Santiago Ezquerro

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Santi Ezquerro
Santi Ezquerro 21dec2006.jpg
Ezquerro playing for Barcelona in 2006
Personal information
Full name Santiago Ezquerro Marín
Date of birth (1976-12-14) 14 December 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Calahorra, Spain
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1992–1993 Calahorra
1993–1994 Osasuna
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Osasuna B
1995–1996 Osasuna 38 (8)
1996–1997 Atlético Madrid B 34 (11)
1996–1998 Atlético Madrid 8 (0)
1998 Mallorca (loan) 14 (6)
1998–2005 Athletic Bilbao 222 (45)
2005–2008 Barcelona 24 (3)
2008–2009 Osasuna 10 (1)
Total 350 (74)
National team
1996 Spain U21 1 (0)
1998 Spain 1 (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 Ezquerro and the second or maternal family name is Marín.

Santiago 'Santi' Ezquerro Marín (born 14 December 1976) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a forward.

Having made a name for himself at Athletic Bilbao, appearing in nearly 300 official games for the club in seven years, he subsequently earned himself a transfer to Barcelona, but languished on the bench for three years.

Over 13 seasons in La Liga, Ezquerro amassed totals of 278 matches and 55 goals.

Club career[edit]

Osasuna / Atlético[edit]

Born in Calahorra, La Rioja, Ezquerro emerged through the youth ranks of CA Osasuna, playing two second division seasons with the Navarrese before signing with Atlético Madrid for the 1996–97 campaign.

He made his La Liga debut on 21 September 1996 in a 3–0 away win against CD Logroñés, but was mainly registered with the club's B-side during his spell.

Athletic[edit]

Lack of playing opportunities with the Colchoneros prompted a January 1998 move to RCD Mallorca, which Ezquerro helped achieve Copa del Rey runner-up accolades in his six-month stint. Subsequently he joined Athletic de Bilbao, with which he appeared in his first UEFA Champions League games while establishing as one of the most promising forwards in Spain's top flight, notably scoring in a 3–0 derby home win over Real Sociedad on 9 April 2005.[1]

His stellar form in 2004–05 – 47 official matches, 19 goals, including a hat-trick in a 7–1 success at Standard Liège for the season's UEFA Cup group stage[2]– led to Ezquerro signing for FC Barcelona in a period of 3+1 years, on a free transfer.[3]

Barcelona[edit]

Ezquerro was never able to establish himself in Barcelona's first team, his progress at the club being further hindered after the emergence of youth graduate Lionel Messi. His best league output consisted of 12 games in his first year (two goals, three starts, in 469 minutes of play).

In the 2007–08 season Ezquerro was not given the free transfer by the Catalan club and, not being signed by any team in the summer on in the January transfer window, was virtually absent for the campaign's duration, although he did score twice in January against lowly CD Alcoyano for the domestic cup's round-of-32, in a 2–2 second leg home draw and 5–2 on aggregate.[4]

Osasuna return / Retirement[edit]

In July 2008 Ezquerro was released by Barça and, late in the month, rejoined Osasuna in a 2+1-years deal.[5] During his first season after his return he struggled with injuries, and also failed to fit newly appointed coach José Antonio Camacho's plans, and did not make the list of 18 in any of Osasuna's final matches.

After just one year Ezquerro was released – earning 1.4 million – and retired at 33, after not being able to find a new club in the following months.

International career[edit]

During his debut season for Athletic, Ezquerro gained his sole cap for Spain, in an infamous UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier against Cyprus, which ended with a 2–3 away loss and the sacking of coach Javier Clemente, on 5 September 1998.[6]

Honours[edit]

Barcelona
Mallorca

References[edit]

External links[edit]