UK STILL SPINNING FROM A SUMMER STORM NAMED CASTAGNOLA
This article is part of a companion piece that runs alongside this that takes a deeper look behind the visors of the two Castagnola boys and how they were able to pull off such an incredible season in the UK. Feel free to check out HERE.
The Brits will always remember the zap a summer-long storm named Castagnola gave the 2019 high-goal season. Today there’s no trace of their rampage on the fields at Cowdray Park Polo Club, but the invisible impact of teenage brothers Bartolome and Camilo Castagnola can still be felt. As the Castagnola cyclone spins away from the U.K., the question remains: How did a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old manage to dominate the biggest tournament in England and win the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open for Dubai?
Everyone seems to have an opinion, but the only kind that really matters comes from the mouth of legendary players like Eduardo Heguy, who has known the sons of Lolo Castagnola for years. Ruso has nothing but good things to say about them—which says something special about his own character, given that he coached VS King Power in its heart-crushing overtime loss (14-13) to Dubai in the King Power Gold Cup final.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: EDUARDO HEGUY
“The Castagnola boys are new diamonds in the sport of polo. They played well on other teams when they were really, really young. We knew they were good then, but we never thought they were going to explode so soon. It’s fun to watch them play. They are really quick, and they don’t feel the pressure. They are unbelievably talented and fresh, and they behave well on the field. They’re bringing something new to the sport, and that’s nice. Hopefully, we will see them playing in the U.S. next season.”
WHAT THE STATS SAY: THE CASTAGNOLAS AS A DUO
Camilo and Bartolome Castagnola proved to be the offensive driving force for Dubai, combining for an impressive 9.4 goals per game in the Gold Cup (5.3 goals per game for Camilo, 4.1 for Bartolome). This ranked Camilo fourth overall in the tournament in goals per game and Barto tenth.
The brothers together produced 83% of Dubai’s scoring, yet accounted for just 55% of their team’s handicap. They ranked first and second on their team in assists, shots and throw-in wins. The two constantly team up on the ball as the catalyst for Dubai, allowing Ignatius du Plessis to focus on a defensive role.
That gave Dubai a potent offense that saw them finish the Gold Cup second in goals per game (11.3), trailing only Murus Sanctus. Dubai was first overall throughout the Queen’s Cup and Gold Cup combined, with the same stat: 11.3 goals per game.
Photography: Olivia Juaretche
Check out the companion piece to this article that dives more into the power behind the Castagnola brothers throughout the UK high-goal season HERE.