Jesús Seba

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Jesús Seba
Jesus Seba Wigan.jpg
Seba in 2009
Personal information
Full name Jesús Seba Hernández
Date of birth (1974-04-11) 11 April 1974 (age 40)[1]
Place of birth Zaragoza, Spain
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1989–1990 Miralbuena
1990–1991 CD Oliver
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1994 Zaragoza B
1992–1995 Zaragoza 18 (2)
1994–1995 Villarreal (loan) 21 (1)
1995–1996 Wigan Athletic 21 (3)
1996–1998 Zaragoza B 47 (6)
1997 Zaragoza 1 (0)
1998–1999 Chaves 31 (10)
1999–2002 Belenenses 66 (10)
2002–2003 Orihuela 26 (2)
2003–2005 Palencia 58 (3)
2005–2009 Andorra CF 94 (22)
2009–2010 CD Oliver
National team
1992–1993 Spain U21 3 (1)
2002–2006 Aragon (non-affiliated) 2 (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 Seba and the second or maternal family name is Hernández.

Jesús Seba Hernández (born 11 April 1974) is a Spanish retired professional footballer who played mostly as a forward.

Mostly associated to Real Zaragoza, he is also known as one of the 'Three Amigos', the collective name given to the first three Spanish footballers to play in the English Football League, as he had signed with Wigan Athletic.

Club career[edit]

Real Zaragoza[edit]

Seba was born in Zaragoza, Aragon. He made his professional – and La Liga – début at the age of 18 for local Real Zaragoza, in a 1–1 draw against Real Sociedad; he would garner praise for his early performances, ultimately leading to a call-up for the Spain under-21 team – notably scoring twice against Boldklubben Frem for the 1992–93 UEFA Cup (eventually 6–1 aggregate win).[2]

However, in March 1993, Seba suffered a serious ankle tear when attempting a turn in a Copa del Rey match. The injury would stunt his development and later prove a turning point in his career, as he would figure sparingly in top flight football during the following seasons.[3]

After a loan in Segunda División with Villarreal CF, Seba was released by Zaragoza and moved on a free transfer to England's Wigan Athletic, for the start of the 1995–96 season.[4]

Wigan Athletic[edit]

Seba came to Wigan as one of the 'Three Amigos', alongside Roberto Martínez – also his teammate at Zaragoza – and Isidro Díaz, drafted in by new Chairman Dave Whelan in the summer of 1995.[5] The signings were a real coup for an English Third Division club, especially considering Football League teams rarely searched for talent abroad in the mid-90s, and that Seba was also an under-21 international.[6] 'Jesus is a Wiganer' was an early joke at the club, and Spanish flags adorned Springfield Park on matchdays, as Spanish fever gripped the town's football supporters.[7][8]

Seba scored for his new club with his first touch in a pre-season friendly, and played his first official game in the opening match of the league campaign against Gillingham, before grabbing his first goal in his first match at home (also league), a 2–1 defeat of Scunthorpe United.[1]

Following a series of good results, aided by a string of impressive performances from Seba, Wigan were made early favourites for the Third Division Championship. Mid-season, however, the player found himself on the fringes of the first team, and with the club's league position only 'satisfactory', manager Graham Barrow was sacked following a 2–6 loss at Mansfield Town. Caretaker manager Frank Lord reinstated Seba to the first team and oversaw a 4–0 win over Exeter City, in which the player scored two goals.[9][10]

Seba was immediately dropped by new manager John Deehan, however, and would later see his appearances limited to mainly substitute roles, as he struggled to find form in the latter half of the season. He made just two appearances, both from the bench, in the first couple of months of the 1996–97 season, and played his final game for Wigan on 7 September 1996, 30 minutes against Scunthorpe.[7]

Seba then had trials at Burnley and Bristol Rovers, before being allowed to leave the club by Deehan in October 1996, having started 11 games and appearing as a substitute on sixteen further occasions for Wigan. Of the three Spaniards, he found it most difficult to settle, and his struggle to grasp the English language was another contributory factor in his departure.

Return to Spain / Portugal[edit]

In the 1996 summer, Seba returned to his country and Zaragoza, but spent almost two years appearing for the reserve team, only playing once for the main squad, during the 1–3 home loss to SD Compostela in the final day of the 1996–97 season. He then had a four-year spell in Portugal, playing for G.D. Chaves and C.F. Os Belenenses, where a heart condition whilst with the latter put his career on hold.[2]

He eventually recovered, but spent his later years in Segunda División B (Orihuela CF, CF Palencia) or lower – during his four-year stint at amateur Andorra CF, he served as club captain and was a highly popular figure.[3]

After considering retirement at the end of the 2008–09 season, Seba decided to return to CD Oliver, the club that gave him his professional break. Upon joining, he expressed his desire to finish his career at the club at which he began more than twenty years earlier.[3][11]

International career[edit]

As well as playing three games for the Spanish under-21s, Seba appeared twice for the non-affiliated Aragonese football team, against Castile and León in 2002 and Chile in December 2006.

The latter, a 1–0 victory, was Aragon's first fixture against a FIFA-accredited international team.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Seba is married with two daughters, his former teammates Roberto Martínez and Xavier Aguado ranking amongst his closest friends.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hayes, Dean, ed. (2004). The Who's Who of Wigan Athletic. Breedon Books. p. 122. ISBN 0-356-17911-7. 
  2. ^ a b "Un jugador de otra galaxia" [A player from another galaxy] (in Spanish). Periodico de Aragón. 20 November 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Biography at Renaldinhos y Pavones (Spanish)
  4. ^ Biography at RealZaragozaPedia (Spanish)
  5. ^ Wigan finally land boss Martinez; BBC Sport, 15 June 2009
  6. ^ Slot, Owen (6 August 1995). "Los Tres Amigos de Wigan". The Independent. 
  7. ^ a b "The Three Amigos". Ultimate Wigan Athletic Website. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Josip Skoko: Long road to the top". The Independent. 30 December 2006. 
  9. ^ A History of Football in Wigan; Wigan Athletic's official website
  10. ^ Wigan Athletic 1995-96 Schedule; Fanbase.com
  11. ^ a b Lahoz, R. (29 July 2009). "Jesús Seba: veinte años no es nada" [Jesús Seba: Twenty years is nothing] (in Spanish). Aragon Herald. 

External links[edit]