Ubaldo Fillol

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Ubaldo Fillol
Fillol as displayed in a 1978 Panini card
Personal information
Full name Ubaldo Matildo Fillol
Date of birth (1950-07-21) 21 July 1950 (age 73)
Place of birth San Miguel del Monte,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1971 Quilmes 57 (0)
1971–1973 Racing Club 59 (0)
1973–1983 River Plate 360 (0)
1983–1984 Argentinos Juniors 17 (0)
1984–1985 Flamengo 34 (0)
1985–1986 Atlético Madrid 17 (0)
1986–1989 Racing Club 71 (0)
1989–1991 Vélez Sársfield 42 (0)
Total 657 (0)
International career
1974–1985 Argentina 58 (0)
Managerial career
2004 Racing Club
Medal record
Representing  Argentina
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1978 Argentina
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Ubaldo Matildo Fillol ([uˈβaldo maˈtildo fiˈʎol]; born 21 July 1950), nicknamed el Pato (in English: "the Duck"), is an Argentine football coach and former goalkeeper. He took part in the 1974, 1978 (where he won the championship with his team and was voted Best Goalkeeper) and 1982 World Cups representing the Argentina national team. He also played in the South American qualifiers for the 1986 World Cup, but he was finally not chosen for the final team that played (and won) in Mexico. He is usually considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers and usually regarded as the best Argentine goalkeeper ever.[1][2][3]


Born in San Miguel del Monte, Fillol gave his first steps as goalkeeper in an amateur club of the city, where he spent four years. Former River Plate player and manager Renato Cesarini would be his mentor, after seeing him play at the regional league. In 1965 Fillol arrived to Quilmes A.C. to play at club's youth divisions. At the age of 18, Fillol debuted in Primera División (the Argentine top division) playing for Quilmes vs. Huracán, on 1 May 1969. He soon drew public attraction due to his agility and quick reflexes that allowed him to make acrobatic saves.[4][5]

In the 1970 Metropolitano championship Fillol stopped the first penalty shoot in his career to Gimnasia y Esgrima LP forward Delio Onnis. That same year Quilmes would be relegated to Primera B, where Fillol played 23 matches with the club. In 1972 Fillol was hired by Racing Club de Avellaneda, debuting in the 1972 Metropolitano. In that championship, Fillol set a record of 6 penalty shot stopped, the highest in Argentine football for a same season.[5]

Fillol in River Plate, where he stayed ten years

In 1973 Fillol was traded to River Plate, where he would play the most part of his career. In River Plate, Fillol won seven titles, including the 1975 Metropolitano tournament that meant the first title for the club after 18 years with no championships. In 1977 Fillol was awarded the footballer of the Year of Argentina, being the first goalkeeper ever to receive the distinction.

He was called up for the Argentina national team, where he was part of the roster at the 1974 World Cup (the other goalkeepers were Daniel Carnevali and Miguel Ángel Santoro). Fillol's most notable performance with Argentina was in 1978, when he won the first Cup with the squad apart from being chosen as the best goalkeeper of the competition.

In 1983, after a conflict with the River Plate executives (during which he considered to retire from the activity) Fillol was transferred to Argentinos Juniors by request of Ángel Labruna (who was managing Argentinos Junior by then). Fillol played 17 matches there.[6] In November that year, he moved to Brazil to play in Flamengo, where he won the Taça Guanabara with the club in 1984.

