Lolo Fernandez: A Footballing Genius – A Biography

Lolo Fernandez: One of Latin America’s Most Popular Footballers

Throughout his 12-year career with the Peruvian side, between 1935 and 1947, Lolo Fernández was not a World Cup player such as Obdulio Varela of Uruguay and Brazil’s Leonidas da Silva. Despite all this, he is still an inspirational leader in the history of Peru’s soccer. On the field, he did a lot to stimulate the men’s football in all of the country, one of the most soccer-crazed places on the planet. He was very popular in the outback of Peru, from Trujillo and Ica to Puno and Cajamarca. His passion for his homeland was reflected in all facets of his life.

He began to play soccer before it was a professional sport on Peruvian soil. Football — the world’s most popular sport— was imported by Britain’s expatriates in the second half of the 19th century and is known as Peru’s national pastime.

The oldest and most powerful of three soccer-playing Fernández brothers, he — known affectionately as «Lolo»— is considered as one of the country’s greatest athletes of all time, along with Edwin Vásquez Cam (Olympic gold medalist at the 1948 London Summer Games), Cecilia Tait Villacorta (among the world’s top volleyball players in the past century), Juan Carlos «Johnny» Bello (winner of 12 Bolivarian titles in the early 1970s), and Gabriela «Gaby» Pérez del Solar (silver medal in women’s volleyball at the 1988 South Korea Games).

During Fernández’s tenure with the national side, the Andean republic gained one South American Cup (1939) and one Bolivarian Championship (1938). At the club level, he earned the Peruvian League Cup — nationwide competition— six times with his club Universitario de Deportes, having scored a club-record of 157 goals — a record that remains unique. Also, he was the top goal-scorer in the country’s top division of football teams in 1932 (11 goals), 1933 (9), 1934 (9), 1939 (15), 1940 (15), 1942 (11), and 1945 (16). Additionally, he is one of best-known Peruvians Olympians of all time. He holds the distinction of being the first (and only) top player from that nation to compete in the modern Olympiad.

Peru’s First Genuine Top-Class Athlete

Since then, the apex of his career came in the late 1930s when he was the hero of Peru’s South American Football Confederation Cup win, putting the Peruvian flag on the sporting map and making him one of the most exciting players in the game. A Lolo Fernández-inspired Peru defeated Uruguay in the gold-medal match, a surprise to most fans and sportswriters on the American mainland (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). He had been called up by England’s coach Jack Greenwell. Before the championship, Peru’s sportsmen had never won a continental trophy (equivalent of the European Cup). Previously, this Cañete-born footballer was a member of the 1936 Peruvian Olympic football team, which competed in the Berlin Olympics. Curiously, Western Europe was the first continent to recognize Fernández’s talent. Although his homeland’s squad succumbed in a controversial game against Austria (a match they should have won) during the Men’s Olympic Games Soccer Tournament— the unofficial world cup of soccer at that time— he was regarded as one of the South America’s most celebrated sportsmen (Hilton, 2011).

Back in Peru, he led his own «soccer revolution» in Universitario de Deportes, winning many top division cups, setting off a wave of explosive emotion in Lima, the nation’s capital. In fact, he was one of the first superstars of that club. The national squad and his club had been his first loves. He could have played abroad, but decided to play for the Peruvian side and the Limean club, one of the nation’s premier clubs (Newton, 2011).

In fact, Lolo Fernández was Peru’s first genuine top-class sportsman in the world of sports in a time when some Spanish-speaking republics began to produce world-famous competitors. Already, in 1928, Argentina’s fighter Victorio Avendaño had caught the public’s attention with his Olympic gold medal in the Games of the IX Olympiad in Holland’s capital city of Amsterdam (Grasso, 2013). Two years later, the Soccer World Cup was won by the host country Uruguay— called the Celeste. Meanwhile, the men’s shooting contingent of Brazil picked up a total of three medals at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics in tiny Belgium (Almanaque Mundial, 1976). On the other hand, on March 19, 1938, four Ecuadorans — Ricardo Planas, Carlos Luis Gilbert, Luis Alcivar Elizalde and Abel Gilbert— swept the gold medals at the Swimming South American Tournament (Almanaque Guayaquil, 2003).

The Life and Times of Lolo Fernández

Teodoro Oswaldo Fernández Meyzán was born on May 20, 1913 in San Vicente, Cañete, near Lima, Peru’s capital. He was the seventh of eight children born to Tomas Fernández Cisneros, a farm administrator, and his wife, the former Raymunda Meyzan.

Cañete covers an area of 4,577 km2 — the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It lies around 140 km from Lima. This Connecticut-size territory is blessed with a fertile land and is well-recognized for its African-Peruvian culture, cuisine, fruits and birthplace of notable people such as Héctor Chumpitaz (footballer), Caitro Soto (musician), Enrique Verastegui (writer), and Rolando Campos (singer).

Fernández spent his early childhood on a farm in Cañete. Like many Peruvian children, he became fascinated with the game of soccer at an early age. But not everyone applauded that passion, among them his father.

He invested his life in this sport since he played for his hometown club Huracán of Hualcará in the early 1920s. The then little-known player was the first to arrive to the stadium and the last to leave. In his land, he trained with a lot of intensity. The exercise and fresh air made him feel better.

During his first appearance, he led his club to a victory over Alianza San Vicente in a local event in his native Cañete. His debut could not have been better: he scored the winning goal. The date was August 30, 1923. On that occasion, his play (without being paid a salary) impressed his team-mates early on. He was celebrated throughout Cañete, whose people are addicted to football and other Olympic sports as canoeing, boxing, and track-and-field.

