Santiago Caņizares Ruiz (born December 18, 1969 in Puertollano,
Ciudad Real) is a Spanish football goalkeeper, who currently
plays for Valencia CF. Peter Schmeichel has rated Caņizares as
the finest goalkeeper in world football.
Caņizares started his club career with Real Madrid in 1988,
playing initially with Real Madrid B. He then played with Mérida
and Celta Vigo, before coming back to Real Madrid in 1994.
Unable to cement a starting place, Caņizares moved to Valencia
CF in 1998, and has remained there since. He helped the club to
consecutive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001 and La Liga
titles in 2002 and 2004.
Caņizares has been capped 44 times for Spain since 1993.
However, he is often the second-choice keeper and only played
four matches in the major international scene: one in the 1994
World Cup and three in Euro 2000. He was a squad member at Euro
96, the 1998 World Cup, and Euro 2004, but didn't play behind
Andoni Zubizarreta in the 1990s and Íker Casillas in 2004.
Caņizares was a first choice in the gold winning squad at the
1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.