Luis Ernesto Tapia

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Luis Ernesto Tapia
Personal information
Full name Luis Ernesto Tapia Pérez
Date of birth (1944-10-21) October 21, 1944 (age 75)
Place of birth Panama City, Panama
Playing position(s) Forward
Youth career
1961–1962 Politécnica FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1963 Deportivo El Granillo
1963–1970 Alianza
1969–1970 Deportiva Galcasa
1970–1971 Atlético Marte
1971–1972 UES
1972–1974 Juventud Olímpica
1974–1979 Provincia de Panama Metro
1979–1981 Atlético Ciudad de Panama
National team
1963–1979 Panama 77 (20)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Luis Ernesto Tapia Pérez (born October 21, 1944 in Panama) is a retired football forward, who is regarded as the best player ever in Panama.[1][2]

He was active on the Panama national football team between 1963 and 1979.

Club career[edit]

A native of Barrio El Granillo, in Panama City (Between Chorrillo and Barraza (lanes 17 and 21 West)),[3] debuted very young with Panama national football team, during a tour on El Salvador, was signed by the Alianza of that country.

Known as the "Central-american Pele",[4] Luis Ernesto "Cascarita" Tapia lived its golden age in El Salvador during the 1960s and 1970s, especially with the Alianza and still remembered by his fans, facing dozens of famous Brazilian players.[5]

On March 19, 1971, in the then Estadio Revolución, about 25,000 fans witnessed the match between Brazil's Santos and Atlético Marte of El Salvador. In the Brazilian team was the King Pele, while on the side Atlético Marte "Cascarita" Tapia.[6]

International career[edit]

Was part of the team that participated for the first time in a World Cup qualifier,[7] for Argentina 1978 World Cup and had the honor of scoring the first goal for Panama in these competitions, he also toured with the Panama on Asia, facing famous Hector Chumpitaz´s Peru team. He scored 20 goals in 77 games for Panama.[8]


In his honor, the Training Court next to Estadio Rommel Fernandez also known as mini-Rommel bears his name.[9]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Panama's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 31 March 1963 Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González, San Salvador, El Salvador  Nicaragua 5–0 5–0 1963 CONCACAF Championship
2 3 November 1969 Independence Park (Jamaica), Kingston, Jamaica, Jamaica  Jamaica 1–0 1–1 1969 CONCACAF Championship qualification
3 4 April 1976 Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama  Costa Rica 1–1 3–2 1977 CONCACAF Championship qualification

Honours and awards[edit]


Alianza F.C.
Aletico Marte
Juventud Olímpica


External links[edit]