Telmo Zarra

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Telmo Zarraonandia Montoya (20 January 1921 – 23 February 2006), popularly known as Zarra, was a Spanish Basque football player for Athletic Bilbao from 1940 to 1955.

Signing with Athletic after playing one season for Erandio, he became a prolific goalscorer for Athletic in his 15 seasons at the club, winning the The Pichichi Trophy (which is awarded to the top goal scorer of the season in the Spanish league) six times. He scored more league goals (252)[1] than any other player in Spanish football history, and an additional 81 cup goals. He also shares the record for most goals scored in a season: 38 times in 1950–51.

Despite this excellent record, he only played for Spain twenty times. Even so, he still managed to score 20 goals, including four in one historic match when Spain beat Switzerland 6–3 on 18 February 1951. He also scored his country's winning goal against England in the 1950 World Cup finals as Spain reached the final four – their best performance in the competition until winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup 60 years later.

After leaving Bilbao in 1955, he played for one year with SD Indautxu and another with Barakaldo before retiring. He died of a heart attack on 24 February 2006, aged 85. The Zarra Trophy is awarded in his memory.


Early life

Zarraonandía was born on January 20, 1921 at the Asúa train station (Erandio, Biscay). He was the son of an engineer and the head of Asúa station, Telmo Zarraonandía and Tomasa Montoya. Zarraonandía was the seventh of ten children, five of them boys.

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