Mario Gaspar Pérez

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Ukr-Spain2015 (11).jpg
Mario playing with Spain in 2015
Personal information
Full name Mario Gaspar Pérez Martínez
Date of birth (1990-11-24) 24 November 1990 (age 25)
Place of birth Novelda, Spain
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Number 2
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Villarreal C 15 (1)
2008–2011 Villarreal B 81 (0)
2009– Villarreal 177 (7)
National team
2008–2009 Spain U19 13 (2)
2009 Spain U20 1 (0)
2011 Spain U21 2 (0)
2015– Spain 3 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 May 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 27 March 2016
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Pérez and the second or maternal family name is Martínez.

Mario Gaspar Pérez Martínez (born 24 November 1990), known simply as Mario (Spanish pronunciation: ['maɾjo]), is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Villarreal CF as a right back.

He spent his entire career at Villarreal, making over 200 official appearances.

Club career[edit]

Born in Novelda, Alicante, Valencian Community, Mario played youth football for Villarreal CF. On 15 March 2009, aged just 18, he made his first-team – and La Liga – debut, in a game against Atlético Madrid: he replaced Giuseppe Rossi with roughly 25 minutes to play, with the score at 2–1, but the Yellow Submarine eventually lost 2–3 away.[1]

Mario spent the entire 2009–10 season with the reserves, starting in all 31 games he appeared in as the team easily retained its newly found Segunda División status. He was definitely promoted to the main squad midway through the following campaign, following Ángel López's severe knee injury, being also propelled to the starting XI.

On 16 January 2011, in his first start, Mario played the full 90 minutes in a 4–2 home win against CA Osasuna,[2] finishing the season with 22 appearances. On 1 May 2012, he scored his first goal for the team, opening a 3–2 win at Sporting de Gijón towards the end of a campaign which finished with relegation.[3]

Mario scored his first goal in European competition on 21 August 2014, concluding a 3–0 away victory over FC Astana in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off (7–0 aggregate).[4]

International career[edit]

Mario gained 16 caps for Spain at youth level, including two for the under-21s. He received his first call up to the full side in October 2015,[5] making his debut on the 12th by scoring the game's only goal in Ukraine – the last round, the nation had already secured the first position in its group – for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.[6] He repeated the feat the following match, playing the full 90 minutes and scoring an overhead kick to open a 2–0 friendly win against England in Alicante.[7]


  1. ^ El fútbol fue justo con el Atlético (Football was fair to Atlético); Marca, 15 March 2009 (Spanish)
  2. ^ Cani inspires Villarreal; ESPN Soccernet, 15 January 2011
  3. ^ Melero, Delfín (1 May 2012). "El Villarreal se declara inocente y condena al Sporting" [Villarreal plead not guilty and condemn Sporting] (in Spanish). Marca. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Astana-Villarreal: Eliminatoria sentenciada (0–3)" [Astana-Villarreal: Tie decided (0–3)] (in Spanish). Eurosport. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Del Bosque reinforces Spain after injury setbacks". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Debutant Gaspar earns Spain victory in Ukraine". 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Spain 2–0 England". BBC Sport. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 

External links[edit]