Grüne’s new book looks at Uruguay’s role in world soccer


German writer Hardy Grüne has published a book that looks at Uruguay’s role as a “small world soccer capital” with Montevideo as its “soccer epicenter.”

The work, titled “Montevideo: un viaje al corazon del futbol,” (Montevideo: a trip to the heart of soccer), is the result of Grüne’s visits to Uruguay in 2014 and 2017, when he toured the country’s main clubs and stadiums and interviewed the most important personalities in Uruguay’s favorite sport.

Grüne tells readers about his experiences at iconic venues such as the Estadio Olimpico of the Rampla Juniors Futbol Club; the modern stadium of Peñarol, which represents the greatness of Uruguay’s soccer history; and the Estadio Centenario, built for the 1930 World Cup .

The book emphasizes that Montevideo is one of the world’s oldest soccer cities and is remembered - along with Buenos Aires, Argentina - as the cradle for soccer in South America.

Moreover, it also enjoyed “tremendous success” as “a bastion with a passionate culture of fans,” that success being reflected in two Olympic championships for the Uruguayan national team (1924 and 1928), two World Cup championships (1930 and 1950) and 15 Copa America titles.

Along these lines, Uruguay has outpaced both Brazil and Argentina - although it has only as many inhabitants as Berlin - thus transforming itself into a “small world soccer capital.”