Ricardo Zamora, the first media footballer in our history

Ciudad del Fútbol 21 Ene 2015
Ricardo Zamora, who on January 21st would have turned 114 years old, an idol and the first media footballer (star on the pitch, movie actor and a life full of adventures)

Ricardo Zamora Martínez was one of the first mass idols in Spanish football and his personality created the first and increased the second, his legend.

As part of the Spanish National Team's starting line up since it was created at the Olympic Games in Antwerp in 1920 until the Civil War. 16 years in a row taking hold in goal. Zamora was one of the most outstanding internationals in our first World Cup participation, the '34 in Italy, from which he returned with two broken ribs after a rough Italian knock out. 

Recognition came soon afterwards in heroic acts: in 1934 he received the Merit order on behalf of the 2nd Republic, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora and in 1950 he was decorated by Francisco Franco with the 'Gran Cruz de la Orden de Cisneros'. 

He was also pioneer in many other things. 

For instance, featuring in a movie, aged only 25, titled "Por fin se casa Zamora". A comedy of 1927, in mute cinema, where Zamora faces a great dilemma: his uncle would leave him all his fortune if he were to marry a not-so-good-looking cousin. 

After he retired from football he tried his luck at the cinema "Campeones, of 1943, where other footballers featured too like Jacinto Quincoces and Guillermo Gorostiza. 

That praise turned into a nickname that accompanied him his entire life "The Divine". In 1920, at the Antwerp Olympic Games, Zamora was chosen best goalkeeper of the championship. From then on, two sentences became commonplace in our spoken language: "One-Nil (debut result against Denmark) and Zamora as a keeper" and "There are only two goalkeepers: St. Peter in the sky and Zamora on Earth." 

The confidence in himself earned him a rebound known as 'zamora' 

As Andrés Amorós recalls in ABC he "was also the first Spanish footballer who created a trend: hat, shin pads, elegant jacket and stylish jerseys (white v-neck, with broad horizonal lines or turtle neck, dark).

He was a star signing for Real Madrid in the 30s: they paid 100,000 pesetas at the time.

In fact, he was so well-known, national and international, as Alfredo Relaño when Stalin knew that there was a 2nd Republic in Spain when asked who was going to be president. When it was revealed that it was going to be Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, a communist dictator, said: "Ahh, the goalkeeper!" 

His legend grew in the Civil War: he was detained for cooperating with a Catholic paper. He was jailed in the Madrid jail Modelo, refuged in the Argentinian Embassy before escaping in exile in Nice. 

There was a rumor that he had been executed and the truth is that he run way at the last minute. The writer Ramón Gómez de la Serna shared those moments with the "Divine", narrating it in the journal La Nación of Buenos Aires. 

This was the life of Zamora, who other than "Divine" was also "unique", at least in his time.