Ferreyra in 1936 while playing for River Plate.
|Date of birth||12 February 1909|
|Place of birth||Rufino, Argentina|
|Date of death||22 May 1972(aged 63)|
|1930–1931||→ Vélez Sársfield (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Bernabé Ferreyra (12 February 1909 – 22 May 1972) was an Argentine association football forward. He was one of the first professional players in Argentine football to reach great popularity, to the point that he had a movie biography.
Bernabé Ferreyra debuted at 14 in Jorge Newbery, a local club from his home town. At the age of 18 he went to BAP, a club of Junín, Buenos Aires Province. His senior career started in 1926 playing for Newell´s Old Boys, when Argentine football was still amateur. Then he went to Tigre. He scored four goals to El Porvenir in his debut match. He was given on loan to Huracán for a tour to Brazil, where he played eight matches scoring 11 goals also when Argentine football was still amateur .
In 1932, Ferreyra was transferred from Tigre to River Plate for a record transfer fee of 23,000 pounds. He kept this record for a total of 17 years – the longest unbroken time period for this record.
His first match with River was on 13 March 1932 facing Chacarita. River won 3–1 and Ferreyra scored 2 goals. Bernabé played a total of 185 matches for River, scoring 187 goals, with an average of 1.01 goal per game. He obtained 3 local leagues as player, all of them in River Plate (1932, 1936 and 1937). In the 1932 league tournament, he was the top scorer with 43 goals. This also gave him the title of top scorer in South America.
Ferreyra, along Valeriano López and Arthur Friedenreich, are the only American professional footballers with an average of more than 1 goal per match. Bernabé totaled 206 goals in 197 games from the beginning of the professional era in 1931 to his retirement in 1939.
His fame and striking strength was such that the newspaper Crítica gave a prize to the first goalkeeper that played Ferreyra without receiving a goal. The prize was awarded to Cándido De Nicola of Huracán (despite still suffering one goal in a 1-1 drew).
Ferreyra debuted in Argentina national football team on May 25, 1931, facing Uruguay in a Copa Lipton match, although he did not play well and was criticized by journalists. His run at national team was brief and he did not participate in any FIFA World Cups.
Throughout his career he was known as "El Mortero de Rufino", due to his capacity as a striker and his strong kick. He was also known as La Fiera (Spanish for "The Wild Animal"). It is said that this nickname was born when Hugo Marini (a journalist for Crítica) overheard a conversation between an old man and a boy, in which the old man said "He's not a man. He's a beast" while referring to Ferreyra.
In words of some teammates and famous players and Bernabé Ferreyra himself:
|“||My brothers persisted in telling me I had to be the stronger shooter in town. They made me kick the ball from morning to afternoon, every day. They used to encourage me shouting: 'Harder, even harder!'||”|
|“||I prefer to retire from football before football retires from me||”|
|“||'So you are "La Fiera" (The Fierce): I wanted to meet you', said Carlos Gardel to Ferreyra, who answered: 'No, master, it is you who are "La Fiera" when singing'||”|
|“||Bernabé was an exceptional player: his rivals had to work on him twice as much as with other players. For all of us, his teammates, he made things easier. But as a man, he was valued more. Bernabé earned as much money as he wanted but he was not concerned with keeping it. He gave other people a lot of money, without asking for anything in return. When he shook your hand, you could be sure that you had a friend for the rest of your life .(José Manuel Moreno)||”|
- "Historia del Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield" (in Spanish). VelezSarsfield.net. Archived from the original on 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
- Historical Soccer Transfers Archived June 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Feature Article – World Soccer News
- Idolos de River Plate: Bernabé Ferreyra
- http://www.rufinoweb.com.ar/noticia.asp?idn=2307[permanent dead link]
- River Plate Online – Bernabé Ferreyra Archived April 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- El Diario/LA PRENSA OnLine Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bernabé Ferreyra.|