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Mágico González

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Mágico González

Mensaje  carlyllos el Lun Dic 07, 2009 3:33 pm

Mágico González

Jorge Alberto González Barillas (born March 13, 1958 in San Salvador), popularly known as El mágico (the wizard), is a former Salvadoran footballer.

A striker gifted with superb ball-control skills (his talent being overshadowed by questionable behaviour off the pitch), he is mainly associated with Cádiz Club de Fútbol, while also representing El Salvador national team for over a decade.

González was born to a family of modest means in the Luz neighborhood of San Salvador, one of seven brothers and only one sister. His older brother, Mauricio “Pachín” González, was a footballer who became well known at the local level.

Club career

González began his professional playing career in 1975 with the Administración Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ANTEL) team. He played for ANTEL and Independiente Nacional 1906 over the course of two seasons, before moving to Club Deportivo Fútbolistas Asociados Santanecos, a club in the Salvadoran first division.

While playing in El Salvador, he became known as Mago but later, upon transferring to Spain, his nickname was slightly changed to Mágico.

Both Atlético de Madrid and Cádiz CF became interested in acquiring González in 1982; despite the colchoneros' higher profile, he signed with the Andalusians. González’s debut in Spain came in a friendly against La Barca de la Florida, while his top flight first game was on September 11, 1982, in a 1-3 defeat to Real Murcia. González became a fan-favorite thanks to his dazzling moves and goals. He was notorious for his love of the nightlife and his sleeping habits were also brought into question, but his on-field abilities endeared him to the Cádiz fans enough that they overlooked his minor indiscretions.

In 1983 and 1984, Cádiz traveled to the United States to play. The first year it was González who was the principal attraction, but in 1984 the team was joined by FC Barcelona and its superstar Diego Maradona.

Despite relegation into the second division in 1984 and interest from French club Paris Saint-Germain and Italian sides ACF Fiorentina and U.C. Sampdoria, González opted to stay in Cádiz. His stay was somewhat short-lived, however, as he was transferred to Real Valladolid after the 1983-84 season due to problems with then manager Benito Joanet. He did not get along at Valladolid, where his personal life was tightly controlled and, after playing in just nine games, he returned to Cádiz in January 1986. As a guard against his partying, González’s contract is reputed to have contained a clause stipulating he was to be paid $700 per game played and none for the ones he missed.

After several coaching changes, González was finally able to shine again for Cádiz under Víctor Espárrago. In all, he scored 57 goals in 183 games for the Spanish side between 1982 and his final departure on June 6, 1991.

González returned to El Salvador and FAS after another Italian club, Atalanta BC, failed to garner his services. He stayed at FAS until 1996, when he retired to begin coaching as an assistant in Houston, Texas. After a short stint in the US, González returned to his native El Salvador.

In 2001, Cádiz honored González with a testimonial match, with the proceeds going to the victims of a recent earthquake in El Salvador. In 2003, the Salvadoran National Assembly gave González the government’s highest honor, the Hijo Meritísimo, and renamed the national stadium, the Flor Blanca, after him. On August 28, 2004, another testimonial match was played in his honor, this time in El Salvador, in the Mágico González Stadium. The match was between America XI, a group of international stars, and a team made up of ex-FAS players. González played a half with either side and scored a total of three goals.

International career

Many critics and journalist say that if González had been Argentinian or Brazilian, he would have ranked amongst the best in the world, along side Pelé and Diego Maradona.

He received the first of his 48 international caps on May 1, 1979, in a friendly match against Mexico, and was also instrumental in leading the nation to the 1982 FIFA World Cup - the second time in history - where he appeared in all three group stage matches, including the 1-10 loss to Hungary.


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