Introduction: Discovering the Hidden Gems of Vicente de la Mata
Vicente de la Mata may not be a household name for many, but he is an important figure in the realm of football. Born on October 9th, 1918, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was a talented forward who played for various clubs in his career, including River Plate and Racing Club. However, Vicente de la Mata was much more than just a footballer, and there are facts about his life that are often overlooked. Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about him.
Section 1: Laying the Foundation as a Young Footballer
1. Vicente grew up in a working-class neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, where he developed a passion for football at a young age. He played for various teams, including Estrella de Boedo and Alvear, before joining River Plate’s youth team in 1936.
2. At River Plate, Vicente de la Mata played alongside legendary players such as Adolfo Pedernera and Angel Labruna. He quickly made a name for himself, scoring goals and contributing to the team’s success.
3. Despite his talent, Vicente’s career at River Plate was cut short due to a disagreement with the manager. He left the club in 1941 and joined Racing Club, where he continued to excel as a footballer.
Section 2: Rising to Fame in Argentina and Beyond
4. In 1945, Vicente de la Mata was called up to the Argentina national team, where he played a significant role in their victory over Brazil in the Copa America. He went on to represent his country in the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
5. After the World Cup, Vicente de la Mata received offers from several European clubs, including Juventus and Barcelona. However, he opted to stay in Argentina, where he continued to play for Racing Club.
Section 3: Going Beyond the Pitch
6. Vicente de la Mata was not just a footballer but also a family man. He married his wife, Ana Maria, in 1946, and they had six children together.
7. Despite his success on the pitch, Vicente de la Mata faced financial difficulties after retiring from football. He was forced to sell his medals and trophies to make ends meet.
Section 4: Contribution to Football Administration and Development
8. After hanging up his boots, Vicente de la Mata became involved in football administration. He was appointed as the president of Racing Club in 1969, where he worked to improve the club’s finances and facilities.
9. Vicente de la Mata also contributed to the development of football in Argentina. He was the first coach of the national team for people with disabilities and worked to promote football as a way to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Section 5: Leaving a Legacy Through Awards and Recognition
10. Vicente de la Mata’s achievements as a footballer and administrator were recognized both in Argentina and beyond. In 1996, he was inducted into the International Football Hall of Champions, and in 2001, he was awarded the Premio Konex, a prestigious award given to outstanding Argentine sportspeople.
1. Q: Where was Vicente de la Mata born?
A: Vicente de la Mata was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2. Q: What teams did Vicente de la Mata play for?
A: Vicente de la Mata played for various teams in his career, including River Plate and Racing Club.
3. Q: Did Vicente de la Mata represent Argentina in the FIFA World Cup?
A: Yes, Vicente de la Mata represented Argentina in the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
4. Q: Was Vicente de la Mata involved in football administration?
A: Yes, after retiring from football, Vicente de la Mata became involved in football administration and was appointed as the president of Racing Club.
5. Q: Did Vicente de la Mata receive any awards or recognition for his contributions to football?
A: Yes, Vicente de la Mata was inducted into the International Football Hall of Champions and awarded the Premio Konex in recognition of his achievements.
6. Q: Did Vicente de la Mata have any children?
A: Yes, Vicente de la Mata had six children with his wife, Ana Maria.
7. Q: What was Vicente de la Mata’s legacy in football?
A: Vicente de la Mata’s legacy in football includes his achievements as a player, administrator, and coach, as well as his contributions to the development of football in Argentina.
Conclusion: A Tribute to a Great Footballer and a Better Person
Despite facing challenges and setbacks in his life, Vicente de la Mata never lost his passion for football and his desire to make a positive impact on others. His legacy is not just his achievements on the pitch but also his contributions to football administration and development, as well as his commitment to family and community. Let’s remember Vicente de la Mata as not just a great footballer but a better person, whose life is an inspiration to us all.