Monday, June 14, 2010


In the post before last I wondered whether Mario Mendez of Uruguay was really the youngest footballer to have played in the World Cup Finals as FIFA now claim. On the FIFA website and in places like The New York Times, Wikianswers etc. (which slavishly follow FIFA) thats what we are told. As I said in the previous post I think Norman Whiteside of Northern Ireland is in fact the youngest footballer to have played in the World Cup Finals and I suspect the FIFA information to be incorrect.
After some more digging I found the website of Planet World Cup which gives you the entire squad of every team in every world cup. I have cut and pasted the Uruguay squads for 1954 and 1962:


Coach: Juan Lopez

Apps Gls
Roque G. Maspoli 5
Victor R. Andrade 5
Luiz Cruz 5
William Martinez 5
José Santamaria 5
Nestor Carballo 2
Eusebio Tejera
Juan A. Schiaffino 5 2
Julio C. Abbadie 4 2
Javier Ambrois 4 1
Obdulio J. Varela 3 1
Juan E. Hohberg 2 3
Roberto Leopardi
Carlos Borges 5 4
Omar O. Miguez 3 3
Omar Mendez 1
Rafael Souto 1
Julio Perez
Luis Castro
Mirto Davoine
Julio Maceiras
Urbano Rivera



Coach: Juan Lopez

Apps Gls
Roberto Sosa 3
Eliseo Alvarez 3
Emilio Alvarez 3
Mario Mendez 3
Horacio Troche 3
Nestor Goncalves 3
Pedro Rocha 2
Ronald Langon 1
José Sacia 3 2
Luis Cubilla 3 1
Domingo Perez 3
Ruben Cabrera 2 1
Julio Cortes 1
Mario Bergara

As you can see Mario Mendez did NOT play in the 1954 World Cup Finals. FIFA is wrong. Someone called Omar Mendez did play in those finals and I think this is how the sloppy stat compiler at FIFA made this mistake. As the Gaffer explained in my other post FIFA is also wrong about its #2 player. Norman Whiteside of Northern Ireland therefore is the youngest footballer to have played in a World Cup final in 1982 at 17 years and 41 days. I hope FIFA will correct this mistake soon. I wont hold my breath.

Funnily enough in the official FIFA report of the 1982 World Cup they say this:

Italy's other heroes included 40-year-old goalkeeping captain Dino Zoff and 18-year-old full-back Giuseppe Bergomi. Yet while Bergomi became the youngest Italian to appear on the world stage, Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside surpassed Pele's record as the youngest player in the tournament's entire history – aged 17 years and 41 days. And his team provided one of the main shocks by beating Spain 1-0 to reach the second round.

This all makes me wonder what other disinformation FIFA has been churning out for decades without anyone noticing.