Melli (Spanish footballer)
|Full name||Juan Alberto Andreu Alvarado|
|Date of birth||6 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Barbate, Spain|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|2002||→ Poli Ejido (loan)||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 December 2016.
Juan Alberto Andreu Alvarado (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmeʎi]; born 6 June 1984), known as Melli, is a Spanish footballer who plays for CF Reus Deportiu. A versatile defender, he can appear as either a right back or a central defender.
Born in Barbate, Cádiz, Melli joined Real Betis as a 14-year-old, and made his way up through the ranks until he reached the reserve team in 2001. He served a small loan stint at Andalusia neighbours Polideportivo Ejido in the late stages of the 2001–02 season, with two appearances in the second division.
Melli scored his first career goal through a header from a Joaquín corner kick, against CA Osasuna on 18 September 2004 (2–3 away loss). He also appeared in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup during the 2005–06 campaign: in the latter, he netted an essential goal at AZ Alkmaar, which allowed Betis to progress to the next round – this came just one week after having scored two own goals against FC Barcelona in a La Liga match at the Camp Nou.
Melli won his first medal for Betis during the 2005 final of the Copa del Rey against Osasuna at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, on 11 June 2005, playing the full 90 minutes plus extra time in an eventual 2–1 win. He continued to be a defensive presence in the following seasons for the Verdiblancos, playing an average of 25 league games and suffering relegation in 2008–09.
In late August 2011, after another relegation, now with CD Tenerife (in the second level) whom he joined in the 2010 summer – a second consecutive for the Canary Islands club – Melli moved abroad for the first time and signed a two-year contract for K.A.A. Gent in Belgium, joining compatriot César Arzo. After leaving in the 2013 summer he represented, in quick succession, FC Sheriff Tiraspol, Ergotelis FC, Simurq PIK and Neftchi PFK, the latter two sides competing in the Azerbaijan Premier League.
Melli represented the Spanish national team at under-16, under-17, under-19, under-20 and under-21 levels. He made his debut for the latter on 29 April 2003 when he was 18, playing 18 minutes in a 1–0 win over Australia in Lorca, and scored his only goal in another friendly, a 3–1 defeat of Scotland on 2 September 2004.
Melli's nickname stems from the Spanish word mellizo (twin), as he himself is a twin. His brother Víctor was also a footballer, also being nicknamed Melli. A goalkeeper, he never played in higher than division three during his career.
- As of 25 August 2015
|Gent||2011–12||Belgian Pro League||37||3||4||1||—||41||4|
|2012–13||Belgian Pro League||22||0||3||2||4[d]||1||29||3|
|Simurq||2014–15||Azerbaijan Premier League||14||0||4||0||—||18||0|
|Neftchi Baku||2015–16||Azerbaijan Premier League||2||0||0||0||2[d]||0||4||0|
- Spain U16
- Spain U19
- Spain U20
- Melli swoops to revive Betis
- Blistering Barça back in the groove; UEFA.com, 18 February 2006
- Dani delivers for Betis; UEFA.com, 12 June 2005
- "Simurq daha bir futbolçu ilə müqavilə imzaladı" (in Azerbaijani). Simurq PFK. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- Нефтчи подписал бывшего защитника Симурга [Neftchi signed former Simurg defender] (in Russian). Azeri Sport. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Neftçi PFK-nın məlumatı" [Neftchi PFK information] (in Azerbaijani). Neftchi Baku. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- "Melli signa pel Reus" [Melli signs for Reus] (in Catalan). Reus Deportiu. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- "España logra un trabajado triunfo" [Spain works hard for the win] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 29 April 2003. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Iniesta encarrila el triunfo" [Iniesta leads way to win] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 3 September 2004. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- Mellizos en el fútbol mundial (III) (Twins in world football (III)); Diarios de Fútbol, 23 November 2007 (Spanish)
- "Melli: Juan Alberto Andreu Alvarado". BDFutbol. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Melli". Soccerway. Retrieved 25 August 2015.