Spanish soccer players and coaches who’ve achieved success abroad
For many soccer players and coaches the Spanish league is just the beginning, a gateway (without much glory) toward a successful future beyond Spain’s borders. As with all sports on a professional level, the road is not easy for anyone. Only a few earn the fame and recognition they deserve both in their own and in their host country. The following are a few of the best Spanish soccer players and coaches who have been successful abroad.
After 16 successful years playing with Real Madrid, Raúl was drafted by Schalke 04 in 2010, helping the team win Germany’s league cup and super cup. More recently (2013 and 2014), he earned more victories after being drafted to Al-Sadd Sports Club, more specifically leading Qataar’s league and the Emir’s Cup.
This soccer player from Gipuzkoa has played for Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich. No matter where he plays the high level of his game always stands out on the field, where his motivated attitude fires up the rest of the team. He played for FC Liverpool from 2004 to 2009, winning the UEFA Champion s League and the European Super Cup in 2005 and the FA Cup and the Community Shield in 2006.
After various victories with Real Madrid, he ended up getting drafted by Bayern Munich in 2014, initially for 2 seasons. He still hasn’t won an official title with the team, but his participation in all competitions has helped win consecutive games for the team.
Benítez was a decisive coach for FC Valencia, but a rocky relationship with the club’s administration caused him to go coach FC Liverpool in 2004. He’s been earning countless victories ever since, but he’s never returned to Spain.
His most stellar years were with Liverpool in 2005 and 2006, partially from the voluntary draft of Xabi Alonso and the trophies mentioned above. He was then drafted by Inter Milan in 2010. During his brief but intense period with the Italian club gave him the chance to win Italy’s Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
In 2012 he was drafted by FC Chelsea, Liverpool’s rival team. The former Liverpool coach did not receive much of a warm welcome from fans unwilling to forgive his past with a rival team. He later went back to Italy, but not before winning the UEFA Europa League in 2013.
In May of 2013 he was drafted by SSC Napoli, where he got the team off to one of the team’s best starts in history. In 2014 he won with the team Italy’s Cup and the Super Cup.
If Benítez is considered to be the person who opened the door to England’s Premier League for Spaniards, Valverde did the same with Greece’s Super League. He found great success in the Spanish league, particularly during his time with Real Sociedad, but his success in Europe has been even greater. In 2008 he began coaching with FC Olympiacos, leaving the team between 2009 and 2010 and picking up again until 2012. During his time in Greece he helped the team win 3 Greek Super Leagues (2009, 2011, and 2012) and 2 Greek Cups in 2009 and 2012.