Callejón playing for Spain in 2017
|Full name||José María Callejón Bueno|
|Date of birth||11 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Motril, Spain|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Forward / Winger|
|2006–2007||Real Madrid C||4||(0)|
|2007–2008||Real Madrid B||41||(21)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 February 2018.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2017
His twin brother Juanmi was also a footballer, and both were Real Madrid graduates. He began his career with its reserve clubs, but made a name for himself at Espanyol. In 2011 he returned to his previous team and, two years later, left for Napoli.
A product of Real Madrid youth ranks, Callejón was born in Motril, Granada, Andalusia. He made his professional debut for the B-team in May 2007, and played four games in that season's Segunda División without scoring a goal.
At the end of the season, Callejón left Real Madrid (with twin brother Juanmi) and signed a four-season contract with RCD Espanyol. He made his La Liga debut on 20 September 2008 as a late substitute in a 1–1 home draw against Getafe CF.
On 15 March 2009, as Espanyol struggled immensely in the league – eventually ranking in tenth position – Callejón scored his first goal for the Catalans in a 3–3 home draw against RCD Mallorca. He continued to be an undisputed starter under Mauricio Pochettino in the following seasons, operating mainly as a winger.
Return to Real Madrid
On 23 May 2011, Callejón re-joined Real Madrid on a five-year contract, effective as of 1 July, for a reported fee of €5.5 million. On 16 July, he played his first match for the Merengues in a 4–1 friendly win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, scoring the first goal of the game in the 30th minute.
On 2 October 2011, Callejón netted his first official goal for Real Madrid after coming on midway through the second half of an away fixture against former club Espanyol; he scored from a Cristiano Ronaldo assist in an eventual 4–0 win but did not celebrate the goal, instead raising his arms in the air in a mark of respect for his former employer.
Profiting from the fact that Real Madrid had already qualified from the UEFA Champions League group stage as group leaders, Callejón was handed a rare start by manager José Mourinho on 22 November 2011, and responded by scoring a brace in a 6–2 home triumph against NK Dinamo Zagreb. He added another two in the last round at AFC Ajax (3–0).
As a starter, Callejón continued with his impressive scoring form: on 17 December, he scored once in a 6–2 away win against Sevilla, and in the tie against SD Ponferradina for the season's Copa del Rey he netted three of his team's seven aggregate goals, scoring one away and two at home.
On 14 January 2012, Callejón scored the winner in a 2–1 success at Mallorca, helping the visitors come from behind with his 84th-minute long-range strike. In the following matchday, he added another, closing the score in a 4–1 home win over Athletic Bilbao.
Callejón scored in his Serie A debut on 25 August, netting the opener in a 3–0 home win over Bologna F.C. 1909, and went on to find the net a further seven times in his first 20 official appearances. On 22 October, he scored his first goal in Europe for his new team, grabbing his team's first in a 2–1 triumph at Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League group stage.
On 3 May 2014, Callejón set up Dries Mertens for the third goal in a 3–1 success over ACF Fiorentina in the final of the campaign's Coppa Italia. He scored once in the final game of the season, a 5–1 home win against Hellas Verona F.C. on 18 May; his strike after five minutes was Napoli's 100th goal in all competitions that season, and his 20th overall.
Callejón netted his first goal of 2014–15 on the opening day of the Serie A campaign, the opener in a 2–1 win over Genoa CFC. His second came on 24 September, as he scored at the stroke of half-time to put Napoli up 3–2 against U.S. Città di Palermo in an eventual 3–3 home draw. On 19 October, he scored twice in a 2–2 draw at Internazionale, with all four of the game's goals coming in the match's last 11 minutes.
In the Derby del Sole match against A.S. Roma on 2 November, Callejón hit the post and had a shot saved off the line before eventually finding the net late on in Napoli's 2–0 victory. The strike took his league goal tally to eight on the season, two more than his closest competitors, and he was included in the Serie A Team of the Week lineup.
On 17 September 2015, Callejón scored twice in Napoli's first game of the UEFA Europa League group stage, a 5–0 home routing of Club Brugge KV. For the same competition, away to FC Midtjylland on 22 October, he volleyed a long pass from Kalidou Koulibaly to open a 4–1 victory; UEFA dubbed the latter effort an "early contender for goal of the group stage".
Callejón made his debut for the Spanish under-21 team on 25 March 2008 against Kazakhstan in a 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier; he entered the field in the 46th minute after replacing Bojan Krkić, and scored shortly after in a 5–0 win.
On 7 November 2014, Callejón was called up to the full side for the first time, being picked by Vicente del Bosque for matches against Belarus and Germany. He made his debut on the 15th against the former, coming on for Santi Cazorla in the 69th minute of the 3–0 triumph in Huelva for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying phase.
Style of play
A versatile, tenacious and hard-working right-footed player, Callejón is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, and has been used as a forward, as a winger on either flank, in the centre as an attacking midfielder and as a supporting striker. Although he usually occupies a position in or behind the main attacking line, due to his personality and ability to provide balance to his teams by linking-up play between the forwards and midfielders, he is also capable of playing in the centre as a main striker, and was also occasionally deployed in deeper roles under Mourinho during his time at Real Madrid, as a central midfielder or even as an attacking full-back or wingback.
A quick, mobile and creative player, with good technical ability, Callejón is capable of both creating and scoring goals, due to his powerful shot and excellent offensive movement off the ball, as demonstrated by his ability to lose his markers by make attacking runs in behind the defensive line and into the area from deeper or wider areas. He is also a good header of the ball, in spite of his relatively short stature.
|Real Madrid B||2006–07||4||0||—||—||4||0|
- 1Includes domestic cups and other competitive competitions, including the Supercopa de España and the Supercoppa Italiana.
- As of 14 November 2017
- Real Madrid
- Segunda División B: Top Scorer 2007–08
- Coppa Italia: Top Scorer 2013–14
- Serie A: Top Assist Provider 2016–17
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- "Spain 5–0 Kazakhstan". UEFA.com. 25 March 2008. Archived from the original on 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
- "Official: 23-man squad for the matches against Belarus and Germany". Royal Spanish Football Federation. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Hunter, Graham (15 November 2014). "Much-changed Spain dominate Belarus". UEFA.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
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- Alessandro Bocci (1 January 2017). "Da Candreva a Mertens fino a Ljajic Così gli esterni spostano gli equilibri" [From Candreva to Mertens all the way to Ljajic This is how wingers turn the tide]. Corriere della Sera. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
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- José Callejón at ESPN FC
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