Teófilo Cubillas

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Teófilo Cubillas
Personal information
Full name Teófilo Juan Cubillas Arizaga
Date of birth March 8, 1949 (1949-03-08) (age 67)
Place of birth    Lima, Peru
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Alianza Lima
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Alianza Lima0
FC Basel0
FC Porto0
Alianza Lima0
FL Strikers0
Alianza Lima0
South Florida Sun0
Alianza Lima0
Miami Sharks0
0175 (116)
0014 00(7)
0108 0(65)
0056 0(42)
0141 0(65)
0 0 4 0(4)
0 0 6 0(3)
00 13 0 (3)
00 16 0 (7)

0 533 (312)   

National team
1968-1982 Peru 081 0(26)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Teófilo Cubillas Arizaga (born March 8, 1949) is a Peruvian former footballer. He is considered Peru's most renowned player,[1]and one of the best South-American footballers of all-time. [2]

Nicknamed El nene, he was part of the Peru national team that won the 1975 Copa América.[3] He helped reach 7th place at the 1970 World Cup,[4] 8th place at the 1978 World Cup[5] and was elected the South American Footballer of the Year in 1972.

Cubillas was a midfielder of excellent technical ability, powerful shot and great dribbling, he was also known as a free kick specialist.[6] He was a prolific goalscorer ( with 515 goals in his whole career), his 10 World Cup goals place him in 7th place in the ranking of the World Cup all-time scorers, and are the most by any midfielder in the World Cup. He is the all-time leading scorer for his country, with 45 goals in 117 matches. He was voted the 48th best footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS. [7] Pelé named Cubillas as one of the 125 greatest living footballers in his 2004 FIFA 100 list. [8]In February 2008, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Brasilian World Cup victory he was selected in the All-Star First Team of South America of the past 50 years.[9]


Club career

Nicknamed "Nene" (the babe) for his boyish looks, Cubillas was born near Puente Piedra, Lima. His career began with Peruvian club Alianza Lima at the age of 16. Already in his first season, he was top scorer of the League with 19 goals in 23 matches. He made his international debut for Alianza against Independiente in February 1967. His team won 6-1 with Cubillas scoring two goals. The 1970 season proved to be another good season for Cubillas as he scored 22 Goals in 29 games for Alianza, earning himself the title of Top Scorer. Despite his brilliant form, however, Alianza were unable to mount a title challenge that year, and their fourth place finish was not enough to attain even a Libertadores Cup place.

In 1972, he had his most successful season in several years. He was Libertadores Cup top scorer and South American Footballer of the Year.[10] During his first stint at Alianza, he scored 116 goals in 175 games between 1966 and 1972.

In Aug 27 1973, All-Star teams from the American and European continents played against each other in Barcelona, Spain. Soccer greats such as Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Rivelino and Teofilo Cubillas participated in that game. The game finished 4-4, and in Penalty kicks, America won 7-6. By then, he was considered one of greatest soccer stars in the world at that time.

After a successful career in Peru he left his homeland to play for Swiss football club FC Basel. Unable to settle in Switzerland, Cubillas moved to Portuguese club FC Porto, where he scored 65 goals in 108 games, but trophies still evaded him.

Cubillas returned to Peru in the 1977-1978 season for a second stint with his beloved Alianza Lima, where he won 2 Peruvian league titles and scored 42 goals in 56 appearances. His European and international experience had shaped him into an amazing player.

In 1979 Nene followed the leads of many of the great players of the time like Pele, Cruyff, Best, and Beckenbauer by joining the NASLAmerica's rapidly rising soccer league. Nene signed for George Best's Fort Lauderdale Strikers, where he spent five seasons, scoring 65 goals in 141 games and notably scoring three goals in seven minutes against Los Angeles Aztecs in 1981[11]. At this point Nene's best days were behind him, he joined the Fort Lauderdale Sun of the U.S. second division United Soccer League (USL).

He made a return from retirement to play for Alianza Lima after its entire team died in an aircraft crash in the ocean near Ventanilla, Callao, Peru, on December 8th 1987, the worst tragedy in the history of Peruvian football. Cubillas scored three goals in 13 matches, not a bad tally for an old man. But the comeback was really only to give hope to the fans and respect to the fallen players of the team he loved.

