Valero in action with Fiorentina (2012)
|Full name||Borja Valero Iglesias|
|Date of birth||12 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Madrid, Spain|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2004–2005||Real Madrid C||0||(0)|
|2005–2007||Real Madrid B||76||(4)|
|2008–2011||West Bromwich Albion||31||(0)|
|2009–2010||→ Mallorca (loan)||33||(5)|
|2010–2011||→ Villarreal (loan)||35||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 October 2015.
Best known for his technique and passing ability, he began his career with Real Madrid but did not have any impact with its first team, and played for Mallorca and in England for West Bromwich Albion before joining Villarreal in 2010.
Over the course of five seasons, Valero amassed La Liga totals of 139 games and 16 goals.
Valero was born in Madrid, and began his football career as a youngster in the ranks of Real Madrid. He made his first appearance for the B-side in Segunda División B as a second-half substitute, took part in the playoffs to earn promotion and played two full seasons in Segunda División.
Valero played only twice for the first team: given his debut by Fabio Capello against Écija on 25 October 2006, replacing Javi García after 60 minutes of a match for the Copa del Rey, he also featured once in the UEFA Champions League, substituting Miguel Ángel Nieto in a 2–2 away draw with Dynamo Kyiv in the group stage.
In August 2007 Valero signed a five-year contract with Mallorca, following his release from Real Madrid. He scored his first La Liga goals in a 7–1 home win over Recreativo on 9 March 2008, and added another a month later, against his former team in a 1–1 home draw.
On 11 May, Valero scored the first goal for Mallorca as they came back from 2–0 down to beat Barcelona in Frank Rijkaard's last home game as the latter's manager. He made 17 starts and played a total of 1,892 minutes during the season to help the club finish in seventh position.
In mid-August 2008, Mallorca's president stated that the club had rejected bids from English club West Bromwich Albion for Valero and Óscar Trejo, but a week later, Valero signed for the club – newly promoted to the Premier League – for a club record fee of €7 million (£4.7 million). He agreed a four-year contract with the option of a further year in the club's favour.
West Bromwich Albion
Valero made his debut four days later in Albion's 1–3 League Cup defeat away to Hartlepool United. Manager Tony Mowbray said that he would have benefited from his first game in English football, only hours after receiving international clearance, despite the defeat.
Following Albion's relegation to the Championship after just one season, Valero said that he intended to remain at the club: "I still have a three-year contract here and would like to be true to that. For sure playing in the second division is not ideal. But if I have to put up with it then I am going to put up with it." By the beginning of the next campaign, however, he had changed his mind: "I prefer to play in Mallorca and not to be in the second division in England. This is clear. I am disposed for a loan return but it is necessary for an accord between the clubs".
Just hours before the close of the transfer window, Valero returned to Mallorca on loan for the 2009–10 season. On 13 September, in the first match in his second spell, he scored the club's 1000th top level goal in a 1–1 draw at Villarreal. In another away fixture, he netted in the last minute for nine-man Mallorca to clinch a 1–1 draw against Atlético Madrid in October, and was ever-present as Mallorca finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League; he also won the prestigious Don Balón Award for the best Spanish player in La Liga.
At the end of the season, Valero returned to his parent club after Mallorca confirmed they could not afford to take up the agreed fee of £2.5 million to make the move permanent.
For 2010–11, it was reported that Valero was joining Villarreal on a five-year contract, but the clubs eventually agreed on a season-long loan, with the move to be made permanent at the end of the season. He scored on his home debut for the team, a 4–0 win against Espanyol on 12 September 2010, and featured heavily throughout the season as the club finished in fourth position and qualified for the Champions League.
On 1 July 2011, Villarreal signed Valero on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee. Villarreal were relegated at the end of the season, and it was reported that he was among a number of players expected to leave.
On 1 August 2012, Fiorentina agreed with Villarreal for the transfer of Valero. The move was confirmed three days later, and he joined the Serie A team alongside teammate Gonzalo Rodríguez; after joining he said leaving his previous club was not easy, and that he still had not come to terms with its relegation.
Valero made an immediate impact at the Viola, scoring five league goals in 37 games in his first season and providing 11 assists as the team qualified to the Europa League. He scored his first goal in 2013–14 on 15 September in a 1–1 home draw against Cagliari, and, on 2 November, contributed to a 2–0 success at Milan; subsequently, he was named in Goal.com's Serie A Team of the Season.
