Full name: José Samitier Vilalta
Other name(s): Josep Samitier i Vilalta
Nickname(s): El mago, El hombre langosta
Born: February 2, 1902 in Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Died: May 4, 1972 in Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Affiliations: FC Barcelona, Barcelona (ESP)
Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)
Samitier, who played for Internacional de Sants in his youth, joined FC Barcelona at the age of 17 in 1919. Playing as a midfielder he earned nicknames like "El mago" (The magic) or "El hombre langosta" (The lobster man). He stayed with the club of his hometown for the next 14 seasons up to 1933 and won five Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) titles between 1920 and 1928 and twelve Campeonato de Cataluña titles. When La Liga (Spanish league) started in 1929 Samitier won the title in the inaugural season. He played 28 La Liga matches and scored 20 La Liga goals in a career total of 454 matches, while scoring 326 goals for FC Barcelona before moving to Real Madrid in 1933. At Madrid he won the La Liga title in 1933 and the Copa del Rey in 1934, where Samitier only played eight more La Liga matches while scoring four goals in two seasons.
At the 1920 Olympics, where he was in the line-up of the first-ever match played by the Spanish national team, he was a member of three of the five matches. Four years later at the 1924 Games he played in the team's only match, losing to Italy in the first round and was eliminated. In total he earned 21 caps between 1920 and 1931 and scored twice. In 1936 he had a short stint as coach of Atlético de Madrid, but he could not prevent them from the relegation play-off which was not played anymore due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Samitier was able to flee to France where he joined OGC Nice and started to play again. In three more seasons, between 1936 and 1939, he played more than 80 matches and scored more than 40 goals. At Nice he was again reunited with Ricardo Zamora who was also his teammate at FC Barcelona and Madrid FC. After a short coaching stint at Nice in 1942, Samitier returned to Barcelona in 1944. He coached them for three seasons and helped them to win their second ever La Liga title in 1945.
He retired as a coach in 1947, but stayed at the club in different positions, mainly as manager or scout. Samitier was a close friend of Francisco Franco and it is said that this friendship was helpful to transfer László Kubala to FC Barcelona. In 1960 Samitier quit his job at Barcelona after conflicts and moved again to Real Madrid where he worked as a scout, but he returned to Barcelona in 1962. There he remained as a scout until his 1972 death. In 1993 a street was named after him near the Camp Nou Stadium.
|1920 Summer||18||Antwerpen||Football||Men's Football||Spain||ESP||2||Silver|
|1924 Summer||22||Paris||Football||Men's Football||Spain||ESP||17T|
|1920 Summer||18||Antwerpen||Football||Spain||ESP||Final Standings||2||1920-08-28||0||0||0|
|1920 Summer||18||Antwerpen||Football||Spain||ESP||Second Place Tournament - Final||Match 2/3||1||1920-09-05||ESP 3, NED 1||0|
|1920 Summer||18||Antwerpen||Football||Spain||ESP||Second Place Tournament - Round One||Match #2||1||1920-09-01||ESP 2, SWE 1||0|
|1920 Summer||18||Antwerpen||Football||Spain||ESP||Round One||Match #4||1||1920-08-28||ESP 1, DEN 0||0|
|1924 Summer||22||Paris||Football||Spain||ESP||Final Standings||17T||1924-05-25||0||0||0|
|1924 Summer||22||Paris||Football||Spain||ESP||Round One||Match #3||2||1924-05-25||ITA 1, ESP 0||0|