Toward the end of the 1920s, he was allowed to leave his home and went to Lima to live with his elder brother, Arturo Fernández, who had played for Universitario de Deportes after being a member of Ciclista Lima. In this context, Lolo, as he was more often known, was introduced to Universitario by Arturo.

In the Peruvian place, his personal life underwent some significant changes. Unanimously elected player by the club’s chairman Placido Galindo, Fernández signed a contract for 120 soles a month. Relations between he and his new club were excellent and friendly since that day.

He kicked off his career with the Lima-based club when he made his official debut on November 29, 1931 during a friendly match against Deportes Magallanes of Chile. Some young athletes would have been intimidated in such situation, but not Lolo. The Lima-based club, with a young side, was the winner. The Peruvian victory was due largely to Fernández’s leadership. He scored the winner against Magallanes in a 1-0 win. Gradually, his talent was recognized by experts, coaches, and sportswriters in his homeland country. As a player, he was without peer in his generation.

An Athlete In Troubled Times

Like many Latino champions such as Alberto Spencer of Ecuador (football),Mateo Flores of Guatemala (track-and-field) and Chino Meléndez of Nicaragua (baseball), Lolo Fernández lived in a country plagued by political violence, poverty, and economic difficulties. Despite these hurdles, he emerged as one of Latin America’s top athletes in the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1930s, his native country had a record of short-lived governments and eight conservative rulers. By 1933, Peru’s military warlord Luis Sánchez Cerro was killed. At the same time, opposition-led demonstrations broke out in Lima in response to an electoral defeat (Loveman, 1999).

During the global financial crisis, the economy fell into chaos, which was vulnerable due to the nation’s dependence on minerals and agricultural products.

Due to these and other reasons, the country’s sport activities had been all but ignored by the governments. Under this atmosphere, Peru was one of the last countries to make its international debut in the Football South American Championship (known as the Copa America later), having competed for the first in the XI Cup in 1927.Similarly, their athletes could not attend the Summer Olympics between 1900 and 1932. But that wasn’t all. Upon competing in Great Britain in 1948, this Spanish-speaking republic did not have Olympic representation until 1956, despite having Pan American gold medalists —among them Julia Sánchez Deza and Edwin Vásquez— and continental champs.

Western Europe: From Spain to Great Britain

As guests of honor, Fernández and other players from Universitario played for Alianza Lima during a tour of Chile in 1933, accumulating wins over Colo Colo, Audax Italiano, Magallanes, and Wanderers. Lolo also played as a special guest for some foreign clubs such Racing Club,Club Atlético Banfield, and Colo Colo.

Between 1933 and 1934, Fernández went as a member of a Peruvian-Chilean contingent —composed of sportsmen from Alianza Lima, Colo Colo, Atlético Chalaco and Universitario– to Western Europe, where he played 33 men’s football matches (compiling 11 wins, 11 draws and 11 losses) against first-class squads from Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, including Bayern Munich, Newcastle and Barcelona— his first time outside of Latin America (Witzig, 2006). Here, he earned the respect of fans and rivals. Lolo’s performance on the European tour was spectacular: despite his lack of international experience, he accumulated a record of 48 goals!

Berlin: 1936 Summer Olympics

After many obstacles, the Peruvian Olympic team, that included future South American champion Lolo, made a brief but historic trip to Germany to attend the 1936 Summer Games. It was the first time in Olympic history that Peru had sent an athletic contingent to the Summer Games. The nation’s sports officials brought an all-male team to Berlin, with Peruvians competing in aquatics, athletics, diving, basketball, cycling, fencing, modern pentathlon, shooting, and soccer.

There were 22 soccer players and they were Juan Valdivieso Padilla, Alejandro Villanueva, José Morales, Adelfo Magallanes, Víctor Lavalle, Enrique Landa, Eulogio García, Carlos Tovar, Orestes Jordán, Teodoro Fernández, Arturo Fernández, Andrés Alvarez, Arturo Paredes, Segundo Castillo, Teodoro Alcalde, Jorge Alcalde, Miguel Pacheco, Carlos Portal, Raúl Chappel, Pedro Ibañez, Guillermo Pardo, and Víctor Marchena. These players made up the country’s largest delegation in Berlin.

The Lolo’s squad was the first Peruvian team in the Olympic team sports history. Scoring five goals in a 7-2 victory over the Nordic nation of Finland, Fernández played one of his most memorable matches (Campomar, 2014). Without a doubt, he was a genius on the field. Subsequently, they beat Austria (it expected to finish in the top four in these Games). But it wasn’t a clear-cut victory for the Latin American republic (Witzig, 2006).

In the second time, Peru came back and won its match 4-2 after losing to Austria 2-0 in the first time in one of the most controversial games in the history of football (Mandell, 1971). Nonetheless, the Austrian delegation refused to recognize this triumph (Risolo, 2010). They said that Europe’s footballers were threatened by Peru’s attackers during the Olympic match (Murray & Murray, 1998).

Under pressure from Austria, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) pledged to hold other match (Campomar, 2014).

But the Peruvian dictatorship didn’t allow their countrymen to compete again. In an attempt to try to gain popularity within Peru, the nation’s strongman Oscar Raimundo Benavides forced the Peruvian Olympic Committee to agree to withdraw its delegation from the 1936 Berlin Games (Walters, 2012). Despite everything, Fernández was the second top scorer in the Olympic tournament with five goals, alongside Norway’s sportsman Arne Brustad. A year earlier, Lolo earned his first cap for Peru.

