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Dario Silva – The New Career And The Road To London

Would he become a coach? A commentator? Once he had recovered, Silva started to think of die future. “I watch very little football because it makes me too angry: the clubs live off television revenue, the boards don’t invest any money. I would like to bring something new to Uruguayan football,” he says. He is attracted by the idea of becoming a sporting director “to do the same things in Uruguay as are done in Europe. I want to be in charge of signing the players and choosing the coach and manage everything properly. I wouldn’t allow any shady links between businessmen and board members and I would make all financial transactions transparent.”
His new career will require fresh knowledge and he is already “preparing” in his home town of Treinta y Tres. “First of all, I have to show my club that I am capable of being a good manager and of producing players who are good enough to go to Europe or Mexico.
I’m currently sporting director of Vaca Azul Olimar, an old club without the means to compete financially. It would take part in competitions for a few years, then cancel its affiliation and disappear. Together with my friends, Alberto Bica and FJbio Pappa, we have already contacted some teams to get them to loan us some players.”
Vaca Azul Olimar have just rejoined the local league in Treinta y Ttes and Silvas project is beginning to take shape. “Besides needing money, rhe club needed new directors with different expectations to foster youth development. If we do good work wich young players the quality of the first division will soon improve and this will have a positive effect on the national team,” he predicts.
Just as the last club he played for was English (Portsmouth), England is now the focus of his new sporting ambition: the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Now unable to play football, he has rediscovered one of the passions of his youth, rowing. “I’m training at the national rowing school on the River Pando near Montevideo airport. Even when I’m away, I still go to the gym to keep up with my training,” says Silva, who is keen to point out that this is no passing fancy. “When I was 18 and we used to go fishing, I was always the one who rowed and I did it because it helped me build up my muscles,” he-argues.
Uruguay won a bronze medal in rowing at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, which complements their two foorballing golds at the 1924 games in Paris and rhe 1938 games in Amsterdam. Ltuguay’s rowing tradition then continued and of the ten Olympic medals the country has won, lour have been in rowing. Uruguay’s lasr rowing medal dates from rhe 1952 games in Helsinki and Silva is enthusiastic about getting his country back on the podium after an absence of sixty years: “My aim is to get to London 2012 and my speciality is single sculls,” he says with uncharacteristic seriousness. Nevertheless, his humorous side returns when he starts talking about regattas: “A lot of people are supporting me, even Argentinians, our traditional footballing rivals. I’m not planning to lose my battling style. If someone’s about to get past me, I’ll hit him with the paddle of my oar! I’m going to introduce garret into Uruguayan rowing!” he exclaims before cracking up with laughter.
Whatever hand fate may deal him, Dario Silva’s joie de vivre is contagious.