Mikel Rico

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Mikel Rico
Personal information
Full name Mikel Rico Moreno
Date of birth (1984-11-04) 4 November 1984 (age 32)
Place of birth Arrigorriaga, Spain
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Athletic Bilbao
Number 17
Youth career
Danok Bat
2000–2003 Basconia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001 Basconia 1 (0)
2003–2004 Conquense B
2004–2005 Conquense 44 (3)
2005–2009 Poli Ejido 55 (2)
2005–2006 Conquense (loan) 35 (9)
2007–2008 Huesca (loan) 35 (6)
2009–2010 Huesca 42 (5)
2010–2013 Granada 114 (7)
2013– Athletic Bilbao 105 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 May 2017.

Mikel Rico Moreno (born 4 November 1984) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao as a central midfielder.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Arrigorriaga, Biscay,[1] Rico was schooled in football at local clubs CD Padura and Danok Bat CF as a child. He then joined the ranks of neighbouring CD Basconia, which acted as a farm team of Athletic Bilbao; in April 2001 he appeared as a late substitute in one Tercera División match, where Joseba Arriaga and Andoni Iraola also featured.[2]

Rico moved to UB Conquense in 2003.[3] Most of the first season was spent in their reserves, but the second, also in Segunda División B, saw him feature regularly, attracting the attention of Polideportivo Ejido who signed him in 2005.

Rico was loaned back to Conquense for 2005–06, which ended in relegation from the third level. He made his debut as a professional in the following campaign,[4] starting in three of his appearances to help Ejido finish in 11th position in Segunda División.

In 2007–08, Rico helped SD Huesca to promotion to division two in the play-offs. Afterwards, he returned to the Estadio Municipal Santo Domingo for one more season, still in the third tier.

Huesca / Granada[edit]

In summer 2009, Rico was signed permanently by Huesca. On 19 June 2010 he scored one of his five goals during the campaign in a 1–0 away win against Celta de Vigo, being crucial as the Aragonese finally avoided relegation.[5]

Rico joined fellow league side Granada CF on 31 August 2010, for 600.000 on a four-year deal.[6] He posted similar individual numbers in his first year – 40 matches, two goals,[7][8] nearly 3,500 minutes of action – and his team returned to La Liga after more than three decades via the play-offs; he displayed versatility in the process, featuring in several positions.[9]

Rico made his debut in the top flight on 27 August 2011 at nearly 27 years of age, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–1 derby home loss against Real Betis.[10] He scored his first goal in the competition on 31 October, contributing to a 2–1 success at Sevilla FC through a 90th-minute strike;[11] during his spell, he played as a box-to-box midfielder as well as a defensive one.[12]

Athletic Bilbao[edit]

Rico joined Athletic Bilbao in late August 2013, penning a three-year deal with a €35 million buyout clause.[13] He played his first game with his new team on 1 September, the first half of a 1–3 away defeat to Real Madrid.[14]

International career[edit]

Rico never earned any caps for Spain at any level. He did feature for the unofficial Basque Country regional team.[15]


Athletic Bilbao


  1. ^ El sueño de Mikel se hace realidad (Mikel's dream comes true); Gara, 23 August 2013 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Basconia 3–0 UPV; Athletic Bilbao, 11 April 2001
  3. ^ Mikel Rico despegó como futbolista en la UB Conquense... con un look diferente (Mikel Rico took off as footballer in UB Conquense... with a different look); Ideal, 31 December 2011 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ El Poli Ejido presenta a Manolo y Rico (Poli Ejido presents Manolo and Rico); Marca, 19 July 2006 (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Mikel Rico sella la permanencia del Huesca (Mikel Rico seals Huesca permanence); Diario de Sevilla, 20 June 2010 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ El Granada ficha a Mikel Rico (Granada signs Mikel Rico); Marca, 31 August 2010 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ El Granada mantiene su buena racha ante el Girona (2–1) (Granada continues streak against Girona (2–1)); Granada Hoy, 3 October 2010 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Nàstic 0–3 Granada; Gimnàstic Tarragona, 8 May 2011 (in Spanish)
  9. ^ Mikel Rico vale para todo (Mikel Rico does it all); El País, 15 June 2011 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Rubén Castro hace justicia (Rubén Castro does justice); El País, 27 August 2011 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ Sevilla slip up against Granada; ESPN Soccernet, 31 October 2011
  12. ^ La nueva responsabilidad de Mikel Rico (Mikel Rico's new responsibility); Ideal, 13 October 2012 (in Spanish)
  13. ^ La Liga: Athletic Bilbao sign midfielder Mikel Rico from rivals Granada; Sky Sports, 22 August 2013
  14. ^ Isco at the double to beat Bilbao; ESPN FC, 1 September 2013
  15. ^ "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]