The tournament was won by Italy and was followed by Austria (silver medal), Poland (bronze), Norway (4th), Great Britain (5th),Germany (6th), Peru (7th), Japan (8th), Sweden (9th), USA (10th), Taiwan (11th), Egypt (12th), Hungary (13th), Turkey (14th), Finland (15th) and Luxembourg (last).

When the Olympian delegation arrived back in Lima, they were declared «national heroes» (El Comercio, 2009). In the next year, he married Elvira Fernández Meyer and had two children: Marina and Teodoro.

Lolo and the First Bolivarian Games

Despite missing the XI Olympiad in the German capital of Berlin, Fernández worked relentlessly to take part in the Olympic-type Bolivarian Games. The First Bolivarian Sports Games (one of the oldest multi-sport games of its kind) were held in Colombia’s capital of Bogota in 1938. At that year, all Limeans were anxious to see a national victory. Fortunately, there were good news. Fernández captained the Bolivarian winners by capturing the gold medal, providing a moment of enjoy for Peru’s population.

The 1938 men’s squad was the heavy gold medal favorite on Colombian soil. The victory was scored over squads from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the host nation. This accomplishment was greater than any previously achieved by the national squads. Ecuador was bronze and Bolivia won the silver medal.

Before and after the event, Fernández —his first international title outside his own land— brought his energy and passion to the national team.

Peru kicked off its campaign at Bogota’s Universitario Stadium,on August 8, when they beat Colombia 4-2 with goals of Pedro Ibañez (2), Lolo (1) and Teodoro Alcalde (1). In its second Bolivarian match, the Andean country slaughtered Ecuador 9-1 in a spectacular show of football— biggest margin of victory in the history of Peru’s soccer team. The best player was Alcalde (4 goals). On August 14, Peru blanked Bolivia 3-0. Lolo was the pivot of that game with two goals. This remarkable athlete knew what he needed to do to win the match.

On August 17,Venezuela was eliminated from the Games after losing to Peru 2-1. Before the Peruvian delegation left the stadium, they received a standing ovation.

Why one of Latin America’s Greatest Players Never Play in the FIFA World Cup?

Among Latin America’s greatest players during the first half of the 20th century, Fernández was the only one never to have appeared in a World Cup. There are different reasons why he could not compete in the global sporting event in the late 1930s and the 1940s. In 1938, the III World Cup was overshadowed by an Argentina-led boycott that was followed by almost all South American republics ( Reyna & Woitalla,2004). Officially, Peru did not participate in the international boycott, but it declined to send a delegation. SA boycotted that Cup in response to «Eurocentric policy» of FIFA. Europeans had hosted the last event and the next was scheduled to be held in France in that year. In the following decade, the world of sports was hard hit by World War II and the international events were canceled.

Lima: 1939 South American Championship

The year of 1939 saw a new hero in Latin America’s sport. A son of Cañete attracted admiration when he led Peru to win the (XV) South American Championship for the first time following a win against Uruguay, one of the powerhouses in the world of football since the 1910s. Four years ago, the national side failed to make the semis in the regional event at home. In 1937, Peru finished at the bottom of the six-team tournament.

The 1939 national side claimed the first place to defeat Uruguay 2-1 in the finals. It was a proud day for Peru. The country, under British coach Greenwell was a home grown champion (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). On paper, Uruguay’s background made it a strong opponent —three World Championships from 1924 to 1930, including two golds in the modern Olympics.

It was gratifying to see the progress that had made the national side, who were underdogs from the start. Thanks to this win, Peru became the four nation in the continent to win that event (after Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina), well ahead of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay.

Fernández was the hero in the Continental Cup on his home soil— his second major international trophy. As well as winning the Most Valuable Player trophy, the Cañete-born striker was the top scorer.

The continental winners were Juan Humberto Valdivieso, Jorge Alcalde, Carlos Tovar, Teodoro Alcalde, César Socarraz, Alberto Baldovino, Pedro Reyes, Víctor Bielich, Juan Quispe, Segundo Castillo, Enrique Perales, Raúl Chapel, Pablo Pasache, Lolo Fernández, Adolfo Magallanes, Jorge Parró, Juan Honores, Pedro Ibañez, Arturo Fernández, Arturo Paredes, Rafael León and Feder Larios.

South American Championships

Back in the 1940s, Fernández, who was nicknamed «the Cannoneer» by the local media due to his aggressive style of play, was member of Peru’s national squad that competed in three South American championships. But he was less successful in these competitions.

Between February 2 and March 4, 1941, the Peruvian contingent participated in the international competition in Santiago (Chile). It was recognized as the unofficial SA Cup. Peru’s 22-man roster included: Gerardo Arce, Manuel Vallejos, Vicente Arce, César Socarraz, Teodoro Fernández, Juan Quispe, Alejandro González, Leopoldo Quiñones, Juan Honores, Carlos Portal, Marcial Hurtado, Enrique Perales, Guillermo Janneau, Roberto Morales, Orestes Jordán, Pedro Magán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

The men’s football tournament was marked by the presence of top-class athletes such as Lolo of Peru, Obdulio Varela of Uruguay, Sergio Livingstone from Chile, and Juan Andrés Marvezzi of Argentina.

