Birth of the bi­cy­cle kick

From Chileans to Peru­vians – not for­get­ting Brazil’s ‘Rub­ber Man’ and ‘Deadly’ Doug El­lis – plenty lay claim to cre­at­ing the ac­ro­batic vol­ley

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

RA­MON HOL­I­DAY

Bil­bao-born, naturalised Chilean Ra­mon Un­zaga is said to have in­vented the spec­tac­u­lar move in the port city of Talc­ahuano in 1914. The Ar­gen­tine press later chris­tened it the ‘chilena’ af­ter see­ing Un­zaga pull it off at the 1916 and 1920 Copas Amer­ica.

SHAR­ING IDEAS

Peru­vian city Cal­lao has claimed sev­eral cre­ators. One of African de­scent ap­par­ently per­formed the move against British sailors back in 1892, while teams from Cal­lao and the Chilean port of Val­paraiso reg­u­larly faced each other in the late 19th cen­tury.

BRAZIL TO BIRM­ING­HAM

Nick­named the ‘Rub­ber Man’, 1930s Brazil­ian star Leonidas de­clared own­er­ship to any­one who’d lis­ten to him. So too, for a while, did for­mer As­ton Villa chair­man Doug El­lis (above), who said he in­vented the kick dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

DEATH TO THE TRICK

The over­head kick first vis­ited Europe in 1927. Chileans Colo Colo toured Spain, with lo­cals mar­vel­ling at David Arel­lano’s con­stant ath­leti­cism. Arel­lano died on the tour, con­tract­ing peri­toni­tis fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with a Real Val­ladolid player.

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