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Ruben Baraja

Ruben Baraja
Complete Name: Rubén Baraja Vegas
Nationality: Spanish
Place of Birth: Valladolid, Spain
Date of Birth: 11/07/1975
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 77 kg
National Team: Spain
Current Club: Valencia CF (Spain)
Position: Central Midfielder


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Club career history

Real Valladolid (Spain), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Valencia CF (Spain)




Rubén Baraja (born July 11, 1975 in Valladolid) is a Spanish professional football (soccer) player, who currently plays for Valencia CF in the Spanish La Liga. He is one of Europe's most complete midfielders with his good tackling in his defensive position on the pitch, as well as offensive qualities as a proven goalscorer, and Ruben Baraja has been a consistent part of the Spanish national team since his debut in 2000.

Baraja started his career at local club Real Valladolid before moving to Atletico Madrid. When Atletico was relegated at the end of the 1999/2000 Baraja left the club in a £8 million transfer to 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League finalists Valencia CF who were looking to strengthen their midfield following the sale of first team players Claudio López, Gerard, and Francisco Javier Farinós. In his first season at Valencia, Ruben Baraja made his debut for the Spanish national team on October 7, 2000 in the 2002 World Cup qualification 2-0 win over Israel. For Valencia, Ruben Baraja took part in a new challenge for the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League, but the club was beaten in the final once again, this time losing on penalty shootouts to Bayern Munich despite Baraja scoring on his penalty shot.

The 2001/02 season would see Baraja's first trophy win, when he helped Valencia to their first La Liga championship in 31 years. On the international stage, Baraja played for the national team in the 2002 World Cup where the team reached the quarter-finals before being sent out by South Korea on penalties, though Baraja once again scored on his attempt. The 2003/04 season was another big year, winning both the domestic La Liga championship as well as the European 2003/04 UEFA Cup tournament, beating Olympique Marseille 2-0 in the final. Baraja also took part in the disappointing 2004 European Championship (Euro 2004) where Spain was eliminated in the group stage by later finalists Portugal and Greece.

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