The Bolivarian champions didn’t bring home any medals, but Fernández scored three goals and was ranked second to Marvezzi as the tournament’s most prolific scorer (sharing the honor with José Manuel Moreno from Argentina). His homeland’s squad placed fourth in the overall classification, ahead of Ecuador,in the five-team tournament, an event sponsored by the Chilean rule.

On February 9, the Peruvians were defeated by the host nation by a narrow margin (1-0). Shortly thereafter, Argentina won its match against Peru 2-1. The Argentine team was a powerful squad in the Americas and had gained two awards in 1937: The Soccer Pan American Cup in Dallas, Texas (U.S) and SA tournament (as a host country). On February 23, the squad’s star striker Lolo eliminated Ecuador 4-0 and obtained their first points. Fernández scored three goals. Three days later, his homeland’s team, however, could not win their last game. Uruguay won 2-0.The win helped avenge Uruguay’s 1939 loss to Peru.

By 1942, Fernández departed for Uruguay to attend the Latin American tournament (between January 10 and February 7), a year where Brazil was awarded the 1942 World Cup, but the event was cancelled. The men’s soccer of Peru placed a disappointing fifth on Uruguayan soil. The national side was represented by 22 players: Juan Quispe, Antonio Zegarra, Diego Agurto, Juan Soriano, Antonio Biffi, Leopoldo Quiñones, Alberto Delgado, Carlos Portal, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Luis Guzmán, Pablo Pasache, Teobaldo Guzmán, Tulio Obando, Juan Honores, Roberto Morales, Marcial Hurtado, Pedro Magán, Orestes Jordán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

Following an opening draw with Paraguay (1-1) at the XVIII South American Cup on January 18, Peru suffered defeats against Brazil (2-1) and Argentina (3-1).Over that time, the Brazilian side was a strong rival with a bronze medal in the 1938 global event after his international star Leonidas da Silva (known as the «Black Diamond») led Brazil to its first wins in a World Cup.

On January 28, the Peruvians dispatched Ecuador 2-1 at Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium, which is the nation’s symbol of sport. In the next days, they had drawn 0-0 with Chile after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay in the 65,000-seater Centenario Stadium, one of the most famous of all soccer stadiums around the globe. The Celeste Spanish for sky blue due to the color of squad’s shirt— was all but unbeatable and it was seven-time winner of the SA Cup (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926 & 1935) (Guevara & Chaname, 1998).

Lolo and his fellow sportsmen did not return to the regional championships until 1947. The Andean republic missed the next two international competitions (1945 & 1946).

In 1947, the Peruvian Soccer Federation sent a Lolo Fernández-led team to Guayaquil (Ecuador) to participate in the international meet. He and his fellow countrymen had drawn with Paraguay (2-2) and Ecuador (0-0), but there were two losses to Chile (2-1) and Argentina (3-2).

In front of over 20,000 persons, on December 20, 1947, Fernández played his last match on foreign soil at Guayaquil’s George Capwell when Peru made a tie of 0-0 with the host nation. He was on Peru’s South American Cup roster at the age of 34. Later on, Colombia —gold in men’s football at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games— was outclassed by a Peruvian side without its star Lolo (5-1).

In the 8-team tournament, the men’s side ranked fifth, behind Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay,and Chile. The country’s roster included 22 athletes: Guillermo Valdivieso, Rafael Asca, Carlos Torres, Guillermo Barbadillo, Luis Suárez, Félix Castillo, René Rosasco, Juan Castillo, Marín Reyna, Andrés da Silva, Domingo Raffo, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Carlos Gómez Sánchez, Lorenzo Pacheco, Máximo Mosquera, Alejandro González, Ernesto Morales, Luis Guzmán, Eliseo Morales, Cornelio Heredia, and Valeriano López.

In the wake of participating on Ecuadoran soil, Fernández no longer competed in the continental events.

Six National Championships From 1934 to 1949

Before embarking on a seven-month tour of Europe, Fernández was the most outstanding player in the 1932 National Cup with 11 goals. But that wasn’t enough to win the event. A total of eight clubs sent delegations: Alianza Lima, Sports Tabaco, Ciclista Lima, Sportive Union, Sport Progreso, Tarapacá Ferrocarril, Circolo Sportivo Italiano and Universitario.

Soccer became a national level when the domestic tournament began in the 1920s, making it one of the oldest events in the history of Peruvian sport.

By 1933, Universitario’s amateur side again made the final, but was runner-up and their star was top scorer for the second time in a row. Despite the loss, he had captured the attention of the spectators as no other sportsman when he produced nine goals in the men’s football national league.

After winning experience in European countries, Fernández and his fellow Peruvian athletes moved back to Lima to attend the 1934 domestic league. The youthful Universitario side reached the podium in the country’s top soccer division (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Alianza Lima was extraordinary beaten by the Limean squad, beginning one of South America’s greatest derbies. AL and Lolo’s club are arch rivals and matches between two clubs are referred to as «El Clásico» (Newton, 2011). During that year, Fernández began to make a name for himself in the history of Peru’s football as he was the tournament’s top scorer.

The 1935 event was an event with five soccer clubs. It produced a surprise winner: Sport Boys. Fernández’s squad placed third.

By 1938, Universitario won the bronze medal. In the next year, the Limean side became one of the first clubs of Peru to appoint a foreign manager: Jack Greenwell of the United Kingdom. Under Geenwel’s guidance, Fernández and his fellow mates earned the national football league title with nine wins, three draws and two losses —improving on their third place finish in the past cup (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Extraordinary, the Cañete-born athlete was the tournament’s dominant player in 1939 (Witzig, 2006).

