Helguera with Real Madrid in 2003
|Full name||Iván Helguera Bujía|
|Date of birth||28 March 1975|
|Place of birth||Santander, Spain|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back / Defensive midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Playing as either a central defender or defensive midfielder, with both good defensive and offensive skills, he represented five clubs during his professional career, notably Real Madrid – achieving team success as an important player – and Valencia; during his early 20's, he also had an unassuming abroad spell, with Roma.
A Spanish international on nearly 50 occasions, Helguera represented the country at the 2002 World Cup and in two European Championships. Over the course of 11 seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 291 games and 21 goals.
Early years / Real Madrid
Born in Santander, Cantabria, Helguera started playing professionally for Manchego CF and Albacete Balompié, appearing in 14 second division games in the 1996–97 season for the latter. He was purchased by Serie A club A.S. Roma after that, alongside compatriot César Gómez, but left after one disappointing campaign to join RCD Espanyol, where his stellar performances led to a Real Madrid deal even before 1998–99 had finished.
With Real Madrid from July 1999, Helguera was an instant first-choice, and scored five and six La Liga goals in his second and fourth seasons (both ended with the national championship conquest) alternating between defender and midfielder. He was also instrumental in the capital team's two UEFA Champions League conquests: in the 2000 final, against fellow Spaniards Valencia CF, he started the match as a sweeper in a 3–0 win, appearing as stopper two years later in the 2–1 triumph over against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Not an undisputed starter in his final two years, Helguera still managed 42 appearances combined, scoring in a 3–1 win at Gimnàstic de Tarragona on 28 October 2006. At the start of his last season he was surprisingly stripped of his No. 6 jersey which went to new signing Mahamadou Diarra, given No. 21 and made to train with the youth team in anticipation of his leaving the club, even though his contract ended in June 2009; however, he later managed to fight his way back into the starting eleven, being somewhat influential in helping the club to the 2007 domestic league.
On 20 July 2007, Helguera signed for Valencia on a three-year contract – upon joining, he stated that he had wanted to come to Valencia for a "long time" and was "delighted" to arrive at the club. During his debut campaign he was relatively important, also helping the Che to the conquest of the Copa del Rey.
However, after having appeared very rarely in the first part of the following season, Helguera's contract was cancelled on 12 December 2008, and both FC Dinamo Bucureşti and Los Angeles Galaxy declared interest in signing the player, but nothing came of it and he retired from football later into 2009.
Helguera was capped 47 times for Spain, the first coming on 18 November 1998 in an away friendly with Italy (2–2). He played for his country at UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2004, missing the 2006 World Cup after being omitted from the squad in the months before the tournament by national team coach Luis Aragonés.
|1.||24 March 2001||José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain||Liechtenstein||1–0||5–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|2.||28 March 2001||Mestalla, Valencia, Spain||France||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|3.||2 April 2003||Reino de León, León, Spain||Armenia||2–0||3–0||Euro 2004 qualifying|
He married his longtime girlfriend Lorena, and welcomed his first baby, a boy named Luca, on 30 November 2005.
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|1999/00||Real Madrid||La Liga||33||0||6||0||15||2||54||2|
- Real Madrid
- UEFA Champions League: 1999–2000, 2001–02
- Intercontinental Cup: 2002
- UEFA Super Cup: 2002
- La Liga: 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07
- Supercopa de España: 2001, 2003
- In isolation, Bujía is pronounced [buˈxi.a]
- "Iván Helguera". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "Real Madrid 3–0 Valencia". The Guardian. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "Gimnastic de Tarragona 1–3 Real Madrid". ESPN Soccernet. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- "Otro desprecio a Helguera" [Helguera scorned again] (PDF) (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "El Valencia ficha a Iván Helguera hasta 2010" [Valencia signs Iván Helguera until 2010] (in Spanish). El País. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "Rescisión de contrato de Iván Helguera" [Iván Helguera's contract termination] (in Spanish). Valencia CF. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
- "Un milion pentru Helguera!" [One million for Helguera!] (in Romanian). ProSport. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
- "Ivan Helguera attracts LA Galaxy interest". Goal.com. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
- "Notable alto" [B Plus] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 19 November 1998. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- "Sáez selects Spain squad". UEFA.com. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "El exzaragocista Luis Helguera apuesta por su hermano Iván" [Former zaragocista Luis Helguera bets on brother Iván] (in Spanish). El Periódico de Aragón. 16 March 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Iván Helguera". Soccerway. Retrieved 6 November 2014.