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Club Sport Cartaginés Deportiva S.A., also known as Cartaginés, is a Costa Rican football club, that currently plays in the Liga de Fútbol de Primera División, the top division of Costa Rican football league system. Cartaginés' home venue is Estadio Jose Rafael Fello Meza, located in Barrio Asis of Cartago.

CS Cartagines 2013.svg
Full nameClub Sport Cartaginés S.A.D.
Nickname(s)Los Azules (The Blues)
Brumosos (The Foggers)
La Vieja Metrópoli (The Old Metropolis)
El Equipo Centenario (The Centenary Team)
El Glorioso (The Glorious)
Cartaguito (Little Cartago)
FoundedJuly 01, 1906; 113 years ago
GroundEstadio José Rafael Fello Meza Ivankovich, Cartago, Costa Rica
ChairmanAdrián Jiménez Delgado
ManagerMartín Arriola
LeagueLiga FPD
2018–19Apertura 2018: 6th
Clausura 2019: 5th
Overall: 6th
WebsiteClub website

Established in 1906, Cartaginés is currently the oldest club competing at the top division[1]. It has won 3 Costa Rican league championships, 5 national cups, and 1 CONCACAF Champions' Cup (in 1994).


Club Sport Cartaginés was founded on July 1, 1906 by Willie Pirie, a Canadian immigrant[2], together with a group of Costa Ricans of British descent and some England immigrants that lived in Cartago. Since there were few football teams at the time in the country, games were repeatedly held against teams in Cartago such as Combate and Monte Libano. The team's original uniform colors were red and blue. Club Sport Cartaginés' first official match was seen as a local social event as the municipal Philharmonic played prior to the game.

In 1914, Club Sport Cartaginés got into the Costa Rican football scene with a new name: The Americano. The name Americano lasted until 1921 when Costa Rica's Primera División started its national championship. At that time, Americano reverted to its original name of Club Sport Cartaginés and changed their uniform and colors to vertical white and blue stripes, a scheme that still prevails today. The 1923 National Championship Final saw Club Sport Cartaginés face La Libertad, a match that Cartaginés won by a score of two to one giving the club its first of three national titles[3].

After the seasons many of Cartaginés' players left the team to play in Europe and in teams based in San José. Due to the mass exodus of players from the team Club Sport Cartaginés disbanded in 1925. By 1934 the popularity of football in Cartago reemerged as a tournament of local Cartago teams participated. After the tournament it was decided to form Club Sport Cartaginés once again with the best players that participated in the tournament and to emerge as a third division team winning the third division title in 1935. In 1936 the team managed to be victorious in the Second Division, winning all of its games and being crowned the champions, thus earning them a spot in the top flight.

In their returning season to the First Division, Club Sport Cartaginés once again made it to the Final, and once again facing La Libertad, defeating them by a score of 1-0 and achieving the status of national champions in Costa Rica's national stadium in San Jose. By 1940 Cartaginés only had three players left from its 1936 championship season, but they still managed to make it to the final against heavily favorites Herediano. At half time the score was in favor of the latter as they led 3–1, but Cartaginés fought back in the second half, scoring three goals and beating Herediano by a score of 4–3.[4]

The 1940 Cartaginés team has been the last one to win any national league championship for Cartago, something which a local myth states to be the result of a curse set that year on the team by a priest at the highly revered temple Basílica de Los Ángeles, when the players celebrated their victory by storming the Basilica riding on top of their horses, which was considered sacrilegious[5]. Another myth credits the lack of titles to the curse of "El Muñeco", a strange voodoo-like doll that was supposedly buried under Cartaginés' turf at their stadium in order to prevent them from winning further titles and bringing bad luck to the club. Many supporters of the club believe that, unless someone finds the "cursed" doll, Cartago will continue to struggle and not win any more championships.

In the years following the 1940 Championship, the club discovered their currently considered greatest player, José Rafael "Fello" Meza Ivancovich. Within a few years, Jose Rafael became known as "El Maestro", the teacher. He was named so because his new tricks and ways of playing, innovative at the time. The influence of "Fello" Meza was so deep, that the club's current stadium is named in his honor[6]. Also, in 2009 he was included in UNAFUT's (governing body of Costa Rican football clubs) official list of Costa Rica's 100 best players of the 20th century.

In 1966 Cartaginés was the first Costa Rican club to travel to the United States playing against Guadalajara and Emelec[7]. During those years the club assembled one of its most famous squads, called the "Ballet Azul" (Blue Ballet, because their graceful style of play), trained by coach Alfredo "Chato" Piedra, and spearheaded by their current historical top scorer, Leonel Hernández (164 goals), which stayed in the club during his entire career. As a recognition for Hernández for his loyalty, the club retired his jersey number, 11[8].

Cartaginés struggled during the 80s, a low point being the relegation in 1982 to the second division, which forced a club rebuilding in order to obtain a spot in Costa Rica's Primera División. A breakthrough came for Cartaginés when in 1983 they won the "Segunda" championship, and returned to the top flight, in which has remained since then[9]. In 1987 they lost the championship final to Herediano.

