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Francisco Varallo
Personal information
Full name Francisco Antonio Varallo
Date of birth February 5, 1910 (1910-02-05) (age 99)
Place of birth    La Plata, Argentina
Playing position Striker
Youth career
12 de Octubre
Gimnasia de La Plata
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Gimnasia de La Plata
Boca Juniors
00? 00(?)
210 (181)   
National team
1930, 1933-1937 Argentina 011 00(3)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 3 September 2007.
* Appearances (Goals)

Francisco Antonio "Pancho" Varallo (born February 5, 1910) is a former football player for Argentina and is the only person still living who participated in the first FIFA World Cup, which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. He also played in the final match of the competition.


Early years

He was born in La Plata, Argentina. Early in his career, Varallo was given the name Cañoncito (Little Cannon). Although not technically gifted, Varallo had an exceptional shooting ability.

At the age of eighteen, Varallo had a trial with Estudiantes of the city La Plata, but, despite scoring eleven goals in three games for the club, the directors of 12 de Octubre, where Varallo was playing, all supported their crosstown rivals Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata and so he joined them, rather than Estudiantes. He played for Gimnasia between 1928 and 1930, making his debut in a third team match scoring all nine goals in 9-1 victory. A week later, he was playing in the First Division. He won the Amateur League Championship with them in 1929.

Boca Juniors

After the 1930 FIFA World Cup, he was bought by Boca Juniors and he played for them between 1931 and 1939. He also won the Professional League with Boca in 1931, 1934 and 1935 as well as coming second in that tournament in 1933 when he was the top goalscorer in the league and the whole of South America with thirty four goals).

In his nine years at the club he became the club's top goal-scorer of the professional era, with 194 goals in just 222 matches, a record that has stood for over 65 years. His tally is only surpassed by Roberto Cherro and Domingo Tarasconi who played during the amateur era.

Varallo was an integral part of the Argentina team that won the South American Championship in 1937, as he scored three goals at the tournament, including both goals in a 2-1 win over Chile.

During the 1930s Varallo formed strong partnerships with team mates 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, he retired in 1940, aged 30.


Season Team Title
1929 Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Gimnasia de La Plata Primera División Argentina
1931 Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1934 Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1935 Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Boca Juniors Primera División Argentina
1937 Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Argentina South American Championship


  • 1933 Topscorer in Argentina and South America 34 goals
  • Boca Juniors 2nd highest goalscorer in the professional era: 181 goals (Record broken by Martín Palermo in 2009).
  • FIFA Order of merit 1994.
  • The last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup.

After retirement

Despite considerable success in his career, it is his place as a runner-up in that inaugural World Cup almost eighty years ago for which he is most famous. He has become even more well-known since he has outlived all twenty one other players from that Final. In 1994, Varallo was awarded with the FIFA Order of Merit for contributions to football.

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.

External links



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