Football: FC Barcelona hails Paulino Alcantara's induction in PH Sports Hall of Fame

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2021 07:42 PM

Football: FC Barcelona hails Paulino Alcantara's induction in PH Sports Hall of Fame 1
Filipino football icon Paulino Alcantara held FC Barcelona's goal-scoring record until 2014, when it was broken by Lionel Messi. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Football Federation. 

MANILA, Philippines -- FC Barcelona on Wednesday lauded the induction of club legend Paulino Alcantara to the Philippines Sports Hall of Fame.

Alcantara (1896-1964) played for Barcelona in the 1910s and 1920s, and for the Bohemian Sporting Club in the Philippines from 1916 to 1918.

Born in Iloilo but raised in Spain, Alcantara earned the nickname "El Romperedes" (The Netbreaker) for his goal-scoring prowess. Until 2014, he held the Barcelona record for most goals, with a stunning 395 goals in 399 appearances.

"It is an honor for FC Barcelona that our legendary former player Paulino Alcántara has entered the Philippines Sports Hall of Fame," the club said in a statement sent to ABS-CBN News.

"Alcántara was the top scorer in club history, with 395 goals in 399 matches, until his record was overtaken by Lionel Messi in 2014."

Alcantara is part of the 2021 Philippine Sports Hall of Fame class that also includes basketball legend Robert Jaworski, boxers Leopoldo Serantes and Roel Velasco, swimmers Gertrudes Lozada and Eric Buhain, bowler Arianne Cerdeña, athletics icons Elma Muros-Posadas and Rogelio Onofre, and football and basketball coach Dionisio "Chito" Calvo.

Alcantara is the first -- and so far the only -- football player inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. 

"His characteristic presence, and the white handkerchief hanging from his shorts, made him very popular among our fans, to the point that we can consider him to be the first 'media-friendly' player in Barça history," Barcelona said of the Fil-Spanish great. 

"He laid the foundations for the golden age of FC Barcelona in the 1920s with Samitier, Zamora, Sagi and Piera, among others."

Until now, Alcantara remains the youngest player to make his debut for Barcelona, at the age of 15 years, four months, and 18 days. He helped the club win five Copa del Rey titles and 10 Catalan Football Championships. 

He played for the Philippines in the 1917 Far Eastern Championship Games and led the way in their record-setting 15-2 rout of hosts Japan. 

Last week, La Liga also lauded Alcantara's induction.

"We are thrilled to hear the news that FC Barcelona Filipino legend Paulino Alcantara has made it into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame! Congratulations to all Filipino football fans!"