Tomorrow sees another Cambiaso vs Pieres battle as the two Argentine polo player legends fight it out for their teams Dubai and Zacara in the finals of the English Polo Open – The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup at Cowdray Park Polo Club. But not only are they fighting to win for their teams, but they are also fighting for the prestigious title of Polo’s world number one. We thought we’d take a closer look at the men behind the legends.
Facundo Pieres: (currently ranked world number 1)
Facundo Pieres comes from the famous Pieres family of polo players and is the second son of polo legend Gonzalo Pieres Sn. His two brothers, Gonzalo Pieres Jr and Nicolas Pieres are also professional polo players, often playing alongside him for Ellerstina.
His career started in 1997, when he won the Copa Potrillas with the Ellerstina Jr team – a subsidiary team for the Ellerstina Club that was founded by his father and Australian media tycoon, Kerry Packer. Since then he has played in high-goal matches around the world, winning the Hurlingham Open, Tortugas Open and Jockey Club Open as well as the famous Argentine Polo Open.
He was promoted to a handicap of 10-goals in 2005 at the age of 19 – replacing Adolfo Cambiaso as the youngest polo player to reach the 10-goals handicap.
Quick facts about Facundo Pieres:
- He was born in Buenos Aires, in Argentina on 19th May 1986.
- He also loves a game of ping-pong.
- He made his Argentine Open debut in 2003, and has scored a total of 256 in the matches in he played during the Argentine Open, and has been a finalist 4 times (2005/2007/2009/2011) and champion 3 times (2008/2010/2012).
Adolfo Cambiaso: (currently ranked world number 2)
Cambiaso is probably most famous for his trademark Argentine flag polo helmet and of course for cloning one of his most famous polo ponies, but where did he get his passion for polo from?
From a young age, Adolfo’s mother, Martina de Estrada Lainez, encouraged her son and his half brothers to play polo. By the time he was 12, he had already reached a 1-Goal handicap. By 13, he was a 3-Goal and won the prestigious Eduardo Heguy Cup with the La Martina team playing alongside his father.
In 1994, Adolfo Cambiaso won the “Triple Corona” (Argentine Open, Hurlingham Open and Tortugas Cup) with the team Ellerstina and was promoted to a 10-Goal handicap, making him at 20 the youngest player at the time to reach 10-Goals.
By 2008, he was considered one of the best players in the world and is the most successful player in the Argentine Open, having taken part 15 times, winning 7 times and played in the final another two times. He had scored 535 goals in the Argentine Open alone, breaking the previous record held by Bautista Heguy with 531 goals.
In recent years, however, many fans have been sceptical about his lack of form with Adolfo picking up injuries and losing the Argentine Open Final to Ellerstina in 2011, where he famously missed a number of penalties. It is certain however that Adolfo Cambiaso won’t give up his crown as the King of Polo just yet though and will continue to play the sport his loves for as long as he is able to at a high-goal level.
Quick Facts about Cambiaso:
- Adolfo Cambiaso was born in Canuelas, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina on 15th April 1975.
- His most famous horses were Lili, Ilusion, Sospechosa, La Osa and his favourite Colibri.
- Cambiaso is famous for cloning his horse Cuartetera, the clone was bought at auction for $800,000 – making it the most expensive horse sale in polo history.
- He is married to one of South America’s most famous models. Maria Vazquez.
Turn in tomorrow, Sunday on http://www.pololine.tv to watch the live broadcast at 10am EDT.
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