José Luis Caminero
Caminero training with Spain in 1994
|Full name||José Luis Pérez Caminero|
|Date of birth||8 November 1967|
|Place of birth||Madrid, Spain|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|1986–1989||Real Madrid B||39||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Arguably one of the best Spanish footballers of the 1990s, Caminero was able to play in any midfield position, in the middle or in the wings. Having played 408 La Liga matches over 14 seasons (57 goals), he possessed a vast array of skills: dribble, shot and physique, and his career was almost exclusively associated with Valladolid and Atlético Madrid.
After unsuccessfully emerging through the ranks of Real Madrid, Madrid-born Caminero signed with Real Valladolid for 1989–90, helping the side barely avoid La Liga relegation. He scored his first goal in the competition in the following season, in a 3–1 home win against Valencia CF on 16 December 1990.
The peak of Caminero's career took place from 1993–94, when he moved to Atlético Madrid. He was a key member of the squad that won an historical double in 1995–96, contributing with nine league goals in 37 games; accordingly, after the season, he was given the Spanish Footballer of the Year award by both the Madrid newspaper El País and the prestigious football magazine Don Balón, being the only Atlético player to win both awards during one season, and netted a career-best 14 goals in the following campaign.
After four seasons at Atlético, Caminero re-joined Valladolid, where he ended his active playing career in 2004 after the team's top level relegation. In his final years, he further enhanced his versatility by playing in the sweeper position.
After his retirement, Caminero was installed as the team's director of football. He left the position citing personal reasons after 2007–08. In May 2011, he returned to Atlético in the same capacity.
Caminero made his Spain national team debut on 8 September 1993, in a 2–0 friendly win with Chile in Alicante. He represented the country at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, where he was the nation's leading scorer at three (scoring twice against Bolivia in a 3–1 group stage win) and also in UEFA Euro 1996 in England, where he netted a late equalizer against France.
|1.||22 September 1993||Qemal Stafa, Tirana, Albania||Albania||1–5||1–5||1994 World Cup qualification|
|2.||13 October 1993||Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||Republic of Ireland||0–1||1–3||1994 World Cup qualification|
|3.||27 June 1994||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Bolivia||0–2||1–3||1994 World Cup|
|4.||27 June 1994||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Bolivia||1–3||1–3||1994 World Cup|
|5.||9 July 1994||Foxboro, Foxborough, United States||Italy||1–1||2–1||1994 World Cup|
|6.||6 September 1995||Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain||Cyprus||6–0||6–0||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|7.||15 November 1995||Martínez Valero, Elche, Spain||North Macedonia||3–0||3–0||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|8.||15 June 1996||Elland Road, Leeds, England||France||1–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 1996|
In June 2009, Caminero was arrested for possible connections to drug traffic operations, with a further 30 people being taken into custody for interrogation. He was released upon the reading of his rights.
Caminero in popular culture
Caminero's football genius also made it to the silver screen. Spanish movie director Pedro Almodóvar included his dribbling against FC Barcelona's defender Miguel Ángel Nadal in his 1997 film Live Flesh (Carne trémula).
- Leyendas del Real Valladolid C. F. – Caminero (Real Valladolid C. F. legends – Caminero); El Norte de Castilla (in Spanish)
- G. Fuente, Chema (25 May 2016). "20 años del 'Doblete' del Atlético de Liga y Copa" [20 years of Atlético's League and Cup ‘Double’] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Spain – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Ortiz, Guillermo (September 2013). "Guillermo Ortiz: El último regate imposible de José Luis Pérez Caminero" [Guillermo Ortiz: José Luis Pérez Caminero's last impossible dribble] (in Spanish). Jot Down. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Tornadijo, J. I. (1 November 2001). "Caminero puede volver a ser líbero" [Caminero may be sweeper again] (in Spanish). Diario AS. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Caminero se marcha por el «desgaste» sufrido en tres temporadas como director deportivo (Caminero leaves "worn out" after three seasons as director of football); El Norte de Castilla, 28 May 2008 (in Spanish)
- Caminero y Aguilera serán presentados el lunes 30 de mayo en la Sala VIP (Caminero and Aguilera will be presented Monday 30 May in VIP room); Atlético Madrid, 27 May 2011 (in Spanish)
- "La selección afila sus armas" [National team sharpen claws] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 9 September 1993. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- World Cup '94; Bolivia scores, but will still go home; The New York Times, 28 June 1994
- Caminero strike rescues Spain against France; UEFA, 6 October 2003
- "Caminero". European Football. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Caminero, imputado en una red de blanqueo de dinero de la droga (Caminero, charged with involvement in a laundry money network with connections to drug traffic); Marca, 29 June 2009 (in Spanish)
- Caminero, aquel regate de cine, aquel doblete (Caminero, that movie-like dribble, that double); Mundo Deportivo, 31 May 2011 (in Spanish)