Tribute: Francisco Varallo

On August 30th, Francisco Antonio Varallo, the last surviving participant of the inaugural 1930 World Cup Tournament passed away. Varallo passed in his hometown of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina at the age of 100.

Born on February 5th, 1910, Francisco Varallo grew up in a province of Buenos Aires and made his professional debut at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Varallo was given the nickname ‘cañoncito‘ having scored 11 goals in 3 games for Estudiantes de la Plata. Being denied a chance to join Estudiantes, the little canon joined Gimnasio and had a breakout season earning him a call-up by the Argentinian National Team. At age 20, he was the youngest in the squad and would later find that he was the youngest in the 1930 World Cup. For his work with the national side, Boca Juniors picked up Varallo for a record fee of about 10,000 pesos($8000 US at the time). During his time with Boca Juniors, Varallo amassed 180 goals in 210 games, a record which stood in the club until 2008 when it was broken by Martin Palermo.

For his country, Varallo played in two World Cups earning 16 caps and scoring 7 goals. Throughout his career Francisco Varallo was known as a goal hungry forward and in 1933 was the leading scorer in all of South America with 34 goals in the season. His career came to an end in 1940 when he was forced to retire due to several injuries to his left knee, but continued to be an ambassador for the sport til the day he died.

This week the South American Football Confederation announced that all matches would have a minute of silence in honor of him.

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