Martí Ventolrà (Barcelona, 1906 – Mexico City, 1977)
Martí Ventolrà was one of the most charismatic Barça players of the thirties. He was a fantastic winger, lightning quick and an amazing dribbler and passer of the ball, and exceptionally strong in the air. He started out with Espanyol, and later played for Sevilla before joining Barça in 1933. A year later he went to the 1934 World Cup in Italy.
Spain beat Brazil in their opening match (the tournament was a straight knockout in those days) and lost on penalties to the hosts in the quarter finals, although Ventolrà did not feature in either match.
After the World Cup, Ventolrà won two Catalan Championships with FCB. In 1937, and at the height of the Spanish Civil War, the team went on a tour of Mexico and Ventolrà was one of the players who decided not to return to Europe.
It was there that he met Josefina Rangel, niece of the President of the Republic, Lázaro Cárdenas, and they married.
Ventolrà played for Real Club de España and Atlante in his adopted country, and his son, José Raymundo Ventolrà Rangel, would also become an excellent player.
Born 30 March 1943, Ventolrà junior was at Toluca FC from 1962 to 1973, and represented Mexico on home soil in the 1970 World Cup – creating the unique case of a father and son both playing at the World Cup, but for different countries!
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