Mikel Balenziaga

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Mikel Balenziaga
Personal information
Full name Mikel Balenziaga Oruesagasti
Date of birth (1988-02-29) 29 February 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth Zumarraga, Spain
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current team
Athletic Bilbao
Number 24
Youth career
Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2008 Real Sociedad B 53 (0)
2008–2011 Athletic Bilbao 25 (0)
2009–2010 Numancia (loan) 26 (0)
2011–2013 Valladolid 72 (0)
2013– Athletic Bilbao 131 (1)
National team
2007 Spain U19 5 (0)
2008 Spain U21 1 (0)
2012– Basque Country 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 December 2016

Mikel Balenziaga Oruesagasti (born 29 February 1988) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao as a left back.

Club career[edit]

Born in Zumarraga, Gipuzkoa, Balenziaga started his football grooming at Real Sociedad, playing two full seasons with its B-team in the third division. However, in the 2008–09 campaign, he switched to neighbours Athletic Bilbao.

Initially thought of as a member of the reserve side, Balenziaga quickly beat competition from veterans Koikili and Javier Casas to become the undisputed first-choice for the vast majority of the season, making his first-team debut on 14 September 2008 in a 0–0 away draw against Málaga CF – another club graduate, Ander Iturraspe, also made his first La Liga appearance in that game.[1]

In July 2009, Athletic bought Xabier Castillo from neighbours Real Sociedad and Balenziaga, seeing his chances for the upcoming season dim, accepted a loan move to CD Numancia, freshly relegated from the top division. He transferred to Real Valladolid in the 2011 summer, after an unassuming campaign in which he made only one official appearance for the Lions.

After two solid years as first-choice in Castile and León, Balenziaga returned to Athletic for 2013–14 to challenge for a first-team spot under new manager Ernesto Valverde.[2] He scored his first ever goal as a professional on 24 September 2016, helping the hosts defeat Sevilla FC 3–1 in the domestic league.[3]

International career[edit]

Balenziaga appeared once for the Spain under-21 team, playing 58 minutes in a 1–4 friendly away loss to Portugal on 18 November 2008.[4] He also featured for the unofficial Basque Country regional side.[5]

Honours[edit]

Athletic Bilbao

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Málaga CF 0-Athletic Club 0: First Point". Athletic Bilbao. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Mikel Balenziaga returns to Athletic Bilbao". Inside Spanish Football. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Balenziaga prolonga la fiesta en San Mamés" [Balenziaga extends party at San Mamés]. Marca (in Spanish). 24 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Selecção de sub-21 vence Espanha por 4–1 em particular" [Under-21 national team beats Spain 4–1 in friendly] (in Portuguese). TSF. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Catalunya 0–1 Euskal Selekzioa" [Catalonia 0–1 Basque XI] (in Spanish). Basque Football Federation. 26 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 

External links[edit]