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.
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.
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.
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.
- Scores and results list El Salvador's goal tally first.
|1||24 November 1976||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Independiente Medellín||4–2||Unofficial friendly||1|
|2||29 April 1977||?||Mexico||1–2||Friendly||1|
|3||17 June 1977||?||Newell's Old Boys||1–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|4||19 August 1977||?||Talleres de Córdoba||3–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|5||10 October 1977||Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Mexico||Suriname||3–2||1977 CONCACAF Championship||1|
|6||28 November 1977||?||Nicaragua||6–0||1977 Central American Games||2|
|7||1 December 1977||?||Nicaragua||8–0||1977 Central American Games||3|
|8||11 May 1980||Fello Meza, Cartago, Costa Rica||Cartaginés||2–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|9||4 June 1980||Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El Salvador||Haiti||3–0||Friendly||1|
|10||31 July 1980||Qemal Stafa, Tirana, Albania||Marathón||1–3||Unofficial friendly||1|
|11||17 August 1980||Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala||Guatemala||1–1||Friendly||1|
|14||24 August 1980||Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama||Panama||3–1||1981 CONCACAF Championship qualification||1|
|15||? September 1980||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Guatemala||3–2||Friendly||2|
|16||5 October 1980||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Panama||4–1||1981 CONCACAF Championship qualification||3|
|17||23 November 1980||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Honduras||2–1||1981 CONCACAF Championship qualification||1|
|18||26 July 1981||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Haiti||4–0||Friendly||1|
|19||2 August 1981||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Vitória Guimarães||2–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|20||2 September 1981||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Newell's Old Boys||3–2||Unofficial friendly||1|
|21||25 March 1982||Chateau Carreras, Córdoba, Argentina||Talleres de Córdoba||1–2||Unofficial friendly||2|
|23||18 April 1982||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Honduras||3–2||Friendly||2|
|24||9 May 1982||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Universitario de Deportes||2–2||Unofficial friendly||1|
|25||12 May 1982||Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El Salvador||Universitario de Deportes||4–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|26||16 May 1982||Flor Blanca, San Salvador, El Salvador||Ponte Preta||2–2||Unofficial friendly||1|
|27||8 December 1991||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Hungary||1–1||Friendly||1|
|28||19 July 1992||Managua, Nicaragua||Nicaragua||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification||2|
|29||23 July 1992||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Nicaragua||5–1||1994 World Cup qualification||1|
|30||17 August 1992||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Gabor Spittal||2–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|33||21 August 1992||?||Savigliano||1–1||Unofficial friendly||1|
|34||23 August 1992||?||Belnsag||3–0||Unofficial friendly||2|
|36||25 October 1992||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Canada||1–1||1994 World Cup qualification||1|
|37||1 November 1992||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Bermuda||4–1||1994 World Cup qualification||1|
|38||2 May 1993||Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||Canada||1–2||1994 World Cup qualification||1|
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.