Fillol's debut in European football was in 1985 when he was traded to Atlético Madrid at 35. With Fillol as goalkeeper, the club won the Supercopa de España in 1985. In 1986 Fillol returned to Racing, where he won the first edition of the Supercopa Sudamericana in 1988, being also the first international title for the club after the 1967 Intercontinental Cup

The best goalkeeper I've ever seen was Ubaldo Fillol"

Diego Maradona remembering Fillol's retirement, 22 December 2017[7]

At the age of 40, Fillol retired from football ending his career in Vélez Sarsfield in the last fixture of the 1990 Apertura championship, on 22 December 1990 at Estadio Monumental, with the visitor team beating local River Plate by 2–1.[8][9] Fillol made an outstanding performance, even stopping a penalty shoot to forward Rubén da Silva. Fillol also held the record of 26 penalty stopped, the highest in Argentine football, sharing this record with Hugo Gatti.[10]

Fillol during his tenure as goalkeeping coach in Argentina, 2006

After his retirement, Fillol served as goalkeeping coach in the Argentina national team, before being Racing Club manager in 2003.[11] After a short tenure as Racing manager, Fillol returned to his role as goalkeeping coach for Argentina, also working at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[5] Nevertheless, Fillol left his charge when José Pekerman resigned as Argentina manager.[12]

Fillol continued his career coaching goalkeepers in River Plate, but he resigned after a match v. San Lorenzo when Juan Pablo Carrizo refused to accept his gesture of support after a mistake that allowed rival team to score a goal. Fillol alleged he felt "humillated" by Carrizo and showed his desire to continue in the club but only working with youth players, as he had done before.[13] Finally, Fillol would return to River Plate in 2014, serving as director of club's goalkeepers section.[14]


For his River Plate career, he was the counterpart of Hugo Orlando Gatti, another great Argentine goalkeeper who played in the nemesis team, Boca Juniors. Fillol was always the image of professionalism and seriousness; "Madman" Gatti, on the other hand, looked eccentric, unorthodox.


At the 1978 World Cup, Fillol wore the number 5 jersey, instead of 1 which is the standard for goalkeepers. This happened because Argentina, at that time, gave players their numbers alphabetically. The number 1 jersey was worn by offensive midfielder Norberto Alonso. For the same reason, Fillol wore the number 7 jersey at the 1982 tournament while Osvaldo Ardiles (another midfielder) wore the number 1. This practice was last permitted in 1986, when FIFA stated that the number 1 shirt should only be worn by goalkeepers.



Fillol celebrating the 1988 Supercopa Libertadores won with Racing Club

River Plate


Atlético Madrid

Racing Club




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Greatest Argentine Soccer Players of All Time". Soccer Mavericks. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  2. ^ Nacía Ubaldo Fillol: ¿el mejor arquero en la historia del fútbol argentino?, Infobae, 20 Jul 2012
  3. ^ Goalkeeping Greats at goalkeepersaredifferent.com
  4. ^ 20 arqueros que hicieron historia by Martín Estévez on El Gráfico, 14 Jun 2016
  5. ^ a b c El pato Fillol cumple 67 on El Primer Grande, 21 Jul 2017
  6. ^ Noticias on Argentinos Juniors website
  7. ^ Maradona aseguró que Fillol fue el mejor arquero que vio en su vida, Los Andes, 22 December 2017
  8. ^ Se cumplen 30 años del retiro de Ubaldo Matildo Fillol on Télam, 22 Dec 2020
  9. ^ Argentina 1990-91 by Pablo Ciullini on RSSSF
  10. ^ Fillol: "Fue la despedida soñada", TN.com.ar
  11. ^ Asumió Fillol y prometió actuar con firmeza, Rio Negro Online, 31 Dec 2003
  12. ^ El Pato Fillol podría volver a entrenar a los arqueros, TyC Sports, 2 Nov 2006
  13. ^ Fillol, el entrenador de arqueros de River renunció a su cargo on El Territorio news, 24 May 2011
  14. ^ Otra gloria vuelve a River: Fillol será entrenador de arqueros, Diario Popular, 17 Jan 2014
  15. ^ "El Grafico 1981 votes". elgrafico.
  16. ^ "La Selección de Todos los Tiempos" [The Team of All Time] (in Spanish). Argentine Football Association. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2018.


  1. ^ Americas footballer of the year by El Grafico was an award that included over 130 journalists/tv broadcasters from all over the Americas continent
  2. ^ Fillol finished 3d, while Zico was second (524 pts) and Diego Maradona first (572 pts)

External links[edit]