Juan Carlos Valerón
Valerón in 2010
|Full name||Juan Carlos Valerón Santana|
|Date of birth||17 June 1975|
|Place of birth||Arguineguín, Spain|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|1994–1995||Las Palmas B||25||(7)|
|2000–2013||Deportivo La Coruña||328||(24)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He was known for his technical abilities, especially passing skills and ball control, but was also injury-prone. Over the course of 15 seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 390 games and 29 goals in representation of Mallorca, Atlético Madrid and Deportivo, spending 13 years with the latter club; he started and finished his 22-year senior career with Las Palmas.
Born in Arguineguín, Gran Canaria, Valerón started playing with hometown's UD Las Palmas, but switched to the Balearic Islands in the 1997–98 season, representing RCD Mallorca and making his La Liga debut on 31 August 1997 by playing ten minutes in a 2–1 home win over Valencia CF.
He was an instrumental figure in the club's qualification for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, with the team also finishing fifth in the league and reaching the final of the Copa del Rey, lost to eventual champions FC Barcelona in a penalty shoot-out.
Atlético Madrid / Deportivo
In the next two years, Valerón played for Atlético Madrid where he was an undisputed starter but, following the side's relegation in 2000, he joined Deportivo de La Coruña, sharing club and position with equally talented Brazilian Djalminha. He gradually would become first-choice, signing a contract to eventually see off the remainder of his career with the Galicians in February 2004.
In January 2006, however, Valerón started a bad run with injuries. He suffered a knee injury which relapsed in July and early 2007 (with him only managing two league appearances in the process), leading to another surgery. Consequently, he did not reappear until midway through the 2007–08 campaign.
On 27 January 2008, Valerón returned to the bench in Deportivo's 3–1 home win against Real Valladolid, coming on as a substitute for Andrés Guardado for the final 15 minutes – his first match for over a year. In 2008–09, aged 33, he eventually became an important first-team fixture again, both on domestic and European fronts.
36-year-old Valerón was an undisputed starter for Depor in the 2011–12 season, scoring a career-best five goals in nearly 3,000 minutes of action in Segunda División as his team returned to the top flight after one year out, as champions. Even though he had a contract until 2015, he chose to leave in June 2013, having taken part in 422 games all competitions comprised (32 goals).
Return to Las Palmas
On 14 July 2013, following another Deportivo relegation, Valerón returned to his first club Las Palmas after 16 years, signing a one-year contract with an option for a second. He continued to be an important first-team member during his tenure, achieving promotion to the top flight in 2015.
In the 2015 summer, Valerón renewed his contract with the Amarillos for a further year. On 26 September, he first appeared with the club in the top flight, featuring 22 minutes in a 1–2 away loss to Barcelona in what was his first game in the competition in 847 days, and becoming the fifth oldest player to play there at the age of 40 years and 101 days; he climbed one position on 12 December after coming on as substitute against Real Betis, surpassing former Deportivo teammate Donato.
A Spain international since 18 November 1998 in a 2–2 friendly draw with Italy in Salerno, Valerón appeared with the national side at UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 FIFA World Cup (where he scored in a 3–1 win against Slovenia) and Euro 2004, netting immediately after coming from the bench in a 1–0 victory over Russia in the latter competition.
Valerón's older brother, Miguel Ángel, was also a footballer and a midfielder. Having represented Las Palmas and Mallorca B, his career was also curtailed by injuries. Later, together with another sibling, Pedro, they created a football club/school named Abrisajac, from biblical characters Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Valerón was a close friend of fellow Canarian Manuel Pablo, who also played for Las Palmas, Deportivo and Spain. He is also known for his devotion to God, but admitted that he and his family did not follow any religion.
Valerón's nephew, Manu, also played youth football for Las Palmas.
Valerón was widely regarded as one of the most respected players in Spain. Andrés Iniesta said he would pay to watch him play, whilst manager Juan Antonio Anquela called him a reference for Spanish football and fellow coach Vicente del Bosque admitted that he would always fit in the national team. His Las Palmas teammate, Javi Castellano, praised him for his honesty and modesty.
Miguel Ángel Ramírez, Las Palmas president, said in 2015 he was trying to persuade Valerón to play another season so that he would be able to say goodbye to all the stadia in Spain where he was consistently cheered– this was exemplified by his last game at the Camp Nou, with former national teammate Luis Enrique and coach of the opposing team applauding as he took the pitch. Former Dutch internationals Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Roy Makaay claimed he was the best player they had ever played with.