In the wake of Fernández’s participation in the South American Cup, Universitario came close to a second successive tournament in 1940.

In 1941, the Lima-based club obtained the Peruvian trophy, after a series of home-and-home soccer matches. The Limean squad showed why it was one of the most powerful clubs on home soil. In the finals, there were wins over Atlético Chalaco (1-0) and Alianza Lima (3-1). The championship had been postponed for a while because of Peru’s participation in the South American Cup.

In the mid-1940s, Universitario came the attention when they won back-to-back national championships (Witzig, 2006). After breaking his own personal record of 15 goals in 1939, Lolo picked up a total of 16 goals in 1945. Curiously, these titles can be attributed to the Fernández family: Arturo, Eduardo and Lolo were members of that team.

Assembling one of the most powerful teams in the history of Peru’s football, Lima’s club earned the trophy in 1946. The key to the Peruvian club was the trio of Victor Espinoza, Eduardo and Lolo Fernández. Under a new system of qualifying matches, the Limean side obtained 11 wins.

Toward the end of his career, Lolo and his club recaptured the trophy: it defeated Atlético Chalaco 4-3 to claim the first place in the Peruvian Championship in 1949 (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). In that year, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

A Universitario Icon

In contrast to players from other parts of the world, Fernández was not an international player, being one of the few footballers who had stayed with one club (Universitario) his entire athletic career despite several offers from top clubs (including Racing club of Argentina, Peñarol of Uruguay and Colo Colo of Chile). He refused, citing his strong connections to Universitario. This club is one of the most-supported squads in Peru. Curiously, Lolo remains Universitario’s all-time goalscorer with 157 goals.

Fernández, at the age of 40, retired from the world of soccer in the early 1950s during a series of exhibition matches in a stadium built by the country’s head of state Manuel Odría. On August, 30, 1953, his team had a sensational victory over his traditional rival Alianza Lima (4-2). Here, Lolo scored a hat-trick, among the most notable of his more than 157 goals during his career with the Lima-based club.

Before an audience of some 30,000 spectators, Fernández played only six minutes with Universitario during a game against Centro Iqueño, the darkest day for Peru’s football. His presence was symbolic in a memorable event at Lima’s national stadium. He left the national stadium to a roaring ovation.

After retiring from soccer, he worked mostly with top junior soccer teams from Universitario.

After a battle with Alzheimer, on September 17, 1996, Lolo Fernández died in a Lima hospital at the age of 83. It was a great loss to South America’s sport.

Rivaled only by Teófilo Cubillas, he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards both within and outside Peru, including a museum. The country’s legendary Olympian was immortalized by Lorenzo Humberto Soto Mayor, who wrote a song entitle «Lolo Fernández», a tribute to the Peruvian footballer. On October 27, 1952, the country’s ruler Odría conferred him the Sports Laurels, the highest sports award of Peru. In the early 1950s, the Universitario stadium was renamed in his honor (Witzig, 2006). Within Latin America, several sports-oriented magazines and Spanish-language newspapers have devoted many pages to Lolo.

Lolo Fernández died in the mid-1990s, but the legacy of this Olympic carries on. He was so advanced for his time and place. A man that always worked with love for his homeland country of Peru and a personal hero of mine.

Further Reading

(1)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1977, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1976 (Spanish)

(2)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1976, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1975 (Spanish)

(3)- Almanaque Guayaquil Total 2003, Editarsa, Guayaquil, 2002 (Spanish)

(4)- Campomar, Andreas. ¡Golazo!: A History of Latin American Football, Quercus, 2014

(5)- —————- Golazo!: The Beautiful Game From the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How Soccer Shaped Latin America, Penguin, 2014

(6)- Dunmore, Tom. Historical Dictionary of Soccer, Scarecrow Press, 2011

(7)- «Fuimos Heroes». 170 Años Suplemento Especial, El Comercio, 4 de mayo del 2009 (Spanish)

(8)- Grasso, John. Historical Dictionary of Boxing, Scarecrow Press, 2013

(9)- Guevara Onofre, Alejandro & Chaname Orbe, Raúl. Enciclopedia Mundototal 1999, Editorial San Marcos, 1998 (Spanish)

(10)- Hill, Christopher. Hitler’s Olympics: The Berlin Olympic Games,The History Press, 2011

(11)- Loveman, Brian. For la Patria: Politics and the Armed Forces in Latin America, Rowman & Littlefield, 1999

(12)- Mandell, Richard D. The Nazi Olympics, University of Illinois Press, 1971

(13)- Murray, Bill & Murray, William. The World’s Game. A History of Soccer, University of Illinois Press, 1998

(14)- Newton, Paula. Viva Travel Guides Machu Picchu and Cusco, Viva Publishing Network, 2011

(15)- Parrish, Charles & Nauright, John. Soccer Around the World, ABC-CLIO, 2014

(16)- Risolo, Donn. Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats, University of Nebraska, 2010

(17)- Reyna, Claudio & Woitalla, Michael. More Than Goals: The Journey From Backyard Games To World Cup Competition, Human Kinetics, 2004

(18)- Walters, Guy. Berlin Games: How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream, Hachette UK, 2012

(19)- Witzig, Richard. The Global Art of Soccer, CusiBoy Publishing, 2006

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An Overview Of Serie A Teams

Serie A, also called as Serie A TIM, refers to the top level professional league in the Italian football league system. Founded during 1929-30 season, Serie A is now on its way to complete 87 seasons. Lega Calcio was the organizer of the Serie A competitions until 2010 but Lega Serie A was introduced during the 2010/11 season. It is widely regarded as one of the most competitive football leagues in the world. In accordance with a report by IFFHS, Serie A is the strongest national league all over the globe. Serie A teams have been the highest number of European Cup finalists till date.