Valero represented the Spain under-19 team at the 2004 European championships. In the final, against Turkey, he entered the match as an 85th-minute substitute and, two minutes into stoppage time, scored the only goal of the game.
On 4 June 2011 Valero made his debut for the full side, against the United States in Foxborough, Massachusetts. He replaced David Silva in the second half, and assisted Fernando Torres in the last goal.
|Real Madrid B||2005–06||39||2||–||—||—||39||2||—|
|West Bromwich Albion||2008–09||30||0||3||4||0||0||—||34||0||3|
- Spanish Player of the Year: 2010
- Serie A Team of the Year: 2012–13
- UEFA Europa League: Squad of the season 2013–14, 2014–15
- "The brilliance of Borja Valero". Football Italia. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Borja Valero: 'No me arrepiento de haber venido a Inglaterra'" [Borja Valero: 'I don't regret having come to England'] (in Spanish). RCDM. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Monge, Cristina (25 October 2006). "Ecija 1–1 Real Madrid" (in Spanish). Real Madrid's official website. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "FC Dynamo Kyiv 2–2 Real Madrid CF: Minute by minute". UEFA.com. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Real starlet to join Mallorca". Sky Sports. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Barça lose ground with Villarreal loss". UEFA.com. 9 March 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "Ten-man Madrid held in Mallorca". UEFA.com. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "Barcelona 2–3 Mallorca". ESPN Soccernet. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Mallorca reject Baggies' bid". Sky Sports. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Baggies complete Valero capture". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
- "Hartlepool vs WBA". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Baggies' belief in Borja". Sky Sports. 27 August 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Dall, James (28 May 2009). "Valero plans Baggies stay". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Valero seeks Mallorca return". Sky Sports. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Macdonald, Paul (13 September 2009). "Villarreal 1–1 Mallorca: Borja Valero snatches point for the islanders". Goal.com. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "More misery for Madrid". ESPN Soccernet. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Valero bound for Villarreal". Sky Sports. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Acedo, Francisco (17 May 2010). "Valero set for Baggies return". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "West Brom's Borja Valero joins Villarreal on loan". BBC Sport. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Rossi grabs brace in Espanyol defeat". ESPN Soccernet. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Valero leaves West Brom". Sky Sports. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Villarreal: Giuseppe Rossi, Bruno Soriano, Cristian Zapata, Nilmar, Borja Valero y el exilio tras el descenso" [Villarreal: Giuseppe Rossi, Bruno Soriano, Cristian Zapata, Nilmar, Borja Valero and exile after relegation] (in Spanish). Goal.com. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Fiorentina agree fee with Villarreal to sign Borja Valero; Goal.com, 1 August 2012
- Borja Valero, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Aquilani to Fiorentina; Fiorentina's official website, 4 July 2012
- "Fiorentina-bound Valero still perplexed by Villarreal relegation". Goal.com. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Le nostre pagelle: Ecco a voi il Borja Valero show nella giornata delle prime volte" [Our marks: Ladies and gentlemen the Borja Valero show in matchday of first times] (in Italian). Fiorentina News. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Serie A: Fiorentina 1–1 Cagliari – Pinilla replies to Borja Valero goal; La Gazzetta dello Sport, 15 September 2013
- "Milan-Fiorentina 0–2: Diavolo in crisi, Vargas e Valero non perdonano" [Milan-Fiorentina 0–2: Devils in crisis, Vargas and Valero show no mercy] (in Italian). Goal.com. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Serie A Team of the Season: Tevez & Toni head the star cast". Goal.com. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Haslam, Andrew (24 July 2004). "Valero ensures victory for Spain". UEFA.com. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- McCarthy, Kyle (4 June 2011). "Spain overpower experimental US side in 4–0 romp". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Macdonald, Paul (5 June 2011). "Cazorla & Silva shine, Negredo nets, Torres returns – Spain extract maximum satisfaction from comfortable USA triumph". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Borja Valero at ESPN FC
- "Borja Valero". Soccerway. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "Borja Valero". UEFA.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Gran Gala del Calcio 2013 – Winners". Forza Italian Football. January 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Fiorentina official profile
- Borja Valero profile at BDFutbol
- National team data (Spanish)
- Borja Valero career statistics at Soccerbase
- Borja Valero at National-Football-Teams.com