Enzo Francescoli Uriarte, born on November 12, 1961, was a top football player from Uruguay. People called him “El Príncipe” (“The Prince”). He played in the position of an attacking midfielder and was known as one of the best at creating scoring opportunities during his time. Many consider him one of the greatest footballers from Uruguay and all of South America.
During his career, he started with the Uruguayan team Wanderers. He later played for River Plate in Argentina. He played a crucial role in helping River Plate win their second Copa Libertadores title, and during his time there, they won five Argentine titles. Francescoli also had success in France with Racing Paris and Marseille, winning the French Division 1 in 1989-1990. He then played in Italy with Cagliari and Torino before returning to end his career at River Plate.
Francescoli was an important player for the Uruguay national team as well. He played 73 games for them between 1982 and 1997, making him the player with the most appearances in Uruguayan international football at that time. He played in two FIFA World Cups, in 1986 and 1990, and also helped Uruguay win the Copa América in 1983, 1987, and 1995.
In 2004, Pelé included Francescoli as the only Uruguayan in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living footballers. He was also recognized by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the sixth-greatest Uruguayan player and the 24th greatest South American player of the 20th century.
He started his career at Montevideo Wanderers and spent two seasons there before moving to River Plate in Argentina in 1983, where he stayed until 1986. At River Plate, he was the top scorer, and the team won the Argentine championship in the 1985/86 season.
In 1986, he moved to the French RC Paris for three seasons before joining Olympique Marseille, where he played for one season and won the title. In 1990, he moved to Italy, spending three seasons at Cagliari with less success, and one season at Torino. In the final four seasons of his career, he returned to play for River Plate, with whom he won the Copa Libertadores in 1996. In his last season in 1997, he also won the South American Super Cup.
He won the South American Championship with Uruguay’s junior team in 1981. He made his debut for the senior team on February 20, 1982, against South Korea. With the national team, he won 3 Copa America titles in 1983, 1987, and 1993, and participated in the tournaments of 1989 and 1993.
He participated in two World Cups, in Mexico in 1986 and Italy in 1990. Both times, the team advanced to the second round of the competition. In 1986, during the match against Denmark, he scored the only goal for Uruguay.