José Enrique (footballer)
José Enrique playing for Liverpool in 2011
|Full name||José Enrique Sánchez Díaz|
|Date of birth||23 January 1986|
|Place of birth||Valencia, Spain|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|2005–2006||→ Celta (loan)||14||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 January 2015.
José Enrique began his footballing career at Levante before being acquired by hometown club Valencia, which sent him to Celta de Vigo for a season-long loan spell. At the conclusion of this loan spell, he was signed by Villarreal in 2006 after several eye-catching performances for the Vigo-based side. The highly rated full-back enjoyed a successful 2006–07 season with Villarreal before his transfer to England.
From the age of seven, José Enrique was a keen athlete due to his blistering speed. He was a member of the Benimaclet running club in Valencia and was soon picked up as a hot prospect. When he turned 16, he had the difficult choice of either making a career as a sprinter and representing Spain in international competitions or as a footballer with Levante.
On 6 August 2007, it was confirmed that Newcastle United had signed José Enrique for a fee believed to be £6.3 million. He signed a five-year contract with the club, who beat off competition from Manchester City and Liverpool for his signature. He made his Newcastle debut on 29 August in a match against Barnsley in which he played the full 90 minutes. Newcastle won the match 2–0. While considered a warm up for José Enrique, his recovery pace and calm nature on the ball bode well for his ability. He finally made his debut in the Premier League as a substitute against West Ham United on 23 September.
José Enrique's appearances for Newcastle across the 2007–08 season were somewhat sporadic, with then-manager Sam Allardyce citing the fact that José Enrique was still young and settling into the Premier League as the reason for this. In the absence of any other recognised senior left backs, midfielder Charles N'Zogbia was deployed in this position. When José Enrique did play, he showed a great deal of promise, proving to be a strong tackler who is adept at keeping possession. He is also admired for his ability to pick out teammates with long and very accurate passes, particularly off his favoured left foot. During his first season on Tyneside, he helped his side keep seven clean sheets out of the 28 games that he played.
After Newcastle's relegation in May 2009 after the 2008–09 season, the club had to sell many of its premier players and numerous key defenders, including Habib Beye and Sébastien Bassong. The mass exodus, along with José Enrique's impressive form, prompted several clubs to keep an eye on him, including Sunderland, although on 1 December in an interview with The Journal, when asked about a move to Sunderland, José Enrique said, "I don't care about Sunderland. Even if the newspapers said Chelsea I wouldn't care. I worry for my team — I love the city, I love the club, and I don't care about signing for another team."
José Enrique's performances were rewarded when he was made the official Newcastle United Player of the Season for 2009–10, voted for by the fans. He also achieved the accolade of being named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year alongside Newcastle teammates Fabricio Coloccini, Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll. José Enrique scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 league win over promotion rivals Nottingham Forest on 29 March 2010.
On 16 August 2010, José Enrique started and played the full 90 minutes in the left-back slot in a 3–0 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Premier League fixture. At the end of the 2010–11 season, he made 36 Premier League appearances in total for the Magpies.
On 11 August 2011, it was officially reported that Newcastle had agreed a £7 million fee with Liverpool for José Enrique, allowing him to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical with the Merseyside club. It was officially announced the following day on Liverpool's website that José Enrique had joined the Merseyside club on a long-term contract after passing a medical and agreeing to personal terms.
On 13 August 2011, José Enrique made his debut in Liverpool's first game of the 2011–12 Premier League, starting at left back in a 1–1 draw against Sunderland. On 20 August 2011, he made his second appearance and played the full 90 minutes in a 0–2 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, also being named man of the match. On 24 September, José Enrique provided the assist that helped Luis Suárez to score in the 2–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. On 1 October, José Enrique appeared in his first Merseyside derby for Liverpool, providing an assist for Andy Carroll in a 2–0 win for the Reds over rivals Everton. On 2 October, it was announced that the player had been voted best summer signing by Liverpool fans with 74.5% of votes, ahead of the likes of Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy. On 23 December 2011, José Enrique was picked in ESPN.com's Premier League Best XI for the first half of the season. On 26 February 2012, he helped Liverpool to win their first trophy since 2006 when they won the League Cup. On 1 April 2012, he was forced to play as a goalkeeper for the remaining 13 minutes of the match at his old club Newcastle after Pepe Reina was sent off for headbutting Magpies defender James Perch. Although José Enrique kept a clean sheet, the Reds, being down 2–0 at the time of Reina's red card, failed to level the score.
On 17 November 2012, in a league match against Wigan Athletic, José Enrique scored his first goal for Liverpool in the 65th minute, having been increasingly reinvented as a left wing back in an unconventional 3–5–2 formation under the tenure of Brendan Rodgers. He scored his second goal of the season when he finished off a team goal against Swansea City on 17 February 2013.
In the first half of the 2013–14 season, José Enrique saw less playing time due to injuries. He recorded his first assist of the season against Aston Villa with a cross for Daniel Sturridge's only goal of the game, and grabbed another one for Suárez against Crystal Palace. This was his last appearance for Liverpool of the 2013–14 campaign.
On 30 June 2014, Liverpool announced on their Facebook page that José Enrique had begun training again after his injury. On 1 October, he made his Champions League debut for Liverpool against Basel in Switzerland, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 defeat.
On 9 May 2016, José Enrique was released by Liverpool from his contract.
- As of 30 January 2016
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa||Europe||Total|
|2004–05||Levante B||Segunda División B||19||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||19||1|
|2005–06||Celta Vigo (Loan)||14||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||17||0|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2007–08||Newcastle United||Premier League||23||0||3||0||2||0||0||0||28||0|
- "Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists" (PDF). Premier League. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Liverpool F.C. Profile". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- In isolation, Díaz is pronouned [ˈdi.aθ].
- "Big Sam's Spanish delight". Sky Sports. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- Bellwood, Tom (27 April 2010). "PFA Championship Team of the Year 2009–2010". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Etoe, Catherine (29 March 2010). "Newcastle 2–0 Nottm Forest". BBC. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Liverpool agree Enrique deal". CNN. 11 August 2011.
- "'One of happiest days of my life'". LFC TV. 12 August 2011.
- "Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1". Daily Telegraph. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- "'Best Summer Signing'". Give me Football. 2 October 2011.
- "ESPN.com's all-Prem team (so far)". ESPN.com. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Liverpool 3-0 Wigan The Guardian 17 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
-  Liverpool FC 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29362669 BBC Sport 1 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "View The Retained And Released Lists Submitted By Premier League Clubs". The FA.
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