José Zalazar

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José Luis Zalazar
Personal information
Full name José Luis Zalazar Rodríguez
Date of birth (1963-10-26) 26 October 1963 (age 50)
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1986 Peñarol
1986–1987 Tecos UAG 20 (11)
1987–1988 Cádiz 33 (6)
1988–1990 Español 16 (1)
1990–1996 Albacete Balompié 218 (72)
1996–1997 Racing Santander 39 (4)
1997 Nacional
1997 Bella Vista 13 (3)
1998–1999 Albacete Balompié 12 (0)
National team
1984–1993 Uruguay 29 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Zalazar and the second or maternal family name is Rodríguez.

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

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 Uruguayan international for nearly one full decade, Zalazar represented the country at the 1986 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

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 the 1988–89 season, again with the Tecos.

In 1989, Zalazar returned to Spain, 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 – namely two crucial ones against UD Salamanca.[1]

During 1991–92's top level, Zalazar again played in all the games, adding 13 goals and helping Albacete Balompié finish in seventh place, the highest position ever reached by the club in the top division. The player's performances earned him the EFE Trophy by Spanish news agency EFE, awarded to the best Ibero-American player in La Liga every year.[2] During his career at Albacete, he also became the club's all-time leader in top level appearances, with 180 matches,[3] and goals, with 57.

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

International career[edit]

Zalazar obtained a total of 29 international caps for the Uruguay national team. Having made his official international 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.[4]

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]