Txiki Begiristain

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Txiki Begiristain
Personal information
Full name Aitor Begiristain Mujika
Date of birth (1964-08-12) 12 August 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Olaberria, Spain
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Winger
Youth career
Segura
Easo
1980–1982 Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1988 Real Sociedad 187 (23)
1988–1995 Barcelona 223 (63)
1995–1997 Deportivo La Coruña 43 (4)
1997–1999 Urawa Red Diamonds 61 (16)
Total 514 (106)
National team
1984–1988 Spain U21 19 (4)
1988 Spain U23 1 (0)
1988–1994 Spain 22 (6)
* 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 Begiristain and the second or maternal family name is Mujika.

Aitor 'Txiki' Begiristain Mujika (born 12 August 1964) is a Spanish retired footballer who played mainly a left winger but also as a forward, with equal success.

He is best known for his spells at Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona, winning eight major titles with the latter, namely four La Liga championships and the 1992 European Cup.

Begiristain represented the Spanish national team in one World Cup and one European Championship. After retiring he worked as a director of football, notably at Barcelona from 2003 to 2010 and is currently at Manchester City in the same capacity.

Club career[edit]

Real Sociedad[edit]

Born in Olaberria, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Begiristain began his professional career with Real Sociedad in 1982 at the age of just 18, being immediately cast into the first-team's setup. After a slow start, with 16 La Liga games in his first season, he became an essential member of the side that was coached by John Toshack, also including Luis Arconada, Roberto López Ufarte, José Mari Bakero and Luis López Rekarte; the highlights of his career at Real included scoring the second goal in the 1987 Spanish Cup final against Atlético Madrid, which was eventually won on penalties after the 2–2 draw.

In 1987–88, Begiristain helped Real finish runners-up in both league and cup, losing in both competitions to FC Barcelona. Within a month of the latter he, along with Bakero and López Rekarte, signed for the Catalan club.[1]

Barcelona[edit]

Begiristain scored in his league debut for Barcelona, a 2–0 home win over RCD Español,[2] and finished his first season at the Camp Nou with 38 games and 12 goals, adding two in nine matches in the club's victorious campaign in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Alongside fellow Basque players Bakero, Andoni Zubizarreta, Julio Salinas and Ion Andoni Goikoetxea, he became a prominent member of the side dubbed Dream Team, winning numerous honours.

During seven seasons at the club Begiristain played more than 300 official matches and scored 63 goals in the league, with a career-best 15 in 1992–93 as Barça won the third of four successive titles; among his best moments were hat-tricks against Real Valladolid in 1991,[3] and Real Zaragoza two years later.[4]

Later years[edit]

In 1995, after gradually losing his importance with Barcelona (although he still registered 44 games and 13 goals in the last two seasons combined), Begiristain signed for Deportivo de La Coruña, where he linked up with two past acquaintances, Toshack and López Rekarte. He subsequently helped his new club win the Spanish Supercup, scoring in the away leg, a 2–1 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

During the last season in Galicia Begiristain only appeared 10 times, but scored against CF Extremadura on the final round, granting Depor a third-place finish with the 1–0 win. He closed out his career in 1999 with Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, having played in more than 500 official matches in his country and surpassing the 100-goal mark.

Director[edit]

After retiring as a player, Begiristain worked for Televisió de Catalunya before becoming director of football at former club Barcelona,[5][6] occupying that position from 2003 until 29 June 2010: on that day he declared that, with president Joan Laporta leaving, it was the right time for him to part ways with the organization as well.[7]

On 28 October 2012 Begiristain joined Manchester City in the Premier League, in the same capacity.[8][9]

International career[edit]

Begiristain gained 22 caps and scored six goals for Spain, making his debut in a 1–2 defeat against Czechoslovakia on 24 February 1988, in a friendly match played in Málaga.

He represented Spain at UEFA Euro 1988 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, playing his last game in the latter competition, a 3–0 round-of-16 win against Switzerland where he netted the closer from a penalty.[10]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 22 January 1989 Ta' Qali National Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta 0–2 0–2 1990 World Cup qualification
2. 11 March 1992 José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain  United States 1–0 2–0 Friendly
3. 16 December 1992 Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain  Latvia 4–0 5–0 1994 World Cup qualification
4. 16 December 1992 Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain  Latvia 5–0 5–0 1994 World Cup qualification
5. 24 February 1993 Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain  Lithuania 3–0 5–0 1994 World Cup qualification
6. 2 July 1994 Robert F. Kennedy, Washington, D.C., United States  Switzerland 3–0 3–0 1994 FIFA World Cup

Honours[edit]

Real Sociedad
Barcelona
Deportivo

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1982/83 Real Sociedad La Liga 16 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 21 0
1983/84 33 3 7 0 4 1 - - 44 4
1984/85 31 5 9 1 2 0 - - 42 6
1985/86 29 1 6 1 - - 35 2
1986/87 42 9 - - 42 9
1987/88 36 5 4 0 40 5
1988/89 Barcelona La Liga 38 12 5 0 - - 9 2 52 14
1989/90 37 10 7 0 - - 6 1 50 11
1990/91 33 6 7 0 - - 8 2 48 8
1991/92 34 7 4 0 - - 8 2 46 9
1992/93 37 15 7 5 - - 7 2 51 22
1993/94 20 7 4 0 - - 10 2 34 9
1994/95 24 6 2 2 - - 6 0 32 8
1995/96 Deportivo La Liga 33 2 2 0 - - 7 1 42 3
1996/97 10 2 3 0 - - 0 0 13 2
Japan League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Asia Total
1997 Urawa Red Diamonds J. League 1 15 4 2 0 2 0 - 19 4
1998 30 9 3 0 4 2 - 37 11
1999 16 3 0 0 4 1 - 20 4
Country Spain 453 90 453 90
Japan 61 16 5 0 10 3 - 76 19
Total 514 116 5 0 10 3 0 0 529 109

International[edit]

Spain national team
Year Apps Goals
1988 6 0
1989 2 1
1990 1 0
1991 1 0
1992 3 3
1993 4 1
1994 5 1
Total 22 6

References[edit]

External links[edit]