In the 90s, the club was unable to break Saprissa and Alajuelense's hold on the top position, finishing runners-up in 1993 and 1996. The former season, however, allowed them to participate and win the CONCACAF Champions' Cup in 1994, their current biggest achievement, defeating Mexican club Atlante 3-2 in the final[10].

In the 21st century, the club has tried to push for their 4th league championship with no avail. However, they won the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Costa Rican Cup, the national knockout football competition. Their most decorated player of this period was Randall Brenes, known as "Chiqui", which in 2017 became the second striker of the club (after Leonel Hernández) to reach the 100 league goals cap[11], and retired with a total of 103 in 280 appearances.


The stadium Jose Rafael "Fello" Meza is located in Barrio Asis in Cartago, it has a capacity of 13,500 and is the fourth of the highest capacity stadiums in Costa Rica.




  • Winners (3): 1923, 1936, 1940
  • Winners (5): 1963, 1979, 1984, 2014, 2015


Winners (1): 1994
Runner-up (1): 1996
Runner-up (1): 1978

Current squadEdit

  • As of 1 July 2019.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Luis Diego Rivas
2   MF Kendall Gallardo
3   DF William Quirós
4   DF Erick Cabalceta
7   MF Paolo Jiménez
8   DF Luis Pérez
9   FW Marcel Hernández
10   FW Julio César Cruz
12   MF Jorman Sánchez
13   DF Jameson Scott
13   MF José Carlos Pérez
15   MF Ronaldo Araya
16   FW Jurguens Montenegro
No. Position Player
17   MF Daniel Chacón
19   MF Cristopher Núñez
20   FW Jean Scott
21   DF Joaquín Aguirre
23   DF Jorge Gutiérrez
24   DF Jose Sosa
25   MF Manfred Russell
26   MF David Muller
27   FW Jehudy Pizarro
32   MF Mauricio Montero
35   GK Darryl Parker

Retired numbersEdit

Player RecordsEdit

Most appearances
# Nat. Name Career Apps
1   Danny Fonseca 1998-2018 537[13]
2   Paolo Jiménez 2003- 380
3   Leonel Hernández 1957-1977 360[14]
4   Marco Tulio Hidalgo 1985-1998 329[15]
  Miguel Calvo 1982-1993 329[12]
Most goals
# Nat. Name Career Goals
1   Leonel Hernández 1957–1977 164[8]
2   Randall Brenes 2004–2018 103[16]
3   Walford 'Wally' Vaughns 1964–1978 77[17]
4   Alexis Goñi Fonseca 1950-1961 71[18]
5   Bernard "Bernal" Mullins 1992-2008 61

Notable playersEdit

Historical list of coachesEdit


  1. ^ "Cartaginés celebra su 113 aniversario". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  2. ^ "Historia". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  3. ^ "Segunda Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  4. ^ "Cuarta Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  5. ^ Mundo, Néfer Muñoz BBC. "El club que quiere acabar con una "maldición" de 73 años". BBC News Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  6. ^ "El Maestro: "Fello" Meza". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  7. ^ "Séptima Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  8. ^ a b "El elegante billarista del fútbol: Leonel Hernández". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  9. ^ "Octava Decada". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  10. ^ "Novena Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  11. ^ "'Chiqui' Brenes llega a los 100 goles en Primera División en triunfo de Cartaginés sobre Liberia | Teletica". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  12. ^ a b "C.S. CARTAGINÉS". BALLET AZUL (in Spanish). 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  13. ^ "UNAFUT - SITIO OFICIAL - Ciento trece años de rica historia azul y blanco". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  14. ^ Calderón, Jorge (July 11, 2011). "PROXIMO TORNEO DE INVIERNO LLEVARA EL NOMBRE DE LEONEL HERNANDEZ VALERIN". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  15. ^ Club Sport Cartaginés (2016-03-23). "Cartaginés TV: Marco Tulio Hidalgo Alfaro". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  16. ^ "Chiqui Brenes se despide del fútbol: 'Gracias Cartaginés por nacer, crecer y vivir un sueño contigo' | Teletica". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  17. ^ "Chiqui Brenes llega a 78 goles con Cartaginés y es el segundo goleador histórico del club". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  18. ^ Calderón, Jorge (October 2, 2009). "ALEXIS GOÑI "EL REY DEL CABEZASO" A LA GALERIA DEL DEPORTE". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  19. ^ Checo dirigirá al Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  20. ^ Javier Delgado queda fuera del Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  21. ^ Cartaginés presentará este martes a Maurico Wright como su nuevo técnico Archived 2014-12-31 at the Wayback Machine – Al Día (in Spanish)
  22. ^ Enrique Meza Jr. es el nuevo técnico de Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  23. ^ Cartaginés eligió a Claudio Ciccia como técnico permanente – Nación (in Spanish)

External linksEdit