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Raúl Albiol

Raúl Albiol Tortajada (; born 4 September 1985 in Vilamarxant, Province of Valencia) is a Spain Association football who plays for Real Madrid C.F. and the Spain national football team.

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Raúl Albiol biography


Raúl Albiol Tortajada (; born 4 September 1985 in Vilamarxant, Province of Valencia) is a Spain Association football who plays for Real Madrid C.F. and the Spain national football team.

Raúl Albiol main asset is Raúl Albiol versatility, as Raúl Albiol can play as a Defender (association football) Centre back, Defender (association football) Full back or Midfielder Defensive midfielder.

Club career

Valencia

Albiol started playing football with two modest clubs in the Valencian Community, moving to local giants Valencia CF before celebrating Raúl Albiol 10th birthday. Raúl Albiol made Raúl Albiol first-team debut on 24 September 2003, at 18 years and four days, in a UEFA Europa League 2003–04 UEFA Cup against AIK Fotboll, but spent the first year still registered with the Valencia CF Mestalla.

In August 2004, whilst travelling to sign a deal to join Getafe CF on loan, Albiol was involved in a serious car accident, being put in Intensive-care medicine. Raúl Albiol managed to recover completely and, after reappearing in January, played a very important part in the Madrid side 2004–05 La Liga: Raúl Albiol made Raúl Albiol La Liga debut on 15 January 2005, in a 1–1 home draw with Atlético Madrid, Raúl Albiol scored against another side from the capital, Real Madrid C.F., in a 2–1 home triumph, two months later.

Albiol then returned the following season to Valencia, and quickly established himself as first-choice due to Raúl Albiol versatility. In the opening game of the 2006–07 La Liga, Raúl Albiol scored the winner (his only goal of the season) against Real Betis, as the game finished 2–1. Raúl Albiol also scored from long distance against Olympiacos F.C. on 12 September 2006, in 2006–07 UEFA Champions League's UEFA Champions League, which Valencia won 4–2 away. During Raúl Albiol four-season spell with the first team, Raúl Albiol smallest output consisted of 29 matches, and Raúl Albiol helped the Che to the 2007–08 Copa del Rey Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid

On 25 June 2009, Albiol joined Real Madrid, for a fee thought to be in the region of Euro15 million, becoming the first Spanish player signed by Florentino Pérez upon Raúl Albiol return to the presidency. On 2 July, Raúl Albiol was officially presented at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, receiving the 18 jersey from Rubén de la Red, who was absent for 2009–10 La Liga due to unresolved heart problems.

Albiol scored Raúl Albiol first goal for the Merengues on 8 December, in a 3–1 2009–10 UEFA Champions League win at Olympique de Marseille. During 2009–10 La Liga Raúl Albiol was an undisputed starter for Real, mainly due to Pepe (footballer born 1983)'s serious knee injury.

In 2010–11 La Liga, Albiol was relegated to the bench as Real Madrid brought in another player for Raúl Albiol position, Ricardo Carvalho (a compatriot of newly-appointed manager José Mourinho), only appearing in the league through injury or suspension to teammates (Pepe again missed several matches due to physical problems). Raúl Albiol did start, however, in the club's 2010–11 Copa del Rey, helping Real to reach 2011 Copa del Rey Final. On 26 January 2011, in the semi-final first leg against Sevilla FC (1–0 away win), Raúl Albiol cleared a Luís Fabiano shot just before it crossed the goal line. On 16 April, Raúl Albiol was Ejection (sports) for fouling former Valencia teammate David Villa inside the box during the El Clásico, which resulted in the first goal in a 1–1 home draw, going on to miss the Spanish Cup final four days later – through suspension – a 1–0 win against the same opponent.

International career

After having represented Spain national under-21 football team, Albiol first appeared for the Spain national football team on 13 October 2007, in an UEFA Euro 2008 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying against Denmark national football team (3–1 away win). In the competition's final stages, Raúl Albiol appeared twice for the eventual continental champions, against Sweden national football team (Substitute (association football) in for the injured Carles Puyol) and Greece national football team.

New national team coach Vicente Del Bosque included Albiol in the squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Raúl Albiol started in Spain's first game, partnering Puyol in central defence ahead of Valencia teammate Carlos Marchena, helping defeat New Zealand national football team 5–0.

Albiol was picked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but did not leave the bench for the eventual World champions, after having suffered an injury in training.

Club statistics


Last update: 21 February 2012.

Honours

Club

Valencia
- Copa del Rey: 2007–08 Copa del Rey

Real Madrid
- Copa del Rey: 2010–11 Copa del Rey
- Supercopa de España: Runner-up 2011 Supercopa de España

Country

- FIFA World Cup: 2010 FIFA World Cup
- UEFA European Football Championship: UEFA Euro 2008
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Third-place 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
- UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship: 2004 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship

Individual

- Don Balón Award: 2006

Personal

- Albiol and Raúl Albiol wife Alicia have two daughters, Azahara (born 16 March 2009) and Alma (7 January 2010).

- Raúl Albiol older brother, Miguel Albiol, is also a footballer. A midfielder, Raúl Albiol was also groomed at Valencia, playing one league match with the first team, but mainly represented Rayo Vallecano; Raúl Albiol father, also named Miguel, played lower league football mostly with Benidorm CF, and appeared in two Segunda División games for CE Sabadell FC in 1979–80 Segunda División.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%c3%bal_Albiol

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