|Uruguay Clausura||12/07 20:00||15|| Nacional De Football v Torque ||D||1-1|
|Uruguay Clausura||12/04 23:30||14|| Nacional De Football v Defensor Sporting ||W||1-0|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/30 23:30||13|| La Luz v Nacional De Football ||W||0-1|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/26 22:30||12|| Nacional De Football v Montevideo Wanderers ||W||3-1|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/20 19:30||11|| Atletico Fenix Montevideo v Nacional De Football ||D||1-1|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/16 00:30||10|| Nacional De Football v Danubio ||L||1-3|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/11 19:30||9|| Nacional De Football v Penarol ||D||2-2|
|Uruguay Clausura||11/04 23:00||8|| CA River Plate v Nacional De Football ||W||0-3|
|Uruguay Cup||10/29 22:15||9||Potencia v Nacional De Football||W||0-4|
|Uruguay Clausura||10/23 23:15||7|| Nacional De Football v Deportivo Maldonado ||L||1-3|
|Uruguay Clausura||10/19 23:15||6|| Boston River v Nacional De Football ||L||2-0|
|Uruguay Clausura||10/15 21:30||5|| Nacional De Football v Cerro ||W||2-1|
|Failed to score||12||5||7|
Club Nacional de Football (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkluβ nasjoˈnal de ˈfuðβol], National Football Club or simply as Nacional) is a Uruguayan professional sports club based in Montevideo.
The club was founded on 14 May 1899 as a result of the merger between Uruguay Athletic Club and Montevideo Fútbol Club. Although its main focus is football, the club hosts many other activities, including basketball, futsal, tennis, cycling, volleyball, and chess.
In domestic tournaments, Nacional has won the Primera División title 49 times, most recently in the 2022 season. Domestic cups honors include Copa de Competencia (8 times) and Copa de Honor (7 times), among others.
At international level, Nacional has won 9 titles recognized by FIFA and CONMEBOL, including three Copa Libertadores. In this tournament, Nacional is the 2nd best club all-time with 618 points. Nacional has also won all three Copa Intercontinental it has competed in, becoming the second three time world champion in 1988. In addition, Nacional is the only Uruguayan team to have won the Copa Interamericana (two times) and the Recopa Sudamericana. In the latter competition Nacional won the inaugural edition in 1989. Besides, Nacional won four Copa de Honor Cousenier, three Copa Aldao, two Tie Cups, and one Copa Escobar-Gerona, all of them organized jointly by the Argentine and Uruguayan Associations.
Nacional is identified with the white, blue and red colours inspired by the flag of Uruguay's national hero José Gervasio Artigas. While the club hosts some games at Montevideo's Estadio Centenario, Nacional plays most of its home matches at the Parque Central, located in the La Blanqueada neighborhood and popularly known as El Parque, where on 13 July 1930 Belgium and the United States played one of the two opening games of the 1930 FIFA World Cup, and where Argentina and Brazil, among others, made their debut in the FIFA World Cup. Parque Central was also the only venue in the 1923 and 1924 edition of the Copa América.
Nacional has fierce rivalries with many clubs, notably with cross-town team Peñarol, in clashes known as El clásico del fútbol uruguayo. Along with Peñarol, Nacional has never been relegated from the top flight of Uruguayan football.
According to CONMEBOL, Nacional was the Uruguayan team with the best international performance in the 2007–2012 period. IFFHS named it as the best Uruguayan team of the 2001–2010 period and the seventh best team in South America.
In February 2013, Nacional reached 60,000 associates.
Nacional is a result of the fusion between Montevideo Football Club and Uruguay Athletic Club, 14 May 1899. It was decided there that the club's flag should include the three colors (red, blue and white) historically connected to José Gervasio Artigas, Uruguay's national hero. The club's uniform was mostly red and blue. In 1900 Nacional included the Club Defensa and its players, and started playing at the Estadio Gran Parque Central. That same year four clubs governed by foreigners (Albion F.C., CURCC, Uruguay Athletic Club and Deutscher F.K.) founded the "Uruguay Association League". Nacional's petition to be included was dismissed on the thought that criollo clubs and their players lacked category. However, the League's clubs had to admit Nacional in 1901, after the club was invited to join the Argentinean League, due to their impressive performances in a number of friendly matches. In 1902 Nacional won their first Uruguayan Primera División title. The red jersey was substituted by the white jersey in 1902.
