Luis de la Fuente
|Full name||Luis de la Fuente y Hoyos|
|Place of birth||Veracruz, Mexico|
|Date of death||May 28, 1972(aged 58)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Luis de la Fuente y Hoyos (nicknamed "The Pirate") is one of the all time most successful Mexico-born footballers. Born in the state of Veracruz on January 17, 1914, he was one of the most successful players to represent Aztec soccer in the world arena.
He played professionally in Mexico for clubs like Aurrera, Marte and RC España. His performance with the national team attracted the interested of Spanish club Racing de Santander, who ended up signing him. After the Spanish Civil War broke out he returned to Mexico to play for RC España and then Club América.
In 1939, the Paraguayan team Atlético Corrales embarked on a Latin American tour and visited Mexico with a squad composed of great players, and during their exhibition games in Mexico they decided to sign De La Fuente. He played for Atlético Corrales for over a year and then signed for Vélez Sarsfield of Argentina before returning to Mexico to play for Marte and, finally, in 1943 sign for his native state team Tiburones Rojos of CD Veracruz. At CD Veracruz he was part of the team that won two Primera División de México championships in 1945 and 1949. It was here, as an already famous and accomplished footballer, that he reached legend status. De la Fuente is the first Mexico-born person to play in four countries (Mexico, Spain, Paraguay and Argentina).
His natural position was the midfield, but his incredible ball skills and technique helped his overall field game, distributing precise passes and assisting goals when not scoring them himself. He was incredibly dangerous in the air game, where his athleticism propelled him to leap over rival defenses. He also possessed a powerful boot on both legs, being the left his strong side.
Personal life and death
De La Fuente retired after a very accomplished 21-year career on June 13, 1954. He died in 1972 of a heart attack and is interred in Veracruz, facing the Luis "Pirata" Fuente Stadium which carries his name and his legend.