History of Pichichi and Zamora

The original Pichichi was Rafael Moreno Aranzadi, a prolific goalscorer who played for Athletic Bilbao around 90 years ago. There was no league then as we know it, but he was part of the team which won the cup three times in a row from 1914 to 1916. Born in 1892, he sadly died of typhoid at the age of 30. There is a statue in his honour at the club, and teams who are playing at San Mamés stadium for the first time traditionally make a floral offering to Pichichi's monument.

By coincidence, the all time "Pichichi" Zarra also played at Athletic Bilbao. He won the title six times, scoring a record 251 goals in the league, just ahead of Real Madrid's Hugo Sánchez (5 Pichichis, 234 goals) and Alfredo Di Stefano (5 Pichichis, 227 goals). Quini also won the trophy five times, twice at Sporting Gijón and three times at Barcelona. Real Madrid's Raúl is the only currently active player who has a chance of catching them. At the end of the 2005/6 season he had won the title twice and had 180 goals to his name, and having only just turned 29 he has many more years to rewrite the record book.

P.S. Since this article was written, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have passed Zarra’s record, the former doing so in November 2014 after 290 games, and the latter in March 2016 after only 228. Both are continuing to re-write the record books.

Ricardo Zamora Martínez was born in Barcelona on the first day of the twentieth century, and played as goalkeeper for Espanyol and FC Barcelona before making one of Spanish football's first controversial moves to Real Madrid in 1930. The record breaking fee was 130,000 Pesetas, around EUR780, somewhat less than the 60 million Euros Real Madrid paid Barcelona for Figo seventy years later. Zamora won two Spanish leagues and five Spanish cups, and was the first to win the best goalkeeper title which he eventually gave his name to when the league started in the 1928-9 season.

He went on to win it twice more after that, a feat only bettered in the past by Barcelona's Ramallets (5) and Deportivo's Acuña (4). Other keepers with three trophies include Blasco (Bilbao), Vicente Train (Real Madrid), Sadurní (Barcelona), Arconada (Real Sociedad) and Ablanedo (Sporting Gijón). Valencia's Cañizares could catch Ramallets though. He has four titles to date, the first back in 1993 when he was at Celta, and only missed out on number five on the last day of the 2005/6 season.

Both Pichichi and Zamora were in the first ever official Spanish side which played against Denmark in the Olympic games in Belgium in 1920. Pichichi played five times for his country, only getting his name on the scoresheet once before his tragic death. Zamora though went on to be a legend in his own lifetime, winning 45 international caps at a time when countries only played three or four games a year, letting in 42 goals during that time, less than one a game. "El Divino" as he was known went on to manage several clubs and was also in charge of the Spanish national side for a time.