Rafael Moreno Aranzadi

Rafael Moreno Aranzadi

Spanish footballer, striker.
Date of Birth: 23.05.1892
Country: Spain

  1. Rafael Moreno Aranzadi - The First Pichichi
  2. A Career of Success
  3. International Recognition
  4. The Iconic White Cap
  5. A Tragic End
  6. A Legacy of Excellence

Rafael Moreno Aranzadi - The First Pichichi

Rafael Moreno Aranzadi, also known as Pichichi, was a Spanish footballer and one of the greatest forwards in the history of Spanish football. He was born in Bilbao, in the province of Biscay. Pichichi joined the club Athletic Bilbao at the age of 18 in 1911.

A Career of Success

In March 1913, Pichichi played in the final of the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) with Athletic Bilbao, where his club was defeated by Real Unión. He went on to play in the finals of five Copa del Rey tournaments, including three consecutive victories in 1914, 1915, and 1916. In the 1915 final, Pichichi scored a hat-trick against Espanyol, helping Athletic Bilbao secure a 5-0 victory. His club also emerged victorious in 1920 and 1921.

International Recognition

In 1920, Pichichi became a member of the newly formed Spanish national football team, which competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Belgium. He made his debut for the team on August 28th in a match against Denmark, and scored his only international goal against the Netherlands.

The Iconic White Cap

Pichichi was known for wearing a white cap on the football field, which made him easily recognizable during corner kicks, as his teammates would often deliver the ball towards it. After retiring from playing in 1921, Pichichi became a referee.

A Tragic End

Tragically, Pichichi passed away in 1922 from typhus. In 1926, a bust of him was erected near the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao. As a tradition, visiting teams would leave flowers at the pedestal in memory of the footballer.

A Legacy of Excellence

In 1953, the Spanish sports newspaper Marca named the award given to the top goal scorer in the Spanish La Liga (since 1928) and the Segunda División (since 1953) the "Pichichi Trophy" in honor of Rafael Moreno Aranzadi. Pichichi and his wife are also immortalized in a painting by artist Aurelio Arteta.