This blog is a compilation of topics about Filipino - Hispanic culture (and nothing extraordinary as the title suggest). Most of the posts here are copied from other sites and are not from my own thoughts. Please visit my other blogs, you can find the links at the right side of this blog. Thank you.

In Focus: Paulino Alcántara - "El Rompe Redes"

Paulino Alcántara Riestrá (7 October 1896—13 February 1964) was a Spanish–Filipino footballer and manager. He spent most of his playing career at Barcelona and was the first Filipino and Asian player to play for a European club. He also played for Catalonia, the Philippines and Spain. Alcántara made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player to play or score for the club. He also scored 357 goals in 357 matches, making him the club's highest goalscorer (counting goals scored in both official games and friendlies). After retiring as a player in 1927 at the age of 31, he became a doctor. On 5 July 1927, Barcelona played against Spain in a testimonial match in his honour and he later served as a club director between 1931 and 1934. In 1951, Alcántara became a selector and managed Spain for three games.

Alcántara was born in the Philippines to a Spanish military officer and an Ilongga (Filipino) mother. He moved to Spain to play for FC Galeno before he was discovered by Joan Gamper and signed up for Barcelona. He made his debut at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 18 days old on 25 February 1912 against Catalá SC in the Campionat de Catalunya (Catalan football championship) and Barcelona won 9–0, with Alcántara scoring the first three goals of the game. He was nicknamed "El Rompe Redes" (the net breaker) after he broke the net with a shot during a match against France. Among his team mates during his time at the club were Francisco Bru SanzJack Greenwell and Romà Forns. He went on to help the club win a Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) and Campionat de Catalunya in 1913 and a Campionat de Catalunya in 1916.

In 1916, Alcántara returned to the Philippines and played for the Bohemian Sporting Club. He helped the club win two Philippine Championships; in 1917 and 1918. During this time, Barcelona had failed to win a championship title in his absence.

After returning to Barcelona, his former team mate and manager, Jack Greenwell experimented with Alcántara as a defender, but failed to achieve success on that position, which saw him return to the forward line and in 1919, he helped the club win another Campionat de Catalunya. The club also reached the Copa del Rey final but lost 5–2 to Arenas Club de Getxo. In 1920 the club won another Copa del Rey and the Campionat de Catalunya with Alcántara scoring in the 2–0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Cup final. The squad included Emilio Sagi Liñán, who formed a partnership with Alcántara as well as Ricardo ZamoraJosep Samitier and Félix Sesúmaga. This marked the beginning of the club’s first golden era and saw them dominate both the Campionat de Catalunya and Copa del Rey tournament. Alcántara scored twice in the 1922 Cup final, where Barcelona defeated Real Unión 5–1 and scored the winning goal in the 3–2 win over Atlético Madrid in the 1926 final.

In 1915, Alcántara made his debut with Catalonia and in 1924 he played at least six games and scored at least four goals for the team. In 1917 he was selected by the Philippines national team and represented the country at the Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo, helping them defeat Japan 15–2, which became the Philippines' biggest win in international football. In 1920 Alcántara, along with Zamora, Samitier and Sesúmaga, was selected to represent Spain at the 1920 Olympics. However, Alcántara chose to stay at home to take his final medical exams. He eventually made his debut for Spain on 7 October 1921 at the age of 25 against Belgium and scored both goals in a 2–0 win. He made five appearances and scored six goals for Spain between 1921 and 1923.



Bohemian Sporting Club
  • Philippines Championship (2): 1917, 1918


Source: Wikipedia
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