Ricardo Saprissa

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Ricardo Saprissa
Ricardo Saprissa.jpg
Saprissa playing for Español
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Juan Antonio Saprissa Aymá
Date of birth (1901-06-24)June 24, 1901
Place of birth San Salvador, El Salvador
Date of death August 16, 1990(1990-08-16) (aged 89)
Place of death Alajuela, Costa Rica
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1928–1932 Espanyol
1932 Orión
National team
1925–1931 Catalonia
Teams managed
1935–1938 Costa Rica
1938 Orión
1951 Costa Rica
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ricardo Juan Antonio Saprissa Aymá (June 24, 1901 in San Salvador, El Salvador – August 16, 1990) was a lifelong athlete, coach, and promoter of sports.

He spent many years in Costa Rica, playing and coaching football. In 1935 he was co-founder of Deportivo Saprissa, a highly successful football team based in San Juan de Tibás.

Early life[edit]

Born in El Salvador to Spanish parents,[1] Saprissa played several sports, excelling at football with the team RCD Espanyol, as well as in tennis, field hockey and polo. He won Spain's football national championship with RCD Espanyol in 1928, Spain's field hockey national championship in 1924, and Spain's tennis national championships in 1923 and 1924. He participated with Spain at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 [2]and on the Spanish Davis Cup team in 1930. He moved to San José, Costa Rica, in 1932.

Costa Rica and Deportivo Saprissa[edit]

Saprissa became the coach and president of the local football team, Orión, guiding them to a championship in 1938. He coached Costa Rica's national football team, winning the silver medal at the 1935 and 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games, and in the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires.

Later that decade, Roberto Fernández started a boys football team, with children from all over San José. He asked Saprissa if he could supply the player's uniforms. He did, and the team became known as Deportivo Saprissa.[3] The team successfully competed in local tournaments. As the young players started to grow, the team began to compete in higher categories. They reached Costa Rica's First Division in 1949.

They have won more national and international tournaments than any other Costa Rican team. They represented CONCACAF at the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan in December 2005, winning third place in the tournament.

Saprissa was the president of Deportivo Saprissa from 1948 to 1981. In 1972, one of his dreams was realised when the team became the first in Costa Rica to have its own stadium, which was named after Saprissa.

Death and legacy[edit]

Don Ricardo Saprissa died in Alajuela in August 1990.[1] Among his distinctions, Saprissa was included in Costa Rica's Sports Gallery in 1969 and was named honorary president of Barcelona's Espanyol, Costa Rica's Orion, Gimnástica Española in Spain, and rival soccer team Alajuelense in Costa Rica.


  1. ^ a b RCD Espanyol rinde homenaje a la presidencia honorífica de Ricardo Saprissa - Nación (in Spanish)
  2. ^ "Ricardo Saprissa". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  3. ^ http://www.saprissa.co.cr/content/articles/226/1/Hoy-hace-107-anos-nacio-don-Ricardo-Saprissa-Ayma/Page1.html

External links[edit]