On Tuesday when Cultural Leonesa visits the Camp Nou, Barça is going to honor an FCB legend named César Rodríguez Álvarez, a man known to many as the leading goal scorer in the history of the blaugrana. He scored 195 league goals in 287 appearances and 294 goals overall in 433 appearances. Just to let you know how great that is, in order for Lionel Messi to tie that record at his current scoring rate, he would have to be here until his 575th appearance, which, if he were to play 45 matches a year, would be when he was 31.
César Rodríguez played for FCB from 1939 until 1954 (on loan to Granada CF from ’40-’42*) when it was known as CF Barcelona. His longevity was the key to his gaudy stats, of course, but he was also just plain good: he won the Pichichi in 1949 (28 goals) and played on 5 league-winning teams (’45, ’48, ’49, ’52, and ’53). When he left the club in 1954, he headed to his hometown of Leon and played for a small club named Cultural Leonesa in the Segunda–that year they finished 4th and were promoted to the first team for the only time in their history as César scored 3 times in 15 appearances. He left the club after that year and went to Perpignan FC and then ended his career by playing with Elche CF from 1957 until 1960, during which time Elche rose from the Tercera to the Primera.
During his final year with Elche, César began coaching the team as well and then when he retired from active play, he took over Real Zaragoza as manager. He became Barça’s manager for one year, but was only in charge for 35 matches, earning a record of 21W-4D-10L. After FCB, he managed Mallorca and Real Betis, and then finished his managing career back at Real Zaragoza.
César passed away on March 1, 1995 at the age of 74.
Sport is reporting that the honors will be done 30 minutes prior to kickoff on the presidential balcony at the Camp Nou. Certainly a legend and certainly worthy of being honored in front of the Camp Nou faithful as well as the traveling Cultural fans.
*Wikipedia says that the loan was forced upon him because he was posted as a member of the military to Granada that year, meaning he couldn’t play for FCB until his time in the army was over. Living under a dictator is fun, isn’t it?