Long before football struck Philippines by storm there’s this legendary Pinoy booter whose name reigns in Spain that us Filipinos must know it’s not about the looks and stature it’s about the skills and passion for the game all these traits of a footballer is present to this legendary Pinoy striker Paulino Alcantara.
Alcantara was born on Oct. 7, 1896 in Iloilo to a Spanish military officer and Ilongga mother. Started as a youth footballer when they move to Spain with his family, he began his professional career in Barcelona at age of 15 helped the club earn championships.
Deceptive skills of Alcantara nonetheless earned him the moniker “El Romperedes” (Net Breaker)” on April 30, 1922, after a powerful kick 35 yards from the goal ripped the net in a game between Spain and France. This net breaking goal was written in the books that kids from Barcelona keep on admiring Alcantara for that goal.
His strikes aided the club to championships such as Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) and Campionat de Catalunya in 1913 and a Campionat de Catalunya in 1916.
After winning crowns in Spanish leagues Alcantara returned home to play for Bohemian Sporting club that he helped to win two Philippine Championships; in 1917 and 1918. This year, Barcelona had failed to win a championship title in his absence. After his stint to Bohemian club he returned to Spain and resumed playing with his club in 1918 where he rose to become a legend.
Focused on his medical profession he declined to play in the 1920 Olympic Games for Spain. On the 5th of July, 1927, Alcántara hangs his boots and jersey to concentrate on medicine. However, he became one of the board of directors between 1931 and 1934. In 1951 he coached the Spanish national team for three matches, in which the team was unbeaten.
Trivia: Alcantara scored 357 goals in as many games played, or an average of one goal per game, as a striker of the Futbol Club Barcelona (Barcelona Football Club) where he played from 1912 to 1927.