Ricardo Zamora is still regarded as the best goalkeeper in the first half of the 20th century. The son of wealthy parents, he was supposed to become a physician. Zamora originally played the Basque game of pelota, but made his début as a goalkeeper in soccer at the age of 15 for the Real Club Deportivo Español Barcelona and in 1917-18 they became Champions of Catalonia. He started medical school after his father’s death, but soon withdrew. From 1919-22 he played for FC Barcelona, twice winning the Copa del Rey. He had his first international appearance in Antwerpen in 1920 and was rated the best goalkeeper of the tournament. From 1922-30 he joined Español Barcelona, winning his third Cup final. In 1924 Zamora participated in his second Olympic football tournament in Paris, where Spain was eliminated by an own goal. In 1928 he earned his 26th cap in Spain’s 26th international match but as a professional he was unable to compete at the 1928 Olympics.
In 1930-36 Zamora played for Real Madrid, becoming Spanish Champion 1931-32 and 1932-33 and was twice a Cup winner, in 1934 and 1936. At the 1934 World Cup he was injured in the quarter-finals and Spain lost the replay. In 1936 he played his 46th and final international match against Germany, including 24 as captain. Due to the Civil War in Spain Zamora went to France after having been briefly detained by the Republicans. Zamora was player-coach at Olympique Gymnaste Club de Nice in his last active season, 1938-39. At the end of the Civil War he returned to Spain and coached different clubs, and was twice Spanish Champion with Atletico Madrid (1939-40, 1940-41). In 1948 Zamora was technical director at Español Barcelona and coached the Spanish national team for two games in 1952. He later worked as a coach in Venezuela, returned in 1955 and was for some years engaged at Español Barcelona. The Ricardo Zamora Trophy (Trofeo Ricardo Zamora) is awarded annually in Spain to the goalkeeper in La Liga with the lowest goals conceded to games played ratio.
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