Cubillas ended his playing days with the Miami Sharks in the 1988-1989 season, scoring 7 goals in 16 appearances. He eventually settled in Coral Springs, Florida, where he lives to this day teaching football to the children at his academy with his sons (both former professional players).

International career

Teofilo Cubillas played in two World Cups eight years apart and scored five goals in each, something that had never been achieved before, making him one of the most prolific scorers in World Cup history. Also, is considered one of the greatest World Cup players of the seventies. [12]

1970 World Cup: Quarter Finals (7º Place)

Cubillas was only 20 when he made his World Cup debut at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Not only did he fulfil all the fans' expectations, he became a househole name after the tournament. He was considered no less a star than Jairzinho, Muller, Beckenbauer and Rivera. Some even compared him to a youthful Pele.

Cubillas helped Peru advance to the quarterfinals of the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He scored in all of Peru's four matches: once against Bulgaria, twice against Morocco, and one against West Germany, all in the first round, and one more in the quarterfinal loss against eventual champions Brazil. He had picked up the FIFA World Cup Young Player Award, Bronze boot award (he finished behind Jairzinho and Muller —not bad considering he played two less games), made the World Cup All-star team, and far exceeded the expectations of a humble football nation. After of the World Cup, Pelé himself named to Cubillas his "successor".

1975 Copa America: Champion

Peru did not qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany, but a year later Cubillas helped the Peruvian team win its second South American title, scoring two goals that helped Peru beat Brazil 3-1 in the semifinals.

1978 World Cup: Quarter Finals (8º Place)

In the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, he scored five goals for the Peruvian national team, finishing joint second highest goal scorer after Mario Kempes. Peru advanced to the second phase of the tournament thanks largely to goals Cubillas: he scored two memorable goals in the opening match against Scotland, one from a free kick. Then, Peru was held by the mighty Holland but Cubillas scored a hat-trick in the game against Iran, including two penalties. However, just like in Mexico, Peru fail to win against stronger opponents and this time, they lost to Brazil , Poland and Argentina in the second group phase. When finalizing the match the international press included it in All-star team.

1982 World Cup: First Round

He was also in the Peruvian squad for 1982 FIFA World Cup, there were high expectations for Peru as a dark horse favorite to win the cup with a team that included such notable players as Cesar Cueto, José Velásquez, Julio Cesar Uribe and Cubillas. However, Peru were knocked out in the first round, after draws against both Cameroon (0-0) and Italy (1-1) and a loss against Poland (1-4). Months later, Cubillas retired from the Peru national team.



Alianza Lima

FC Basel

FC Porto

FL Strikers

South Florida Sun

National team




Career statistics

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoalsAppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1966Alianza LimaPrimera División23192319
Switzerland LeagueSchweizer Cup Europe Total
1973-74FC BaselSuper League1032222147
Portugal LeagueCup of Portugal Europe Total
1973-74F.C. PortoPortuguese Liga12422-146
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1977Alianza LimaPrimera División32233223
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1979FL StrikersNorth American
Soccer League
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1984Alianza LimaPrimera División4444
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1985South Florida SunUSL6363
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1987Alianza LimaPrimera División133133
Peru LeagueCup South America Total
1988Miami SharksASL167167
TotalPeru 233152001613249165
Switzerland 1032222147
Portugal 8548131010710865
USA 16375000016375
Career Total 49127815122822534312

Competition statistics

International goals

Teofilo Cubillas Arizaga: International goals[27]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition

