Rafael Alkorta

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Rafael Alkorta
Personal information
Full name Rafael Alkorta Martínez
Date of birth (1968-09-16) 16 September 1968 (age 45)
Place of birth Bilbao, Spain
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
1978–1985 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1987 Bilbao Athletic 40 (2)
1987–1993 Athletic Bilbao 172 (2)
1993–1997 Real Madrid 107 (2)
1997–2002 Athletic Bilbao 91 (4)
Total 410 (10)
National team
1985 Spain U16 7 (0)
1985–1986 Spain U18 3 (0)
1987–1990 Spain U21 6 (0)
1990–1998 Spain 54 (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 Alkorta and the second or maternal family name is Martínez.

Rafael Alkorta Martínez (born 16 September 1968) is a Spanish retired footballer who played mainly as a central defender.

Having represented Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid during a 17-year professional career, he amassed La Liga totals of 370 games and eight goals, winning three major titles with the latter club.

Alkorta appeared in three World Cups with the Spanish national team, during the 1990s.

Club career[edit]

Born in Bilbao, Biscay, Alkorta began playing as an infant with local Athletic Club in 1978, and made his senior debut with the side's second team seven years later, making 40 appearances before being promoted by Howard Kendall to the senior team for 1987–88, making his debut in a 0-1 defeat at Real Valladolid on 24 October 1987. He subsequently played 172 La Liga games, and established himself as an outstanding man marker.

Alkorta attracted the attention of Real Madrid, for whom he signed in the 1993–94 season. At Real he formed a notable partnership with Fernando Hierro and, after more than 150 official appearances and two league titles, he returned to Athletic in 1997–98, helping the side finish second in the first season upon his return; he went on to feature regularly in the following years but, after only six matches in the 2001–02 campaign, decided to retire from the game, aged nearly 34.

International career[edit]

An international since 26 May 1990 (a 1–0 friendly away win with Yugoslavia), Alkorta gained 54 caps for Spain during the next eight years. He played in three FIFA World Cups1990, 1994 and 1998 – and UEFA Euro 1996, also representing the country at U16, U18 and U21 levels.

In the first competition, in Italy, Alkorta played ten minutes in a 2–1 group stage win against Belgium,[1] starting in a further 11 matches (ten complete) in the other senior tournaments combined.[2]

Honours[edit]

Real Madrid

References[edit]

  1. ^ Belgium - Spain 1-2 (1-2); Planet World Cup, 21 June 1990
  2. ^ Rafael AlkortaFIFA competition record

External links[edit]