56 Facts About Enzo Francescoli


Enzo Francescoli Uriarte, nicknamed "El Principe", is a Uruguayan former footballer who played as a attacking midfielder.


Enzo Francescoli is regarded as one of the best playmakers of his generation and as one of Uruguay's and South America's greatest ever players.


At club level, Francescoli began his career with Uruguayan club Wanderers.


Enzo Francescoli was the leading scorer and a key player for the club's second Copa Libertadores title.


Enzo Francescoli won a total of five Argentine titles in the six years in which he played for the club.


Enzo Francescoli later had spells in Italy with Cagliari and Torino, before returning to River Plate, where he ended his career.


Enzo Francescoli was considered an elite playmaker in the Uruguay national team.


Enzo Francescoli played 73 times for the Celeste between 1982 and his retirement in 1997, making him the most capped outfield player in Uruguayan international football at the time.


Enzo Francescoli represented his nation at two FIFA World Cups, in 1986 and 1990, winning the Copa America in 1983,1987 and 1995.


Enzo Francescoli was born in Montevideo into a family of Italian origin.


Enzo Francescoli developed the habit of chewing gum during games in order to avoid dryness in his mouth.


Enzo Francescoli stated he became so dependent on the habit that he did not feel right when he did not have any gum before games.


Nevertheless, Enzo Francescoli, was voted the best South American footballer of 1984 for his performances for River Plate and the Uruguay national team, featuring alongside players such as Nelson Gutierrez and Antonio Alzamendi, among others.


Eager to excel with River Plate, Enzo Francescoli rejected an offer from America de Cali which was doing well that year and would go on to become the Copa Libertadores runners-up between 1985 and 1987.


Enzo Francescoli began his European career with Racing Paris in 1986, a long established team which had been in a slump since the 1950s and had recently started a rivalry with its growing neighbour, Paris Saint-Germain founded in 1970, which had won the French title the previous season.


Enzo Francescoli became a team idol and in 1987 was elected the best foreign player in France.


Enzo Francescoli scored eight times in the league, finishing as the club's top scorer.


The sub-par season of Matra Racing did not prevent Enzo Francescoli from being seen as a star worldwide.


Enzo Francescoli was sorely missed by his former team Racing, which, in his absence, was unable to avoid relegation.


Ironically, Enzo Francescoli faced his former club in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France.


Enzo Francescoli initially struggled to find form with his new club, playing in a deeper midfield role, as Cagliari fought against relegation during his first two seasons.


In Serie A, Cagliari earned a surprising sixth place, earning a spot in the UEFA Cup, with Enzo Francescoli scoring seven league goals, his personal best in a single Serie A season.


In total, Enzo Francescoli managed 17 goals in 98 league appearances for Cagliari.


In 1993, Enzo Francescoli accepted an offer from Turin side Torino, the most recent winner of the Coppa Italia.


The 1993 Supercoppa Italiana final was the closest Enzo Francescoli ever came to winning a trophy during his time in Italy, as Torino ultimately lost the title to Milan.


In 1994, at age 33, after an uninspiring season with Torino, Enzo Francescoli decided to return to Argentina to play for former team River Plate, where he had previously played his best football.


The next year, Enzo Francescoli retired from the Celeste to devote himself entirely to River Plate at club level, recapturing his best form, scoring 19 goals in total.


The 1996 season was his most important as Enzo Francescoli led a young, talented, yet inexperienced team that included Ariel Ortega, Matias Almeyda, Juan Pablo Sorin, Hernan Crespo and Marcelo Gallardo to win the 1996 Copa Libertadores title, and his second league title, briefly tying the record of 15 titles set by rivals Boca Juniors.


Enzo Francescoli finished his season with River Plate with a defeat in the 1996 Intercontinental Cup final against Italian side Juventus.


Enzo Francescoli was the player that I saw and admired at Olympique de Marseille, my idol when I played against him when I was at Juventus.


On 1 August 1999, Enzo Francescoli returned to the Monumental for a friendly farewell match.


Enzo Francescoli is still the team's seventh all-time leading goalscorer, with 115 goals in 198 matches, and is the third highest foreign goalscorer in the history of Argentine football, only behind Paraguayans Arsenio Erico and Delfin Benitez Caceres.


In July 2012, in Ariel Ortega's testimonial, Enzo Francescoli scored four goals at the age of 50, the last of which was a bicycle kick in the penalty area.


In 1981, one year after his professional debut, Enzo Francescoli joined the Uruguayan team that won the South American Under-20 Championship.


Enzo Francescoli was named one of the best young players in the world that year, making three appearances in the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship.


Enzo Francescoli made his debut for the senior team in 1982, competing in a friendly tournament in India.


Enzo Francescoli shone for Uruguay in the semi-final against hosts and defending World Cup champions Argentina in the Estadio Monumental de Nunez.


Two years later in the 1989 Copa America, Enzo Francescoli played in four of five matches, winning three and helping Uruguay to reach the final round for the third consecutive time.


Enzo Francescoli was named player of the tournament, and was elected the best player in South America, at age 34,11 years after first receiving the honour.


In total, Enzo Francescoli made 16 appearances over four editions of the Copa America, scoring five goals, and reaching the final on all four occasions in which he played.


Enzo Francescoli announced his retirement from international football after winning the Copa America for the third time.


In October 1996, Enzo Francescoli returned to play for the national team, although he did not take part in the 1997 Copa America.


Enzo Francescoli made 73 official appearances for his country, with 37 wins, 18 draws and 18 defeats, and scoring 17 goals.


Enzo Francescoli was praised for his performances in a difficult period for the national team, retiring as the player with the second most appearances for Uruguay, only four games behind the record holder at the time, goalkeeper Rodolfo Rodriguez, despite the three years in which he had been disowned by the national side, and another in which he had voluntarily retired.


Enzo Francescoli learned of this fact just before the Intercontinental Cup final match of 1996, and so the two players swapped jerseys at the end of the match.


Enzo Francescoli has joked saying that neither of his sons resemble him as much as Milito, both in physical appearance and in their walk.


In recognition of his talent, Enzo Francescoli was the only Uruguayan footballer to be named by Pele as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.


Enzo Francescoli went to live with his family in Miami, where he would create TV station GOL TV with former manager Paco Casal.


Enzo Francescoli returned to Buenos Aires five years later, although he still travelled monthly to the United States because of his activities there.


Since leaving television, Enzo Francescoli was asked several times to coach River Plate, but he never accepted, stating instead that if asked to be manager of the club, he might accept, since he could employ the lessons that had learned as an entrepreneur.


Enzo Francescoli is involved in things that generate passion for football and carnival, and this creates divisions [of opinions].


Enzo Francescoli became the head of player personnel for River Plate.


Enzo Francescoli is married to Mariela Yern since 1984 and has two sons with her, Bruno and Marco.


Enzo Francescoli's wife is a psychologist, which he stated was of great value to their marriage.


Enzo Francescoli has two brothers: Luis Ernesto, two years older; and Pablo, 13 years younger.


Enzo Francescoli was made the Uruguayan ambassador for UNICEF after Diego Forlan in 2002.