In September 1903 Nacional fully represented the Uruguay national football team and beat Argentina 3–2, winning the first international match ever (between national teams) in the history of Uruguayan football (the first international club match ever, was won by Albion over Argentine team Retiro A.C. 3–1 in 1896 in Buenos Aires). In 1905 Nacional won its first international title, the Copa de Honor Cousenier.
In a general assembly which took place in 1911, the populist majority led by club president José María Delgado obtained a victory over the elitist minority which resulted in an institutional transformation: the club opened its doors to players from lower classes, such as Abdón Porte, who would eventually become one of the club's biggest symbols, playing in Nacional until his premature death in 1918.
Nacional's players started developing already around 1900 a new playing style that introduced a less physical and more imaginative game, made out of fast combinations and frequent dribbles. Magariños says: "The action of these teams [the British-Uruguayan teams, that is] was conducted according to the purest and standardized virtues of British sport: positional play, long passes, furious shots, and strong physical play. The body was used as a weapon, both offensively and defensively. (...) Nacional, formed mainly by smaller and faster players (...) abandoned the physical confrontation that was allowed back then, and chose to play according to their own possibilities. They chose to perform dribbling's, fast and short passing, very fast sprints, and a hectic activity in the pitch."
After winning the 1912 championship, they won the 1915 Triple Crown (tri-championship), which included the three major domestic and international tournaments of that time: Primera División, Tie Cup, and Copa de Honor Cousenier. Nacional would go on to win the first Copa Uruguaya en propiedad (meaning they were the first club to win three championships in a row), by winning both the 1916 and 1917 league championships, also winning the 1919, 1920, 1922, 1923 and 1924 league titles.
At international level, Nacional won three Copa Aldao (1916, 1919, 1920), three consecutive Copa de Honor Cousenier (1915, 1916, 1917), and two Tie Cup (1913, 1915).
After two very successful initial decades in the national league of Uruguay and at the regional level, Nacional became the foundation of Uruguay's first international success at the world level. In 1924, Nacional contributed players (Mazzali, Urdinarán, Scarone, Romano, Zibechi and Pascual Somma) for Uruguayan national representative that won the Summer Olympics in Paris. Nacional made also a substantial contribution to the Uruguayan teams of 1928 and 1930, Olympic and World champions respectively. Nacional is the only Uruguayan club that contributed players to every Uruguay national team that has won international tournaments.
In 1925, due to the success of Uruguay and players from Nacional in the 1924 Summer Olympics, Nacional was invited to make an extensive European tour, playing 38 matches over six months. During that tour, Nacional played against both national squads and professional club teams from 9 European countries. Nacional won 26 matches, tied 7, and lost 5, scoring 130 goals and allowing 30. An estimate of 800,000 tickets were sold during that tour, where Nacional played friendlies in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, and Portugal. which is considered the largest tour in the history of world football.
In 1927, Nacional made a North America tour, with similar results to the ones obtained in the European adventure made two years before, with 16 wins, 2 ties and 1 loss.
In 1932, football became professional in Uruguay and Nacional formed a team that would be nicknamed La Máquina Blanca (The White Machine). The team scored 28 goals in the first four games of the 1932 season. In 1933 Nacional won its 12th. first division title, repeating the next year. The 1933 championship is remembered as the longest ever, since it ended in November 1934, after a series of final games against Peñarol, the last won by Nacional by 3–1 with 3 goals by Héctor Castro.
In 1938, Argentine footballer Atilio García came to the club. That same year Nacional won the Torneo Internacional Nocturno Rioplatense, an international friendly championship. Between 1939 and 1943, coached by former player Héctor Castro, Nacional won the Quinquenio de Oro (five consecutive championships from 1939 to 1943). Some highlights of those times was the 5–1 victory over Peñarol, with 4 goals by Atilio García. Nacional also made an outstanding campaign in the 1941 season, winning all the games disputed (20/20). In those five years the team played 96 Copa Uruguaya games, won 77, tied 9 and only lost 10, made 318 goals and allowed 108.
Nacional's superiority over Peñarol during this era is best exemplified by some particular feats:
Notable players of that period include Atilio García (all-time Nacional's top scorer, also Uruguayan Clásico all-time top scorer with 34 goals, eight times Uruguayan Champion, eight times league's highest scorer); Aníbal Paz (nine times Uruguayan champion and World Champion defending Uruguay in 1950); Schubert Gambetta (nine times Uruguayan Champion and World Champion in 1950); Luis Ernesto Castro (seven times Uruguayan Champion); Aníbal Ciocca (eight times Uruguayan Champion), Eugenio Pato Galvalisi (seven times Uruguayan Champion), Roberto Porta (six times Uruguayan Champion), Bibiano Zapirain (six times Uruguayan Champion).
