Paulino Alcántara

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Paulino Alcántara
Personal information
Full name Paulino Alcántara Riestrá
Date of birth October 7 1896
Place of birth    Iloilo City, Philippines
Playing position Forward
Youth clubs
19xx-xx FC Galeno
Senior clubs
Years Club App (Gls)*
FC Barcelona
Bohemians of Manila
FC Barcelona
National team
Catalan XI
5 (6)
Teams managed
1951 Spain

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of October 8 2006.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of October 8 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)

Paulino Alcántara Riestrá (born October 7, 1896, Iloilo City, Philippines - died February 13, 1964, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) is a former Filipino/Spanish football player and manager who spent most of his playing career at FC Barcelona. He also played for the Catalonia national football team|Catalan XI, the Philippines, and Spain national football team|Spain. Alcántara made his senior debut for FC Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player ever to play or score for the club. He also scored a remarkable 356 goals in 357 matches, making him the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Alcántara is also the first Filipino and Asian player to play for a Europe|European club. After retiring as a player in 1927 at the age of 31 he became a doctor. On July 5 1927, FC Barcelona played against Spain national football team|Spain in a testimonial in his honour and he later served as a club director between 1931 and 1934. In 1951, Alcántara was one of three selectors that coached Spain national football team|Spain for three games.


Debut at 15

Alcántara was born in the Philippines. He was a mestizo, born to a Spanish father and an Ilonggo mother. His father was a Spanish soldier stationed in the Philippines. Alcántara grew up in Barcelona and initially played for FC Galeno before he was spotted by Joan Gamper and signed up for FC Barcelona. He made his senior debut at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 18 days on February 25 1912 against Football in Catalonia|Catalá SC in the Catalan football champions|Championat de Catalunya. FC Barcelona won 9-0, and Alcántara scored the first three goals of the game. Among his team mates during his first spell at the club were Francisco Bru Sanz|Francisco Bru, Jack Greenwell and Romà Forns. He went on to help the club win a Copa del Rey/Catalan football champions|Championat de Catalunya double in 1913 and a Championat de Catalunya in 1916.

Return to the Philippines

In 1916, Alcántara’s parents decide to return to the Philippines and took their son with them. There, he continued his studies in medicine and played football for Bohemians of Manila. He was also selected to play for the Philippines in 1917 and represented the country at the Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo, helping them defeat Japan national football team|Japan 15-2. At the same games he also represented the Philippines at table tennis. Meanwhile, FC Barcelona had failed to win a major trophy in his absence and the club pleaded in vain with his parents to allow him to return to Spain. However, he contracted malaria, in 1917, and apparently refused to take the prescribed medication until he was allowed to go back.

The Golden Age

After returning to Spain and FC Barcelona, his former team mate and now coach, Jack Greenwell experimented with Alcántara as a defender, but protests from fans saw him return to the forward line and, in 1919, he helped the club win another Catalan football champions|Championat 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/Catalan football champions|Championat de Catalunya double with Alcántara scoring in the 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa final. The FC Barcelona team now included Emilio Sagi Liñan|Sagibarbá, who formed a notable partnership with Alcántara, as well as Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier and Félix Sesúmaga. This marked the beginning of the club’s first golden era and saw them dominating both the Championat de Catalunya and Copa del Rey. Alcántara scored twice in the 1922 Copa final where FC Barcelona beat Real Unión 5-1 and scored the winner in the 3-2 win over Atlético Madrid in the 1926 final.

International career

In 1915 Alcántara made his debut with the Catalonia national football team|Catalan XI. Between then and 1924 he played at least 6 games and scored at least 4 goals for the Catalan XI. However records from the era do not always include accurate statistics and he may have played and scored more. As well as playing for the Catalan XI and the Philippines, he also played for Spain national football team|Spain. In 1920, Alcántara, along with Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier, and Félix Sesúmaga, was selected to represent Spain at the Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics|Olympic Games. However, Alcántara chose to stay at home to take his final medical exams. He eventually made his debut for Spain on October 7 1921 at the age of 25 against Belgium national football team|Belgium and scored both goals in a 2-0 win. He subsequently made 5 appearances and scored 6 goals for Spain between 1921 and 1923.


  • Copa del Rey: 5
    • 1912-13, 1919-20, 1921-22, 1924-25, 1925-26
  • Catalan football champions|Catalan Champions: 10
    • 1912-13, 1915-16, 1918-19, 1919-20, 1920-21, 1921-22, 1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27


  • Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football (2003), Phil Ball. [1]

External links

 Category:1896 births|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:1964 deaths|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:FC Barcelona footballers|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:Spanish footballers|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:Catalan footballers|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:Spanish football managers|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:Spain international footballers|Alcantara, Paulino
 Category:Spain national football team managers|Alcantara, Paulino

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