1 1969-07-17 Bogotá, Colombia  Colombia 2-1 3-1 Friendly
2 1969-09-07 Lima, Peru 22x20px Paraguay 1-0 2-1 Friendly
3 1969-09-07 Lima, Peru 22x20px Paraguay 2-0 2-1 Friendly
4 1969-08-17 Lima, Peru  Bolivia 2-0 3-0 1970 World Cup Qualifier
5 1970-07-02 Lima, Peru 22x20px Czechoslovakia 2-1 2-1 Friendly
6 1970-09-02 Lima, Peru 22x20px Romania 1-1 1-1 Friendly
7 1970-02-24 Lima, Peru 22x20px Bulgaria 1-2 5-3 Friendly
8 1970-06-02 León, Mexico 22x20px Bulgaria 3-2 3-2 1970 World Cup
9 1970-06-02 León, Mexico 22x20px Morocco 1-0 3-0 1970 World Cup
10 1970-06-06 León, Mexico 22x20px Morocco 3-0 3-0 1970 World Cup
11 1970-06-10 León, Mexico 22x20px West Germany 1-2 1-3 1970 World Cup
12 1970-06-14 Guadalajara, Mexico  Brazil 2-3 2-4 1970 World Cup
13 1972-04-05 Mexico City, Mexico 22x20px Mexico 1-1 1-2 Friendly
14 1972-04-23 Bucharest, Romania 22x20px Romania 1-1 2-2 Friendly
15 1973-03-04 Lima, Peru 22x20px Guatemala 2-0 5-1 Friendly
16 1973-03-04 Lima, Peru 22x20px Guatemala 4-1 5-1 Friendly
17 1973-04-23 Lima, Peru 22x20px Panama 3-0 4-0 Friendly
18 1975-08-20 Lima, Peru  Chile 2-0 3-1 Copa America 1975
19 1975-09-30 Belo Horizonte, Brasil  Brazil 2-0 3-1 Copa America 1975
20 1977-07-17 Cali, Colombia  Bolivia 2-0 5-0 1978 World Cup Qualifier
21 1977-07-17 Cali, Colombia  Bolivia 3-0 5-0 1978 World Cup Qualifier
22 1978-06-03 Córdoba, Argentina 22x20px Scotland 2-1 3-1 1978 World Cup
23 1978-06-03 Córdoba, Argentina 22x20px Scotland 3-1 3-1 1978 World Cup
24 1978-06-11 Córdoba, Argentina 22x20px Iran 2-0 4-1 1978 World Cup
25 1978-06-11 Córdoba, Argentina 22x20px Iran 3-0 4-1 1978 World Cup
26 1978-06-11 Córdoba, Argentina 22x20px Iran 4-1 4-1 1978 World Cup

General statistics

TeamGoalsMatchesGoal average
Peru Alianza Lima2954480.66
22x20px FC Basel8160.50
22x20px FC Porto691130.61
United States Fort Lauderdale Strikers741550.48
United States South Florida Sun7140.50
United States Miami Sharks9190.45
PeruPeru National Team451170.38


  1. IFFHS' Players and Keepers of the Century for many countries Retrieved on January 17, 2009
  2. ESPN Perfiles: Cubillas, One of the Greatest Soccer Players of All Time Retrieved on april 7, 2009
  3. Copa América 1975 Retrieved on January 17, 2009
  4. World Cup 1970 Retrieved on January 17, 2009
  5. World Cup 1978 Retrieved on January 17, 2009
  6. The 25 best free-kicks of all-time Retrieved on april 7, 2009
  7. IFFHS' Century Elections - rsssf.com - by Karel Stokkermans, RSSSF, 2000.
  8. Source: http://www.the-100.com/players/Teofilo_Cubillas.aspx
  9. All-Star First Team Selection (1958-2008) Retrieved on January 17, 2009.
  10. South American Player of the Year 1972
  11. Team Records and League Honors Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  12. Teofilo Cubillas: Legends of the Football World Cup Retrieved on April 8, 2009
  13. Peruvian Championship: Top Scorer Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  14. CONMEBOL All-Star Team Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  15. NASL All-Star teams, all-time Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  16. NASL All-Star teams, all-time Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  17. Fort Lauderdale Strikers: Top Scorer, all time Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  18. France Football's World Cup Top-100 1930-1990 Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  19. World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  20. Placar's 100 Craques do Século Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  21. Os 100 Craques das Copas (Placar Magazine) Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  22. IFFHS' Players and Keepers of the Century for many countries Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  23. World - Player of the Century Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  24. South American - Player of the Century Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  25. "The Best of The Best" Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  26. CONMEBOL All-Star first team 1958-2008 Retrieved on January 3, 2009
  27. "Teófilo Cubillas - Goals in International Matches". Rsssf.com. 2006-11-03. http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/cubillas-intlg.html. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 

External links

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