Nacional's international reputation relied on the tournaments played during the first half of the 20th century in the Río de la Plata region, where the most important international tournaments in America were played before the Copa Libertadores was created. Historical rivalries with longtime enemy Peñarol and famous Argentinian teams like Boca, River Plate, Racing, Independiente, San Lorenzo, Rosario Central and Newell's Old Boys, among others, were established in those championships.
Nacional participated in the Libertadores for the first time in 1962, when they were defeated in the semi-finals by Peñarol. They got to the Finals in 1964, but lost to Independiente, and in 1967 to Racing.
With President Miguel Restuccia, Nacional formed the basis of a team that would eventually achieve its goal, with players such as Ubiña, Mujica, Montero Castillo, Espárrago, Morales, Brazilian goalkeeper Manga, Cubilla and the great Argentinean striker Artime. In the 1969 Libertadores, after defeating Peñarol in semi-finals, Nacional lost its third Finals, this time against Estudiantes de La Plata.
In 1971, coached by Washington Etchamendi, Nacional finally won its first Copa Libertadores, beating Estudiantes de La Plata in Lima, Peru. That year, Nacional won its first World Club title, the 1971 Intercontinental Cup, in memorable matches against Panathinaikos from Greece, with goals from striker Luis Artime. Panathinaikos played because the reigning European champion, AFC Ajax, refused to play due to the violent conduct common among top South American teams during this period. The following year, Nacional won its first Copa Interamericana, defeating Cruz Azul from Mexico.
During this period, Nacional also regained supremacy in the domestic field, obtaining four Uruguayan Championships in a row (1969, 70, 71 and 72), keeping an unbeaten match record against classic rivals Peñarol: between 2 March 1971 and 31 January 1974, Nacional remained undefeated in 16 games.
Nacional repeated its achievement in the Copa Libertadores in 1980, beating Internacional from Brazil in the finals. After becoming South American champions, Nacional won the Intercontinental Cup for the second time, defeating European champions Nottingham Forest from England 1–0, with goal by forward Waldemar Victorino. That year Nacional also won the Uruguayan championship.
Nacional won its third copa Libertadores in 1988, beating Argentine side Newell's Old Boys 3–0 in the Estadio Centenario, with goals from Ernesto Vargas, Santiago Ostolaza and Hugo De León. That same year, Nacional would contest its third Intercontinental Cup. In a breath-taking final against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven coached by Guus Hiddink, Nacional would win in the penalty shootout after the game ended 2–2 with two goals by Ostolaza (the second one scored at the last minute of overtime). The next year, Nacional won its second Copa Interamericana, this time beating C.D. Olimpia from Honduras, and the Recopa Sudamericana, defeating Racing from Argentina.
In most of the 90s the club suffered a financial crisis and obtained few sportive results. It won the 1992 Championship with great performances by Julio César Dely Valdés and Antonio Vidal González. After Peñarol's second Quinquenio (1993–97) Nacional's Directive board changed: returning President Dante Iocco brought back club's idol Hugo de León as coach to prevent Peñarol from obtaining the hypothetical Sexenio. That year Nacional won the 1998 Campeonato Uruguayo by winning both short tournaments Apertura and Clausura. This was the first time any club achieved this feat since that system was implemented in 1994, having been repeated only by Danubio in 2006–07 season.
Maintaining the basis of its squad, Nacional dominated the national ambitus for three consecutive years (2000, 2001 and 2002.)
In 2005 Nacional decided to restore its stadium, the Estadio Gran Parque Central, where the team has returned to host most of their games instead of state-owned Estadio Centenario.
Nacional is the most successful team since the beginning of the century, having won also the 2005, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15 and 2016 championships.
2016 was the 46th Uruguayan Championship won by Nacional. It was a one-round tournament, which marked the return of the domestic calendar to fit the calendar year instead of the European calendar.
Nacional qualified for the 2018 Copa Libertadores. It was the club's 45th appearance in the tournament, and the twenty second consecutive (a new record in the cup's history).
After Martín Lasarte's resignation, the club's board appointed former star and reserve team coach Alexander Medina as the principal team's new coach.