Benjamín Zarandona

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Benjamín
Personal information
Full name Benjamín Zarandona Esono
Date of birth (1976-03-02) 2 March 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Valladolid, Spain
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Valladolid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1996 Valladolid B 30 (6)
1995–1998 Valladolid 86 (11)
1998–2007 Betis 170 (9)
2005–2006 Cádiz (loan) 14 (0)
2007 Xerez 2 (0)
2008–2010 Palencia 23 (1)
2011–2012 Íscar 16 (0)
2012 Cuéllar Balompié 1 (0)
National team
1997–1998 Spain U21 3 (2)
1997 Spain U23 3 (0)
2006–2009 Equatorial Guinea 10 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Zarandona and the second or maternal family name is Esono.

Benjamín Zarandona Esono (born 2 March 1976), simply known as Benjamín, is an Equatoguinean retired footballer who played as a midfielder.

He spent most of his professional career in Spain, notably with Betis where he remained nine years, winning one Copa del Rey and appearing in more than 200 official games.

Over the course of 12 seasons he amassed La Liga totals of 244 games and 18 goals, also representing in the competition Valladolid and Cádiz.

Club career[edit]

Valladolid[edit]

Born in Valladolid, Castile and León, Benjamín began his career with Real Valladolid, playing initially for the reserve team in Segunda División B. His first team debut took place on 2 April 1995 in a 0–3 away loss against Real Sociedad, and he would make a further nine La Liga appearances during that season.

The highlight of Benjamín's career at Valladolid was helping the club qualify for the 1997–98 UEFA Cup as seventh in the league, scoring home braces against CD Logroñés (2–1) and Valencia CF (4–1).

Betis[edit]

In 1998 Benjamín joined Real Betis, playing in 28 games in his first year and making four appearances in the club's UEFA Cup run, netting twice. Additionally, he spent the 2000–01 campaign helping the Andalusians achieve promotion from Segunda División, alongside neighbours Sevilla FC.

After appearing in 26 league matches in 2004–05, as Betis achieved qualification honours to the UEFA Champions League and lifted the season's Copa del Rey, Benjamín went on loan to Cádiz CF for the 2005–06 campaign, and his role with Betis would gradually lose importance onwards: he was unregistered as a first-team player for over a year, and a mutual termination of his contract was agreed in the summer of 2007.

Later years[edit]

Benjamín joined second level side Xerez CD for 2007–08, but lasted only a few months, being released. In September 2008 he signed with CF Palencia in Tercera División, continuing to compete in amateur football until his retirement in June 2013.[1]

International career[edit]

In 1998, Benjamín helped the Spanish under-21s win the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. However, in 2004, he switched allegiances and, as his younger brother Iván who also played for Valladolid, opted to represent Equatorial Guinea.[2]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Betis

Country[edit]

Spain U21

Personal[edit]

Benjamín's father is Basque and his mother is from Equatorial Guinea. Despite his Basque parentage, he was never approached by Athletic Bilbao, nor did he play for Euskadi.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]