The Story of Ramallets

by Alex Buturugeanu

The cat with 89 lives. The Story of Ramallets, the last great goalkeeper without gloves.

He was one of the best goalkeepers in the world immediately after the Second World War. Antoni Ramallets Simón begins football in 1942 but he became known after four seasons, when it was bought by FC Barcelona.

Born in the city, Ramallets was the spiritual leader of his generation alongside Ladislau Kubala, Sándor Kocsis, Evaristo, Luis Suárez and Zoltán Czibor. He remained in Barcelona for more than 15 seasons. he played 500 matches and won six titles, five cups (hence the nickname, El portero de las Cinco Copas, The keeper of the Five Cups) and five Zamora Trophies, awarded to the best goalkeeper in the Primera Division.

He was the first goalkeeper on the national team at the 1950 World Cup, where he earned a second nickname. The Cat from Maracana.

Thinking of that tournament now over half a century back in the past, La Vanguardia gave a sugestive title to the article devoted to Ramallets: The 85 lives of the cat with blaugrana wings, ilustrated with a photo picturing the goalkeeper standing beside his statue dedicated by the municipality of Sant Joan de Mediona, where he spent the last part of his life.

Ramallets has two trophies as manager. He earned both with Zaragoza but never trained Barcelona.

He died on July 30th 2013, a month after he tuned 89. Antoni Ramallets Simón was the last great goalkeeper without gloves.

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