Rubén Baraja

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Rubén Baraja
Ruben Baraja 01 (cropped).jpg
Baraja as Elche manager in 2016
Personal information
Full nameRubén Baraja Vegas [1]
Date of birth (1975-07-11) 11 July 1975 (age 45) [1]
Place of birth Valladolid, Spain [1]
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) [1]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
Valladolid
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1993–1995 Valladolid B 46 (11)
1993–1996 Valladolid 41 (2)
1996–1999 Atlético Madrid B 79 (20)
1999–2000 Atlético Madrid 34 (4)
2000–2010 Valencia 263 (41)
Total463(78)
National team
1993 Spain U18 3 (1)
2000–2005 Spain 43 (7)
Teams managed
2011 Atlético Madrid (assistant)
2013–2015 Valencia (youth)
2013 Valencia B (interim)
2015–2016 Elche
2016–2017 Rayo Vallecano
2017–2018 Sporting Gijón
2019–2020 Tenerife
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Rubén Baraja Vegas (Spanish pronunciation:  [ruˈβem baˈɾaxa] ; born 11 July 1975) is a Spanish retired footballer, and a current manager.

Contents

A complete central midfielder with good tackling, technique, and offensive qualities, together with accurate passing and goalscoring ability, [2] [3] he played mostly for Valencia during a 17-year professional career, being an essential figure in five of the club's major titles, which included two La Liga championships. [4]

Baraja was also a consistent part of the Spain national team for five years, appearing in one World Cup and one European Championship and winning 43 caps.

Playing career

Club

Born in Valladolid, Castile and León, Baraja started his career at local Real Valladolid before moving to Atlético Madrid, where he would spend two and a half seasons with the reserves, first appearing with the first team on 7 February 1999 by playing the second half of a 1–2 defeat at UD Salamanca. [5] In 1998–99, with the B's in the second division, he scored a career-best 11 goals.

When Atlético was relegated at the end of 1999–2000, Baraja left the club in a 2,000 million pesetas transfer to that year's UEFA Champions League finalists Valencia CF, [6] who were looking to strengthen their central midfield following the sale of first-team players Gerard and Javier Farinós. In his first season he was a key element in the Che's Champions League run, as they were beaten in the final for the second year running, this time losing in a penalty shootout to FC Bayern Munich, with the player scoring on his attempt. [7]

2001–02 would see Baraja's first trophy win, where his goals late in the campaign helped Valencia to their first La Liga title in 31 years – he finished as team top scorer in the league, netting seven in only 17 league games after recovering from a knee injury. [8] [9] 2003–04 was another big year, winning both the domestic championship (with eight league goals from him) as well as the UEFA Cup, beating Olympique de Marseille 2–0 in the final. [10]

In 2006–07, Baraja only made 14 league appearances as Valencia finished fourth, and continued to be constantly bothered by physical problems in the following years. After two respectable seasons, often partnering longtime central midfield partner David Albelda, [11] he was again greatly troubled by injuries in the 2009–10 campaign, featuring in only 18 matches (two complete); on 16 May 2010 he closed his chapter at the Mestalla Stadium after one full decade, receiving homages before and after the 1–0 home win against CD Tenerife and being replaced to a standing ovation in the 89th minute. [12] The 35-year-old announced his retirement shortly after, having appeared in 338 first division games over 15 seasons and scored 47 goals.

International

Baraja made his debut for Spain on 7 October 2000, in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 2–0 win over Israel. [13] Consequently, he was picked for the final stages, where the team reached the quarter-finals before being sent out by co-hosts South Korea on penalties, though the player, as the year before with Valencia, once again scored on his attempt; he scored from a header during regulation time, but saw his goal disallowed for alleged shirt pulling and pushing in the Korean penalty area. [14] [15] [16]

Baraja also took part in the disappointing UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, [17] where Spain was eliminated in the group stage by eventual finalists Portugal and Greece. [18] [19] He was left out of the 2006 World Cup squad, [20] as his club presence was also diminished due to recurrent injuries. [21] [22] [23]

Coaching career

In June 2011, Baraja returned to former team Atlético Madrid as part of newly appointed manager Gregorio Manzano's coaching staff. [24] In the summer of 2013 he returned to main club Valencia, first coaching the youths [25] then the reserves.

