Salvador “Chava” Reyes is a legend who helped Guadalajara win 7 titles in 9 seasons, and the Chivas paid homage to him in 2008.
It was Jan. 19, 2008, and Guadalajara’s Estadio Omnilife was jam-packed as the Chivas prepared to take on the Pumas in Week 1 of the Clausura 2008 season.
The player introductions began and the fans roared as each player trotted out onto the field.
But what was this? “Starting at forward, No. 57, Salvador Reyes!”
But wait … sure, he was Guadalajara’s all-time leading scorer (at that time) with 122 goals. But his last goal had come long before anybody else on the field had even been born. That’s right, it had been 41 years since Salvador “Chava” Reyes had scored a goal for Chivas.
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Out of the tunnel trotted gray-haired Reyes and the crowd roared. “Chava” Reyes was 71.
Honoring the ‘Campeonisimo’ Chivas
Guadalajara ownership had picked this day to pay tribute to the legendary “Chava,” the Chivas’ all-time leading scorer (at that time). It wasn’t a big surprise because, the Chivas had registered Reyes as a player with the league office as is required.
The tribute was done to pay homage to the beloved “Campeonisimo” teams that had won 7 titles in 9 seasons beginning with the 1956-57 season and ending with the 1964-65 season.
“Chava” was issued No. 57 by the club in recognition of the franchise’s first title in 1957.
“Chava” was introduced with the starting line-up and crouched down in the front row for the traditional pre-game team photo.
He stood in the center circle and kicked off the game followed by two more touches down the left channel, before purposely booting the ball out of bounds. He immediately spun around and began trotting toward the opposite sideline as his young Chivas teammates ran over to form a line-up, high-fiving the legendary player as he subbed out.
He was officially on the pitch for no more than 25 seconds and “Chava” was replaced by Omar Bravo, then 27 and the only other man who had scored more than 100 goals whilst wearing a Chivas jersey. Bravo would go on to overtake Reyes as the Chivas’ all-time leading scorer, though that would not come for another seven years.
Bravo moved into the top spot among Guadalajara goal-scorers on Aug. 12, 2015, when the fleet striker scored a brace at home against Morelia. The Los Mochis-native would score another nine times, finishing his career with 132 goals in red-and-white stripes.
Six weeks later – on Sept. 26, 2015 – Bravo scored twice in the Super Clásico against América, his 154th and 155th goals in all competitions, erasing yet another “Chava” Reyes club record.
Another bit of trivia linking Bravo and Reyes came about when Bravo won the league scoring title in the Clausura 2007 season. It had been 46 years since a Guadalajara player had claimed the scoring crown, that being the 1960-61 season when “Chava” netted 21 times.
Only 10 months after another legend – Johan Cruyff – joined the Chivas, Chava died on Dec. 29, 2012, nearly five years after his historic, final appearance in a Guadalajara Chivas uniform. The oldest player ever in an official Liga MX game.