Iago Aspas

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Iago Aspas
XXIII Memorial Quinocho (RC Celta vs Mainz 05) - 10.jpg
Aspas with Celta in 2018
Personal information
Full nameIago Aspas Juncal [1]
Date of birth (1987-08-01) 1 August 1987 (age 32) [2]
Place of birth Moaña, Spain [2]
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) [2]
Playing position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
1995–2006 Celta
2004–2005Rápido Bouzas (loan)
Senior career*
2006–2009 Celta B 84 (11)
2008–2013 Celta 139 (46)
2013–2015 Liverpool 14 (0)
2014–2015Sevilla (loan) 16 (2)
2015– Celta 165 (89)
National team
2016– Spain 18 (6)
2016– Galicia 1 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 19 July 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 June 2019

Iago Aspas Juncal (Galician pronunciation:  [iˈaɣʊ ˈaspɐs] ; born 1 August 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for RC Celta de Vigo and the Spain national team.


He has spent most of his career with Celta, appearing in 346 official games over 11 seasons and scoring 152 goals. [3] He made his La Liga debut with the club in 2012 and moved to Liverpool the following year, returning to Celta in 2015.

Aspas first appeared with the Spain senior team in 2016. He represented the country at the 2018 World Cup.

Club career


Aspas playing for Celta in 2012 Iago Aspas.JPG
Aspas playing for Celta in 2012

Aspas was born in Moaña, Province of Pontevedra, Galicia. Brought through the youth ranks of local club RC Celta de Vigo, he made his first-team debut in the 2007–08 season with the side in Segunda División, [4] [5] then played his second game on 6 June 2009: brought on as a 59th-minute substitute against Deportivo Alavés, he scored both of his team's goals in a 2–1 home win, being essential as it eventually escaped relegation. [6] When he was 17, he was loaned to neighbouring Rápido de Bouzas, where he spent his penultimate year as a junior. [7]

Aspas was definitely promoted from the reserves for 2009–10, going on to appear in several more campaigns in the second tier with the Galicians. In the 2011–12 season, he netted a career-best 23 league goals, second-best in the competition behind UD Almería's Leonardo Ulloa [8] as Celta returned to La Liga after a five-year absence. [9] As a result of his performances, he was voted the best forward and Zarra Trophy winner for the category. [10]

Aspas made his top flight debut on 18 August 2012, starting in a 0–1 home loss against Málaga CF. [11] He scored his first goal in the competition the following month, contributing to a 2–0 win over CA Osasuna also at Balaídos, [12] and added a further 11 during the campaign to help the side escape relegation in the final matchday. [13] [14]

On 15 March 2013, during the 1–3 Galician derby away loss to Deportivo de La Coruña, Aspas was sent off after half an hour for headbutting Carlos Marchena. [15]


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers instructing Aspas in August 2013 Brendan Rodgers and Iago Aspas.jpg
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers instructing Aspas in August 2013

In May 2013, it was widely rumoured that a fee estimated between £7–9 million had been agreed for Aspas to join Liverpool, pending personal terms and a medical. [16] [17] [18] On 13 June, both clubs agreed to a deal in principle to sign the player subject to completion of documentation, but this was delayed when his former agent requested the Royal Spanish Football Federation withhold international clearance because of a dispute over his representation; [19] [20] [21] the deal was finally completed on 23 June, and he was given the number 9 shirt. [22]

Aspas made his Liverpool debut on 13 July 2013, scoring his first goal as well as assisting Raheem Sterling in a 4–0 pre-season friendly win against Preston North End. [23] He made his Premier League debut on 17 August, providing an assist for Daniel Sturridge in a 1–0 victory over Stoke City at Anfield. [24]

Aspas scored his first competitive goal for the Reds on 5 January 2014, in a 2–0 win over Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup. [25] During his spell, he played second-fiddle to Philippe Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge and Luis Suárez as the Reds went on to finish second; [26] he also struggled with his limited knowledge of the English language. [27]


On 14 July 2014, Aspas returned to his homeland, being loaned to Sevilla FC in a season-long move and with a permanent three-year deal as an subsequent obligatory option. [28] [29] He made his competitive debut on 12 August in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup at the Cardiff City Stadium, replacing fellow debutant Aleix Vidal after 66 minutes of an eventual 0–2 defeat to Real Madrid. [30]

On 14 September 2014, Aspas appeared in the league for the first time, coming on for Carlos Bacca for the final seven minutes of a 2–0 home win against Getafe CF. [31] His first goal for his new club came on 2 October, as he opened the score in a 2–2 draw at HNK Rijeka for the UEFA Europa League group stage; [32] late in that month he played the full 90 minutes and grabbed a hat-trick against CE Sabadell FC, helping to a 6–1 away routing for the season's Copa del Rey, [33] adding another treble within a four-minute spell in the second leg for a 5–1 win. [34] He and FC Barcelona's Neymar were the tournament's top scorers, with seven goals each. [35]