Baraja was appointed manager of Elche CF, newly relegated to the second tier, on 12 July 2015. [26] On 6 June of the following year, he resigned after failing to agree new terms. [27]

On 8 November 2016, Baraja took the reins at fellow league team Rayo Vallecano. [28] After only three wins from 13 games, he was sacked on 20 February 2017 as they sat a point above the relegation places. [29]

Baraja was appointed at Sporting de Gijón on 12 December 2017. [30] Towards the end of the season, he received a four-match ban and a €3,005 fine for preventing FC Barcelona B's Sergi Palencia from taking a throw-in; [31] this included the first game of the play-offs, in which eventual champions Valladolid eliminated the Asturians 5–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals. [32]

On 18 November 2018, Baraja was dismissed after losing the Asturian derby against Real Oviedo, leaving the team in 14th position with a streak of only one win from 11 matches. [33] In December of the following year, he became coach of CD Tenerife in the same league, [34] managing to avoid relegation but still leaving on 20 July 2020. [35]

Personal life

Baraja's younger brother, Javier, was also a professional footballer. A defender, he too graduated at Valladolid, and went on to spend most of his senior career there. [36]

Career statistics

[37] [38]

Club

ClubSeasonLeagueCupContinentalOtherTotal
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Valladolid B 1993–94 Segunda División B 208208
1994–95 263263
Total46114611
Valladolid 1993–94 La Liga 5151
1994–95 9090
1995–96 271271
Total412412
Atlético Madrid B 1996–97 Segunda División 221221
1997–98 328328
1998–99 25112511
Total79207920
Atlético Madrid 1998–99 La Liga81402 [lower-alpha 1] 0141
1999–2000 263526 [lower-alpha 1] 2377
Total3449282518
Valencia 2000–01 La Liga3542115 [lower-alpha 2] 2527
2001–02 1771 [lower-alpha 1] 0187
2002–03 3551012 [lower-alpha 2] 42 [lower-alpha 3] 0509
2003–04 3586211 [lower-alpha 2] 25212
2004–05 257208 [lower-alpha 4] 13 [lower-alpha 5] 1389
2005–06 314201 [lower-alpha 6] 0344
2006–07 141103 [lower-alpha 2] 0181
2007–08 252813 [lower-alpha 2] 0363
2008–09 283414 [lower-alpha 1] 12 [lower-alpha 3] 0385
2009–10 180208 [lower-alpha 1] 0280
Total2634128566107136457
Career total4637837774127158198
Notes
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Appearances in UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. 1 2 Appearances in Supercopa de España
  4. Six appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Cup
  5. Two appearances in Supercopa de España, one appearance and one goal in UEFA Super Cup
  6. Appearance in UEFA Intertoto Cup

International

[39]

Spain
YearAppsGoals
200031
200151
2002103
2003100
2004122
200530
Total437

International goals

[39]

#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
1.11 October 2000 Ernst Happel, Vienna, Austria Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 1–11–1 2002 World Cup qualification
2.25 April 2001 Nuevo Arcángel, Córdoba, SpainFlag of Japan.svg  Japan 1–01–0 Friendly
3.17 April 2002 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 0–20–5Friendly
4.12 October 2002 Carlos Belmonte, Albacete, SpainUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 1–03–0 Euro 2004 qualification
5.3–0
6.18 February 2004 Lluís Companys, Barcelona, SpainFlag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 2–12–1Friendly
7.5 June 2004 Alfonso Pérez, Getafe, SpainFlag of Andorra.svg  Andorra 2–04–0Friendly

Managerial statistics

As of match played 20 July 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
TeamNatFromToRecordRef
GWDLGFGAGDWin %
Valencia B (interim) Flag of Spain.svg 15 December 201322 December 2013110021+1100.00 [40]
Elche Flag of Spain.svg 12 July 20156 June 2016431319114349−6030.23 [41]
Rayo Vallecano Flag of Spain.svg 8 November 201620 February 2017133461214−2023.08 [42]
Sporting Gijón Flag of Spain.svg 12 December 201718 November 201843209145942+17046.51 [43]
Tenerife Flag of Spain.svg 2 December 201920 July 20202812973827+11042.86 [44]
Total128494138154133+21038.28

Honours

Club

Valencia [4]

Individual

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References

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  3. "Worst players to win the Champions League". ESPN FC. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
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