The world loves Lionel Messi and to be honest, you should; the little fella is an absolute footballing marvel. If there was a way to transport his talent into your own body, I’m fairly confident that 99% of you would do it. Often dubbed the greatest player who will forever be seeking international glory, however, the main man is not the most unlucky forward that Argentina has ever had.
Yes, it certainly seems far fetched to suggest someone has had harsher luck on the global stage than, Messi. And, this player wasn’t particularly well known and his accomplishments were pale in comparison, but there was one attribute that made him stand out above the rest – utter randomness.
The man in question is, Guillermo Stábile. Haven’t heard of him? That’s probably because your grandparents were just young kids looting from the local shop when he was in his prime. This bloke had one of the most bizarre international careers in football history, and just because it happened so long ago doesn’t take away from the facts.
Good old Guillermo was going about his career as an uncapped player from Argentina, however out of the blue he was selected for the first ever World Cup. This in itself was a huge achievement, but what was to come, ended up being one of the most extraordinary stories in the tournament’s history.
After missing out on the first game in Uruguay, Stábile made his debut due to the original first choice picking up a knock; and it’s fair to say he made the most of his opportunity, smashing in a hat-trick before going on to score a further two goals in the final group game. If people didn’t know his name before, they certainly did as the competition entered the semi-final stage.
It was in the knockout rounds that this storybook hero rose from a fluke to a legend. Another two goals in the semi-final game was topped off in the final where Stábile gave Argentina the lead in front of a partizan crowd in Montevideo. Unfortunately they couldn’t hold on to win it all, showing how Messi’s luck converting in major finals is not just a burden for the magic No. 10. To bag eight goals and become a cult hero, yet fall short must have been heartbreaking for, Stábile.
To make matters worst, Guillermo never played for Argentina again… ouch. But the forward did have passion and determination, meaning he will forever live in the history books for a very different reason to Lionel Messi. Good on you, pal, and shame you could never lift the prestigious award/put the famous blue and white stripes on again.
Eight footballers with the worst anagram names in the game…