Granero with Real Sociedad in 2016
|Full name||Esteban Félix Granero Molina|
|Date of birth||2 July 1987|
|Place of birth||Madrid, Spain|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2004–2006||Real Madrid C||48||(9)|
|2006–2008||Real Madrid B||37||(4)|
|2007–2008||→ Getafe (loan)||27||(3)|
|2012–2014||Queens Park Rangers||25||(1)|
|2013–2014||→ Real Sociedad (loan)||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 April 2018
Esteban Félix Granero Molina (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈteβan ˈfeliɣz ɣɾaˈneɾo moˈlina];[a] born 2 July 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for RCD Espanyol. Known as El Pirata ("The Pirate"), he can play as a central or an attacking midfielder, his best attributes being passing, technique and shooting.
He emerged through Real Madrid's youth ranks, but made a name for himself in La Liga with Getafe, following which he returned to his previous team, winning two major titles but being sparingly played over the course of three seasons.
Born in Madrid, Granero joined ranks of Real Madrid when he was just eight years old, and quickly began displaying his footballing talent. In one season, he scored 83 goals in the under-10 division and, in 1999, captained the under-12 side that won the International Football-7 tournament held at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona by defeating FC Barcelona 1–0 with his extra time goal – he was also named the best player of the competition.
Granero, alongside teammates Juan Mata and Alberto Bueno, won the Copa de Campeones Juvenil de Fútbol in 2006, an under-19 official youth tournament organized by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. He then joined the club's C-team at the age of 17, standing out for his talent and passing skills and going on to receive the Números 1 Don Balón award as the "Most Valuable Player" of the Group VII of Tercera División in 2005–06, an accolade bestowed by Don Balón magazine, one of the founding members of European Sports Magazines; that same season he made his first appearance with Real Madrid Castilla in a match against Albacete Balompié, during which he had a goal assist.
Granero made the definitive jump to Castilla in 2006–07's Segunda División, and slowly earned the confidence of coach Míchel until finally becoming an unquestionable starter. He would eventually fail to make the transition into the first team, as did fellow cantera players Rubén de la Red, Javi García and Adrián González and, on 31 August, the last day of the transfer window, he moved to Getafe CF (also in Madrid) on a one-year loan; de la Red also joined Getafe, albeit in a different deal.
After the season's end, in which both he and de la Red were instrumental in the team's campaign that included runs to the quarter-finals in the UEFA Cup and the final of the Copa del Rey, Granero returned to Real Madrid. However, on 13 July 2008, he joined Getafe permanently, with Real keeping a re-buy option on the player.
Return to Real
On 21 July 2009, Real Madrid exercised their buyback option in a reported €4 million deal, and Granero scored three goals during the pre-season. His first official one came in his first start, the opener in a 3–0 La Liga away success against RCD Espanyol on 12 September 2009. In his first season, where the Merengues eventually came out empty in silverware, he alternated the bench with starts, with irregular performances.
In the 2010–11 season, after the club purchased two players in similar positions, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil, Granero was limited mainly to substitute appearances. On 16 January 2011 he came from the bench to score against UD Almería, in a 1–1 away draw against the bottom-placed team.
Granero's situation became worse in the 2011–12 season, with even Fábio Coentrão – another compatriot of manager José Mourinho who was signed in the off-season, originally as a left wingback – being preferred over him as central midfielder.
Queens Park Rangers
On 30 August 2012, Granero signed a four-year contract with English club Queens Park Rangers after transferring for a reported fee of £9 million, and was handed the number 14 shirt. He made his Premier League debut two days later, starting in a 1–3 away loss against defending champions Manchester City.
On 15 August 2013, after his team's relegation, Granero was loaned to Real Sociedad in a season-long move. On 17 September, after entering the pitch in the 81st minute of an eventual 0–2 home loss against FC Shakhtar Donetsk for the campaign's UEFA Champions League, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee, being sidelined for approximately six months.
Following his loan at the club, Granero signed a long-term deal with Real Sociedad on 28 July 2014, for an undisclosed fee. He played his first game in his second spell on 24 August, starting in a 0–1 away loss to SD Eibar.
On 7 July 2017, Granero signed a three-year contract with Espanyol.
After having helped Spain to the 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Granero made his debut for the under-21s on 6 February 2007, in a friendly match against England (2–2). He appeared for the nation at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, in an eventual group stage exit.
- As of 18 September 2017
|Queens Park Rangers||2012–13||24||1||3||0||—||27||1|
- Real Madrid
- Spain U19
- "#Granero, el Pirata bohemio" [#Granero, the bohemian pirate]. Marca (in Spanish). 15 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "'El Pirata' Granero huye de Madrid para ser el líder del QPR" ['The Pirate' Granero runs from Madrid to be QPR leader]. Sport (in Spanish). 30 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- ""Es todo un honor que me comparen con Zidane"" ["I am really honoured to be compared to Zidane"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 29 November 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- 1–0 El Madrid gana torneo ante un Valladolid que no estuvo cómodo (1–0 Madrid win tournament against uncomfortable Valladolid); Terra, 7 May 2006 (in Spanish)
- Números Uno 2005–06 (31st Edition)[permanent dead link]; at Don Balón (in Spanish)
- "Triunfo cómodo del Castilla" [Easy win for Castilla]. El Día (in Spanish). 28 November 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- "De la Red y Granero fichan por el Getafe" [De la Red and Granero sign for Getafe]. Marca (in Spanish). 31 August 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Un perdón con forma de Copa (3–1)" [Pardon in the shape of a Cup (3–1)]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 17 April 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- Getafe get their man in Granero; UEFA, 14 July 2008
- "Granero returns to Real". Sky Sports. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Madrid maintain perfect start; ESPN Soccernet, 12 September 2009
- "Real held by lowly Almeria". ESPN Soccernet. 16 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- "Granero, un imprescindible con pocos minutos" [Granero, untouchable with few minutes] (in Spanish). Defensa Central. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Exclusive: Granero completes move". Queens Park Rangers. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Official: Granero joins QPR on four-year deal". Goal.com. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Manchester City 3–1 Queens Park Rangers". ESPN Soccernet. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- West Brom continued their fine start to the season as they overcame QPR to add to the pressure on Mark Hughes.; BBC Sport, 6 October 2012
- "Granero pens Sociedad loan". Queens Park Rangers. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- "Teixeira on target as Shakhtar ruin Real's night". UEFA. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Granero tiene roto el cruzado" [Granero has damaged cruciate]. Marca (in Spanish). 18 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Premier League: QPR midfielder Esteban Granero has finalised a permanent move to Spanish side Real Sociedad". Sky Sports. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Lara seals dream start for Eibar; ESPN FC, 24 August 2014
- "Granero, fourth signing!". RCD Espanyol. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Lita arrives late and does his level best for Pearce's England". The Guardian. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "Granero". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Includes Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España
- Includes UEFA Super Cup