Bernabé Ferreyra

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Bernabé Ferreyra
Bferreyra poster 1936.jpg
Ferreyra in 1936 while playing for River Plate.
Personal information
Date of birth (1909-02-12)12 February 1909
Place of birth Rufino, Argentina
Date of death 22 May 1972(1972-05-22) (aged 63)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1927–1932 Tigre 43 (45)
1930–1931 Vélez Sársfield (loan) 0 (0)
1932–1939 River Plate 185 (187)
National team
1930–1937 Argentina 4 (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.

Playing career[edit]


Ferreyra and fans during his last match in 1939.

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 .

Between 1930 and 1931, Tigre loaned him for free to Vélez Sársfield, to play with the club during their Pan-American tour.[1] He scored 38 goals with the team during the tour.[1]

In 1932, Ferreyra was transferred from Tigre to River Plate for a record transfer fee of 23,000 pounds.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

Ferreyra's last match played was on 11 May 1939 against Newell's Old Boys. The match ended 2–2 and Ferreyra did not score. He retired at the early age of 29 and never accepted being a coach.[6]

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.[7] 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.

Personal life[edit]

Ferreyra was born in the city of Rufino, Santa Fe Province. He married Juanita in 1936 and had two children, Bernabé Daniel and Carlos Alberto.

Throughout his career he was known as "El Mortero de Rufino",[6][8] 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:[4]


External links[edit]