Seoane looking at us, he seems too fat for an athlete. Even then, the overweight striker was evident to experts and fans. For this, he received the nickname La Chancha (Pig). The striker's father worked as a foundryman who once emigrated to Argentina from Spanish Galicia, where he first settled in Rosario and later moved to Avellaneda.
However, as is often the case with the legendary Latin American stars of antiquity, it is unknown exactly where and when Manuel was born. According to the official biographies of the striker, he was born in March 1902 in Avellaneda. But the attacker himself claimed that he was born three months earlier in Rosario.
Little Manuel dreamed of becoming a screen star; he often imitated Charlie Chaplin's not very convincingly. When friends claimed that he did not have acting skills, the boy was not disappointed at all: "Well, then I will make great movies like Negro Ferreira." However, Seoane's comrades were no less skeptical of these words. But the boy did not think about his football career. At the age of 14, Manuel already weighed 82 kilograms at the height of 170 centimeters.
This weight did not contribute much to the game of football. One of Manuel's friends joked, "You're going to be an Argentine Charlie Chaplin rather than a footballer." However, Manuel was not used to giving up quickly. He realized that his comrades were not fooling him when they said that he was no actor. Seoane was also soon disappointed in the director's future.
So all that's left is football. At first, in the yard battles, no one wanted to take Manuel into their team. And if Seoane was chosen, it was the last one, and, as a rule, they put him at the gate. At the same time, the boy received his first known nickname La Chancha. One day at one of Seoane's matches, which happened on Manuel's birthday, our hero's father came and asked the boys to give him a present and attack his son.
Seoane then broke the opponents, sending about a dozen balls. Now Manuel was chosen first because they knew that the team with him was unbeatable. Pretty soon, the nickname La Chancha will change to the more prestigious El Negro. And in a decade or so, Manuel will become a real demon who will destroy the opponents of the Red Devils. It is symbolic that Manuel played his first matches near the Pantano de Oak swamp, where the Libertadores de America, the Independiente Stadium, will open in 1928.
Already at the age of 14, the boy worked at the Papini Crystal Glass factory. Later he started working at the Kampomar textile factory, in which he made his first serious steps in football. In 1918, the young man wore the uniform of the Progressive Club, where he destroyed rivals, thanks to phenomenal dribbling and incredible play on the second floor. Even then, he stood out with a bright head. Manuel, like a grandmaster, foresaw all the moves of the defenders and constantly left them in the lurch.
At the end of his career, when the forward became more and more reminiscent of Changchun, Manuel compensated for his poor physical shape with intelligence. In Progressive, the guy fell on the pencil of the Red Devils scout Santiago Garcia. He ate his bread for a reason. The sense of smell again failed the old fox Santiago. From the first match, Manuel showed that the Red Devils could not worry about goals scored from now on.
In the debut match of the youth teams, La Chancha sent three goals to the rivals from Estudiantes. After friendly games with River and San Lorenzo, Manuel officially made his red debut on April 3, 1921, against Racing. However, the premiere of La Chanchi lasted only 45 minutes. It was pouring like a bucket that day, and the referee decided to stop the match. But a week later, El Negro was waiting for a full-fledged debut.
And this time, the forward did not leave the field without a goal. Lanus became the first victim of the attacker. Manuel finished his debut season with 18 goals, but that was not enough to go to the South American Championship (then called the Copa America). As time has shown, those responsible for forming the team were right because Albiceleste won all the matches and took their first championship.
Although Seoane loved to eat, which made him overweight, at first, it did not affect his bomber uniform. He managed to make his carcass with his secret weapon. Of course, Seoane had no chance in the sprint race, but opponents flew away from him like skittles from a bullet in the power struggle. Manuel had a killer kick from both feet but easily beat his opponents on a piece of the field, the size of a handkerchief. As a true pipe, Manuel often took his trick.
He started conversations with defenders, and when they let their brains dust, they woke up only when the forward left another autograph at their goal. For this, Seoane often got elbows. And sometimes with fists. At that time, television did not smell, so the main thing for the boneheads was not to catch the eye of the arbitrator. Often after matches, Manuel could not walk for several days.
These injuries have also been critical factors in El Negro's ending his career so quickly. In the 1922 season, his 55 goals in 40 matches helped the Independiente win the championship. Then Manuel set, perhaps, the eternal record of the titles of Argentina. Seoane's closest pursuer, Arsenio Erico, the Reds' leading killer in the late 1930s, would score "only" in his peak season.
A year later, Independiente will lose the title, losing three points to San Lorenzo. On November 11, 1923, Seoane, along with partners Ronsoni, Lopez, and Ferro, nearly lynched the referee in a match against River Plate. The Amateur Football Association officials banned the striker for a year. However, the grandmaster quickly found a way on horseback. Argentine football at the time resembled a classic Latin American soap opera.
Along with the Amateur above Association, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) held its championship. In it for the club, El Porvenir and Manuel will play until the end of disqualification. There is no reliable data on the performance of Seoane in this team. But according to the Marca newspaper, the forward scored at least 60 goals there.
In 1923, the Argentine national team played a friendly match against Scotland Terd Lanark. Foreign touring players refused to go on the field against a team without numbers on T-shirts. According to the guests, in this way, the hosts humiliated their professional status. So the Argentines had to draw numbers by hand.
