Luis Molowny

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Luis Molowny
Personal information
Full name Luis Molowny Arbelo
Date of birth (1925-05-12)12 May 1925
Place of birth Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Date of death 12 February 2010(2010-02-12) (aged 84)
Place of death Las Palmas, Spain
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
CD Vera
1942–1943 Santa Cruz
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1943–1946 Marino
1946–1957 Real Madrid 172 (89)
1957–1958 Las Palmas 3 (1)
Total 175 (90)
National team
1950–1955 Spain 7 (2)
Teams managed
1958 Las Palmas
1960 Las Palmas
1967–1970 Las Palmas
1969 Spain
1974 Real Madrid
1977–1979 Real Madrid
1982 Real Madrid
1985–1986 Real Madrid
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Luis Molowny Arbelo (12 May 1925 – 12 February 2010) was a Spanish football midfielder and coach.

He amassed La Liga totals of 175 matches and 90 goals during 12 seasons, with Real Madrid and Las Palmas, he went on to work as a manager with the two clubs, winning 12 major titles with the former in both capacities combined.[1]

Molowny represented Spain at the 1950 World Cup. For a brief period in the late 1960s, he also coached the national team.

Playing career[edit]


Molowny was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, he trialled for CD Tenerife as a youngster, but was not allowed to play in the scouting match. He positioned himself behind one of the goals in order to act as a ball boy and retrieve lost balls and return them, and after a display of skills he was signed by Santa Cruz CF but, not being 18 at the time, he was limited to appear in friendly games.[2]

In 1946, after winning the Canarian regional championships with Marino FC,[2] Molowny caught the eye of both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid; the former club sent an emissary by boat to sign him, and the latter's president, Santiago Bernabéu, upon reading the developments in La Vanguardia whilst he was travelling to Reus, telephoned to director Jacinto Quincoces and ordered that the player be signed; after he performed poorly in a match where he was due to showcase his talent, Bernabéu was still adamant, and a deal was eventually closed for 250.000 pesetas and a 3.000 monthly salary.[3]

Molowny made his debut for his new team on 1 December 1946, scoring through a 79th-minute header in a 2–1 La Liga home win against Barcelona,[4] he finished his first season with a further ten goals in 15 appearances, winning the Copa del Generalísimo.[5]

During his 11-year stint in Madrid, Molowny appeared in 198 games all competitions comprised, netting 107 times,[6] he conquered five titles with his main club, including two national championships and the 1955–56 edition of the European Cup, even though he did not take part in the final of the latter tournament itself.[7][8]


Molowny earned seven caps for Spain, during slightly less than five years, his first came on 2 April 1950, and he contributed with one of his two international goals to a 5–1 win over Portugal for the 1950 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, at the Nuevo Chamartín.[9]

Selected by manager Guillermo Eizaguirre for the finals in Brazil, Molowny appeared in the 2–2 second group stage draw against Uruguay,[10] helping to a final fourth place.

Coaching career[edit]

Molowny retired in January 1958 at the age of 32, and immediately started coaching UD Las Palmas where he had last played. Over the following seasons he often acted as interim manager, not being able to prevent top flight relegation in 1960; in the 1968–69 campaign, already as a full-time coach, he led the team to a best-ever runner-up finish only behind champions Real Madrid.[11]

From March–June 1969, Molowny was in charge of the Spanish senior side who he coached for four games. During his tenure, he won twice, drew once and lost to Finland.[12][13]

Late into 1973–74 Molowny, who was working with Real Madrid in directorial capacities (where he remained until 1990), replaced Miguel Muñoz at the helm of the first team, he won the domestic cup that year,[14] and successively took the place of Miljan Miljanić, Vujadin Boškov and Amancio Amaro after they were fired, being crowned champion in 1978 and 1979;[13][15] additionally, he was also on the bench as the Merengues won consecutive UEFA Cups in 1984–85 and 1985–86.[16][17]


After quitting football altogether, Molowny settled in his native region, he died on 12 February 2010 at the age of 84, in Las Palmas.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'El Mangas', una vida entera dando títulos al Real Madrid" ['Sleeves', a lifetime giving titles to Real Madrid]. Marca (in Spanish). 13 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Luis Molowny" (in Spanish). Real Madrid Fans. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Si no me bajo en Reus... (el fichaje de Molowny)" [If I don't step off in Reus... (Molowny's signing)] (in Spanish). Con Perdón... 8 November 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Madrid, 2 – Barcelona, 1". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 2 December 1946. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Madrid, 2 – Español, 0". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 23 June 1947. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  6. ^ "The Canary Island genius". Real Madrid C.F. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Real Madrid 4–3 Reims". UEFA. 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Real Madrid CF – All the players in European Cups". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  9. ^ "España, 5 – Portugal, 1" [Spain, 5 – Portugal, 1]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 3 April 1950. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  10. ^ "España y Uruguay empataron a dos tantos" [Spain and Uruguay drew two goals to two]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 10 July 1950. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Luis Molowny, un canario en la leyenda madridista" [Luis Molowny, a canarian in madridista legend]. El País (in Spanish). 14 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  12. ^ "2–0: Nuestra selección (errante y sin alma) encajó la más triste derrota de su historia" [2–0: Our national team (wandering and soulless) suffered saddest defeat in their history]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 26 June 1969. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Luis Molowny, adiós al apagafuegos del Madrid" [Luis Molowny, farewell to Madrid's fireman]. ABC (in Spanish). 14 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Spain – Cup 1974". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Molowny... y el contrato social" [Molowny... and the social contract] (in Spanish). Media Punta. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  16. ^ "Molowny: "Salió mejor de lo previsto"" [Molowny: "That went better than anticipated"]. El País (in Spanish). 9 May 1985. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Littbarski: "El Colonia vencerá al Madrid por 4–0"" [Littbarski: "Köln will beat Madrid 4–0"]. El País (in Spanish). 6 May 1986. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Fallece Luis Molowny a los 84 años de edad" [Luis Molowny dies at the age of 84]. Marca (in Spanish). 13 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2016.

External links[edit]