Jaydee, who has been single handedly keeping my Philippine football post alive, has alerted me to a video of the great Paulino Alcántara, born in Iloilo (see below). Since Alcántara finished his playing days in 1927, the video is not ESPN quality and I'm not sure what Stevie Wonder has to do with it, but I hope it will give you an idea of this incredible player.
Here is what I wrote about Alcántara last year.
Alcántara had a Spanish father and an Ilongo mother and represented both the Philippines and Spain at football. He played for Barcelona between 1912 and 1927, scoring 357 goals in 357 matches, an almost unbelievable ratio. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this achievement, Gerd Müller, the greatest goalscoring machine of modern times, scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches for Bayern Munich, almost 100 goals more than the second highest scorer. To this day, Alcántara is also the youngest player ever to play for Barcelona.
Alcantara’s total of 357 goals remains the FC Barcelona record 80 years after he hung up his boots and, given the way players chop and change clubs these days, I guess it will probably stay that way forever.
For the benefit of non-football fans, FC Barcelona is one of the largest and most famous football clubs in the world. For a Filipino to be listed in in the “jugadors de llegenda" is something to be proud of, but the fact that he is the club’s leading goal scorer of all time is really something.
Here is a little anecdote from the FC Barcelona website:
His ability to hit the most powerful of shots crossed frontiers on the 30th April 1922 when, in a game between Spain and France, he hit a shot so hard that it ripped right through the net. For many years after, children from Barcelona would recall that moment and would wish to do the same as the man from the Philipines.
And here is the man: Paulino Alcántaraaaa!