Aspas' first league goal for Sevilla came on 1 February 2015, the winner in a 3–2 victory over RCD Espanyol. Earlier in the game, he had taken a shot which was handled by Kiko Casilla outside of the penalty area, resulting in the goalkeeper's dismissal. [36]

Return to Celta

Aspas in action for Celta in 2017 Iago Aspas - Celta de Vigo - WMES 04.jpg
Aspas in action for Celta in 2017

On 12 June 2015, Sevilla signed Aspas from Liverpool as part of the agreement between the two clubs, then sold him straight back to Celta on the same day, [37] [38] with the player agreeing to a five-year contract six days later for a 5 million fee. [39] [40] On 23 September, he scored twice in a 4–1 home win over Barcelona. [41]

Aspas was the La Liga Player of the Month for October 2016 after scoring five goals, including braces in a 4–1 win against Deportivo and a 3–3 draw with UD Las Palmas, in addition to a goal and assist in a 4–3 victory over reigning champions Barcelona. [42] The following 23 February he scored a last-minute penalty in the Europa League last-32 second leg to force extra time at FC Shakhtar Donetsk, with the Spaniards emerging victorious. [43]

On 21 May 2017, in the last matchday of the campaign, Aspas scored through a penalty in a 2–2 home draw against Real Sociedad, reaching a personal-best 19 goals and winning the Zarra Trophy in the process. [44] [45] The following season he was again the league's top-scoring Spaniard at 22, behind only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez overall. [46] He netted hat-tricks in a 5–2 win at UD Las Palmas on 16 October 2017 [47] and a 4–0 defeat of former side Sevilla the following 7 April, [48] in addition to a brace in a 3–1 derby win at eventually relegated Deportivo; [49] on 5 November 2017, with another couple in a 3–1 home win over Athletic Bilbao, he reached 100 goals for his main employer, putting himself sixth in their all-time scorers. [50]

In 2018–19, Aspas was absent with a calf injury for three months from the end of December, during which Celta slipped from ninth place to 18th in the table. [51] He netted twice in a 3–2 win over Villarreal on his return on 30 March 2019 in what was also his 300th game for the team, [52] and on 17 April he signed a new contract to last until 2023, the club's centenary year. [53]

International career

Aspas at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Iago Aspas 2018 (cropped).jpg
Aspas at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

In December 2012 Aspas, along with Michu, was poised to be called up by manager Vicente del Bosque for a debut with the Spanish national team on 6 February 2013, in an exhibition game with Uruguay in Doha, Qatar. [54] However, neither made the final squad for that match. [55]

Aspas finally earned his first cap on 15 November 2016, under new coach Julen Lopetegui, replacing Juan Mata for the second half of the 2–2 friendly draw against England, being booked and scoring his side's first goal. [56] His competitive debut came on 24 March of the following year, as he played the last six minutes of the 4–1 home win over Israel for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. [57]

Aspas was included in the 23-man squad for the World Cup finals in Russia. [58] He made his debut in the competition on 15 June 2018, replacing Diego Costa, who had scored twice, for the final 14 minutes of the 3–3 group-stage draw against Portugal; [59] ten days later, having come on for the same player, he scored a last-minute equaliser with a backheel to help his team draw 2–2 against Morocco and reach the knockout phase as group champions. [60]

On 1 July 2018, again after having taken the place of Costa, Aspas was one of two Spanish players to miss his attempt in the round-of-16 penalty shootout against Russia, a 3–4 loss in Moscow. [61] He also represented Galicia in the region's first match for eight years, scoring in a 1–1 friendly draw with Venezuela on 20 May 2016. [62]

Personal life

Aspas' older brother, Jonathan, was also a footballer. He too came through Celta's youth system. [63] [64] Their cousin, Aitor, represented smaller teams in their native region. [65]

Aspas has two children with his wife Jennifer Rueda, whom he married in June 2019. [66] [67]

Career statistics


As of match played 19 July 2020 [68] [69]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Celta B 2006–07 Segunda División B 21100211
2007–08 32400324
2008–09 31600316
Celta 2007–08 Segunda División 100010
2008–09 320032
2009–10 36571436
2010–11 30411315
2011–12 3523323825
2012–13 La Liga 3412303712
Liverpool 2013–14 Premier League 14011151
Sevilla 2014–15 La Liga162575 [lower-alpha 1] 12610
Celta 2015–16 La Liga3514544018
2016–17 32195212 [lower-alpha 2] 54926
2017–18 3422313723
2018–19 2720212921
2019–20 3714103814
Celta total3041353012125346152
Career total4181483620176471174
  1. One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, three appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  2. All appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League


As of match played 7 June 2019 [70]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Spain 201611

International goals

As of 25 June 2018 (Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Aspas goal) [70]
1.15 November 2016 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of England.svg  England 1–22–2 Friendly
2.5 September 2017 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, LiechtensteinFlag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein 5–08–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4.27 March 2018 Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid, SpainFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 5–16–1Friendly
5.9 June 2018 Krasnodar Stadium, Krasnodar, RussiaFlag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 1–01–0
6.25 June 2018 Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, RussiaFlag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 2–22–2 2018 FIFA World Cup




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