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International Wanderers: Spain

17 June 2020

In this feature, we’re going to profile those players who played for Wanderers and represented their country on the international stage. There have been many players from all over the world who have achieved this feat, and today we’re going to focus on those represented Spain.

Marcos Alonso

Thirty years of age at the end of the calendar year, Alonso has earned three caps for his country. His first cap came in a friendly against Argentina in 2018 with his other two caps both coming in Nations League fixtures against England with the Three Lions victorious in Spain and the Spanish victorious at Wembley.

Currently in his fourth season at Chelsea after a summer 2016 move from Fiorentina, the left-back spent three years in Italy after turning down the opportunity to remain at Bolton Wanderers putting an end to a three year stay at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Alonso made 46 appearances for the Whites after joining from Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 and he did also spend the second half of the 2013/14 season on loan at Sunderland from Fiorentina.

Cesar Martin

Perhaps an obscure name to Bolton Wanderers fans, Cesar Martin made just a single league appearance for the club in 2007 in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea – coming off the bench as a substitute for Nicolas Anelka in the 89th minute.

The central defender had joined the club from Levante, although he had spent seven years previous to Levante with Deportivo La Coruna (1999-2006). Capped 12 times by the Spanish national team, he earned all of his caps during his time with Deportivo and also scored three goals for his country.

Two of his goals came in Euro 2000 Qualifying fixtures against Cyprus and Israel in 1999, with his third in a friendly against Andorra in 2004. Martin was included in the squad that made the short journey to Portugal for Euro 2004, although he never featured.

A La Liga winner with Deportivo La Coruna in 1999/00, Martin began his career with Real Oviedo before his move to Súper Dépor.

Fernando Hierro

One of the great Spanish players of his era, Fernando Hierro earned his first cap in 1989 and went onto represent his country at World Cups in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002. He accumulated a total of 89 caps before his retirement shortly after the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.

Following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui prior to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Hierro stepped in to take charge of the Spanish national team but stepped down from the role after his side’s penalty shoot-out defeat to the host nation in the Round of 16.

Signing for Real Madrid in 1989 from Real Valladolid, Hierro went onto become captain of arguably the world’s greatest club side and spent 14 years in the Spanish capital, making 601 appearances before spending a season in Qatar with Al-Rayyan (2003-04).

After leaving the Middle East, Hierro signed for Bolton Wanderers for the final season of his professional career and he made 35 appearances for the club before bowing out in a 3-2 home victory against Everton on the final day of the season. His only goal in English football came in a 3-2 defeat at Norwich City in December 2004.

Salva Ballesta

A striker who made a handful of appearances for Wanderers during the 2002/03 season, Ballesta was capped four times by Spain on the international stage after being a part of the Under-21s side that won the European Championships in 1998.

Coming through the ranks at Sevilla, he went onto spend time with Racing Santander, Atletico Madrid and Valencia, Malaga and Albacete. Ballesta was on loan at Bolton from Valencia, and he also had a loan stint with Levante later in his career.

At club level, he achieved the feat of being La Liga’s leading scorer with 27 goals in 1999/00 with Racing Santander and also won the La Liga with Valencia in 2001/02. Now in management with Algeciras, he also had spells in charge of Malaga B, Jaen and Mostoles.

Ivan Campo

Campo became a real fans’ favourite during his six years with Bolton Wanderers and it was a period of time where the football club earned qualification for the UEFA Cup under the management of Sam Allardyce.

The industrious central midfielder made 194 appearances for the club during two spells; the first of which was a loan spell from Real Madrid (2002/03) before the move was made a permanent one in the summer of 2003.

Twice a Champions League winner and once a La Liga winner with Real Madrid, Campo played four times for the Spanish national team between 1998 and 2000 and was a part of the squad that travelled to France for the FIFA World Cup in 1998.

Starting his career with Alaves, he spent time with Valencia, Real Valladolid and Real Mallorca before a switch to Real Madrid in 1998. Campo spent five years at the Santiago Bernabeu before a move to England and after leaving Bolton in 2008, he finished his playing career with a brief spell at Ipswich Town.

Javi Moreno

Moreno made ten appearances for Wanderers on loan from Atletico Madrid during the 2003/04 season and he made a substitute appearance for Kevin Nolan in the 2004 Carling Cup Final defeat to Middlesbrough at the Millennium Stadium.

Stating out in the reserve ranks at Barcelona, the striker went onto spend time with Cordoba and Yeclano before a move to Alaves in 1998. Really finding form with the latter, he played a pivotal role in the club’s historic run to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final and scored twice in the final as his side were beaten 5-4 by Liverpool.

As a result of his performances during the 2000/01 season, all five of the caps he earned for Spain came in 2001. He missed a penalty on his debut, which was a 3-0 defeat to England. His only goal came in June of 2001, as he netted in a 4-1 victory against Bosnia & Herzegovina in a Qualifier for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Earning a move to AC Milan in 2001, his time in Italy never reached any significant heights and he returned to Spain to sign for Atletico Madrid in 2002. After leaving Madrid in 2004, he went onto have spells with Real Zaragoza, Cordoba, Ibiza and Lucena.

Now in management, he is currently in charge of Pozoblanco.

Rodrigo Moreno

Currently capped 22 times by Spain, the Brazilian-born former Real Madrid starlet has scored eight times for the national team – one of his goals coming in a 2-1 victory against England at Wembley Stadium in September 2018.

Never breaking through to become a first team regular at Madrid, Moreno signed for Benfica in 2010 and would go onto impress with the Portuguese side. Shortly after his move to Portugal, Moreno would go onto spend the 2010/11 season on loan at Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League.

Making 21 appearances during the campaign, his only goal for the club came in a 1-1 draw against Wigan Athletic in January 2011. He had another loan spell at Valencia during the 2014/15 season and signed permanently for the club ahead of the following season.

The 29 year-old has currently made 213 appearances (57 goals) for the club and his call-up into the national team squad came as a result of his form with Los Murcelagos.

 

An honourable mention to Derik Osede who was capped by Spain from Under-16s level upwards but has never managed to make an appearance for the senior team.

Now at Numancia, the defender made 71 appearances for Bolton between 2015 and 2018 after a move from Real Madrid. Despite being born in Madrid, Derik signalled his intentions to play for Nigeria in recent years.


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