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.

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)
Cartaguito Campeón
FoundedJuly 1, 1906; 117 years ago (July 1, 1906)
GroundEstadio José Rafael Fello Meza Ivankovich, Cartago, Costa Rica
ChairmanLeonardo Vargas Monge
ManagerMario García Covalles
LeagueLiga Promerica
Clausura 2023
WebsiteClub website

Established in 1906, Cartaginés is currently the oldest club competing at the top division.[1] It has won 4 Costa Rican league championships,[2] 5 national cups, 1 national Supercup, and 1 CONCACAF Champions' Cup (in 1994).

History edit

Club Sport Cartaginés was founded on July 1, 1906, by Willie Pirie, a Canadian immigrant,[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

The 1940 Cartaginés team was the last one to win any national league championship for Cartago for the next 81 years, 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.[6] 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.

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

In the 21st century, the club tried to push for the championship during the 2000s and 2010s decades, with a runners-up position in the 2012-2013 season their best league result. 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,[12] and retired with a total of 103 in 280 appearances.

The long wait for the national title was over for the 2021-2022 season, when Cartaginés defeated Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (2–1 aggregate) in the Clausura final to win their 4th league championship. Those days Cartago was filled with people celebrating with bugles and flags that finally, after 81 years, they had won the tournament. They also won that year the Costa Rican Cup for the third consecutive time, defeating Herediano in the final (3–2 aggregate).

Stadium edit

Aerial take of José Rafael "Fello" Meza Stadium

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.

Honours edit

Domestic edit

  • Winners (4): 1923, 1936, 1940, 2022 Clausura[13]
  • Costa Rican Super Cup
    • Winners (1): 1979[17]

International edit

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

Current squad edit

As of July 24, 2023.

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   CRC Darryl Parker
3 DF   CRC William Quirós
4 DF   CRC Kevin Espinoza
5 DF   CRC Jose Vargas
6 MF   CRC Jeikel Venegas
7 MF   CRC Allen Guevara (Captain)
8 MF   CRC Douglas López
9 FW   CUB Marcel Hernández
10 MF   CRC Dylan Flores
11 MF   CRC Kenneth Cerdas
12 DF   CRC José Quirós
13 GK   CRC Bryan Cordero
14 MF   CRC Emmanuel Chacón
16 MF   SLV Christian Martínez
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF   CRC Bernald Alfaro
18 DF   CRC Carlos Barahona
19 FW   CRC Josimar Méndez
20 MF   CRC Víctor Murillo
21 FW   CRC Marco Ureña
22 MF   CRC Isaac París
27 FW   CRC Jostin Daly
28 MF   CRC Kendrick Enriquez
33 GK   CRC Christopher Moya
35 GK   CRC Kevin Briceño
38 MF   CRC Farbod Samadian
52 DF   TRI Aubrey David
77 FW   CRC Josimar Pemberton
DF   MEX Diego González

Retired numbers edit

11  Leonel Hernández, Winger (1957–77)

Player records edit

Most appearances
Rank Nat. Player Tenure Apps
1   Danny Fonseca 1998–2018 537[18]
2   Paolo Jiménez 2003–2022 392
3   Leonel Hernández 1957–1977 360[19]
4   Marco Tulio Hidalgo 1985–1998 329[20]
  Miguel Calvo 1982–1993 329[21]
Most goals
Rank Nat. Player Tenure Goals
1   Leonel Hernández 1957–1977 164[9]
2   Randall Brenes 2004–2018 103[22]
3   Walford 'Wally' Vaughns 1964–1978 78[23]
4   Marcel Hernández Campanioni 2018-2023 74 [24]
5   Alexis Goñi Fonseca 1950-1961 71[25]

Honorable mention to Bernald Mullins Campbell, who almost entered the historic list of Club Sport Cartaginés'goal scorers

Historical list of coaches edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Cartaginés celebra su 113 aniversario". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  2. ^ Méndez, Marvin (2022-07-06). "El fin de la sequía: el Club Sport Cartaginés es el Campeón - TSCR". Tele San Carlos Radio (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  3. ^ "Historia". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  4. ^ "Segunda Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  5. ^ "Cuarta Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  6. ^ Mundo, Néfer Muñoz BBC (23 May 2013). "El club que quiere acabar con una "maldición" de 73 años". BBC News Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  7. ^ "El Maestro: "Fello" Meza". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  8. ^ "Séptima Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  9. ^ a b "El elegante billarista del fútbol: Leonel Hernández". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Octava Decada". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  11. ^ "Novena Década". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  12. ^ "'Chiqui' Brenes llega a los 100 goles en Primera División en triunfo de Cartaginés sobre Liberia | Teletica". (in Spanish). 2 November 2017. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  13. ^ "Histórico grito de Vive-Vive: Cartaginés campeón nacional luego de 81 años |". | Periodico Digital | Costa Rica Noticias 24/7 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  14. ^ "Cartaginés es campeón del Torneo de Copa tras remontar y derrotar 3-2 a Saprissa". La Nación (in Spanish). 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  15. ^ "¡Vive, vive! Cartaginés vence al Herediano en penales y se proclama bicampeón del Torneo de Copa". Diario Digital Nuestro País (in Spanish). 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  16. ^ "Cartaginés cierra su año soñado con un nuevo título |". | Periodico Digital | Costa Rica Noticias 24/7 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  17. ^ Coto, Gerardo (2022-07-15). "Brumosos y florenses por su segunda estrella en Supercopa". Sinart (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  18. ^ "UNAFUT - SITIO OFICIAL - Ciento trece años de rica historia azul y blanco". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  19. ^ Calderón, Jorge (11 July 2011). "PROXIMO TORNEO DE INVIERNO LLEVARA EL NOMBRE DE LEONEL HERNANDEZ VALERIN". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  20. ^ Club Sport Cartaginés (23 March 2016). "Cartaginés TV: Marco Tulio Hidalgo Alfaro". Club Sport Cartaginés (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  21. ^ "C.S. CARTAGINÉS". BALLET AZUL (in Spanish). 29 August 2016. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Chiqui Brenes se despide del fútbol: 'Gracias Cartaginés por nacer, crecer y vivir un sueño contigo'". (in Spanish). 29 June 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Chiqui Brenes llega a 78 goles con Cartaginés y es el segundo goleador histórico del club". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Todos los goles de Marcel Hernández Campanioni en su carrera".
  25. ^ Calderón, Jorge (October 2, 2009). "ALEXIS GOÑI "EL REY DEL CABEZASO" A LA GALERIA DEL DEPORTE". Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  26. ^ Checo dirigirá al Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  27. ^ Javier Delgado queda fuera del Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  28. ^ Cartaginés presentará este martes a Maurico Wright como su nuevo técnico Archived 2014-12-31 at the Wayback Machine – Al Día (in Spanish)
  29. ^ Enrique Meza Jr. es el nuevo técnico de Cartaginés – Nación (in Spanish)
  30. ^ Cartaginés eligió a Claudio Ciccia como técnico permanente – Nación (in Spanish)

External links edit