Nickname: "El Divino"
Club: RCD Espanyol (1929/1930) | Real Madrid (1930/1933)
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- Consistency: 7
Growth type: Late/Lasting
Ricardo Zamora Martínez (born: 21/01/1901), nicknamed "El Divino", was noted for wearing a cloth cap and a white polo-neck jumper on the field, a look later copied by several of his contemporaries. He claimed it was to protect him from both the sun and his opponents. He was also noted for his bravery. In 1929 while playing for Spain against England, he carried on playing despite breaking his sternum. Spain won the game 4-3, becoming the first team from outside of the British Isles to defeat England. Zamora is also remembered for a spectacular last minute save he made in the 1936 Copa de España final while playing for Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. The award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, is named in his honour and he was voted one of the greatest players of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was also Spain's most capped player for 38 years until being surpassed by José Ángel Iribar.
Zamora was also the subject of controversy throughout his career. He allegedly enjoyed drinking Cognac and smoking up to three packs of cigarettes a day. During the 1920 Olympic Games he was sent off against Italy after punching an opponent and on the way back from the same tournament he was arrested, imprisoned and fined for attempting to smuggle Havana cigars. In 1922 he was suspended for a year when he lied to the tax authorities about the signing on fee he received when he returned to RCD Español. He also received 40,000 pesetas of the 150,000 peseta fee that took him from RCD Español to Real Madrid.
Zamora began his career as a junior with Universitari SC before signing for RCD Español in 1916. He helped RCD Español win the Campionat de Catalunya in 1918 before an argument with one of the club's directors saw him being transferred to local rivals FC Barcelona in 1919. After three successful seasons at Barça he returned to Español in 1922. On 2 February 1929, he made his La Liga debut with RCD Español during the competitions inaugural season. In the same year he also helped the club win both the Campionat de Catalunya and their first ever Copa del Rey in 1929. The team was coached by Jack Greenwell and also included Ricardo Saprissa. In the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey they beat Athletic Madrid 9-3 on aggregate before beating eventual La Liga champions, FC Barcelona, 3-1 in the semi-finals and Real Madrid 2-1 in the final. After playing 26 La Liga games for RCD Español, he joined Real Madrid in 1930.
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 FC Barcelona he helped the team win the Campionat de Catalunya three times and the Copa del Rey twice.
In 1930 Zamora signed for Real Madrid, at the time known as Madrid CF. 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 1934 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. Despite playing with ten men for most of the game, the Madrid club beat Barça 2-1 at the Mestalla. Barça’s attempts to equalise in the final minutes were thwarted by Zamora’s spectacular save from Josep Escolà.
Copa del Rey: 1928–29
Catalan Champions: 1917–18, 1928–29
Copa del Rey: 1919–20, 1921–22
Catalan Champions: 1919–20, 1920–21, 1921–22
La Liga: 1931–32, 1932–33
Copa de España: 1933–34, 1935–36
Copa Princep de Asturies: 1922, 1924, 1926
Olympic Games: Silver medalist 1920