Iván Helguera Bujía (born 28 March 1975 in Santander, Cantabria) is a Spanish football central defender or defensive midfielder, currently unattached.
Helguera started playing for local CD Manchego and Albacete Balompié, playing in 14 Segunda Division matches in 1996-97 for the latter.
He would be snapped by Serie A side A.S. Roma after that, but left after one disappointing campaign, joining RCD Espanyol, where his stellar performances led to a Real Madrid deal, even before 1998-99 had finished.
With Real Madrid, Helguera was an instant first-choice, and netted five and six league goals in his second and fourth campaigns, alternating between defender and midfielder. He was also instrumental in the capital side's two UEFA Champions League conquests.
Not an undisputed starter in his final two seasons, Helguera still managed 42 appearances combined (netting once, in a 3-1 win at Gimnàstic de Tarragona, on October 28, 2006). At the start of his last season, he was surprisingly stripped of his #6 jersey (which went to new signing Mahamadou Diarra), given #21 and made to train with the youth team, in anticipation of his leaving the club, even though his contract ended in June 2009. However, he later managed to fight his way back into the starting eleven, being somewhat influential in helping the club to the 2007 domestic league.
Subsequently, on July 20, 2007, Helguera signed for Valencia CF on a three-year contract. Upon joining, Helguera stated that he had wanted to come to Valencia for a "long time" and was "delighted" to arrive at the club. During his first season, he was relatively important, also helping the Che to the 2008 Spanish Cup. However, after having appeared very rarely in the first part of the second season, his contract was cancelled on December 12, 2008. Both FC Dinamo Bucharest and Los Angeles Galaxy declared interest in signing the player.
For Spain, Helguera was capped 47 times, the first coming on November 18, 1998, in an away friendly with Italy (2-2).
He played for his country at Euro 2000, the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2004, missing the 2006 World Cup, after being omitted from the squad in the months before the tournament by national team coach Luis Aragonés.
• Spanish League: 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07
• Spanish Supercup: 2001, 2003
• UEFA Champions League: 1999-2000, 2001-02
• European Supercup: 2002
• Intercontinental Cup: 2002
• Spanish Cup: 2007-08
• Manchego : 13 Apps, 2 Goal(s)
• Albacete : 14 Apps, 2 Goal(s)
• Roma : 8 Apps, 0 Goal(S)
• Espanyol: 37 Apps, 2 Goal(s)
• Real Madrid: 229 Apps, 18 Goal(s)
• Valencia: 25 Apps, 1 Goal(s)
• Spain : 47 Apps, 3 Goal(s)