Lionel Messi breaks Fil-Spanish great’s record

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MANILA -- Filipino-Spanish football great Paulino Alcantara’s incredible scoring record of 369 goals for top Spanish club Barcelona that stood for 87 years was finally broken Sunday, March 16.


And it took one of the world’s finest footballers to make the new mark. Argentinian wonder Lionel Messi passed Alcantara as the club’s all-time leading scorer with a hat-trick in Barca’s 7-0 drubbing of Osasuna in the Spanish La Liga.

Born in Iloilo City to a Spanish father and a Filipino mother, Alcantara represented the Philippines and Spain at the international level.

“Paulino Alcantara is the best football player to have represented the Philippines in football,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, who also hails from Iloilo.

Alcantara, who became a doctor after his playing days, powered the country to a 15-2 win over Japan in the Far East Games in Tokyo in 1917.

The win over Japan remains the biggest in the country’s football history.

The Japanese have since become an international powerhouse while the Philippines surged only recently in the world rankings. Alcantara was the first Asian to make a mark in European club football.

In 2007, the International Football Federation (Fifa) actually named him the greatest Asian player of all time.


He earned the nickname “Romperredes,” or the Net Buster, after a goal he scored for Spain against France in Bordeaux in 1922 was struck so hard it broke the net. Alcantara’s exploits was celebrated by the PFF during its centennial celebration in 2007.

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