Gaizka Toquero

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Gaizka Toquero
Gaizka Toquero1.jpg
Toquero before a game with Euskadi in 2011
Personal information
Full name Gaizka Toquero Pinedo
Date of birth (1984-08-09) 9 August 1984 (age 32)
Place of birth Vitoria, Spain
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Winger / Forward
Club information
Current team
Alavés
Number 18
Youth career
2001–2002 Ariznabarra
2002–2003 Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 Alavés C
2005–2006 Alavés B 29 (2)
2006–2007 Lemona 33 (0)
2007–2008 Sestao 37 (5)
2008–2015 Athletic Bilbao 156 (20)
2008 Eibar (loan) 16 (4)
2015– Alavés 62 (10)
National team
2010– Basque Country 6 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 December 2016

Gaizka Toquero Pinedo (born 9 August 1984) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Deportivo Alavés mainly as a right winger.

He spent most of his career with Athletic Bilbao, appearing in 207 competitive games over the course of seven La Liga seasons and scoring 24 goals, and becoming a fan favourite for his endeavour.[1]

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Toquero was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava. After a brief youth spell at Real Sociedad, and some years with both reserve teams of Deportivo Alavés, he started playing professionally for SD Lemona in the 2006–07 season, later joining Basque neighbours Sestao River Club (both clubs were in the third division).

While playing for Sestao, Athletic Bilbao showed interested in acquiring Toquero, whom eventually signed him in 2008.[2] After not being part of Joaquín Caparrós' plans, he was loaned to neighbouring SD Eibar greatly due to new manager Carlos Pouso, who had coached the player before.[3]

Athletic Bilbao[edit]

Toquero in action for Athletic Bilbao in 2011.

After 15 matches in 2008–09's second level, Toquero was recalled by Athletic on 4 January 2009, making his La Liga debut six days later by appearing as a second-half substitute in a 1–1 home draw against RCD Espanyol.[4] He scored his first goal for the team on 4 March in a 3–0 home win in the Copa del Rey over Sevilla FC (4–2 on aggregate)[5] which qualified Athletic to the final: there, he opened the scoring, albeit in a 1–4 loss to FC Barcelona.[6][1]

Blessed with few technical skills but a tremendous hard-worker – which earned him the affectionate nickname of Lehendakari[7][8]– in 2009–10 Toquero blossomed into a first division player.[9] He started most of the campaign as an attacking complement to Fernando Llorente, and also found the net on several occasions, notably a double against Real Valladolid on 7 March 2010 in a 2–0 home success.[10]

Toquero once again was a regular starter for Athletic during 2010–11, opening his official goal account on 30 January 2011 by netting twice in a 2–0 win at Atlético Madrid.[11] At the end of the following season, he came off the bench in both the UEFA Europa League and the Spanish Cup finals, both of which ended in 0–3 defeats;[12][13] in October 2012 he renewed his contract, due to expire in June 2013, for three more years.[14]

Toquero made one substitute appearance in the 2014–15 edition of the UEFA Champions League, in a 1–2 group stage away loss against FC BATE Borisov.[15] His last game for the club (less than 50 minutes of action during the campaign) was in the dying moments of a 1–0 league win over Real Madrid, on 7 May 2015.[16]

Alavés[edit]

On 10 July 2015, Toquero cut ties with Athletic[17] and returned to Alavés four days later after agreeing to a two-year deal.[18] He was an ever-present figure in his first season, scoring nine goals in 39 starts as the team returned to the top tier after a ten-year wait.[19][1]

Honours[edit]

Athletic Bilbao
Alavés

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gaizka Toquero returns to Athletic Bilbao where he is a cult hero". Sky Sports. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  2. ^ El Athletic ficha al delantero Gaizka Toquero (Athletic signs forward Gaizka Toquero); El Correo, 21 May 2008 (in Spanish)
  3. ^ Toquero: "No había pensado ni en debutar en Primera" (Toquero: "I had never even thought about making debuts in Primera"); Las Provincias, 5 February 2012 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Iraola adelanta los Reyes (Iraola bring Reyes sooner); Marca, 4 January 2009 (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Athletic-Sevilla: Desmelene vasco hacia la final (3–0) (Athletic-Sevilla: Basque go crazy en route to final (3–0)); Diario de Sevilla, 5 March 2009 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ Athletic Bilbao 1–4 Barcelona; Star Sports Network, 14 May 2009
  7. ^ "Toquero: "Lo de 'ari, ari, ari, Toquero lehendakari' es solo de Bilbao"" [Toquero: "The 'ari, ari, ari, Toquero lehendakari' bit is only from Bilbao"] (in Spanish). Cadena SER. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "¡Dan un voto a Gaizka Toquero para Lehendakari!" [Gaizka Toquero gets vote for Lehendakari!] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Sacrificio, entrega y valía, el secreto del éxito de Toquero (Sacrifice, hard work and value, Toquero's secret for success); El Desmarque, 20 February 2012 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Toquero double sinks Valladolid; ESPN Soccernet, 7 March 2010
  11. ^ Toquero at the double for Athletic; ESPN Soccernet, 30 January 2011
  12. ^ "Falcao at double as Atlético march to title". UEFA.com. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Un soberbio Barcelona despide a Guardiola con el título de Copa ante el Athletic (0–3)" [Superb Barcelona says goodbye to Guardiola with Cup title against Athletic (0–3)] (in Spanish). RTVE. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Gaizka Toquero renueva su contrato con el Athletic hasta 2016 (Gaizka Toquero renews contract with Athletic until 2016); Mundo Deportivo, 11 October 2012 (in Spanish)
  15. ^ "First-half strikes help BATE best Athletic". UEFA.com. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Athletic Bilbao 1–0 Real Madrid". BBC Sport. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  17. ^ Gaizka Toquero's contract terminated; Athletic Bilbao, 10 July 2015
  18. ^ Gaizka Toquero firma por dos temporadas con el Deportivo Alavés (Gaizka Toquero signs for two seasons with Deportivo Alavés); Deportivo Alavés, 14 July 2015 (in Spanish)
  19. ^ ¿Quién dijo gol? (Who said goal?); Vavel, 1 June 2016 (in Spanish)

External links[edit]