Apoño in training with Málaga
|Full name||Antonio Galdeano Benítez|
|Date of birth||13 February 1984|
|Place of birth||Málaga, Spain|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Current club||Las Palmas|
|26 de Febrero|
|2012||→ Zaragoza (loan)||17||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 September 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Antonio Galdeano Benítez (born 13 February 1984), aka Apoño, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for UD Las Palmas as a central midfielder. A player with both hard-working and playmaking skills, he is also a penalty kick specialist.
Born in Málaga, Apoño began his career with local outfit of Unión Deportiva San Pedro and, for the 2004–05 campaign, moved to Andalusia neighbours UD Marbella in Segunda División B, where he would spend three seasons.
In July 2007, Apoño joined Segunda División side Málaga CF – after having emerged through the club's youth system – also in his native region, being an instrumental figure in the club's return to La Liga after a two-year absence. He was brought in as the club was coached by Juan Ramón López Muñiz, who had briefly managed the player at Marbella.
In the following season, Apoño remained a starter: he made his top division debut on 31 August 2008, in a 0–4 loss at Atlético Madrid, and finished the campaign with nine league goals – best in the squad with striker Nabil Baha – seven from penalty kicks, notably in a 3–4 loss at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium against Real Madrid.
On 30 July 2010, after a season with many injury problems, with Málaga only ranking in 17th position, Apoño signed a contract extension with Málaga, running until June 2014. He made his 100th official appearance for the club alongside teammate Weligton, in a 1–4 home defeat against Real Madrid on 16 October 2010, and finished 2010–11 with 27 league appearances (26 starts) and one goal.
After the first match in the following campaign, a 1–2 away loss against Sevilla FC in which he was replaced at half-time – with the score at 2–0 for the hosts – reacting angrily, Apoño was suspended by coach Manuel Pellegrini. He returned to action nearly two months after, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–4 home defeat against Real Madrid; on 9 January 2012 the Chilean told the player to start looking for a new club, as their altercation had continued for too long.
On 19 January 2012, Apoño was loaned out to fellow top-divisioner Real Zaragoza for the rest of the season. He made his debut for his new team three days later, starting in a 0–0 draw at Levante UD.
Apoño scored his first goal(s) for the Aragonese on 21 March, netting a brace (one penalty) for bottom-placed Zaragoza in a 2–1 away win against Valencia CF. The following round, again from the 11-meter spot, he scored in the 95th minute for the game's only goal in a home success over Atlético Madrid, and featured heavily as the club again retained its division status in the last round.
- Atlético Madrid 4–0 Málaga; ESPN Soccernet, 31 August 2008
- Real Madrid 4–3 Málaga; ESPN Soccernet, 8 November 2008
- El Málaga renueva a Apoño hasta 2014 (Málaga renews Apoño until 2014); Marca, 30 July 2010 (Spanish)
- "Apoño y Weligton cumplirán ante el Real Madrid su partido número 100 con el Málaga" [Apoño and Weligton to play 100th game with Málaga against Real Madrid] (in Spanish). Europa Press. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Sevilla see off Malaga; ESPN Soccernet, 28 August 2011
- Málaga boss Pellegrini wants Apoño apology; A Different League, 29 September 2011
- Pellegrini le pide a Apoño que se busque equipo (Pellegrini tells Apoño to look for a club); Marca, 9 January 2012 (Spanish)
- Apoño jugará cedido en Zaragoza hasta junio (Apoño to play on loan with Zaragoza until June); El Desmarque, 19 January 2012 (Spanish)
- Levante held by lowly Zaragoza; ESPN Soccernet, 22 January 2012
- Che stunned by Zaragoza; ESPN Soccernet, 21 March 2012
- Apono late show downs Atletico; ESPN Soccernet, 25 March 2012