Yeste taking a corner for Athletic Bilbao
|Full name||Francisco Javier Yeste Navarro|
|Date of birth||6 December 1979|
|Place of birth||Basauri, Spain|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He played 11 years of his professional career with Athletic Bilbao (19 counting the youth system), appearing in 353 official games and scoring 59 goals.
Born in Basauri, Biscay, and a product of Athletic de Bilbao's youth ranks at Lezama, Yeste made his first-team debut on 7 February 1999, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–2 away loss against Racing de Santander. He would appear in a further 13 games during that and the following seasons, while mainly registered with the reserves.
From the 2000–01 campaign onwards Yeste was used regularly in Athletic's main squad, scoring six La Liga goals during that season, including two in a 4–0 home win against Real Oviedo on 10 December 2000. After regular displays in 2003–04 he won a callup for Spain, although he did not make his debut; he netted a career-best 11 goals in the season, with the Basque finishing fifth and qualifying to the UEFA Cup.
At times troubled with injuries Yeste continued to appear prominently, playing all the league matches in 2006–07 as Athletic barely avoided relegation (17th) and scoring five goals in the process. A player of volatile temperament he was also sent off five times from 2007 to 2009 and added 14 yellow cards, one of the ejections occurring after he pushed Real Madrid's Iker Casillas in a 2–5 home loss.
In the 2009–10 season Yeste featured irregularly, also being ousted by manager Joaquín Caparrós for more than one month. In the first match upon his return, a 0–2 loss at Atlético Madrid on 25 March 2010, he was booked; on 21 May, after his contract expired, he announced his departure from Athletic Bilbao, through his agent.
United Arab Emirates
On 19 June 2010 Yeste, aged almost 31, signed a two-year contract with Al Wasl FC. In March of the following year, during the 2010–11 Etisalat Emirates Cup semifinal against Al Ain Club, the opponents took the lead before the 50th minute (49:27) and, as they were still celebrating, he shot from the centre circle to score a goal that was described by Dutch news site Voetbal Stijl as "The fastest equalizer in the history of football" (49:54).
There was controversy surrounding the legality of the goal, as Yeste shot the ball directly without having the ball passed from the centre circle, whilst another player was inside it, but it was later confirmed as valid, as the ball hit the ground just before crossing the goal line, and the other player inside the circle was from Al Ain.
In July 2011 Yeste signed a contract with Greek champions Olympiacos FC, reuniting with former Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde. On 17 January 2012, his contract was mutually terminated; the following day he returned to the United Arab Emirates and signed a six-month deal with Baniyas SC.
- Athletic Bilbao
- Spain U20
- Yelde [sic], con dos tantos, abrió la goleada que cerraron Javi y Julen (Yelde, with two goals, started routing that Javi and Julen ended); El Mundo, 10 December 2000 (Spanish)
- Xavi y Yeste, novedades en España (Xavi and Yeste, new to Spain); Es Mas, 1 October 2004 (Spanish)
- Yeste vuelve a la Liga dos meses después (Yeste returns to the League two months after); El País, 25 March 2010 (Spanish)
- 2007–08 season statistics; Athletic's official website
- 2008–09 season statistics; Athletic's official website
- Casillas: "Yeste no me da en la cara, pero me empuja" (Casillas: "Yeste does not hit my face, but he pushes me"); Marca, 15 March 2009 (Spanish)
- Yeste no convence a Caparrós (Yeste does not convince Caparrós); El Mundo Deportivo, 7 March 2010 (Spanish)
- Thanks to Francisco Javier Yeste; Athletic's official website, 21 May 2010
- Fran Yeste se marcha al Al Wasl de Dubai (Fran Yeste goes to Dubai's Al Wasl); Diario AS, 19 June 2010 (Spanish)
- "Speler Al Wasl maakt snelste tegendoelpunt allertijden" [Al Wasl player scores the fastest equalizer in the history of football] (in Dutch). Voetbal Stijl. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- درويش: لا غبار على هدف يستي وركلتي العين والشــــــــباب [Yeste's goal is valid] (in Arabic). Emaratalyoum. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Λύθηκε η συνεργασία με τον Φραν Γέστε", Olympiacos' official website, 17 January 2012 (Greek)
- Chris McHardy (18 January 2012). "Fran Yeste out to prove Al Wasl wrong after sealing Bani Yas switch". Sport360. Retrieved 20 September 2012.