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Ricardo Zamora
Ricardo Zamora (arquero español) - El Gráfico 363.jpg
Zamora on the cover of Argentine sports magazine El Gráfico in June 1926
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Zamora Martínez
Date of birth (1901-02-14)14 February 1901
Place of birth Barcelona, Spain
Date of death 8 September 1978(1978-09-08) (aged 77)
Place of death Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1914–1916 Universitari SC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1916–1919 Espanyol 48 (0)
1919–1922 Barcelona 38 (0)
1922–1930 Espanyol 26 (0)
1930–1936 Real Madrid 82 (0)
1937–1938 Nice 9 (0)
National team
1920–1936 Spain 46 (0)
1920–1930 Catalan XI
Teams managed
1937–1938 Nice
1939–1946 Atlético Aviación
1946–1949 Celta
1949–1951 Málaga
1951–1952 Spain
1953–1955 Celta
1955–1957 Espanyol
1960 Celta
1961 Espanyol
Men's football
Representing  Spain
Olympic Games
Silver 1920 Antwerp Team competition
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ricardo Zamora Martínez (Spanish pronunciation: [riˈkaɾðo θaˈmoɾa maɾˈtineθ]; 14 February 1901 – 8 September 1978) was a Spanish footballer and manager. He played as a goalkeeper for, among others, RCD Espanyol, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. As an international he played for both the Catalan XI and Spain. As a manager, he won two La Liga titles with Atlético Aviación and briefly managed Spain.

Club career

RCD Espanyol

Ricardo zamora spain
Zamora with Espanyol, where he debuted

Born in Barcelona, Spain, Zamora began his career as a junior with Universitari SC before signing for Espanyol in 1916, at the age of fifteen, after playing a series of friendly matches with the club. He made his debut for the club on 23 April 1916 against Madrid FC (now Real Madrid CF), keeping a clean sheet in a goalless draw. He then helped Espanyol win the Campionat de Catalunya in 1918. Zamora never had the support of his parents to play football because they wanted him to focus on studying medicine like his father, but his teammates such as Pakán encouraged him to keep playing. But even so, in 1919, he decided to resume his studies, at the will of his family, so he abandoned the ranks of Espanyol. However, he resumed the activity shortly after due to a large offer from local rivals FC Barcelona, which he accepted despite his family's opposition and an argument with Espanyol's board.

After three successful seasons at Barça he returned to Espanyol in 1922. On 2 February 1929, he made his La Liga debut with Espanyol during the competition's inaugural season. In the same year, under the management of Jack Greenwell and together with Ricardo Saprissa, he helped the club win both the Campionat de Catalunya and their first ever Copa del Rey in 1929, after beating the likes of Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals, the soon-to-be La Liga champions Barcelona in the semi-finals and Real Madrid 2–1 in the final. After playing 26 La Liga games for Espanyol, he joined Real Madrid in 1930.

FC Barcelona

Between 1919 and 1922 Zamora was a prominent member of the legendary FC Barcelona team, coached by Jack Greenwell, that also included his close friend Josep Samitier, Sagibarba, Paulino Alcántara and Félix Sesúmaga. During his time at Barcelona, he helped the team win the Campionat de Catalunya three times and the Copa del Rey twice in 1920 and 1922, keeping a clean-sheet in the 1920 final in a 2–0 win over Pichichi's Athletic Bilbao.

Real Madrid

In 1930 Zamora signed for Real Madrid. He was one of several new arrivals, and among the others was Jacinto Quincoces. During the 1931–32 season they helped the club win La Liga for the first time. The following season Zamora and Quincoces were joined at the club by Josep Samitier and the trio helped Real retain the title. In 1934 Francisco Bru took over as the Real coach and he guided Zamora and company to victory in two Copa de España finals. In the 1934 final they beat a Valencia CF team coached by Jack Greenwell 2–1. The 1936 final saw Real Madrid meet FC Barcelona for the first time in a cup final, and despite playing with ten men for most of the game, the Madrid club beat Barça 2–1 at the Mestalla. Barça's attempts to equalize in the final minutes were thwarted by Zamora's spectacular save from Josep Escolà.

