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Fútbol Icon: Mágico González

Celebrating the birth of a Salvi superstar who ranks amongst the greats.

Today marks the 61st birthday of Jorge Alberto González Barrillas aka Mágico González, one of the most legendary soccer players to have graced the world stage. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, on March 13, 1958, he was a decorated athlete who played a major part of his career as a forward for the Spanish club, Cádiz. He is a source of pride for every Salvadoran born within the country and in diaspora.

Growing up, papa would always tell me that out of the two FIFA World Cup appearances in El Salvador’s history, Mágico González, was the one who got us to the big dance in 1982. The same year I was born. We watched archival footage relentlessly, and loved getting into debates over who was the greatest player of all time. There was even an incident in the mid-90s, much to the chagrin of my mama, when papa permed his hair so that he could look just like him.

Clearly, the love is real.

Mágico’s special talent was validated by another revered figure in professional soccer, Diego Maradona, who said of the futbolero:

“Si uno quería imitar a Mágico González, no podia.”

Diego Maradona

That’s right. He was inimitable. For more about this amazing historic figure in sports, you can watch the ESPN documentary below. And you can rest assured, that his legacy lives on.


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