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Andoni Zubizarreta

Seasons at the club: 1986-94
Games played: 490
Goals conceded: 435
Titles: 1 European Cup(1991/92)
Cup Winners Cup (1988/89)
European Super Cup (1992)
Leagues: (1990/91, 91/92, 92/93 and 93/94)
2 Copa del Rey (1987/88 and 89/90)
2 Spanish Super Cups (1991 and 1992)

Andoni Zubizarreta was born in Vitoria (Alava Province). He was a goalkeeper whose first team was Aretxabaleta.After playing for Aretxabaleta, he signed for Deportivo Alaves of Vitoria, before joining Athletic Bilbao. He made his first appearance in the first division of the Spanish football league with Athletic Club de Bilbao on September 19, 1981 against Atletico de Madrid. He played for Bilbao for many seasons, the legendary Athletic which, under the helm of Javier Clemente, captured two consecutive leagues in the seasons 1982-1983 and 1983-1984, one Copa del Rey (1984), and one Spanish Super cup (1985).

In 1986, after playing the world cup in Mexico, and already being considered the best goalkeeper in Spain, he signed for FC Barcelona. Despite a very difficult start (just after arriving, he took the place of Urruti, a leader for the culé supporters), he finally demonstrated his value thanks to the confidence of the English coach Terry Venable, and he had a great season, 1986-1987, where he ultimately won the Zamora Trophy, awarded to the goalkeeper with the least amount of goals allowed.

He was a serious goalkeeper, hardly inclined to aesthetic adornments, but he shined for his great sense of positioning, his security, his aerial sense, and his great character and personality. He was one of the leaders of FC Barcelona, and captain of the team during several seasons. His weakest point was his foot playing, an area which he had to improve vastly after 1989 when Johan Cruyff, the new Barcelona coach, implemented a very offensive style which very often leave the defense unprotected and forced Zubizarreta to play forward.

The eight years he guarded Barcelona's goal are considered the most brilliant period in the history of the club. They were the years of the so-called 'Dream Team' of Johan Cruyff, in which he shared the dressing room with players like Bakero, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichov, Josep Guardiola or Romario.

He left the club in 1994 after the Champions League final of Athens that FC Barcelona lost to AC Milan by 4-0. It has always been considered that Zubizarreta was unfairly treated as one of the scape goats for that loss; that the club let him go hastily and without giving him the farewell he deserved.

Additionally, his departure left a void in the goal that took a long time time for Barcelona to fill.

After leaving Barcelona he signed for Valencia CF, club in which he played for four seasons at the top level. He quit as an active player in 1998, having built impressive accomplishments, and with the record of being the first player to have played more than 50,000 minutes in the Spanish league. He played a total of 622 games in the first division.

National Team

Zubizarreta was for many years, the unchallenged starter goalkeeper for the Spanish national team. His debut as international was on January 23, 1985 in the game Spain 3, Finland 1.

He has the record of the most games played with the national team: 126. Zubizarreta allowed a total of 103 goals in his appearances in international duty.

Clubs:Arechavaleta - (España) 1977 - 1979
Deportivo Alavés - (España) 1979 -1980
Athletic Club de Bilbao - (España) 1980 - 1986
FC Barcelona - (España) 1986 - 1994
Valencia CF - (España) 1994 – 1998

Titles won:

6 Spanish League titles:
2 with Athletic Club de Bilbao: 1983 & 1984
4 with FC Barcelona: 1991, 1992, 1993 & 1994

2 Copa Del Rey Titles:
FC Barcelona: 1988 &1990

3 Supercopa de España:

1 with Athletic Club de Bilbao: 1985
2 with FC Barcelona: 1992 & 1993

UEFA Trophies:

1 European Cup (Champions League) (FC Barcelona, 1992)

1 Uefa Cup Winner’s Cup (FC Barcelona, 1989)

Individual Achievements:

1 Trofeo Zamora (FC Barcelona, 1986-1987)

World Cup participation:

Played in 4 consecutive World Cups with Spain.

World Cup 1986 - Mexico (Played 5 games against Brazil, North Ireland, Algeria, Denmark & Belgium).

World Cup 1990 - Italy (Played 4 games against Uruguay, South Korea, Belgium Yugoslavia).

World Cup 1994 - USA (Played 4 games against Germany, Bolivia, Switzerland & Italy)

World Cup 1998 - France (Played 3 games against Nigeria, Paraguay, & Bulgaria).

In total, he played in 16 World Cup game fixtures and also participated in Euro 1988 and Euro 1996.