|Club performance||League||Cup||Super Cup||Continental||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa||Europe||Total|
|1994–95||Las Palmas B||Tercera División||25||7||–||–||–||25||7|
|1995–96||Las Palmas||Segunda División B||27||0||2||1||–||–||29||1|
|2013–14||Las Palmas||Segunda División||45||3||1||0||–||–||46||3|
|Total||Las Palmas B||25||7||—||—||—||25||7|
|Deportivo La Coruña||328||24||26||1||2||1||66||6||422||32|
|1.||2 June 2002||Gwangju World Cup, Gwangju, South Korea||Slovenia||2–0||3–1||2002 FIFA World Cup|
|2.||7 September 2002||Apostolos Nikolaidis, Athens, Greece||Greece||0–2||0–2||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|3.||11 October 2003||Hanrapetakan, Yerevan, Armenia||Armenia||0–1||0–4||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|4.||5 June 2004||Alfonso Pérez, Getafe, Spain||Andorra||4–0||4–0||Friendly|
|5.||12 June 2004||Estádio Algarve, Faro, Portugal||Russia||1–0||1–0||UEFA Euro 2004|
- Copa del Rey: 2001–02
- Supercopa de España: 2002
- UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2008
- Segunda División: 2011–12
- Spain U21
- "Juan Carlos Valerón, cronología de una lesión maldita" [Juan Carlos Valerón, chronology of a damn injury] (in Spanish). Diarios de Fútbol. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Jugadores de ayer y de hoy: Juan Carlos Valerón" [Players of yesterday and today: Juan Carlos Valerón] (in Spanish). RCDM. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Valerón, el hechicero de Arguineguín" [Valerón, the wizard of Arguineguín] (in Spanish). Vavel. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Venganza en Mallorca" [Revenge in Mallorca]. ABC (in Spanish). 1 September 1997. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "La Copa más histórica" [The most historical Cup] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 30 April 1998. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Djalminha exige la titularidad" [Djalminha demands to start]. El País (in Spanish). 26 October 2001. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Djalminha volvió para demostrar que Valerón tiene sustituto" [Djalminha returned to show Valerón is replaceable]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 10 November 2003. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Valerón shows devotion to Depor". UEFA. 10 February 2004. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Valerón suffers injury blow". UEFA. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Tottenham hit by King injury blow". UEFA. 30 July 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- "Crucial surgery nears for Valerón". UEFA. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Lotina respira tras vencer al Valladolid en la vuelta de Valerón (3–1)" [Lotina breathes after beating Valladolid in return of Valerón (3–1)]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 27 January 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "Valerón thankful for new lease of life". UEFA. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Valerón fires Depor through". UEFA. 26 July 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Valerón, 37 años de un genio" [Valerón, 37 years of a genius]. El Día (in Spanish). 15 April 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Valeron announces Depor exit". Football España. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Juan Carlos Valerón vuelve a la Unión Deportiva Las Palmas" [Juan Carlos Valerón returns to Unión Deportiva Las Palmas] (in Spanish). UD Las Palmas. 14 July 2013. Archived from the original on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Valerón: "Hace ya varios años que yo me planteo el final"" [Valerón: "I have been brooding over the end for several years"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Valerón podrá despedirse por toda España después del ascenso de Las Palmas" [Valerón will be able to say goodbye throughout Spain after Las Palmas' promotion] (in Spanish). Eurosport. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Valerón renueva por una temporada" [Valerón renews for a season] (in Spanish). UD Las Palmas. 15 July 2015. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Valerón volvió a jugar en Primera 847 días después" [Valerón played again in Primera 847 days later]. Marca (in Spanish). 27 September 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Evergreen Juan Carlos Valeron returns to La Liga action aged 40". Joe. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Valerón es el cuarto jugador más veterano en jugar en Primera" [Valerón is the fourth most veteran player to play in Primera]. La Provincia (in Spanish). 13 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Congratulations! Juan Carlos Valeron played his 400th La Liga game". Sport. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Valerón anuncia su retirada" [Valerón announces his retirement]. La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 7 May 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Notable alto" [B Plus]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 19 November 1998. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Spain see off Slovenia". BBC Sport. 2 June 2002. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Sáez selects Spain squad". UEFA. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Spain 1–0 Russia". BBC Sport. 12 June 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Aperitivo oriental" [Oriental hors d'oeuvre]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 27 March 2005. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Valerón: Miguel Ángel Valerón Santana". BDFutbol. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "Miguel Angel Valerón: "Puse la pierna, quizás ingenuamente"" [Miguel Angel Valerón: "I went for the challenge, maybe i was naive"]. Diario Siglo XXI (in Spanish). 18 August 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "La familia Valerón se vuelca con Abrisajac para ayudar a los más necesitados" [Valerón family joins forces with Abrisajac to help those in need] (in Spanish). Te Interesa. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Manuel Pablo: "Yo no me retiro hasta que se retire Valerón"" [Manuel Pablo: Manuel Pablo: "I will not retire until Valerón does the same"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 3 July 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Valerón, querido abuelo" [Valerón, dear grandfather]. Marca (in Spanish). 9 August 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Manu, el tercer Valerón" [Manu, the third Valerón] (in Spanish). Tinta Amarilla. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Anquela: "Si no somos un equipo serio, lo vamos a pasar mal"" [Anquela: "If we are not a serious team, we are going to suffer"] (in Spanish). Riazor. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Valerón agradece que Del Bosque dijera que "encajaría" en la selección" [Valerón thanks Del Bosque for saying he would always "fit" in the national team]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 26 November 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Juan Carlos Valeron makes La Liga return at 40 with Las Palmas". Sky Sports. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "I'm sad about Messi but the team did what they had to do". Diario AS. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Víctor: "Valerón en un grande habría sido Balón de Oro"" [Víctor: "Valerón in a big team would have been Ballon d'Or"]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Valerón: Juan Carlos Valerón Santana". BDFutbol. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Juan Carlos Valerón". UEFA. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Juan Carlos Valerón at Soccerway
- "Juan Carlos Valerón". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Valerón". European Football. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Quince años del Centenariazo" [Fifteen years from the Centenariazo]. La Opinión A Coruña (in Spanish). 6 March 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "1998: Iván Pérez applies finishing touch". UEFA. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Valerón: "Seguro que lo de Piqué y Arbeloa se solucionará"" [Valerón: "I am sure Piqué and Arbeloa will work it out]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
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