Asier del Horno
Del Horno playing for Levante in 2011
|Full name||Asier del Horno Cosgaya|
|Date of birth||19 January 1981|
|Place of birth||Barakaldo, Spain|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|2007–2008||→ Athletic Bilbao (loan)||16||(0)|
|2010||→ Valladolid (loan)||13||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Levante (loan)||22||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
After solid displays in La Liga with Athletic Bilbao, for which he appeared in 126 official games in five years scoring 17 goals, he moved to Chelsea in England, where he won the Premier League in the 2005–06 season.
Subsequently, del Horno – who missed the 2006 World Cup with Spain due to a last-minute injury – returned to his country with Valencia, who loaned him to several clubs for the duration of his contract.
Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, del Horno began his career at Athletic Bilbao in 1999, where his combative tackling and strength in the air saw him rise through the ranks as a stout left-footed central defender. However, his pace and ability to contribute to the attack led to his being switched to left-back by the time he had arrived in the seniors for both club and country.
In June 2005, del Horno moved to Chelsea for a fee of £8 million. He won the first and only league championship of his career with the Blues, as part of the squad that conquered the season's Premier League title.
On 21 July 2006, del Horno returned to Spain to sign for Valencia CF on a six-year contract worth €8 million, seen as a natural replacement for Amedeo Carboni who had retired at 41. Athletic Bilbao had expressed interest, but withdrew from further negotiations, forfeiting any further financial advantage; following surgery on his injured Achilles heel, which kept him off the pitches for most of the season, he made his debut for his new team on 3 March 2007 in a 1–0 La Liga home win over Celta de Vigo.
Del Horno was placed on the transfer list by Valencia manager Quique Sánchez Flores, as the coach announced that the defender would not retain his position for 2007–08. In the last day of the transfer window, he agreed to join his former club Athletic Bilbao on a one-year loan deal, returning to Valencia after an injury-filled campaign. At the Che, his physical problems persisted and, after an unassuming first half of 2009–10 – only played in the Copa del Rey and only when Valencia faced rivals of smaller entity – he was loaned to Real Valladolid until the end of the season, on 30 January; an undisputed starter since his arrival, he could not however prevent the Castile and León side from returning to Segunda División, after a three-year stay in the top division.
For 2010–11, 29-year-old del Horno was loaned once again, joining freshly promoted side Levante UD. He was used regularly in both defensive positions as the Valencians eventually retained their top division status, but also missed the final stretch due to physical ailments which had been bothering him since early into the campaign.
Upon returning to Valencia, del Horno's contract was immediately terminated. In early August 2011, he re-joined Levante on a permanent deal. After again dealing with injury throughout the season, where he was not able to dislodge 35-year-old Juanfran from the left-back position, he was released.
An ankle injury forced del Horno to withdraw from the 23-man team named by Luis Aragonés for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Medical staff in the Royal Spanish Football Federation alleged that Chelsea had prior knowledge of del Horno's injury, but allowed him to continue playing; subsequently, his vacant position was controversially filled in by naturalised Argentinian Mariano Pernía, of Getafe CF.
|1.||17 November 2004||Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain||England||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2.||9 February 2005||Mediterráneo, Almería, Spain||San Marino||5–0||5–0||2006 World Cup qualification|
- Del Horno cooking at Chelsea; UEFA.com, 24 June 2005
- "Tottenham 0–2 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 27 August 2005. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
- Valencia sign Chelsea's Del Horno; BBC Sport, 22 July 2006
- Del Horno, fuera de los planes de Quique Flores (Del Horno, out of Quique Flores' plans); 20 Minutos, 4 July 2007 (Spanish)
- Soccer shorts: Barcelona striker Eto'o out two months; The Star, 30 August 2007
- Former Chelsea star joins Valladolid; Ontheminute, 31 January 2010
- Official: Levante sign Valencia duo Asier Del Horno & Nacho Gonzalez; Goal.com, 21 August 2010
- Levante wait on Del Horno; Sky Sports, 9 November 2010
- Del Horno será operado este martes del tendón de Aquiles (Del Horno to undergo Achilles tendon surgery this Tuesday); Diario AS, 6 May 2011 (Spanish)
- Del Horno jugará en el Levante la próxima campaña (Del Horno will play in Levante next season); Diario AS, 2 August 2011 (Spanish)
- Spain 1–0 England; BBC Sport, 17 November 2004
- Del Horno set to miss World Cup; BBC Sport, 30 May 2006
- "Del Horno". Soccerway. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
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