On March 20th, 2012, the great Lionel Messi broke César Rodríguez‘ all time scoring record of 232 goals for FC Barcelona in competitive matches. Personally, I’m an Arsenal fan, but I love watching Barcelona play and they’re my 2nd favorite team in soccer. It’s pure fun watching Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and co. work their magic.
Messi breaking the record got me looking into Barça’s history, and I discovered that while Messi is the all-time goal scorer in competitive matches, he’s not the all-time goal scorer in all competitions and friendlies. That honor belongs to Paulino Alcántara with 369 (including 137 in competitive matches, 6th all time for the club).
I started reading more about Alcántara and discovered that while his father was Spanish, his mother was Filipino. Also, he was born in Iloilo City, Philippines, the same place where I was born. He lived a fascinating life. He moved to Barcelona at age 3, debuting for Barcelona at 15, becoming the youngest goal scorer ever in team history. His parents moved back to the Philippines when he was at age 20, and against his wishes, he had to move back with them. He spent 3 years over there, helping his club win two Philippine championships. He was also chosen to be part of the Philippine National Team and was a part of the team which defeated Japan 15-2 in the 1917 Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo. In his spare time, he represented the Philippines in International Competitions for Table Tennis. He returned to Spain in 1919, and was back on the Barcelona team for good. He was studying to be a doctor at the same time, and even declined to represent Spain in the 1920 Olympics because it was interfering with his studies in medicine. He retired as a player in 1927 and soon embarked on a long career as a doctor, while serving as Barça’s Club Director from 1931 to 1934. He even managed the Spanish team for a short period of time in 1951.
For more on Alcántara, check out these links: