Dissecting Paulino - Barça’s first and the Philippines’ last goalscoring machine

By Gustavo Gutiérrez-Mercado 

He is, alongside Hidetoshi Nakata and Ji-Sung Park, one of the finest footballers the Far East has given to the world. Chronicles of that time describe him as a skilful forward; thin, but strong-legged. Paulino Alcántara, product of the marriage between a Spanish soldier and a Filipina, was born in Iloilo City, the Philippines, on 1896; two years prior to the independence of the archipelago from Spain and subsequent occupation by the U.S.

Although registers from the era don’t give away a precise date, Alcántara moved to Barcelona alongside his family at the beginning of the 20th century; being that same city where he started and ended his footballing career. But what’s so remarkable about him?

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Barça storm Manchester

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"It’s A Beautiful Game"
As we welcome in 2014, we collaborated with Dan Leydon to take a step back and reflect on the simple joy of kicking a ball.
Paying homage to the wonderful It’s A Magical World comic, Calvin and Hobbes became Carles (Puyol) and Leo (Messi).
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While headlines rightfully focus on revealing FIFA’s 8 circles of corruption or the insanity of footballers begging for an extra £15,000-a-week in wages, it’s important to remember why we love this game. Whether it was staying out to play until the sun disappeared or grabbing a ball with a friend and hitting free kicks in six inches of snow, these are the roots of the game, and they’re worth remembering.
Thank you all for your support in 2013. Here’s to a New Year!

- Eric and the entire AFR Team

Oh, and you should follow Dan Leydon on Twitter & Tumblr.

"It’s A Beautiful Game"

As we welcome in 2014, we collaborated with Dan Leydon to take a step back and reflect on the simple joy of kicking a ball.

Paying homage to the wonderful It’s A Magical World comic, Calvin and Hobbes became Carles (Puyol) and Leo (Messi).

Read More

Inside El Clásico

400 million watched, but only for 90 minutes. Even with the excessive coverage from the Spanish press, so much is lost in the build-up to one of the biggest spectacles in world football. With access a reporter could only dream of, FC Barcelona released a video of the scenes before and after the big match at the Camp Nou. The nerves, the fans, the hundreds of cameras, they’re all captured. Watch the full feature here. [Posted by Eric]

The FC Barcelona Island

Real Madrid may be building an actual island, but it can’t be better than the imagined land of FC Barcelona. Piqué welcomes you in. Puyol keeps you safe from danger. Iniesta paints murals by kicking a ball against a wall. And Neymar just goes around winking at people. Those football-loving billionaires in the Middle East must be tempted to make this a reality. Never mind the fact that Barcelona is already close to a paradise for fans and players. Watch the full spot here.

Keep fighting, Tito

FC Barcelona have confirmed the unbearable news that their manager Tito Vilanova must take a leave of absence and continue his fight against cancer after a relapse. It’s a sad day for football, and as the battle goes on, we’re all behind you, Tito. [Art by Luke. GIFs via. Posted by Eric]

Through Ryu’s Lens: Messi lifts Barça, PSG bows out

Fingernails were bitten, but the Camp Nou crowd saw their side edge another excellent performance from PSG. Barça were second best until Lionel Messi came on and despite playing at 60% or so due to an injury, the Argentine led the Catalans into the back of the net. Ryu was in Barcelona to see the mighty Zlatan go silent as Pedro stole the show.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.]

Welcome home, Tito
It’s difficult to understate just how important Tito Vilanova is to Barça. From his irreplaceable position as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, forming ideas and helping tiki-taka evolve, to his unbelievable record in his first season as Barcelona manager, the man has been a silent staple of the club’s success year after year. So when Tito was diagnosed with cancer and forced to go to New York to combat it in January, the team lost its unsung leader. Clásicos were lost and doubt filled Catalunya after a defeat to AC Milan.
Now, nearly four months after entering the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he received radiotherapy and chemotherapy for throat cancer, Tito Vilanova returns to Barça. The Champions League awaits. The La Liga title awaits. The man behind the scenes in back. It’s time to step foot in the Camp Nou, Tito, and we’re delighted to see you again. [Posted by Eric. GIF by Dale con Comba.]

Welcome home, Tito

It’s difficult to understate just how important Tito Vilanova is to Barça. From his irreplaceable position as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, forming ideas and helping tiki-taka evolve, to his unbelievable record in his first season as Barcelona manager, the man has been a silent staple of the club’s success year after year. So when Tito was diagnosed with cancer and forced to go to New York to combat it in January, the team lost its unsung leader. Clásicos were lost and doubt filled Catalunya after a defeat to AC Milan.

Now, nearly four months after entering the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he received radiotherapy and chemotherapy for throat cancer, Tito Vilanova returns to Barça. The Champions League awaits. The La Liga title awaits. The man behind the scenes in back. It’s time to step foot in the Camp Nou, Tito, and we’re delighted to see you again. [Posted by Eric. GIF by Dale con Comba.]

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