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Alejandro Morera Soto

Personal information
Full nameAlejandro Morera Soto
Height1.65 m (5 ft 4.9 in)
Playing positionForward

     Home | Football | Alejandro Morera Soto

Alejandro Morera Soto (July 14, 1909 in Alajuela - March 25, 1995) was a Costa Rican football player, who played as a striker mostly for LD Alajuelense in the Costa Rican Primera División. He is considered the best and most talented player of all time in Costa Rica.

"El fenomeno costarricense" ("The Costa Rican phenomenon"), as he was dubbed by the press in Catalonia, Spain, where he was part of FC Barcelona, one of the world's greatest teams. However, he was known to most as "El Mago del Balón" (The Magician of the Ball), he was of small stature but a most powerful striker.

In 1925 at the early age of 16, he made his debut with LD Alajuelense in the Costa Rican premier league Primera División in a match against Sociedad Gimnástica Española. Soon afterwards he became the star player and team's captain, showing a quality game and scoring many goals. These attributes opened doors beyond the country, initially in Cuba at Centro Gallego in 1927. He thereafter returned to LD Alajuelense and in 1928 helped the team obtain its first national championship, Morera scoring four goals in the last match against CS Herediano and becoming the top scorer with 26 goals. He shone as the team's outstanding player during LD Alajuelense's tours of Mexico (1931) and Perú (1932), where he received accolades for his playing ability. In February 1933 he was invited to Spain by former Orion FC player Ricardo Saprissa for a tryout with Real Club Deportivo Español. Here on April 30, 1933 he played against Real Madrid. Due to his small physique the Club's technical staff had been hesitant to sign him. But Morera, eager to play was able with the assistance of don Esteban Sala, Sr. a club director, to personally negotiate a three-year contract directly with FC Barcelona's president don Joan Coma Segarrols.

Morera made his debut with Catalonia's foremost club on May 18, 1933 in a match against Tenerife, and scored 2 goals in a 3 to 1 win.

One of his best remembered strikes was scoring his team's only goal in September of that year versus Real Madrid,beating Spain's fabled and Europe's best goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora "El Divino" in a 2 to 1 loss. 1933-34 season was his most successful, playing 41 games and scoring 43 goals becoming the team's top scorer while his team occupied fifth place in the final league standing.The 1934-35 season was also successful, playing 24 games and scoring 12 goals. FC Barcelona won the 1934 championship of Catalonia but only placed sixth in the Spanish league championship.

Altogether Morera played 76 games and scored 63 goals for FC Barcelona, a very high scoring output.

Against fan opposition he was transferred to Hércules CF, a recently promoted club in Alicante. In his first year there he helped the upstart team obtain the league's sixth place ahead of six other established teams with the same number of points as FC Barcelona, who finished in fifth place due to better goal average. While playing for FC Barcelona, he fully identified with Catalonia, even being named to the Catalan regional team and playing two games against Brazil, scoring goals in both matches.

Regrettably, due to the outbreak of Spain's bloody civil war he was forced to return to his homeland.

A curious pecuniary anecdote - At the time of his departure from Spain for reasons unknown he was unable to withdraw his money from the bank. Due to the fact he was to travel on board an ocean liner the money he had he chose to place in a coffer which was later lost. With the urgent need to return to Costa Rica but with empty pockets, he briefly offered his services to the French port city team Le Havre AC, played two games and in usual fashion scored two goals for them.

He arrived back in Costa Rica in November 1936 where he was to continue his outstanding career. Again he joined LD Alajuelense obtaining another championship in 1939 won when he scored a hat trick in the final match against CS Herediano.

One more championship, this time undefeated, a record title came in 1941.

The last title came in 1945, where he performed in a dual role as a coach-player.

He played his last match April 6, 1947 against Municipal Lima.

Morera continued as a coach until March 1949.

After retiring from sports he was voted a member of the country's legislature for his native province of Alajuela (1958 1962), where he also later served as Mayor and Governor.

He died March 26, 1995 at the age of 85. He is fondly remembered by both alajuelenses and "ticos" alike

as a man who loved his team who gave many victories and much joy to fans across the country.

The team's LD Alajuelense stadium, where his heart was emtombed in a monument below the East section seats, was named after him.

Historical notes -


SPANISH LEAGUE CHAMPION - 1933-34 Athletic Bilbao, 1934 35 Real Betis, 1935 36 Athletic Bilbao

SPANISH LEAGUE PICHICHI - 1933-34, 1934 35, 1935 36, Isidro Langara, Real Oviedo

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