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Uruguay icon Cubilla dies at 72

Former Uruguay forward Luis Cubilla, who later coached the national team, has died at the age of 72 after a battle against cancer.

Cubilla was one of the most successful players in Uruguayan football history, having competed for La Celeste at three World Cups and played his trade for two of the country's biggest teams, Nacional and Penarol.

He won four Uruguayan league titles each with Nacional and Penarol, as well as claiming two Copa Libertadores crowns with the former and one with the latter.

He also won a surprise ninth league title with unfancied Defensor Sporting in the twilight of his playing career.

The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) confirmed that Cubilla had died of stomach cancer in the Paraguayan capital, Asuncion, where he lived.

Cubilla played in the 1962, 1970 and 1974 World Cups and made a memorable contribution when he set up a dramatic extra-time winner in the 1970 quarter-final against Soviet Union, which brought about a semi-final with eventual winners Brazil.

The Paysandu-born attacker also played for Spanish giants Barcelona and River Plate before going on to carve out a successful career in management, chiefly with Paraguayan side Olimipa, with whom he won 15 major honours including two Copa Libertadores titles.

In claiming their maiden continental crown, Cubilla's Olimpia became the first team from outside Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay to win the competition.

Cubilla managed the national team in unremarkable sojourns to the 1991 and 1993 Copa Americas, before quitting during qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

He finished his last role in football in 2010, when he left his beloved Olimpia for the fifth and final time.


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