Rubén Baraja

Last updated

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
Senior career*
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)
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.


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


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.


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]


Valladolid B 1993–94 Segunda División B 208208
1994–95 263263
Valladolid 1993–94 La Liga 5151
1994–95 9090
1995–96 271271
Atlético Madrid B 1996–97 Segunda División 221221
1997–98 328328
1998–99 25112511
Atlético Madrid 1998–99 La Liga81402 [lower-alpha 1] 0141
1999–2000 263526 [lower-alpha 1] 2377
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
Career total4637837774127158198
  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 goals


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
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
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]



Valencia [4]


Related Research Articles

Miroslav Đukić Serbian footballer

Miroslav Đukić is a Serbian former footballer who played as a sweeper, and a manager.

The 1996–97 La Liga season, the 66th since its establishment, started on 31 August 1996 and finished on 23 June 1997.

The 1995–96 La Liga season, the 65th since its establishment, started on September 9, 1995, and finished on May 26, 1996.

The 1993–94 La Liga season, the 63rd since its establishment, started on September 4, 1993, and finished on May 15, 1994. The league was won by Barcelona for the fourth consecutive season, their fourteenth league title.

Felipe Miñambres Fernández is a Spanish retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

Javier Baraja Vegas is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a defensive midfielder or a central defender, and the manager of Real Valladolid B.

The 1995–96 Copa del Rey was the 94th staging of the Copa del Rey.

The 1981–82 Copa del Rey was the 80th staging of the Spanish Cup, the annual domestic cup competition in the Spanish football. The tournament was attended by 136 teams from the main categories of Spaniard football.

The 1990–91 Copa del Rey was the 89th staging of the Spanish Cup. The competition began on 5 September 1990 and ended on 29 June 1991 with the final.

The 2012–13 season was the 109th season of competitive football in Spain. It started officially on 1 July 2012 and ended on 30 June 2013.

The 2015–16 Copa del Rey was the 114th staging of the Copa del Rey. Going into the tournament, the winners were assured a place for the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League Group stage. However, since the two finalists, Barcelona and Sevilla, both qualified for the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, respectively by winning the 2015–16 La Liga title and the 2015–16 Europa League, the cup winner's place in the 2016–17 Europa League group stage instead passed to the fifth-place team in La Liga, Athletic Bilbao.

The 2016–17 Segunda División season, also known as LaLiga 1|2|3 for sponsorship reasons, was the 86th since its establishment. The fixtures were announced on 15 July 2016.

The 2017–18 Segunda División season, also known as LaLiga 1|2|3 for sponsorship reasons, was the 87th season of the Spanish football second division since its establishment.

The 2017–18 season was Real Sporting's 112th season in existence and the club's 45th season in the second flight of Spanish football, the first one since its last relegation. It covers a period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

The 2017–18 Copa del Rey was the 116th staging of the Copa del Rey. The winners were assured a place for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage.

The 2018–19 La Liga season, also known as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons, was the 88th since its establishment. The season began on 17 August 2018 and finished on 19 May 2019. Fixtures for the 2018–19 season were announced on 24 July 2018. This was the first La Liga season using VAR.

The 2019–20 Segunda División season, also known as LaLiga SmartBank for sponsorship reasons, is the 89th since its establishment.

During the 1995–96 Spanish football season, Valencia CF competed in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

The 1989–90 season is Real Madrid Club de Fútbol's 88th season in existence and the club's 59th consecutive season in the top flight of Spanish football.

