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The National Team that was stranded after playing in the Copa América and returned to its country on a mule: it took 48 days

The National Team that was stranded after playing in the Copa América and returned to its country on a mule: it took 48 days
The National Team that was stranded after playing in the Copa América and returned to its country on a mule: it took 48 days

Find out in detail what happened to a South American team after playing the 1919 Copa América.

The beginning of the Copa America 2024 in the United States and the competition not only dazzles with its great prestige, but also with the incredible stories it offers. The tournament that has 108 years of history brought events of all kinds and, without a doubt, the one we will tell about today must be in the most striking pages of the competition.

For that, we go back in time to 1919, where the event was rescheduled due to a pandemic that hit Rio de Janeiro in 1918. With its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, the Copa América (at that time called South American) was contested by four teams: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.

Chile, which did not have the necessary resources to send its players by plane, went to Brazil in two batches: first to Buenos Aires by bus and then to Brazil by boat. Once in competition, the trans-Andean team did not do very well: they lost 6-0 with Brazil, 2-0 with Uruguay and 4-1 with Argentina.

After a very poor participation in the tournament, the Chilean delegation had to return to their country in a special way.

The odyssey of the Chilean National Team to return to their country after the 1919 Copa América

The initial plan included a boat trip to Buenos Aires and then by train to Santiago. However, severe storms disrupted train service on the border with Mendoza, leaving players without transportation options.

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Desperate to return, the team members made the decision to cross the Andes on muleback. This journey lasted two weeks just to cross the mountain range, extending to 48 days in total to reach its final destination. The feat became a symbol of perseverance and strength in the face of adversity.

Copa América 1919: who was the champion

In the third edition of the Copa América it was Brazil who won the trophy. The host dispatched Chile 6-0, beat Argentina 3-1 and drew 2-2 against Uruguay in the first phase. The two who obtained the most points in that group of four advanced to the grand final.

On May 29, 1919, at the Estadio das Lanjeiras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil defeated Uruguay 1-0, thus obtaining the first of the nine Copa América that the team has in its showcase.

Source: Ambito

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