César Rodríguez Álvarez
|Full name||César Rodríguez Álvarez|
|Date of birth||6 July 1920|
|Place of birth||León, Spain|
|Date of death||1 March 1995(aged 74)|
|Place of death||Barcelona, Spain|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|1940–1942||→ Granada (loan)||24||(23)|
|1955||→ España Industrial (loan)||9||(8)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
During his career, which spanned more than two decades, he played mainly for Barcelona, appearing in 351 official matches and scoring 232 goals (previously counted as 235), making him the highest goalscorer in the club's history for several decades, until he was passed by Lionel Messi. He won five La Liga championships with the team in a total of 13 major trophies, and was renowned for his ability to score from corners.
Rodríguez was born in León, Castile and León, and joined FC Barcelona in 1939. However, military service saw him being relocated to Granada and Granada CF the following year, and he played two seasons on loan in Andalusia, helping the club promote to La Liga for the first time ever then adding 23 goals in only 24 games in the following season for a final tenth position – out of 14 teams, good enough for league status preservation; this included six in a 7–3 home win against CD Castellón, on 22 March 1942.
César returned to Barcelona in 1942, winning his first national championship in 1944–45, to which conquest he contributed with 15 goals in 24 matches. During his 13-year stint in Catalonia he scored in double digits in 11 seasons, surpassing the 20-goal mark in three. His early teammates included, among others, Antoni Ramallets, Juan Velasco, Josep Escolà, Joan Segarra, Estanislau Basora, José Gonzalvo and Mariano Gonzalvo; in 1949 he won his first and only Pichichi Trophy (28 goals) and, two years later, he scored twice in the 3–0 win over Real Sociedad in the Copa del Generalísimo final.
Subsequently, Rodríguez was part of a legendary Barcelona forward line alongside Basora, László Kubala, Eduardo Manchón and Moreno that helped the club win five trophies during the 1951–52 season. He scored again in the domestic cup final, a 4–2 extra time win against Valencia CF, and netted the only goal in the Latin Cup triumph over OGC Nice of France.
Later years / Management
After leaving Barcelona at the age of 35, César had spells at Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa – his only top flight relegation, in 1956 – and Perpignan FC in France, returning to his country with Elche CF and helping the Valencians move from Tercera División to the top level in only two years, acting as their player-coach in his last season. He scored 33 from only 25 appearances in the third division campaign.
Rodríguez retired from football in 1960 aged 40, with Spanish top division totals of 353 matches and 226 goals. In the competition's history, only three players – Telmo Zarra, Hugo Sánchez and Alfredo Di Stéfano – scored more.
Afterwards, César coached nine seasons in the top tier, mainly with Real Zaragoza, guiding the Aragonese to the third position in 1961, the fourth in 1962 and the fifth in 1963 and also reaching the domestic cup final in the latter campaign, losing against his former team Barcelona.
In the summer of 1963, César succeeded former teammate Josep Gonzalvo at the helm of Barça, being sacked only five games into the 1964–65 campaign. He suffered consecutive top flight relegations with RCD Mallorca and Real Betis, and his last professional job was with Zaragoza in 1968–69, leading the team to the 13th position, the first above the relegation zone. He died at the age of 74 in Barcelona, and his scoring record stood until 20 March 2012 (57 years) when Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick against Granada.
César won 12 caps for Spain during seven years, scoring six goals. He netted on his debut in a 2–2 draw with Portugal on 11 March 1945, and was included in the squad for 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, being an unused member.
Rodríguez's older brother, Ricardo (known as Calo), was also a footballer. A defender, he played eight seasons in the top division in representation of three teams – including Barcelona, five years – appearing in 71 league matches.
César scored the first goal ever in the first division for both Granada and Leonesa.
|1||11 March 1945||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||Portugal||2–2||Draw||Friendly|
|2||6 May 1945||Riazor, A Coruña, Spain||Portugal||4–2||Win||Friendly|
|3||21 March 1948||Nuevo Chamartín, Madrid, Spain||Portugal||2–0||Win||Friendly|
|4||18 February 1951||Nuevo Chamartín, Madrid, Spain||Switzerland||6–3||Win||Friendly|
|5||1 June 1952||Nuevo Chamartín, Madrid, Spain||Republic of Ireland||6–0||Win||Friendly|
|6||28 December 1952||Nuevo Chamartín, Madrid, Spain||West Germany||2–2||Draw||Friendly|
- La Liga: 1944–45, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1952–53
- Copa del Generalísimo: 1951, 1952, 1953
- Copa Eva Duarte: 1948, 1952, 1953
- Latin Cup: 1949, 1952
- Segunda División: 1940–41
- Copa del Generalísimo: Runner-up 1962–63
- Tercera División: 1969–70
- Pichichi Trophy: 1948–49
- Spain – All-Time Topscorers; at RSSSF
- Lionel Messi breaks Barcelona goalscoring record; BBC Sport, 20 March 2012
- César Rodríguez Alvárez, CÉSAR; Franjiverdes, 28 April 2009 (in Spanish)
- "Spain – List of Topscorers ("Pichichi") 1929–2015". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- Calo: Ricardo Rodríguez Álvarez; at BDFutbol
- César Rodríguez at BDFutbol
- Counts for appearances and goals at the European Cup, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
- Counts for appearances and goals at the Copa Eva Duarte and Latin Cup.
- "César". European Football. Retrieved 7 October 2015.