Jorge Alberto González Barillas (born 13 March 1958), popularly known as El Mágico, is a Salvadoran retired footballer.

A forward with superb ball-control skills (his talent being overshadowed by questionable behaviour off the pitch), he is mainly associated with Cádiz, while also representing the El Salvador national team for more than two decades.

Club career

Early years

Born in San Salvador, González began his professional career in 1975 with the Administración Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (ANTEL) team. He played for ANTEL and Independiente Nacional 1906 over the course of two seasons, before moving to Club Deportivo Fútbolistas Asociados Santanecos in the Salvadoran Primera División.

While playing in El Salvador, González became known as Mago but later, upon transferring to Spain, his nickname was slightly changed to Mágico.


Both Atlético Madrid and Cádiz CF became interested in acquiring González in 1982 – despite the Colchoneros' higher profile, he signed with the Andalusians. His first game in Spain came in a friendly against La Barca de la Florida, while his Segunda División debut was on 5 September 1982 in a 1–1 home draw against Real Murcia, scoring in the process. He became a fan-favorite thanks to his dazzling moves and goals, but was also notorious for his love of the nightlife and his sleeping habits were also brought into question, whilst his on-field abilities endeared him to the Cádiz fans enough that they overlooked his minor indiscretions; he finished his first season with 33 games and 15 goals as the team promoted to La Liga.

In 1983 and 1984, Cádiz traveled to the United States to play. The first year it was González who was the principal attraction, but in the following the team was joined by FC Barcelona and its superstar Diego Maradona, who later claimed that the Salvadoran was “without a doubt amongst the greatest ten players I have ever seen play, in all my life”. His debut in the top division came on 11 September 1983 in a 1–3 home loss against the same opponent, Murcia, and the club was immediately relegated back.

Despite this, interest from French club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. and Italian sides ACF Fiorentina and U.C. Sampdoria arose, but González opted to stay in Cádiz. His stay was somewhat short-lived, however, as he was transferred to Real Valladolid in the 1985 January transfer window due to problems with manager Benito Joanet. He did not get along at Valladolid, where his personal life was tightly controlled and, after playing in just nine games, he returned to Cádiz exactly one year later; as a precaution against his partying, his contract was reputed to have contained a clause stipulating he was to be paid US$700 per game played and none for the ones he missed.

After several coaching changes, González was finally able to shine again for Cádiz under Víctor Espárrago, still competing in a further top level campaigns. In all, he scored 58 goals in 194 league games for the club until his departure on 6 June 1991, aged 33.

Late career

González returned to El Salvador and FAS after another Italian club, Atalanta BC, failed to garner his services. He stayed with the team until 1999, when he retired to begin coaching as an assistant in Houston, Texas. After a short stint in the US, he returned to his homeland.

In 2001, Cádiz honored González with a testimonial match, with the proceeds going to the victims of a recent earthquake in El Salvador. In 2003, the Salvadoran National Assembly gave González the government's highest honor, the Hijo Meritísimo, and renamed the national stadium the Flor Blanca, after him. On 28 August 2004, another testimonial was played in his honor, this time in El Salvador at the Mágico González Stadium, between America XI, a group of international stars, and a team made up of ex-FAS players: he played a half with either side, and scored a total of three goals.

International career

Many critics and journalists say that if González had been Argentinian or Brazilian, he would have ranked amongst the best in the world, alongside Maradona and Pelé. He received the first of his 62 caps for El Salvador on 1 December 1976, in a FIFA World Cup qualification match against Costa Rica. He was also instrumental in leading the nation to the 1982 FIFA World Cup – the second time in history – where he appeared in all three group stage matches, including the 1–10 loss to Hungary.

González represented his country in 31 World Cup qualifiers, and scored 21 goals in full internationals.

International goals

Scores and results list El Salvador's goal tally first.
124 November 1976Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El SalvadorColombia Independiente Medellín4–2Unofficial friendly1
229 April 1977 ? Mexico1–2Friendly1
317 June 1977 ?Argentina Newell's Old Boys1–1Unofficial friendly1
419 August 1977 ?Argentina Talleres de Córdoba3–1Unofficial friendly1
510 October 1977Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Mexico Suriname3–21977 CONCACAF Championship1
628 November 1977 ? Nicaragua6–01977 Central American Games2
71 December 1977 ? Nicaragua8–01977 Central American Games3
811 May 1980Fello Meza, Cartago, Costa RicaCosta Rica Cartaginés2–1Unofficial friendly1
94 June 1980Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El Salvador Haiti3–0Friendly1
1031 July 1980Qemal Stafa, Tirana, AlbaniaHonduras Marathón1–3Unofficial friendly1
1117 August 1980Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala Guatemala1–1Friendly1
1424 August 1980Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama Panama3–11981 CONCACAF Championship qualification1
15 ? September 1980Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Guatemala3–2Friendly2
165 October 1980Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Panama4–11981 CONCACAF Championship qualification3
1723 November 1980Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Honduras2–11981 CONCACAF Championship qualification1
1826 July 1981Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Haiti4–0Friendly1
192 August 1981Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El SalvadorPortugal Vitória Guimarães2–1Unofficial friendly1
202 September 1981Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El SalvadorArgentina Newell's Old Boys3–2Unofficial friendly1
2125 March 1982Chateau Carreras, Córdoba, ArgentinaArgentina Talleres de Córdoba1–2Unofficial friendly2
2318 April 1982Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Honduras3–2Friendly2
249 May 1982Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El SalvadorPeru Universitario de Deportes2–2Unofficial friendly1
2512 May 1982Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El SalvadorPeru Universitario de Deportes4–1Unofficial friendly1
2616 May 1982Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El SalvadorBrazil Ponte Preta2–2Unofficial friendly1
278 December 1991Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Hungary1–1Friendly1
2819 July 1992Managua, Nicaragua Nicaragua5–01994 World Cup qualification2
2923 July 1992Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Nicaragua5–11994 World Cup qualification1
3017 August 1992Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El SalvadorAustria Gabor Spittal2–1Unofficial friendly1
3321 August 1992 ?Italy Savigliano1–1Unofficial friendly1
3423 August 1992 ?Italy Belnsag3–0Unofficial friendly2
3625 October 1992Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Canada1–11994 World Cup qualification1
371 November 1992Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Bermuda4–11994 World Cup qualification1
382 May 1993Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador Canada1–21994 World Cup qualification1

Personal life

González was born to a family of modest means in the Luz neighborhood of San Salvador, one of seven brothers and only one sister. His older brother, Mauricio González Pachín, was a footballer who became well known at the local level.

Mágico married Anna Ruano, daughter of another Salvadoran football legend, Alfredo Ruano. His son, Rodrigo, also played in the country's top division, for C.D. Atlético Marte.