The Italian outfits have reached the Europa competition final 26 times, which is a record in the continent. They have wrapped up the title in 12 seasons. As per UEFA’s league coefficient, Serie A ranks fourth among the European leagues and come only next to La Liga, Bundesliga and English Premier League. The ranking is based on the Italian clubs’ performance in the Europa League as well as the Champions League over the last five years. The league was the topper on the UEFA ranking between 1986 and 1988 and also from 1990 to 1339. Let us now take a closer look at the best Serie A clubs.

Serie A Competition

Before 1929, many Italian clubs participated in the top-most level. Till 1922, the earlier rounds were played on a regional basis. Inter is the only club that has played in every Serie A season since its inception.

Best Teams in Serie A

The top-tier Italian league hosts Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan which are considered three of the most popular clubs in the world. All of them are the founding members of G-14 which hosted the most famous and largest football clubs of Europe. It was the only league which had three representatives in the G-14 group. More players have been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or during their Serie A spell than any other country league. However, 18 players each from both Serie A and La Liga have received the award FIFA Ballon d’Or so far.

Juventus is considered the most successful Serie A club. The club, nicknamed as the Bianconeri, the Old Lady etc, is the only entity in the world football to have won every continental competition in Europe as well as the world title. Inter Milan became the first Serie A team to have won a treble following their 2009/10 achievement. Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan along with Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina form famous Seven Sisters of Italian Football. Juventus is the current defending champions of Serie A title. However, Inter Milan are, at present, the topper on the league table.

Serie A Footballers

Serie A have produced some of the best names in the world football. Diego Maradona, the prince of football, also played in Serie A at Napoli. Paolo Maldini, Michel Platini are among other stalwarts who took retirement from international football. Serie A teams are also big spenders and don’t mind forking out a fortune to capture the star players.

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Why Charmander Is a Cool Pokemon

Everyone in this world at some point has heard of Pokemon by now. And as a result people around the world have to come to have their own favorite Pokemon that they like a lot especially. Well in this article I am here to convince you why Charmander is a cool Pokemon and hopefully he will be able to enter one of your favorites by the end of this.

1. His Fire typing

One of Charmander's strongest points is his cool and unique typing. Charmander is a fire lizard style Pokemon, which makes him have a very unique build and design surrounding him. He has a flame and fire rested on his tail that would give out and eliminate his life span immediately is the flame was drenched and extinguished by water of any kind, luckily such an important feature is durable for such a delicate Pokemon.

2. Variety of cool moves

Charmander and its lineage of evolution is known to be able to learn a variety of cool movies and techniques. Charmander can learn a variety of moves like Fire type attacks and even Dragon Type attacks as well. Some of its Dragon movies include moves like Dragon Rage in which it can usually learn in most generations or Dragon Claw usually as a TM by teaching it. These moves prove highly effective towards Dragon Types and other strong Pokemon. It can also learn stuff like fighting moves like Focus Punch and Brick Break and Rock Type attacks like Rock Tomb and Rock Slide as well. Ghost Moves like Shadow Claw are also in its arsenal and some more to mention are moves like Aerial Ace, Sunny Day, Dig, Rest, Iron Tail, Secret Power and so much more.

3. Cool evolution line

And last but not least Charmander's evolution line is very cool and a major strong point of this Pokemon. At level 16 this little cool fire lizard Pokemon will evolve to an even bigger fire lizard with much more power and speed to pack it with. It gets even more cooler once it evolves at level 36 into its final form Charizard, in which is an even greater prize because it enables to be able to fly and learn flying moves thanks to its newfound wings. And if you have later generations from X and Y forward you can take advantage of evolving into its mega forms both X and Y version and have to opportunity to have an even stronger Charizard at your disposal.

And with that you have a solid explanation on why Charmander is such a cool Pokemon. If you haven't already don't hesitate to add this Pokemon to your arsenal and team since you can utilize him to your best of your ability at hand.

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Short Breaks in the Capital – Choosing a Hotel in London

The rising cost of air travel has put UK city breaks firmly back in fashion, and with a multitude of crowd-pleasing attractions and affordable travel links to the rest of the country, there’s never been a better time to take a short break in the country’s capital.

Its spectacular West End productions, historic buildings, grand palaces, spellbinding museums and pioneering art galleries ensure London offers something to appeal to everyone.

And whether your budget is lavish or shoestring, you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay, from fashionable boutique hotels to ancient converted buildings and modern masterpieces.

Piccadilly makes a perfect base for theatre breaker’s and shopping fanatics alike. It’s ideally placed for bustling Oxford Street, home to Selfridges and a myriad of fabulous shops and department stores, while the hip hangouts of Soho and Covent Garden are also nearby.

In the evening, you’ll find the bright lights of London’s famous West End are just a short stroll away. Here you can catch a show, see a musical, visit the opera or laugh the night away with the country’s top comedians.

And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, head for Leicester Square to sample delicious international cuisine or innovative cocktails at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars.

If you’d rather explore London’s historic buildings, look for hotels around Westminster. From here you can visit Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and nearby Buckingham Palace, then cross the bridge over the Thames to the London Eye and take in the city’s majestic landscape.

