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Rafael Moreno Aranzadi (23 May 1892 – 1 March 1922), known as Pichichi, was a Spanish footballer who played as a forward.

Ath pichichi 02.jpg
Personal information
Full name Rafael Moreno Aranzadi
Date of birth (1892-05-23)23 May 1892
Place of birth Bilbao, Spain
Date of death 1 March 1922(1922-03-01) (aged 29)
Place of death Bilbao, Spain
Height 1.54 m (5 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1910–1911 Bilbao FC[1][2]
1911–1922 Athletic Bilbao
National team
1920 Spain 5 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He played for Athletic Bilbao during the 1910s and 1920s.[3]

Club careerEdit

Born in Bilbao, Biscay, Pichichi played in his first Copa del Rey final in March 1913 as Athletic Bilbao, his sole club, lost 0–1 against Racing Club de Irún. Later the same year, on 21 August, the same opponents, now renamed Real Unión, were invited to play the inaugural game at San Mamés Stadium, and he scored the very first goal at the ground;[4] two months later, he also scored the first goal at Real Sociedad's new Atotxa Stadium in the opening fixture for that venue.[5] He received his nickname because of his frail build.[6]

Easily identifiable on the pitch due to a white cloth he tied to his head,[7] Pichichi subsequently played in five other domestic cup finals, winning four and netting a hat-trick in the 1915 final as Athletic beat RCD Español 5–0.[8][9]

After returning from the 1920 Olympics, some supporters felt that his performances were no longer measuring up to his 'star' status, and this criticism caused him to abruptly quit playing altogether in order to become a referee. He died 2 March 1922 at age 29 from a sudden attack of typhus,[10][9] with the grief among the fans at the shock news heightened with regret for the acrimonious manner in which their hero had departed the club.[9] He scored a total of 83 goals in 89 games for Athletic.[11]

International careerEdit

In 1920, Pichichi was a member of the very first Spain national team that played at the Summer Olympic Games in Belgium. He earned five senior caps during one month, his debut coming on 28 August in a 1–0 win against Denmark.

Personal lifeEdit

Pichichi's father was mayor of Bilbao,[9] and he was Miguel de Unamuno's nephew.[12] Both he and his future wife were immortalised in a painting by Aurelio Arteta[13] (although it is said that the image originally depicted teammate José María Belauste, and came to be known as a representation of Pichichi and his fiancée following his death).[9]

Bust of Pichichi at the San Mamés Stadium

In 1926, a bust was erected in Pichichi's honour at the San Mamés Stadium. It was tradition for teams visiting the ground for the first time pay homage by leaving a bouquet of flowers at its base.[14] Despite concerns that it might not be accommodated at Athletic's new ground,[15] a suitable spot was identified at the entrance to the players' tunnel, allowing the tradition to continue at the new location from 2013 onwards.[16]

In 1953, Spanish sports newspaper Diario Marca introduced the Pichichi Trophy in his honour. It was awarded each year to the top scorers in La Liga and Segunda División.[17]




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Athletic 4–1 Bilbao FC". Athletic Bilbao. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  2. ^ "La General, la mítica grada de San Mamés (1924)" [The General, the mythical stand of San Mamés (1924)] (in Spanish). Memorias del Fútbol Vasco. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ A LITTLE HISTORY: Rafael Moreno Aranzadi ‘Pichichi’; at Espangol
  4. ^ "El viejo San Mamés cumpliría hoy cien años" [Old San Mamés would be 100 years old today]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 21 August 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  5. ^ "El viejo Atocha abrió sus puertas hace un siglo" [Old Atocha opened its doors a century ago] (in Spanish). El Diario Vasco. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Rafael Moreno Aranzadi, más conocido por Pichichi" [Rafael Moreno Aranzadi, better known as Pichichi]. Marca (in Spanish). 6 February 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Un poco de historia… Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi"" [A little bit of history… Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi"] (in Spanish). Orgullo Athleticzale. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Spain – Cup 1915". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Rafael Moreno, Pichichi, se convierte en mito (1922)" [Rafael Moreno, Pichichi, becomes a myth (1922)]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 1 March 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Leyendas del Athletic Club de Bilbao – 'Pichichi'" [Athletic Club de Bilbao legends – 'Pichichi']. El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Pichichi". Athletic Bilbao. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  12. ^ "OPINIÓN: 'Pichichi', de Hugo a Chicharito" [OPINION: 'Pichichi', from Hugo to Chicharito] (in Spanish). 2 September 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  13. ^ "El Athletic comunica la baja a Felipe, Bordas y Escalona" [Athletic tell Felipe, Bordas and Escalona of decision to release them]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 31 May 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Ofrenda a Pichichi" [Offering to Pichichi] (in Spanish). San Mamé Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  15. ^ "El busto de Pichichi no encuentra su sitio en el nuevo San Mamés" [Pichichi's bust can not find its place at the new San Mamés]. ABC (in Spanish). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  16. ^ "El Genk homenajea a Pichichi" [Genk pay homage to Pichichi]. El Correo (in Spanish). 3 November 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Los discípulos de Pichichi" [Pichichi's disciples]. El Correo (in Spanish). 9 October 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  18. ^ "VII. Olympiad Antwerp 1920 Football Tournament". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 March 2017.

External linksEdit