Juanjo Valencia, a classic of the goals of the 90

Juanjo Valencia, a classic of the goals of the 90

Lezama is, and will be forever, synonymous with quarry, North synonymous with football players, synonymous, essentially, football and purity. Lezama is a race, nor is bought or sold. The quarry of Athletic Club de Bilbao has been characterized by forming physical players at the same technical, not spurn good football. But not only prolific strikers and rail defenses has lived Lezama. A constellation of great goalkeepers has fueled decades quarry rojiblanca.

To talk about players like Iríbar not enough to stand. The shadow cast by the Txopo is very long and looks with a magnifying glass every every goalkeeper jumping from the quarry at San Mames, old or new. Since the withdrawal of the best goalkeeper in the club 1980, porters few have managed to settle in the Basque goal. Unfortunately, It has been more ephemeral than durable.

Cedrún or Aguirreoa had to look away from San Mames beans and Zubizarreta, although it lasted for years, He succumbed to the charms of playing in the Football Club Barcelona. Biurrun, I had played at Real Sociedad and Osasuna, It was his replacement and, although he spent four years as undisputed starter, he left without reaping any success. IRU and Kike Burgos suffered the fate of Cedrún and Aguirreoa and barely able to complete a season, of several that were in the Athletic, as holders.

Upon landing on the bench at San Mames 1992 German Juup Heynckes, debuted two lion cubs leave their mark on Bilbao for years: Juanjo Valencia and such Julen Guerrero. Julen there is little there that has not been written and, but the agile goalkeeper guipuzcoano, not vizcaino, also worth a page in the history of the club.

After the departure of Pintinho Biurrun, instability in goal returned to Bilbao. Ni Iru Kike had not met expectations and the previous two years Monchengladbach coach gave the alternative to Bilbao goalkeeper subsidiary last year, Juanjo Valencia. Not very tall in stature (barely touched the 1'80) owner of Red and white frame made for five consecutive seasons.

Valencia kept goal for Athletic 5 seasons.
Valencia kept goal for Athletic 5 seasons.

Valencia had later come to Lezama, with 18 years from the Antiguoko, team based donostiarra. Athletic laid eyes on him at the end of Childhood and signed him to cede the first season in Barakaldo. In summer 1991 He returned to Bilbao and after playing one season Athletic Bilbao, Heynckes did not hesitate and pulled him headline the first day of that season 92/93.

Juanjo Valencia had no rival 1992 a 1997. Endowed with extraordinary reflexes, He excelled at short distances, having on its weakest feet. A long shadow, Kike Burgos had to pack destined Mallorca, the same as Aizkorreta direction Logroño. Its impact was such that the League Javier Clemente came to convoke with the Spanish national team for a match against Germany in February 1995. Valencia, I had played many games with sub 21, He did not get to make debut with the absolute.

With the arrival of Frenchman Luis Fernandez to the bench rojiblanco, and despite starting as a starter in the campaign 1996/97, the fate of donostiarra begin to turn. After 22 Valencia consecutive days under the posts, Imanol Etxeberria took a permanent position in the team and would not let go. San Sebastián just play 5 parties in the two subsequent campaigns and was forced to move out after playing nothing more and nothing less than 172 Athletic official matches. Sevilla, who had just ascended, He signed him to be one of the important players in the team this season 1990/2000.

IRLE luck again facing the Basque cancerbero more bad sevillista dynamic him away from the pitch in favor of Norwegian Frode Olsen. Meanwhile, Sporting Gijon with its main goalkeeper Sergio Sánchez and injured Juanjo, He was forced in April to find a substitute for guarantees for the League final. The chosen was the world junior champion Daniel Aranzubia, I had not yet made his debut in Athletic Bilbao, but the Asturian directive seeks more experience and Valencia ended up being the one signing for club gijonés.

Juanjo Valencia in training Sporting Gijon.
Juanjo Valencia in training Sporting Gijon.

What began as an assignment until the end of League to give the donostiarra minutes of play to return to the Pizjuan or, in any case, First Division, It ended up being a well-matched marriage for four and a half seasons. He returned to have no rival during the first three full years he played in El Molinon. About to turn 33 springs, Sporting and leaving the gates of First, the directive rojiblanca, amid rampant crisis, He rescinded the contract and went to Nastic.

At the Nou Estadi quickly he became owner of the goal of a newly promoted to second but during the second and final year in the Tarragona club lost ownership. Football time he was running good old Juan Jose. A Nástic I enrachado, excelso with Alvaro Iglesias and with an eye to climb was a very difficult place to take minutes. Not going to be easy to retire from football on the bench but when least expected possibly, Racing Santander Manolo Preciado who flirted with relegation to the Second knocked on her door.

Although I did not have the chance to unseat the target Aouate Sardinero if savoring the elite could retire on the final day of the season, the 2005/06. Racing, saved, visited El Madrigal and, although they won local, Valencia could put an end to his playing career and First more than six years later.

Hugo Astudillo

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