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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Rubén Sosa

Ruben Sosa was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 25, 1966. He is considered to be one of the best strikers in Uruguayan history.


Source Wikipedia

He started his professional career in his homeland playing for Danubio. He made 78 appearances, over a three-year period and scored 33 goals.


In 1985 he flew to Spain to play for Real Zaragoza. He played at La Romareda for three seasons playing 106 games and scoring 30 goals.


He won a Coppa del Rey in 1986, scoring in the final against Barcelona.


In 1988 Sosa signed for Lazio in Serie A, a more prestigious league at the time. He made his debut in a 0-0 draw at Cesena on October 9, 1988.


He would take a while to get his first goal, December 18 against Pescara, but it was immediately obvious at Lazio that Sosa was an excellent signing. In his first season he played 33 games in Serie A (out of 34) and scored 8 goals (plus 4 goals in Coppa Italia). His impact at Lazio was considered a success.


In his second year he played slightly less (27 league games) but repeated his 8 goals. Lazio improved their league position by one place, climbing up to 9th.


His third year in the capital saw Sosa only miss one league game and score 11 goals (plus 1 in Coppa Italia). Sosa scored in both derby matches against Roma that season (two 1-1 draws) and it was considered to be his best year so far. Lazio came 12th in a very tight Serie A table but for the first time since their promotion they never had any relegation worries whatsoever.


The following season 1991-1992 would alas be Sosa's last at Lazio. It was also his most prolific. He scored 13 league goals, in 31 games, plus another 4 goals in Coppa Italia. He got another derby goal and paired up well with German striker Karl Heinz Riedle. Lazio came in 10th but with 11 wins.


Despite Sosa's positive performances, he and Lazio could not reach an agreement on the renewal of his contract so Sosa signed for Inter in the summer of 1992. Lazio fans were sad to see Sosa go. He had easily been their best player for the past four years and their top scorer. He played 106 league games with 40 goals, plus 23 Coppa Italia games with other 10 goals.


These feelings of loss were however mitigated somewhat by the signings of Paul Gascoigne, Aron Winter and Giuseppe Signori, to name just a few. There was the sensation that Lazio were moving up a level.


Sosa moved up a level too, scoring 20 goals in his first year at Inter (and other 2 in Coppa Italia). He would stay at Inter for three seasons. He scored 44 goals in 76 league appearances, 5 goals in Coppa Italia in 16 matches and 1 goal in the Uefa Cup, in 11 matches. With the Nerazzurri he won the UEFA Cup in 1994.


In 1995 he went to play in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund. He only played 17 matches with 3 goals but did win 'den meistertitel' (the league title) in Germany.


After only a year in Westphalia Sosa returned to Spain to Logroñés. He would play only 5 games in the season (with an uncharacteristic 0 goals) and in 1997 he returned to South-America.


Between 1997 and 2001 he played for Nacional Montevideo making 66 appearances and scoring 26 goals. He won 3 league titles in this period.


In 2002 he went for the Chinese experience but it did not work out (13 games and 1 goal) and in 2003 he was back at Nacional (15 games and 1 goal). In 2007 he retired at 41, after playing two last matches with Racing Montevideo.


At International level he earned 46 caps for La Celeste (The Sky Blue) Uruguayan national side. He scored 15 goals, winning two Copa Americas (Argentina 1989 and Uruguay 1995) plus a runners-up medal (Brazil 1989). He also played four games in his World Cup participation in Italia '90.


After his retirement Sosa has continued his allegiance with Nacional, working as Technical Director and later becoming an Ambassador for the club. He is now assistant coach at Nacional.


Ruben Sosa, along with Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlán, Álvaro Recoba, Luis Suárez and Enzo Francescoli can be considered one of the best Uruguayan players of the modern era. In his homeland he was nicknamed El Principito (The Little Prince).


At 1.74 metres Sosa was not an imposing forward and his physique was slightly on the stocky side. He was however a complete forward. He was able both to score goals and to set them up. Sosa was agile and quick, with explosive acceleration. Added to his speed and creativity he had a powerful and accurate left foot. His free kicks were particularly strong and dangerous. He was an exciting player and you always knew something could happen when he had the ball. For Italians " da solo valeva il prezzo del biglietto" (The price of the ticket was worth it just to see Sosa). In his prime he was one of the best strikers of his generation.


At Lazio he was adored. Four years of high level performances and a steady flow of goals, including three in derbies, make him a club legend. He was also a very likeable person and popular for his jovial character. In the 80's, after six years out of 8 in Serie B, the likes of Sosa, Thomas Doll and Riedle were like a breath of fresh air for Lazio fans. Lazio finally held their own again in Serie A. His era would mark the transition between the ordeals of Serie B (but with some romantically great moments) and the glory years of European limelight and trophies.


Lazio fans have not forgotten Ruben Sosa. His name is still chanted regularly in the Curva Nord in a song which includes Amarildo and Pedro Troglio (two other players of that era).


He comes back occasionally and participates in an event called "Di Padre in Figlio" which reunites old glories in a friendly game amongst themselves. The last time I saw Ruben Sosa he was being carried in triumph on fans shoulders towards the Curva Nord. He definitely has not been forgotten. Grande Rubén.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1998-89

43 (12)

33 (8)

10 (4)

1989-90

27 (8)

27 (8)

-

1990-91

35 (12)

33 (11)

2 (1)

1991-92

35 (15)

31 (13)

4 (2)

Total

140 (47)

124 (40)

16 (7)

Sources


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