José Nasazzi Yarza (24 May 1901 in Montevideo – 17 June 1968) was the Uruguayan footballer who captained his country when they won the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. He had ancestry from Milano, Italy.
Nasazzi is regarded by many as Uruguay’s greatest ever football player. He was known as “El Gran Mariscal” (The Great Marshal) and had already won the gold medal at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, as well as the Copa América in 1923, 1924 and 1926, by the time of the first World Cup.
During the World Cup tournament, Uruguay’s only serious rivals were Argentina. After defeating Peru and Romania in the first round, Uruguay defeated the Yugoslavia 6-1 in the semi-finals to set up a final against Argentina. Although his team was 2-1 behind at half-time, Nasazzi rallied his teammates in the second half, leading them to a famous 4-2 victory and making himself the first captain to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Although Uruguay refused to defend their title in 1934, Nasazzi did win the Copa América again (in 1935), before retiring in 1937.
At club level, he played for C.A. Bella Vista , Lito and Nacional.
Nasazzi’s Baton is an unofficial title named after José. It is said to have been held by Uruguay after the first World Cup, and subsequently to have been taken over by any team to beat the holders over 90 minutes in a competitive match. It is currently held by the Netherlands. Nasazzi played with Uruguay from 1923 to 1937 earning 51 appearances.