Seoane got the tenth number. Thus Manuel became the first owner of the sacred dozen in the history of Argentina. In 1925, Boca, who was waiting for a lucrative European tour, decided to strengthen Seoane. And he did not disappoint. La Chancha, who scored 11 of Genoa's 40 goals, became the main scorer of the tour. These tours put Argentina on the football map of the world. Boca was the first team of the silver country to play in the Old World. The whole country closely watched the exploits of the Genoese in Europe, and the new issues of the newspapers were distributed like hotcakes. Journalist Hugo Marini called Boku: "Our first embassy in Europe."
The trip was sponsored by the wealthiest members of the club: entrepreneurs Zapater, Isasmendi, and Ibáñez. The team traveled to Spain for 22 days on the steamer Formosa. In order not to lose shape, the players constantly trained on the deck of the ship. The Argentines made their debut in Vigo, where they confidently defeated Celta 3: 1. Latin Americans will play 19 matches in the Old World, of which they will win 15. Boca owes the appearance of the term "12th player", which is usually called the fans of football teams.
Genoese fan Vittoriano Caffarena paid a considerable sum to go on tour with the team. He not only served there but also worked as a masseur, porter, and laundry. The players perfectly understood Victoriano's importance in the team's victory, so they named him the twelfth player.
An interesting story happened in Madrid with our hero. One of the organizers of the match Boca with Atletico, seeing the monumental figure of Manuel, thought that he was the chief of the Argentine delegation and asked Seoane to help him in the kitchen. In the port of Buenos Aires, the triumphant were greeted by 40,000 spectators. The AFA named Boca the "honorary champion" of the 1925 season, and each touring winner received a commemorative medal.
Of course, without Manuel, the triumphs of the Genoese would not have been so impressive. La Chancha's goals helped to engrave the name of the country and club in Europe with golden letters. At the same time, Manuel was honored to appear on the cover of the iconic Argentine magazine El Grafico, where Seoane was dubbed "the most dangerous striker in recent years."
After the tour, Manuel joined the national team. Seoane's six goals helped the team triumph for the second time in the South American Championship. In 1926, Manuel finally wore red. It was as if there was no long break, and Seoane left 29 autographs in the opponents' goal and won the laurels of the best scorer and his second championship. That season, Independiente never left the field on the shield.
The main trump card of the Red Devils was the infernal attack. Solo Canevari, Alberto Lalin, Luis Ravashino, Raimundo Orsi, and Seoane are considered the best in football history. In 1927, La Chancha became the champion of South America again. Unfortunately, the forward will not go to the two most prestigious tournaments - the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam and the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay.
The reason for the absence of El Negro was trivial. Money. The AFA refused to support the striker's family during his long absence. Perhaps, with Manuel, Argentina would return from these tournaments not with silver but with more precious metal.
In 1932, Seoane could have made a championship hat-trick in the Argentine championship. Still, he was prevented by a case worthy of the pen of one of the Latin American representatives of magical realism. On the eve of the last round, Independiente was one point ahead of River Plate. At that time, the results of parallel matches were "broadcast" to spectators and football players on large billboards installed by the Alumni newspaper.
Although Independiente lost at home to Racing, fans of the team did not worry because they knew that River also lost to San Lorenzo 0: 1. Thinking that the title was already in their pocket, the Reds did not try too hard to restore the status quo because they saw that the shine shines such a desirable account for them. 1: 0 in favor of the Saints. However, this information was not valid. The fact is that the stand operator was a fan of River and deliberately did not change the score until the final whistle.
When the Independiente players were celebrating the championship, they found out that the Millionaires had escaped the match against San Lorenzo. Now the Red Devils were waiting for an additional game with River. In the game for the title, the Millionaires did not leave any chance to Independiente, knocking out the Kings of the Cups with a score of 1: 0. So Rivera's fan helped the team take the title.
Manuel's 207 goals make him the deadliest killer in the history of the pre-professional era of Argentine football. However, over the years, the weight eventually began to take its toll, and as a result of a tragic coincidence, Seoane almost gave his soul to God just on the football field. During the Chilean tour of the Reds, there was a relentless heat, and Manuel, seeing a bottle standing by the area, drank it in one gulp without thinking for a long time. He thought there was orange juice, but there was turpentine.
For the first two days, doctors advised the footballer's relatives to call a priest. However, he would not capitulate so quickly and soon went out on the field, where he again terrorized rivals' defense. The fight with Quilmes in 1932 became fatal for the forward. According to one version, River Plate paid the defenders of the Brewers well to exclude Seoane and Orsi from the game. They worked "wonderfully" on the legs of Manuel and Raimundo. El Negro tried to get back in shape for another year, but, unfortunately, these attempts failed.
On August 22, 1934, the Independiente organized a farewell match for Seoane. All funds raised from this match, the club will give the striker. They turned out to be enough to buy a good house in which La Chancha would live until his death. At the post-match conference, Manuel explained why he decided to hang his shoes on a nail: "I'm retiring not because I'm old or I don't want to play football anymore. Excess meat requires me to quit. "
Let's go back to the book we started this text with. In his novel On Heroes and Graves, Sabato writes: "La Chancha has been a mainstay of the Red Devils for many seasons. He managed to put the usual Creole pranks at the service of noble sports. Seoane was a smart and brave "edge", a nightmare for all defenders. Boca goalkeeper Americo Tesoriere has dubbed Manuel "King of Enemy Territory." And that says it all."