José Manuel Moreno

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José Manuel Moreno
Jose M Moreno 1941.jpeg
Moreno on the cover of El Grafico magazine in 1941.
Personal information
Full name Jose Manuel Moreno Fernandez
Date of birth (1916-08-03)3 August 1916
Place of birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date of death 26 August 1978(1978-08-26) (aged 62)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1935–1944 River Plate 256 (156)
1944–1946 España 41 (11)
1946–1948 River Plate 64 (24)
1949 U. Católica 22 (8)
1950 Boca Juniors 22 (6)
1951 U. Católica 12 (2)
1952 Defensor 14 (3)
1953 Ferrocarril Oeste 15 (1)
1954–1956 Independiente Medellín 40 (12)
1960–1961 Independiente Medellín 3 (1)
Total 489 (224)
National team
1936–1950 Argentina 34 (19)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

José Manuel Moreno Fernández (August 3, 1916 — August 26, 1978), nicknamed "El Charro", was an Argentine football inside forward who played for several clubs in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia, for many who saw him play is better than Pelé and Alfredo Di Stéfano,[1] was the first footballer ever to have won first division league titles in four different countries (later players to emulate the feat include Jiri Jarosik and Rivaldo).

Moreno was part of the River Plate team known as La Máquina ("The Machine") which dominated Argentine football in the 1940s, and was also a member of the Argentine national team that won three South American Championships during the same decade.

He was regarded by many as a complete player.[2][3] In 1999, he was ranked among the 25 best players in the world in the 20th century and among the five best in South America, through a poll by the IFFHS.[4] He was known as a player of great technique, great vision, and lethal in the penalty area.[3] Despite his reputation for drinking, smoking and not going to training, Moreno was also known for his formidable heading ability and fine physical qualities.[3]

Club career

Moreno was born in the neighbourhood of La Boca, in Buenos Aires, and grew up in the surroundings of the club Boca Juniors' stadium, La Bombonera.[5] At the age of 15, he tried out for the lower divisions of Boca Juniors, but did not make the selection. According to the Argentine Football Association archives, he said, frustrated: "some time you will regret it".[6] Moreno then became part of the lower divisions of River Plate, Boca Junior's arch-rival, in 1933, having been recommended by Bernabé Ferreyra, a notable forward for River Plate.[7]

River Plate (1935-1944)

At the age of 18, Moreno was selected along with other young players from the club by manager Emérico Hirschl to make a tour in Brazil. His first competitive appearance was against Brazilian side Botafogo. He debuted in Primera División on March 17, 1935, in a 2-1 win against C.A. Platense, scoring one goal.[8] He was part of the squad that won league titles in 1936 and 1937, and went on to become a key player on the River Plate squad known as La Máquina, famous for his line of attack composed by Moreno, Adolfo Pedernera Ángel Labruna, Juan Carlos Muñoz, and Félix Loustau, and which dominated Argentine football during the first half of the 1940s decade, winning three national titles (1941, 1942 and 1945).

Mexico (1944-1946)

In 1944, Moreno was transferred to México Primera División club España, who had finished runner up to Asturias, first Mexican league champions in the 1943-44 season. With España, Moreno won the national title in the 1945-46 season.[9] His time and success in Mexico earned him the nickname Charro, which is also the term used to refer to the traditional cowboy of Mexico.

Return to South America (1946-1961)

Moreno returned to his homeland and River Plate for the latter part of 1946. His second tenure at River lasted three seasons, and in 1949, he was transferred to Universidad Católica of Chile, where in the same year he won another league title. He returned to Argentina in 1950, this time to play for Boca Juniors, and the following year, he played again for Universidad Católica. He also played one season in Uruguay, with Primera División team Defensor. In 1953, he went back to Argentina to join Ferrocarril Oeste.


Moreno moved to Colombia in 1954, joining Independiente Medellín, where he would end his playing career. He was both a player and a manager for the club. He won the Colombian championship in 1955, becoming the only footballer to have won league titles in four different countries' leagues, doing so in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. In 1957, he won his last – and 12th overall – first division title. He retired with Independiente Medellín in a friendly match against Boca Juniors in 1961, a match during which he participated both as coach and player. Independiente won the match 5-2, and Moreno scored one goal.

National team

Moreno with the Argentina national team.

Moreno was a member of the Argentina national team from 1936 to 1950, earning 34 caps and scoring 19 goals. Moreno was part of the winning squads at the South American Championships (now Copa América) of 1941, 1942 and 1947. He scored the tournament's milestone goal number 500 in an atypical match against Ecuador: he scored five goals in that match, a Copa América record which he shares with Héctor Scarone (Uruguay), Juan Marvezzi (Argentina) and Evaristo (Brazil). That day, Argentina beat Ecuador 12-0, which is also the largest goal difference in a single Copa América match.

Moreno was the top goalscorer of the 1942 South American Championship with seven goals, along with Herminio Masantonio, and was chosen best player of the 1947 edition. He is also tied for third place among the Copa América's all-time top scorers, with 13 overall goals.

Managerial career

Moreno had a brief spell as manager of Argentina in 1959. He also worked as the manager of Boca Juniors, Huracán and All Boys in Argentina and Colo-Colo in Chile.



River Plate
RC España
Universidad Católica
Independiente Medellín

National team



  • He was selected among the 25 best players in the world in the 20th century by the IFFHS in 1999. He also ranked as the fifth best player in South America, and as the third best in Argentina, behind Diego Maradona and Alfredo Di Stéfano.[4]


  1. Marcelo Weinberger. "30 South American greats". RSSSF. Retrieved 2016-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. José Manuel Moreno Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Argentina's twinkle-toed maestro: Jose MORENO
  4. 4.0 4.1 Stokkermans, Karel. "IFFHS' Century Elections". RSSSF. Retrieved 2006-12-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "El Charro, los goles, la noche" (in español). River Plate Online. Retrieved 2007-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "El ojo del tiempo" (in español). Argentine Football Association. Retrieved 2007-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. (Spanish) Source:
  8. Periodico Deportivo Tandil. "Efemerides mes de marzo" (in español). Tandil Sports. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Bonnani, Aldo (28 March 2012). "El Club España: 100 años" (in Spanish). La Jornada de Oriente. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links