A football shirt and pair of boots won by the captain of the Uruguayan team at the 1950 World Cup have been declared historical monuments by the government.

Obdulio Varela, the "Black Chief", led his team to victory in the competition as they beat Brazil 2-1 in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

His kit has come up for auction, but its new status means it now cannot be taken out of the country.

"The football boots which the 'Black Chief' used on this mythical field for the Uruguayans, and the shirt which he sweated as he pulled off the greatest sporting achievement, must remain in Uruguay and be exhibited as an example of its people's highest values," the government said in a statement.

"We can't let this out of the country," Uruguay's President, Jorge Batlle, added.

Varela died in 1996 at the age of 79.

At an auction on Wednesday, his boots were sold for $1,300 but were then donated to the Uruguayan football association.

Among 121 other items put on auction were photographs and other football shirts.

 

Footballing nation

The BBC's Tim Vickery says it is said that other countries have their history while Uruguay has its football.

The country's gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics is said to have changed the way football was played.

The team's style of play - full of short passes and movement, invention and wizardry - was immediately seen as being much more attractive than the more muscular style of the day.

On the back of winning gold in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, Uruguay was given the right to organise the first World Cup, and worked hard to ensure its success.

 

 

 

 


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