The 2020–21 Segunda División, also known as LaLiga SmartBank for sponsorship reasons, will be the 90th season of Segunda División. It is scheduled to begin on 12 September 2020 and will conclude on 29 May 2021.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Rubén BARAJA Vegas". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  2. "Ruben Baraja". BBC Sport. 25 May 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2006.
  3. "Worst players to win the Champions League". ESPN FC. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  4. 1 2 Ballester, Nacho (15 November 2012). "Rubén Baraja, mejor jugador del Valencia del Siglo XXI" [Rubén Baraja, best Valencia player of XXI Century] (in Spanish). Deporte Valenciano. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  5. Miguelez, José (8 February 1999). "Al Atlético le sacan los colores" [Atlético drained]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  6. "Valencia break club transfer record". The Namibian . 2 August 2000. Archived from the original on 27 May 2003. Retrieved 21 May 2006.
  7. "Bayern crowned European champions". BBC Sport. 23 May 2001. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  8. Ros, Cayetano (29 April 2002). "La sensación se llama Baraja" [Baraja is the sensation's name]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  9. "10 ídolos del valencianismo" [10 Valencia faithful idols] (in Spanish). Valencia Culture. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  10. "Valencia 2–0 Marseille". BBC Sport. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. Furió, Luis (11 May 2008). "Voro recupera la pareja de los grandes éxitos" [Voro recovers duo of great successes]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  12. "Baraja recibe un emotivo adiós de Mestalla" [Baraja gets emotional farewell from Mestalla]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 16 May 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  13. Miguelez, José (8 October 2000). "España gana con sosería" [Spain win dully]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  14. "Korean dream lives on". BBC Sport. 22 June 2002. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  15. Lawrence, Amy (23 June 2002). "Spain rage at referee". The Guardian . Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  16. Hayward, Paul (23 June 2002). "Korean miracle spoilt by refereeing farce". The Daily Telegraph . London. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  17. Modia, Iván (20 May 2004). "Sáez selects Spain squad". UEFA. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  18. Spiro, Matthew (17 June 2004). "Greece profit as Charisteas stops Spain surge". UEFA. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  19. Farrelly, David (20 June 2004). "Portugal leave Spain in shade to light up Lisbon". UEFA. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  20. Turner, Lucy (15 May 2006). "Aragonés finds no place for Baraja". UEFA. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  21. "Baraja muscled out for Valencia". UEFA. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  22. "Valencia get bad news on Baraja". UEFA. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  23. "Baraja blow deepens Valencia woe". UEFA. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  24. Aznar, Luis (9 June 2011). "Vizcaíno y Baraja, ayudantes de Gregorio Manzano" [Vizcaíno and Baraja, Gregorio Manzano's assistants]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  25. "El Juvenil de Baraja, campeón de su grupo" [Baraja's Juvenil, group champions]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). 2 April 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  26. "Rubén Baraja, nuevo entrenador del Elche C.F." [Rubén Baraja. new manager of Elche C.F.] (in Spanish). Elche CF. 12 July 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  27. "Rubén Baraja no continuará como entrenador del Elche C.F." [Rubén Baraja will not remain as Elche C.F. manager] (in Spanish). Elche CF. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  28. Álvarez Villacé, C. (6 November 2016). "Baraja, nuevo entrenador del Rayo Vallecano" [Baraja, new manager of Rayo Vallecano]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  29. Martín, Maite (20 February 2017). "Rayo Vallecano sack Ruben Baraja as head coach". Diario AS. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  30. "Rubén Baraja, nuevo entrenador del Sporting" [Rubén Baraja, new Sporting head coach] (in Spanish). Sporting Gijón. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  31. Vallespir, Víctor (16 May 2018). "Sancionan a Rubén Baraja con cuatro partidos" [Rubén Baraja banned for four games]. Sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  32. Jiménez, Pepe; Acebal, David (10 June 2018). "Baraja no despeja la incógnita sobre su futuro" [Baraja does not clear the mystery surrounding his future] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  33. "Rubén Baraja deja de ser entrenador del R. Sporting" [Rubén Baraja is no longer R. Sporting manager] (in Spanish). La Liga. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  34. "Rubén Baraja, nuevo técnico del CD Tenerife" [Rubén Baraja, new manager of CD Tenerife] (in Spanish). CD Tenerife. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  35. "Rubén Baraja completa su ciclo como entrenador del CD Tenerife" [Rubén Baraja ends his cycle as CD Tenerife manager] (in Spanish). CD Tenerife. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  36. Martínez, C.R. (1 June 2010). "Rubén Baraja, dispuesto a escuchar al Valladolid" [Rubén Baraja, willing to listen to Valladolid]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  37. Rubén Baraja at BDFutbol
  38. "Rúben Baraja". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  39. 1 2 "Rúben Baraja". European Football. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  40. "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  41. "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  42. "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  43. "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
    "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  44. "Baraja: Rubén Baraja Vegas". BDFutbol. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  45. "Ranieri finds winning blend". UEFA. 28 August 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2020.