Born on July 21st 1950 in San Miguel del Monte outside Buenos Aires, Ubaldo Matildo Fillol, also known as “El Pato” (the duck), is arguably the best goalkeeper from Argentina. Many experts also had him on the South American dream team of the century. Fillol started his career in 1969 playing for Quilmes Athletic Club. He was transferred to Racing Club in 1972, that season he also saved six penalties shots, establishing a record for the Argentinian league. In 1973, Fillol joined River Plate, where he played during 11 years, winning several league championships, becoming one of the most popular players in the club history.
Ubaldo Fillol represented Argentina in three World Cups. In 1974, Daniel Carnevali was the first choice goalkeeper, but after a disappointing second phase where the Argentinians were beaten by Holland and Brazil, Fillol replaced Carnevali in the match against East Germany, the final result was a 1-1 draw and Argentina went out in the group stage. But 1978 was to be Fillol’s tournament.
He proved to be a decisive element against Poland, saving a penalty by Kazimierz Deyna, and helping Argentina to win the first World Cup with a superb performance in the final against Holland. Fillol was voted the best goalkeeper of the 1978 World Cup. Four years later, in 1982, Argentina were beaten by Italy and Brazil and failed to reach the semifinal. Fillol retired from Argentina’s national team in 1985 after 58 caps and he is still the goalkeeper with most appearances for Argentina in history.
From River Plate he was transferred to the Spanish team Atlético Madrid, and after a season at the Brazilian team Flamengo, he came back to Argentina, but this time as the goalkeeper of Argentinos Juniors. He went to Racing Club to win the first Super cup in 1988 and ended his career in 1990 playing for the club Vélez Sársfield.