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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Ruben Baraja
FACTFILE
Spain's Ruben Baraja
Born: 11/07/75
Club: Valencia
Position: Midfielder
Debut: 07/10/02 v Israel
Valencia's Ruben Baraja has emerged as one of Europe's most complete midfielders.

A quiet start to his career saw him move to Atletico Madrid before their relegation prompted his sale to Valencia.

Once at the Mestalla stadium he never looked back, starring in Valencia's run to the Champions League final and the League title success of 2001/02.

Promotion to the national side soon followed and he went on to feature in all of Spain's matches at the 2002 World Cup.

On Spain's road to Euro 2004 he played a key role scoring twice in the win over Northern Ireland.

A fearsome tackler and intelligent passer, he is also famed for his ability to chip in with crucial goals.


Did you know? Baraja scored his spot-kick during the penalty shoot-out defeat by Bayern Munich in the 2001 Champions League final.




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