One of the most talented players ever to come from Asia, Paulino Alcántara was also one of the finest players in world football in the pre-Second World War era. Born in the Philippines, of mixed Filipino and Spanish parentage, he moved to Spain as a teenager and signed for Barcelona. He would go on to become one of their greatest ever players.
Alcántara made his first team debut for Barcelona in 1912, at the age of just 15, and scored a hat-trick. In a four year spell at the club, his goals helped Barcelona to two Catalan Championships and one Spanish Cup, before he returned to the Philippines in 1916 and ended up playing for two years for Filipino club Bohemians.
In 1918, Alcántara returned to Barcelona and despite initially being asked to play in defence, eventually returned to his normal forward position and became one of the most prolific strikers the game has ever seen. In his second spell at Barcelona, the club won eight more Catalan League titles in just nine seasons as well as four more Spanish Cups. Alcántara went on to become their all-time record goalscorer with a remarkable total of 356 goals in just 357 games.
Committed to studying medicine as a career, Alcántara turned down the chance to play in the 1920 Olympic Games for Spain, and his international career was very short lived. He played briefly for the national teams of both the Philippines and Spain, for whom he won five caps and scored six goals.
In 1927, Alcántara retired from football to concentrate on medicine. He did return to the game briefly in 1951 when he coached the Spanish national team for three matches, in which the team was unbeaten. Paulino Alcántara died in Barcelona in 1964, at the age of 67.