Callejón playing for Napoli in 2014
|Full name||José María Callejón Bueno|
|Date of birth||11 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Motril, Spain|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Forward / Winger|
|2006–2007||Real Madrid C|
|2007–2008||Real Madrid B||41||(21)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 May 2015.
His twin brother Juanmi is 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 rejoined 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 with 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 to his former employer.
Profiting from the fact that Real Madrid had already qualified from the UEFA Champions League group stage, as first, 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 GNK 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. In the tie against SD Ponferradina for the season's Copa del Rey, he netted three of the Merengues' seven goals overall (one away, 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 success at Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League group stage.
On 3 May 2014 he 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. Callejón 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 goals coming in the last 11 minutes of the game.
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."
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 and hard-working right-footed player, Callejón is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, as a forward, a winger, an attacking midfielder and a supporting striker, also being deployed in deeper roles under Mourinho during his time at Real Madrid. A quick, mobile and creative player, with good technical ability, he is capable of both creating and scoring goals.
- Real Madrid
|Real Madrid B||2006–07||4||0||—||—||4||0|
- 1Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supercopa de España.
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- LA Galaxy 1–4 Real Madrid; Major League Soccer, 16 July 2011
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- Real Madrid spot on; ESPN Soccernet, 22 January 2012
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- Giovanni Battista Terenziani (14 October 2013). "Iturbe, Callejon, Gervinho: le tre migliori sorprese della Serie A" [Iturbe, Callejón, Gervinho: the three best surprises in Serie A] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- Roberto Di Maggio; Davide Rota (4 June 2015). "Italy – Coppa Italia Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "José Callejón". Soccerway. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- José Callejón at ESPN FC
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