Marcos Alonso Peña, a former Spanish footballer and manager who played for Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, died on February 9, 2023, at the age of 63, after a long illness. He was the father of the current Barcelona defender Marcos Alonso. His death was mourned by the football community, as he was remembered as a skillful, versatile, and charismatic player who won several titles and represented Spain at the international level. In this article, we will review the life and career of Marcos Alonso Peña, and the legacy he left behind.
A Promising Talent from Santander
Marcos Alonso Peña was born on October 1, 1959, in Santander, Cantabria. He was the son of two doctors, Savitri and Subramoni Sundaram. He started playing football at a young age, and joined the youth ranks of Real Madrid, but he did not make it to the first team. He then moved to his hometown club, Racing de Santander, where he made his professional debut at the age of 17, in the 1976-77 season. He played as a winger or a forward, and showed his speed, dribbling, and scoring abilities. He helped Racing avoid relegation in his first season, but could not prevent it in his second, when he scored five goals in 31 games.
A Star at Atlético Madrid and Barcelona
In 1979, Marcos Alonso Peña joined Atlético Madrid, one of the top clubs in Spain. He quickly became a regular starter, and formed a formidable attacking partnership with Hugo Sánchez, the Mexican striker. He won his first trophy with Atlético in the 1980-81 season, when they lifted the Copa del Rey, beating Sporting de Gijón in the final. He also made his debut for the Spanish national team in 1981, and scored his only international goal in a friendly against Poland.
In 1982, Marcos Alonso Peña made a record-breaking transfer to Barcelona, who paid 150 million pesetas for his services. He joined a team that was coached by Udo Lattek, and included players like Diego Maradona, Bernd Schuster, and José Ramón Alexanko. He played mainly as a right winger, and impressed with his flair, creativity, and versatility. He scored 28 goals in 124 league games for Barcelona, and won four trophies: the 1982-83 Copa del Rey, the 1983 Spanish Super Cup, the 1984-85 La Liga, and the 1985-86 League Cup. He also reached the final of the 1985-86 European Cup, but missed his penalty in the shootout against Steaua București.
One of his most memorable moments with Barcelona was his late goal in the 1982-83 Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid, their arch-rivals. He scored with a spectacular overhead kick in the 90th minute, to give Barcelona a 2-1 victory and their first trophy in six years. He celebrated by running towards the Barcelona fans and kissing the badge on his shirt.
A Return to Atlético Madrid and Retirement
In 1987, Marcos Alonso Peña returned to Atlético Madrid, where he played for two more seasons. He scored two goals in 29 games, and helped Atlético finish third in the 1987-88 season. He then had brief spells with Logroñés and Racing de Santander, before retiring in 1991, at the age of 31. He had played a total of 309 games and scored 49 goals in his club career.
A Manager and a Humanitarian
After retiring as a player, Marcos Alonso Peña became a manager. He coached several teams in Spain, such as Rayo Vallecano, Racing de Santander, Sevilla, Atlético Madrid, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Málaga, and Granada 74. He achieved some success, such as leading Rayo Vallecano to their first ever win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and promoting Sevilla to the top division in 1999. However, he also faced some difficulties, such as being relegated with Sevilla, Atlético Madrid, and Zaragoza, and being sacked by several clubs.
Marcos Alonso Peña was also a humanitarian, who supported various causes and charities. He was involved in the fight against cancer, as he himself suffered from the disease. He also donated his organs after his death, saving several lives.
The Cause of Death and the Tributes
Marcos Alonso Peña died on February 9, 2023, in Madrid, after a long battle with cancer. He was 63 years old. His death was announced by his former club Barcelona, who expressed their condolences and gratitude for his contribution to the club. His son, Marcos Alonso, who plays as a left back for Barcelona, also posted a heartfelt message on social media, saying that his father was his hero and his inspiration.
Many other figures from the football world paid tribute to Marcos Alonso Peña, such as his former teammates, rivals, coaches, and fans. They praised his talent, his personality, and his achievements, and remembered him as a legend of Spanish football.
Marcos Alonso Peña was a brilliant footballer and manager, who played for two of the biggest clubs in Spain, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. He won several titles and scored many goals, including a famous one against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. He also represented Spain at the international level, and participated in the Euro 1984, where they finished as runners-up. He later became a coach, and led several teams in Spain, with mixed results. He was also a humanitarian, who supported various causes and donated his organs. He died at the age of 63, after a long illness, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and passion. He will always be remembered as a legend of Spanish football.