Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RIP Florencio Amarilla

Soccer player, coach and actor Florencio Amarilla Lacasa died Saturday August 25, 2012 in Velez Rubio, Andalusia, Spain. He was 77.

Born in Coronel, Bogardo, Paraguay, on January, 3, 1935. He never knew his mother. Part of his childhood was spent in Argentina and later he returned to Paraguay and began his career as a soccer player. He became a professional in Asunción National.

He was left-handed, fast and hit the ball with such power that those who saw him play say that his shot would have envied Cristiano Ronaldo. He had powerful legs, stamina and a pure unbridled nature. Amarillo’s greatest day was on July 14, 1957 when Paraguay and Uruguay fought for a place in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Paraguay won convincingly 5-0 Amarillo scored three goals and become a national hero. Then came the World Cup where he scored again and Paraguay did well. He served as a star and anchor in the Spanish League.

He joined Real Oviedo in the First Division where he played three seasons. His last club was the 1st Elche, but an injury he suffered the year before weakened his chances of success in the top bracket. He then ended his long career with Club Deportivo Almeria in the 1967-68 season. He never left the province. Midway through the following season he retired from Almeria Amarilla and found his second vocation: film.
Florencia crossed paths with cinema by chance. "I was at the Grand Hotel having a beer when I was approached by a man six feet tall, Antonio Tarruella, an assistant director who told me I had the face of an Indian and asked me if I wanted to participate in a movie." The film was “100 Rifles” (1968) starring Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds Jim Brown.

From there he became a fixture in Almeria cinema. He was much more than an extra. By his physical power, riding skill and attractiveness, it helped him to the foreground of the Actors Studio, he steadily kept working in movies. He appeared in such films as “El Condor” (1970), with Lee Van Cleef, and “Catlow” (1971) with Yul Brynner.

Amarilla combined his film work with soccer, but from the bench. He coached the top clubs in the province. From the mythical Almeria Athletic Association to the Roquetas de Mar, Vera, Garrucha, Poli Ejido, Macael ..., until he retired in Níjar County. His players remember with nostalgia those workouts. Amarilla was a kind and excellent coach for goalkeepers and they scored goals for the squad. Often arriving in costume directly from the set of a film he was working in.

His eldest son, Luis Alberto Amarilla, described the final battle against the disease Guarani which took him: "His struggle against death was heroic, tough, and brutal at the end of the journey. No quarter, no reprieve, and he fought with courageous patience and encouragement."

Soccer in Almeria, the world of cinema, his children, relatives and friends mourn this irreparable loss.

Amarillo appeared in thirteen Euro-westerns from “Tepepa” (aka “Blood and Guns”) (1968) to “Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold” (1984).

1 comment:

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