RH Call Up #5 with Pete Watson

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Pete Watson is an academic in Spanish and Latin American Studies, who did his PhD at the University of Sheffield on the use of football for nation building in Colombia during the presidency of Juan Manuel Santos. Apart from specializing in the history of Latin American sport and politics, he also lectures on Spanish and Latin American film, Latin American history and Latin American literature and culture. He has written academic articles for the Bulletin of Latin American Research, the Journal of War and Culture Studies and has a chapter in a forthcoming book called Fútbol y sociedad en América Latina, edited by Thomas Fischer, to be published by Iberoamericana Vervuert. He has also written football-based articles in English and Spanish for Football Paradise and Razón Pública and is the resident ‘expert’ for the These Football Times video podcast series ‘The South American Files’.

Show Notes:

  • How Pete developed his interest in Colombia and its football
  • Life in Colombia
  • Early days of Colombian Football
  • Usage of sport as a political tool
  • El Dorado, its teams like Millionarios and the stars it attracted such as Alfredo Di Stefano.
  • Colombia, their 1962 World Cup result vs the USSR and what it meant
  • The rise of world class Colombian football stars
  • The influence of Pablo Escobar and drug cartels in Colombian football
  • Colombia’s 5×0 victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires
  • Pele’s assessment of Colombia prior to the 1994 World Cup wasn’t wrong
  • Using football to bridge the gap between villagers, guerrillas and police
  • Current crop of players and how Colombia is steadily revealing new talent
  • Shootout questions with Pete:
  • Top 3 players ever.
  • Who would Pete have a drink with in the history of the game?
  • Top 3 matches he would attend in the history of the game.
  • One change he would make to any match in history.
  • What club would Pete support if not Southampton F.C.?
  • Top 3 football books:
  • Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life by Alex Bellos
  • ¡Golazo!: A History of Latin American Football by Andreas Campomar
  • Pointless by Jeff Connor
  • Podcast recommendations:
  • These Football Times Podcast
  • The Bugle Podcast