International career


In 1920 together with Josep Samitier, Félix Sesúmaga, Pichichi and José María Belauste, Zamora was a member of the first ever Spanish national squad. The squad, coached by Francisco Bru, won the silver medal at the 1920 Olympic Games. Zamora subsequently made 46 official appearances for Spain, including in the infamous game against England on 15 May 1929, in which England took a 2-0 lead within 20 minutes following mistakes from him, who had injured his sternum early on, but despite that he carried on playing and Spain won the game 4–3, becoming the first team from outside the British Isles to defeat England. Zamora also represented Spain at the 1934 World Cup.

Catalan XI

Zamora also played at least 13 games for the Catalan XI. However, records from the era do not always include accurate statistics and he may have played more. Together with Paulino Alcántara, Sagibarba and Josep Samitier, he helped the Catalan XI win two tournaments of the Prince of Asturias Cup, an official inter-regional competition organized by the RFEF, winning in 1923-24 and 1926.

Spanish Civil War Prisoner

In July 1936 during the early days of the Spanish Civil War, ABC falsely reported that Zamora had been killed by Republicans. The Nationalists then attempted to exploit this as propaganda. However, Zamora was alive and well and, as rumours began to spread of his death, he was arrested by Republican militia and then imprisoned at the Modelo prison. Among his fellow prisoners were Ramón Serrano Súñer and Rafael Sánchez Mazas. His life was saved by both the actions of the prison governor Melchor Rodríguez García and because of his own willingness to play and talk football with the guards. Zamora was eventually released after the Argentinian Embassy interceded on his behalf. He then made his way to France where he was reunited with Josep Samitier at OGC Nice. He later returned to Spain and on 8 December 1938 played for a Spain XI against Real Sociedad in a benefit game for Nationalist soldiers.

In the 1950s, the Franco regime awarded Zamora the Great Cross of the Order of Cisneros, a medal created in 1944 to reward "political merit."

Coaching career

In 1939 Zamora was appointed coach of Atlético Madrid, then known as Athletic Aviación and later to become Atlético Aviación, following a merger with Aviación Nacional, a Spanish Air Force team. With Zamora as manager, the club won their first La Liga in 1940 and then retained the title in 1941. In 1946 he moved to Celta de Vigo and during the 1947–48, he led a Celta team that included Pahiño and Miguel Muñoz to fourth in La Liga and the Copa del Generalísimo final. In June 1952 he coached Spain for two games. In 1953 was hired as coach by La Salle F.C. of Caracas (Venezuela). He later returned to Celta de Vigo and then had two spells as coach at Espanyol.


Botas de Ricardo Zamora
Footwear, shin pads and ball which belonged to Zamora in exhibition



  • Copa del Rey (1): 1928–29
  • Catalan Champions (2): 1917–18, 1928–29
  • Copa del Rey (2): 1920, 1922
  • Catalan Champions (3): 1919–20, 1920–21, 1921–22
Real Madrid


Catalan XI
  • Prince of Asturias Cup (2): 1923–24 and 1926


  • IFFHS Best Spanish Goalkeeper of the Twentieth Century.
  • IFFHS Fourth Best European Goalkeeper of the Twentieth Century.
  • IFFHS Fifth Best World Goalkeeper of the Twentieth Century.
  • Berlin-Britz Goalkeeper of the Decade (1920s)
  • FIFA World Cup Team of the tournament: 1934
  • FIFA World Cup Best Goalkeeper Award: 1934.


Atlético Aviación

  • 1939 Mancomunado
    • Winners (1): 1939
  • La Liga:
    • Winners (2):1939–40, and 1940–41.
  • Spanish Super Cup
    • Winners (1): 1940.
  • Copa Presidente Federación Castellana
    • Winners (1): 1940–41.

Celta Vigo

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ricardo Zamora para niños

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