José Zalazar

José Luis Zalazar Rodríguez (born 26 October 1963) is a Uruguayan retired footballer who played mostly as an attacking midfielder.

José Luis Zalazar
Personal information
Full name José Luis Zalazar Rodríguez
Date of birth (1963-10-26) 26 October 1963 (age 57)
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1986 Peñarol 98 (41)
1986–1987 Tecos UAG 20 (11)
1987–1988 Cádiz 33 (6)
1988–1990 Espanyol 16 (1)
1990–1996 Albacete 218 (72)
1996–1997 Racing Santander 39 (4)
1997 Nacional 17 (3)
1997 Bella Vista 13 (3)
1998–1999 Albacete 12 (0)
Total 466 (141)
National team
1984–1993 Uruguay 29 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nicknamed El Oso (Bear), he played most of his career in Spain, especially with Albacete Balompié, being part of the club's most long tenure in La Liga. He was also notable for his strong and accurate right-foot shot, as demonstrated with several goals from long distance, particularly from free kicks.[1]

An Uruguay international for nearly one decade, Zalazar represented the country at the 1986 World Cup.

Club careerEdit

Born in Montevideo, Zalazar started his career at local club C.A. Peñarol in 1982. After the 1986 FIFA World Cup he joined Mexican club Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara where, in his first year, he was the highest goalscorer of the tournament with 23 goals overall. He then moved to Spain, where he played with Cádiz CF one season before returning to Mexico for 1988–89, again with the Tecos.

Zalazar returned to Spain in 1989, playing one year in its second division with RCD Español. He then joined Albacete Balompié, where he would have his most successful period, playing six seasons and being part of the squad known as Queso Mecánico ("Clockwork Cheese"). He started his spell at the Castile-La Mancha team in the second level, scoring 15 times in all 38 matches in an eventual promotion – including two crucial ones against UD Salamanca.[1][2]

During 1991–92's La Liga, Zalazar again played in all the games, adding 13 goals and helping Albacete finish in seventh place, the highest position ever reached by the club in the top division. His performances earned him the EFE Trophy by Spanish news agency EFE, awarded to the best Ibero-American player in the competition every year.[3] During his career at Albacete, he also became the club's all-time leader in top level appearances, with 180 matches,[4] and goals, with 57.

After Albacete was relegated back to division two at the end of 1995–96, Zalazar left for Racing de Santander for one single campaign. The following year he returned to Uruguay, playing the 1997 Apertura tournament for hometown's Club Nacional de Football and the Clausura for C.A. Bella Vista. After a brief retirement the 35-year-old rejoined Albacete, still in the second tier, leaving the game for good at the end of the season.

International careerEdit

Zalazar obtained a total of 29 caps for the Uruguay national team. Having made his official debut on 13 June 1984 against England in a 2–0 win, he was part of the squad at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, making his only appearance of the tournament during the second half of a group stage 1–6 loss to Denmark.[5]

Zalazar also played six matches during the 1994 World Cup qualification process, his last representing Uruguay, which did not qualify.

Personal lifeEdit

Zalazar have two sons and both of them are footballers. His elder son Kuki Zalazar is a former Spanish youth international and currently plays as forward for Real Valladolid B.[6]

His younger son Rodrigo Zalazar is a Uruguay youth international and currently plays as a midfielder for Polish club Korona Kielce on loan from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.[7]


  1. ^ a b FortuneCity biography Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  2. ^ "El Albacete hace historia" [Albacete make history]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 10 June 1991. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  3. ^ Forlán, segundo uruguayo que gana el Trofeo EFE (Forlán, second Uruguayan to win the EFE Award) Archived 29 July 2012 at; EFE, 24 October 2005 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ "Memoria de La Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, temporada 2000/2001" [National Professional Football League flashback, 2000/2001 season] (PDF) (in Spanish). Liga de Fútbol Profesional. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2006. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
  5. ^ "6–1: Dinarmarca enterró a Uruguay" [6–1: Denmark buried Uruguay]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 9 June 1986. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Jose Luis 'Kuki' Zalazar: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Talented midfielder with an eye for goal". Retrieved 27 July 2019.

External linksEdit