Some of London’s best museums are located in South Kensington, just south of Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the Earth Galleries Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brompton Oratory.

Art buffs should stay near Southwark on the banks of the River Thames – the iconic Tate Modern is just off the nearby Millennium Bridge. Visitors can take a short ferry ride between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain galleries, while to the east of Southwark lies the Tower of London, one of the most compelling and historic buildings in the city.

If you’re after pure luxury, seek out hotels around the upmarket neighbourhoods bordering Hyde Park. Most have stunning scenic views and its proximity to nearby green areas like St James’s, Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens make it a perfect base for relaxing strolls and picnics.

North of Hyde Park, the leafy Regents Park makes an excellent base for visiting the the must-see Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. Tussauds also offers some great time-saving packages combining the museum with other attractions like the London Eye and and the London Dungeon – not for those of a nervous disposition!

It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you plan to do before you book a hotel in London. Taxi’s around the capital can be very expensive, and choosing the right base for your short break will help you reach most of your destinations on foot and take in some spectacular sights on the way!

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The Best Outdoor Restaurants in London

There’s something magical and special about eating dinner outdoors, especially when dining at a restaurant. Dining under an outdoor umbrella with a couple of close friends has a certain kind of positive energy to it, as you feel completely cut-off from the rest of the world (unlike how you might feel if you were sitting indoors right next to another table full of people.

There are basically two types of places that you can eat outdoors at in London. Firstly there’s the ‘trendy’ restaurants (most of which transform themselves into an even trendier bar at night), and then there’s the traditional English-style pubs that often have a beer garden or a few sets of tables and chairs out the front.

There are literally thousands of restaurants in London, and the best places to find the most reasonably priced ones (compared to the quality of their food) is in places such as Soho (basically right in the centre of London), Leicester Square, the South Bank and Covent Garden. Of all of these, Covent Garden has by far the most extravagant restaurants, and is also one of the most entertaining parts of the city, with any number of street acts (such as ‘human statues’ and jugglers) performing in the famous town square. The area really comes alive at night, and is a great place to visit if you’re just in London for the day. If you’re into more upmarket and exotic dishes, then you can’t look past Hoxton Square. The area is seen as the trendiest part of London currently.

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Golden Rules for Successful Soccer Betting

Whenever an interested sports fan researches the topic of online betting or game predictions, he will come across an extensive array of soccer betting tips and tricks, tables, suggestions, previews and odds alongside with many other valuable pieces of information. In an attempt to help all of those football fans and fanatics who feel like they are struggling with online betting, or even those who are barely getting started now, here are some of the insights and basic guidelines of this not so complicated industry, so that you too can start earning money from betting like the many other already enjoying this opportunity.

Firstly, one of the most interesting issues involves the financial aspect and especially the money invested in betting and which is the proper way to bet for the best earnings to be collected. A correct money management is the key towards being a successful soccer betting expert. One of the tactics recommended by the best websites in the world of betting predictions football has inspired, is to split the amount of money available for betting into smaller portions, approximately 10-15 parts, and bet these smaller shares instead. This technique has turned into a general rule for all the large betting pros and is becoming a sure way to bet and win.

Secondly, and what many consider to be the most important rule, choose a great and reliable website that offers a constant flow of soccer betting tips and predictions about all the games you are interested in. With new predictions being posted every single day, you can find out the most recent news or odds in real time, so that your betting chances are at their maximum. Whether you want to find out the odds for the UEFA Champions League or know the Europa League preview, you can learn anything from specialized online platforms for betting tips. All of the professional punters take their predictions from experts in the field, so why shouldn’t you?

Thirdly, forget all of the preconceptions linked to sports betting, if you want to have a truly successful and profitable betting experience. What people generally perceive as betting advice sources, like sports news and simple rumors are nothing but small guidelines that may or may not turn into reality. The real source of accurate football predictions can only come from a more statistical research into the evolution of the teams and the composition of their players. But if statistics and results seem hard to interpret or figure out, then there is always the saving option of reading those stats in their interpreted source on the above mentioned professional websites. The only trick is to forget your previous judgments about a team’s winning force in the past and trust what the specialists have to say about it today based on statistical data.

Last, but not least, always bet on the championship you know best or have the highest amount of information about. Soccer betting online relies on knowing a bundle of facts about the games and odds of the teams playing, so it is best that you are well informed prior to placing your bet. However, if you resort to a professional betting website then they also offer extensive details and explain their predictions, so you do not need to make the research on your own. Some punters say they never bet on friendly games, because they are full of surprises, so stick to the major games from the major leagues to be surer.

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10 Reasons Liverpool is So Popular

As the 2008 European Capital Of Culture, Liverpool gained a lot of publicity and attention form the media all over the world. It’s not hard to see why Liverpool was chosen, and why it’s just reward for all the hard work that has gone on in the city in recent years.

Here’s why you should visit if you haven’t been yet.

1. Any sports fan will know that there’s lots of sporting history in Liverpool. Whether you’re a football fan worshipping at Anfield or Goodison Park, enjoy horse racing from Aintree, or keen on golf, athletics or swimming, there’s plenty to keep a sports fan happy in Liverpool

2. As well as the sport, Liverpool is well known for it’s music. As well as being forever remembered for the Beatles, there is a thriving music scene, and many local bands enjoy playing at the popular music venues in Liverpool.

