Ezquerro playing for Barcelona in 2006
|Full name||Santiago Ezquerro Marín|
|Date of birth||14 December 1976|
|Place of birth||Calahorra, Spain|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|1998||→ Mallorca (loan)||14||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
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 games and 55 goals.
Osasuna / Atlético
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.
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.
His stellar form in 2004–05 – 47 official matches, 19 goals, including a hat-trick against Standard Liège for the season's UEFA Cup group stage (7–1 away win) – led to Ezquerro signing for FC Barcelona in a period of 3+1 years, on a free transfer.
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 (5–2 aggregate).
Osasuna return / Retirement
In July 2008 Ezquerro was released by Barça and, late in the month, rejoined Osasuna in a 2+1-years deal. 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.
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.
- UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
- La Liga: 2005–06
- Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006
- FIFA Club World Cup: Runner-up 2006
- UEFA Super Cup: Runner-up 2006
- Athletic enjoy derby delight; UEFA.com, 9 April 2005
- Ezquerro to make Barça move; UEFA.com, 26 May 2005
- Ezquerro ficha por Osasuna (Ezquerro signs with Osasuna); Marca, 29 July 2008 (Spanish)
- "España cae ante Chipre, un equipo repleto de aficionados" [Spain falls against Cyprus, team filled with amateurs] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 5 September 1998. Retrieved 19 November 2013.