Oreste Corbatta

Oreste Omar Corbatta Fernández (11 March 1936 – 5 December 1991) was an Argentine footballer who played as right winger. Corbatta is regarded as the greatest idol in the history of Racing Club.[1]

Oreste Corbatta
Orestes Omar Corbatta (Racing) - El Gráfico 1932.jpg
Corbatta on the cover of El Gráfico, 1952
Personal information
Full name Oreste Omar Corbatta Fernández
Date of birth (1936-03-11)11 March 1936
Place of birth Daireaux, Argentina
Date of death 5 December 1991(1991-12-05) (aged 55)
Place of death La Plata, Argentina
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Position(s) Winger
Youth career
Estudiantes LP
1953–1955 Juverlandia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1962 Racing Club 177 (72)
1962–1965 Boca Juniors 18 (7)
1965–1968 Independiente Medellín 145 (34)
1970 San Telmo 33 (10)
1971 Italia Unidos
1973–1974 Tiro Federal
National team
1956–1962 Argentina 43 (18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Dubbed Arlequín[2] and El dueño de la raya (The chairman of the sideline), he played for five clubs in his country –six in total– mainly Racing Club and Boca Juniors, winning four major titles and scoring 86 official goals with both teams combined.

An accomplished penalty kick taker and widely regarded as the best Argentine right winger of all time, Corbatta earned more than 40 caps for the national side in the 50s/60s, and represented the country at the 1958 World Cup.

Club careerEdit

Born in Daireaux, Buenos Aires Province to an Italian immigrant from Recanati and an Argentine mother,[3] Corbatta gave his first steps in football playing for Estudiantes de La Plata at 14 years old. In 1953 he joined Club Juverlandia of Chascomús to play the Liga Platense regional championship. His performances on the field called the attention of Racing Club de Avellaneda, who hired him on loan for one year.[4]

Corbatta started his professional career on April 30, 1955, making his debut in Argentine Primera División in a 0–1 loss against Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. Corbatta was one of the La Academía key players that helped the team to win the 1958 and 1961 league titles.[5]

In 1963, Corbatta joined Boca Juniors for 12 million pesos, with which Racing was able to improve the conditions in its stadium and build new sporting facilities. On 19 May 1963, he scored all the goals in a 3–0 home win against Vélez Sarsfield, and also featured in that year's Copa Libertadores final loss against Pelé's Santos FC; in his final two years in La Bombonera, he added a further two national championships.

Corbatta joined Independiente Medellín in 1965, remaining in Colombia for three years. He returned to his country for spells with lower league sides San Telmo, Italia Unidos and Tiro Federal, retiring from football at the age of 38.[5] During his professional career, he only missed four of 68 penalties.[2]

International careerEdit

Corbatta played a total of 43 games for Argentina in which he scored 18 goals, at one time ranking in joint-13th place with Domingo Tarasconi.[6] He was part of the South American Championship-winning team in 1957, when he formed a legendary attacking line with Humberto Maschio, Antonio Angelillo, Omar Sívori and Osvaldo Cruz. They were nicknamed the Carasucias, and that was the first Argentine achievement with a great repercusion on the media.[7] Because of his great performance in the tournament, a Chilean journalist defined Corbatta as "the animated cartoon player".[4] With Corbatta in the team, Argentina would repeat the feat in 1959.

Corbatta also appeared in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, contributing with three goals in three games in an eventual group stage exit.[8]

Personal life / TributeEdit

Corbatta struggled heavily with alcoholism, playing several games in a state of full inebriation. Illiterate, he never learned to read.[2][9]

Poor and alone – he married and divorced four times – Corbatta died of larynx cancer in La Plata in 1991, aged 55.[10] In 2006, to mark the 15th anniversary of his death, he was inaugurated into the Racing Club Hall of Fame, and a bronze statue by Daniel Zimermann was unveiled. The Avellaneda municipality renamed the stadium's backstreet to "Pasaje Corbatta" in his honor.[5]

"Don't pass me the ball because I can't see it", from Corbatta to teammate Raúl Belén before a Racing v Estudiantes de La Plata match. Corbatta had arrived in Racing Club Stadium so heavily drunk that he needed to be reanimated by club employees. Although he could not be completely recovered, he jumped to the field and scored two goals.[1]

Do you know why (my rivals) could not take me the ball away? Because "she"[note 1] didn't want to abandon me. Other things were indeed taken away from me, but not the ball.

— Corbatta in an interview, remembering his skills with the ball and his back luck with women <ref=canio/>

Corbatta was a phenomenal player. He did imposible things. He was crazy, but about football. When he dribbled it seemed that rivals could never take the ball away from him. He became an idol of Limeños (people from Lima). After the 3–0 win over Brazil, he was acclaimed by the whole attendance, giving his shirt to them as retribution.[7]

— Humberto Maschio, Corbatta's teammate in Racing Club and Argentina national team




Boca Juniors




  1. ^ Corbatta referred the ball using the feminine form, as it's usual in some South American countries to express love for the game.


  1. ^ a b El dueño de la raya by Damián Didonato on Un Caño
  2. ^ a b c El que se fue solo (The departed alone); La Gaceta, 5 December 2008
  3. ^ Alejandro Wall (2016). Corbatta: El wing [Corbatta: The wing] (in Spanish). Aguilar. ISBN 9789877351439.
  4. ^ a b "Futbol Factory biography". Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Oreste Corbatta" (in Spanish). Racing Club. 17 December 1991. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  6. ^ Argentina – Record International Players; at RSSSF
  7. ^ a b La primera delantera mediática by Roberto Martínez on ESPN, 7 May 2016
  8. ^ Oreste CorbattaFIFA competition record (archived)
  9. ^ De noches, alcohol y Omar Orestes Corbatta (Nights out, booze and Omar Orestes Corbatta); Notas de Fútbol, 28 March 2008 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ "Just for kicks". Newsbank. 17 December 1991. Retrieved 11 August 2009.

External linksEdit