Ricardo Saprissa : biography
Ricardo Juan Antonio Saprissa Aymá (born June 24, 1901, San Salvador, El Salvador – died August 16, 1990) was a lifelong athlete, coach, and promoter of sports.
He spent many years in Costa Rica, playing and coaching football. In 1935 he was co-founder of Deportivo Saprissa, a highly successful football team based in San Juan de Tibás.
Death and legacy
Don Ricardo Saprissa died peacefully in 1990 and is remembered in Costa Rica with great honor and affection. Among his distinctions, Saprissa was included in Costa Rica’s Sports Gallery in 1969 and was named honorary president of Barcelona’s RCD Espanyol, Costa Rica’s Orion, Gimnástica Española in Spain, and rival soccer team LD Alajuelense in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica and Deportivo Saprissa
Saprissa became the coach and president of the local football team, Orion, guiding them to a championship in 1938. He coached Costa Rica’s national football team, winning the silver medal at the 1935 and 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games, and in the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires.
Later that decade, Roberto Fernández started a boys football team, with children from all over San José. He asked Saprissa if he could supply the player’s uniforms. He did, and the team became known as Deportivo Saprissa.http://www.saprissa.co.cr/content/articles/226/1/Hoy-hace-107-anos-nacio-don-Ricardo-Saprissa-Ayma/Page1.html The team successfully competed in local tournaments. As the young players started to grow, the team began to compete in higher categories. They reached Costa Rica’s First Division in 1949.
They have won more national and international tournaments than any other Costa Rican team. They represented CONCACAF at the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan in December 2005, winning third place in the tournament.
Saprissa was the president of Deprtivo Saprissa from 1948 to 1981. In 1972, one of his dreams was realised when the team became the first in Costa Rica to have its own stadium, which was named after Saprissa.
Saprissa was born in San Salvador, El Salvador to José Saprissa and Carmen Aymá, which were both catalans. Always a skilled athlete, Saprissa first began competing in his parents’ home town of Barcelona, Spain. He played several sports, excelling at football with the team RCD Espanyol, as well as in tennis, grass hockey and polo. He won Spain’s football national championship with RCD Espanyol in 1928, Spain’s grass hockey national championship in 1924, and Spain’s tennis national championships in 1923 and 1924. He participated with Spain at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and on the Spanish Davis Cup team in 1930. He moved to San José, Costa Rica, in 1932.