3. The opening of the Liverpool One shopping areas has brought even more attention to the city, and encouraged more shoppers to browse. With over 160 shops, as well as restaurants and a cinema, there’s something for everyone in Liverpool One.

4. Culture plays an important part in this city. From the World Museum, and the Tate Gallery to the theatre performances, street events and festivals, and the up to the minute fashions and nightlife.

5. The Beatles are probably even more famous than the football teams, and even all these years later, fans come to pay homage, and take a magical mystery tour around the city to find out more about the Fab Four.

6. Liverpool has rapidly become a popular destination for cruise ships, and this is bringing more visitors and more revenue into the city, and encouraging people to explore this fascinating region.

7. Many businesses are moving here, and new companies are being formed all the time to provide the products and services that the residents and other businesses need. From the chemical and car industries of south Liverpool, to the companies in the commercial district, and the new and exciting companies in the new media sector, there are lots of reasons to start a company in Liverpool.

8. Thanks to it’s excellent infrastructure, Liverpool is very easy to get to. Whether you arrive at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which is just a few miles from the city centre, or by road or rail, you’ll find getting around isn’t hard.

9. Thanks to the highly respected universities, there are many students in Liverpool, and so a lot of research and hard work is done, that can be used to benefit businesses and residents here. In addition, many graduates who move to Liverpool to study will stay here after they finish their studies, and add to the talent of the local workforce.

10. There is always something to do, no matter what your interests, or when you chose to visit. From a concert at the new Arena by a global megastar, an historical tour of the city, and an amazing shopping experience and unrivalled nightlife.

Now you know more about Liverpool, and why it’s so popular, isn’t it time you came here?

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Fallen Heroes in the Annals of Nigeria Football History

Professional football as a competitive sport has had its unfair share of tragedies over the years. It is both entertaining and dangerous especially on the field of play. The Nigerian sporting family witnessed one of the most horrific football tragedies on the 23rd of December 2008, when nine female amateur footballers and two coaches were burnt beyond recognition in an auto crash on their way from Jos, Plateau state.

The tears of sorrow had hardly dried up, when 15 members of an amateur side, F.C Jimeta from Adamawa state, Nigeria, died in another auto crash on the 26th of January 2009. Twelve of the dead were players, while the remaining three were trainers.

The tragedy that took place on the 26th of January 2009 had hardly subsided when another devastating incident occurred on the 21st of February 2009. In a single swoop, 13 Football supporters of Nigeria Premier League side Ocean Boys F.C of Yenegoa were killed by persons suspected to be cultist, on their way to attending a premier league match involving their team and Bayelsa United at the Ughelli Township Stadium in Delta State, Nigeria.

Nigerian footballers have also had their fair share of tragedies on and off the field of play. Below is a list of some of the players who have braved all odds to bring joy to football loving Nigerians but later succumbed to the cold hand of death.

  • Samuel Okwaraji

Nigeria enterprising midfielder Samuel Tochukwuma Okwaraji slumped and died on August 12, 1989 during a World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Angola. He died of a heart related ailment.

  • Amir Angwe

Amir Angwe died on the field of play while starring for Julius Berger F.C on October 29th 1995. It was later discovered that he died of a heart attack.

  • George Igenewari

The younger brother to Nigerian former international- George Finidi was slain by the bullet of rival supporters during an F.A Cup match involving his club- Rangers F.C and Stationary Stores of Lagos in 1995.

  • Tunde Charity

He was a member of the Flying Eagles team that participated in the 1989 U-20 World Championship held in Saudi Arabia. He died of a head injury sustained in the playing field while featuring for Bendel Insurance F.C in a league match in 1997.

  • Boniface Danjuma

This Plateau united player died on August 12, 2006 after he slumped and was confirmed dead 13 minutes into the second half of his team tie with city rival JUTH of Jos at Nassarawa stadium, Keffi.

  • Orobosa Adun

He was the first choice goalkeeper of Warri Wolves F.C of Warri Delta State. Slumped and died on May 26th 2009 during training as a result of injury sustained when he was attacked by thugs of Rangers international of Enugu.

A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – John Cole

His full name is Joseph John Cole, and better known as Joe Cole. He was born in Islington, London on 8th November 1981. He is a professional soccer player who now plays for national team of England and Liverpool club. From a very young age, Cole was considered as one of the hottest new talents in English soccer.

In club level, Cole played for West Ham United from 1998 to 2003 before joining Chelsea. Afterward, he leaved Chelsea and play for Liverpool club. With West Ham United, he played more than 100 games for the period of five years. Cole also won many trophies with Chelsea, including three Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

In May 2001, Cole made his international first appearance in opposition to Mexico. He was a part of England’s 2002 FIFA World Cup team. Joe Cole was a team part at Euro 2004 but didn’t truly play. A number of people deem him to be the solution to left wing problem of England and since 2004 Cole has continued to get international appearances.

Joe Cole has a lot of quality performances included England’s game in the World Cup 2006 in opposition to Sweden. In the competition, he was truly named FIFA Man of the Match. Joe Cole was also chosen as the PFA Premiership Team of the Year 2006.

He won many honors during his career as a professional soccer player. With the club of West Ham United, he won UEFA Intertoto Cup (1999). And with England club of Chelsea, he won Premier League (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2009-2010), Football League Cup (2004-2005, 2006-2007), FA Cup (2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010), and FA Community Shield (2005). As an individual honor, he won West Ham ‘Hammer of the Year’ (2003), PFA Team of the Year (2006), Chelsea Player of the Year (2008), and Premier League Player of the Month (March 2005).

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