Roque Máspoli

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Roque Máspoli
Máspoli as Peñarol goalkeeper
Personal information
Full name Roque Gastón Máspoli Arbelvide
Date of birth (1917-10-12)12 October 1917
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Date of death 22 February 2004(2004-02-22) (aged 86)
Place of death Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
1925–1933 Nacional
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1933–1939 Nacional 149 (2)
1939–1940 Liverpool Montevideo 46 (1)
1940–1955 Peñarol 253 (20)
Total 448 (23)
National team
1945–1955 Uruguay 40 (1[1])
Teams managed
1955 Peñarol
1956 Danubio
1963–1967 Peñarol
1968–1970 Elche
1970–1971 Peñarol
1972–1973 Defensor Lima
1975 El Nacional
1975–1977 Ecuador
1976 Peñarol
1977–1978 Sporting Cristal
1979–1982 Uruguay
1985–1986 Peñarol
1987 Barcelona SC
1988 Peñarol
1992 Peñarol
1997 Uruguay
Representing  Uruguay
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1950 Brazil
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Roque Gastón Máspoli Arbelvide (12 October 1917 in Montevideo – 22 February 2004 in Montevideo) was a Uruguayan football player and coach. He was the goalkeeper for the Uruguay national team that won the 1950 World Cup. He was also the head coach for the Uruguayan team that won the 1980 Mundialito. Considered among the best goalkeepers in the history of Uruguayan football, of which he is considered a legend, and regarded to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, having linked his name to the historic victory in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, his peformances saw him being named as the best goalkeeper during that tournament, His agility and reflexes were remarkable for a man of his height and build. As a goalkeeper, he had a great physical build, with a mass of approximately ninety kilos for his 1.89 meters of height, which did not prevent him from having good flexibility and a sense of anticipation, although he had strength in the air - which he compensated with the use of his hand on the opposing headers to hinder them. "The referees never punished that," he admitted. In 2000, he took 30th place in the list of the best football goalkeepers of the 20th century, compiled by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. He was ranked sixth among all goalkeepers of the 20th century in South America.

Club career[change | change source]

Goalkeeper Máspoli, a descendant of immigrants from Caslano, (Switzerland), began his career in 1933 with Nacional Montevideo. In 1939 he moved to Liverpool Montevideo. He was a member of the club's team the following year, and on 24 November 1940 he was involved in Liverpool's highest victory in professional football in a 9–0 victory over Bella Vista. In that year, he joined Club Atlético Peñarol and remained there until the end of his career in 1955. During his time with the Aurinegros, his club won the Uruguayan championship in 1944, 1945, 1949, 1951, 1953 and 1954, a total of six times. Going on to become one of the finest goalkeepers to ever come from South America.

International career[change | change source]

In 1945, he made his debut in official matches as part of the Uruguayan national team. In the same year, he became a participant in the South American Championship in Chile.

Since then, he has become one of the main goalkeepers of the Uruguayan national team. At the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, the Uruguayans won the second world title in their history, and Maspoli was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Especially significant was his contribution to the victory in the decisive match of the tournament against the hosts. The Brazilians, who were considered the clear favorites of the championship, and in the previous two matches at the final stage of the competition, scored at least six goals, only once managed to break through Maspoli, which allowed his team to win 2:1.

Four years later, he was the main goalkeeper of the Uruguayans at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where the reigning title holders dropped out of the fight at the semifinals, and later lost in the game for third place.

In total, during his career in the national team, which lasted 10 years, he played 40 matches in its uniform, conceding 62 goals.

Managerial career[change | change source]

After his playing career ended, he became a coach. On 15 July 1956, he was in charge of the Uruguay national team for the first time as coach in a 2–2 friendly draw against Paraguay's national team. By October of that year at the latest, however, Lorenzo Fernández had already taken over as national coach. Also in 1956, he coached the Danubio FC team. In the 1960s, he enjoyed his greatest success with his club, Club Atlético Peñarol. He coached the Aurinegros a total of six times. At the beginning of the 1964 season, he took over as head coach for the first time together with assistant coach Alberto Langlade. According to other sources, however, he is said to have been responsible as early as the 1963 season. In 1968, he moved to Spain as coach during the current season, where he was in charge of Elche FC, and was replaced by Rafael Milans at Peñarol. From 1970 to 1971, from 1976 to 1977, from 1984 to 1986, from 1988 to 1992 he was again in charge of the Montevideo team. He was considered as one of the most successful managers of all time.

He was a six-time champion in Uruguay and won the Copa Libertadores in 1966 and then the Intercontinental Cup against Real Madrid with two commanding 2-0 victories in the two finals in Montevideo and Madrid.

In later years, he also worked as a coach in Peru and Ecuador. In the 1980s, he also briefly coached the Uruguayan national team. In 1980–81 he won the Mundialito with Uruguay.

Awards[change | change source]

In March 2003 he was awarded the Fair Play Award for Sporting Life by the Uruguayan Ministry of Sports.

Death[change | change source]

Roque Máspoli was hospitalized on 10 February 2004 with heart trouble. He died twelve days later at the age of 86. His remains are buried at Cementerio del Buceo, Montevideo.[2]

Honours[change | change source]

As a player[change | change source]

Club[change | change source]



International[change | change source]


Individual[change | change source]

As a manager[change | change source]

Club[change | change source]


Defensor Lima

Barcelona SC

International[change | change source]


References[change | change source]

  1. Data about Máspoli
  2. Farewell to Máspoli (in Spanish)
  3. "IFFHS All-Time Uruguay Men's Dream Team". IFFHS. 5 August 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2023.

Other websites[change | change source]