Francisco Varallo

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Francisco Varallo
Varallo boca portrait.jpg
Personal information
Full name Francisco Antonio Varallo
Date of birth (1910-02-05)5 February 1910
Place of birth La Plata, Argentina
Date of death 30 August 2010(2010-08-30) (aged 100)
Place of death La Plata, Argentina
Playing position Inside-right
Youth career
12 de Octubre
Estudiantes LP
Gimnasia LP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1928–1930 Gimnasia LP
1930–1931 Vélez Sársfield (loan) 0 (0)
1931–1940 Boca Juniors 222 (194)
National team
1930–1937 Argentina 16 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Francisco Antonio "Pancho" Varallo (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈsisko anˈtonjo ˈpantʃo βaˈɾaʝo]; 5 February 191030 August 2010[1]) was an Argentine football forward. He played for the Argentine national team from 1930 to 1937. He was a member of Argentina's squad at the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. During his career, Varallo won three leagues titles with Boca Juniors, and with 194 goals, is the club's third highest all-time leading goalscorer.[2][1]

Varallo died in his home-town of La Plata on 30 August 2010, at the age of 100. He was the last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup.[3]

Club career

Early years

Varallo was born in Los Hornos, a district of La Plata Partido in Buenos Aires Province, on 5 February 1910. He made his debut at the age of 14, and early in his career gained the nickname cañoncito (in English: "little cannon") for his shooting ability.[1]

At the age of 18, Varallo had a trial with Estudiantes de La Plata, scoring eleven goals in three games for the club. However, the board of the club where Varallo was a youth team player were supporters of Estudiantes' town rivals Gimnasia y Esgrima, and therefore denied him the opportunity to join Estudiantes. Varallo ultimately joined Gimnasia, making his debut for the club's reserve side, before making his debut for the first team in 1929.[1] During his first season with Gimnasia, Varallo won the Primera División championship with the club, defeating Boca Juniors by 2–1 in the final.[4]

In 1930, the forward was loaned for free by Gimnasia to Vélez Sársfield to play for the team during their Pan-American tour.[5] He totaled 16 goals during the tour.[5]

Boca Juniors

Varallo moved to Boca Juniors for the start of the 1931 season (the first professional season in Argentina)[4] for a fee of approximately $8000.[6]

He continued to play for the club for the next nine years during which time he won the Primera División title three times, in 1931, 1934 and 1935, as well as coming runner up in 1933, when he was the top goalscorer in the league and of South America scoring 34 goals.[1]

In his nine years at Boca Juniors he became the club's 2nd. top goal-scorer (after Roberto Cherro, although both would be surpassed by Martín Palermo in 2010)[7], with 194 goals in 222 games (scoring average 0.87 per game),[2][8] a record that stood until 2008 when it was broken by Martín Palermo.[4]

During the 1930s Varallo formed strong partnerships with teammates Roberto Cherro and Delfín Benítez Cáceres, who both also scored over 100 goals for the club. In 1938, he was only able to play one game because of a bad knee injury and, although he played more frequently the next year, was forced to retire in 1940, aged 30.[4]

International career

Varallo was a member of Argentina's squad at the inaugural World Cup in 1930, held in Uruguay, where he was the youngest player.[9] He played in all three of the team's group games; scoring one goal in the match against Mexico, but missed the semi-final against the United States due to injury.[10] However, he was fit to play in the World Cup final against Uruguay and started at inside right forward.[4] Argentina were leading 2–1 at half time, but eventually lost to the hosts 4–2.[10]

Varallo was also a member of the Argentine team that won the South American Championship in 1937. He scored three goals during the tournament, including a brace in the 2–1 win over Chile.[1]

International goals

Argentina's goal tally first

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 25 May 1930 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–0 1–1 1930 Copa Newton
2. 19 July 1930 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Mexico 4–1 6–3 1930 FIFA World Cup
3. 14 December 1933 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Uruguay 1–0 1–0 Friendly
4. 30 December 1936 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Chile 1–0 2–1 1937 South American Championship
5. 2–0
6. 23 January 1937 Estadio Gasómetro, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–3 2–3

After retirement

Varallo retired from football in 1940, due to injury problems.[4]

Varallo's career was recognised in 1994, when he was awarded with the FIFA Order of Merit for his contributions to football.[4] He has also received honours from the Argentine Football Association and the South American Football Confederation.[9]

In his late 90s Varallo had joked that he would have to come out of retirement should Martín Palermo overtake his record of 181 professional goals for Boca.[1]

He marked his 100th birthday in February 2010 in his hometown near Buenos Aires by recalling the 1930 clash between his country and neighbouring Uruguay. In an interview he gave to FIFA to mark his birthday, he stated that losing in the final to Uruguay was his 'greatest disappointment'.[11]


Varallo died on 30 August 2010, in his hometown of La Plata at the age of 100. Leading tributes to the former player, FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated that "The news that Francisco Varallo is no longer with us fills us with great sense of loss, both for his qualities as a person and an ambassador for our beloved sport ... In these grief-filled moments I can take immense pride from the fact that a character such as Francisco Varallo, whom we shall never forget, represented the football family with such dignity".[12] The president of the South American Football Confederation Nicolás Léoz also released a statement expressing sadness at Varallo's death.[13]

Following his death, both of his former clubs, Gimnasia and Boca announced a day of mourning, while the South American Football Confederation announced that a minute's silence was to be held during all Copa Sudamericana fixtures the following week.[14]



Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP)
Boca Juniors





  • Boca Juniors 3rd. highest all-time goalscorer: 194 goals [16]
  • Argentine Primera División 4th. all-time topscorer (236 goals)
  • FIFA Order of Merit 1994[16]
  • CONMEBOL Order of Merit 2006[16]
  • The last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Football glory Francisco Varallo dies at age 100". Buenos Aires Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Los 5 jugadores que más goles marcaron en partidos oficiales" on Historia de Boca website
  3. ^ "El gol está de luto". Olé (in Spanish). 30 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Brian Glanville (31 August 2010). "Francisco 'Pancho' Varallo obituary". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Historia del Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Varallo, el goleador del siglo (Spanish)". La Razon. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  7. ^ Boca goleó y Palermo superó el récord de Cherro, La Nueva, 12 April 2010
  8. ^ "Francisco Varallo (1910–2010)". 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Last survival of World Cup 1930 dies". Xinhua. 31 August 2010. Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Francisco Varallo, the last surviving player from the first World Cup final, dies aged 100". London: Daily Mail. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Last surviving player from first World Cup final dies". BBC News. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  12. ^ "An idol bids final farewell". FIFA. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  13. ^ "En memoria de un pionero de nuestra grandeza" (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Profundo dolor por el fallecimiento de Varallo" (in Spanish). Argentinian Football Association. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  16. ^ a b c "Francisco Varallo, 100 not out". FIFA. 5 February 2010. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.

External links

  • Francisco VaralloFIFA competition record (archive)
  • The Sole Survivor at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 January 2008)
  • Bocampeonweb profile (in Spanish) at the Wayback Machine (archived 2005-03-20)
  • Futbol Factory profile (in Spanish) at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 January 2008)
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