Club: Athletic Bilbao
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- Ismael Urzaiz Aranda (born 7 October 1971) is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a centre forward.
Best known for his physical strength and aerial ability, the unsuccessful youth graduate at Real Madrid went on to represent seven other teams during his extensive professional career, mainly Athletic Bilbao (11 years).
Urzaiz gained nearly 30 caps for Spain, representing the national team at Euro 2000.
Born in Tudela, Navarre, Urzaiz began his professional career at Real Madrid's B-side, making his debut in Segunda División in 1989. Despite being a successful youth international, he did not make any La Liga appearances for the first team (however, he did play one game against Odense BK, in the 1990–91 European Cup).
He spent the 1991–92 season on loan at Albacete Balompié, making his top flight debut when he came on as a substitute against Athletic Bilbao in October 1991. In early 1993, Urzaiz was loaned to Celta de Vigo, scoring once in six outings.
Urzaiz left Real Madrid permanently in 1993 and during the following three seasons played for three different clubs - Rayo Vallecano, UD Salamanca and RCD Espanyol, with a very modest scoring rate in the first two. He did help Salamanca win promotion to the top flight in 1995, scoring twice as they beat Albacete 5–0 in the play-offs.
The following season he joined Espanyol and exploded as a first-rate attacking player, netting 13 top division goals for a side that eventually finished fourth (including a hat-trick against former club Rayo Vallecano).
The form of a revived Urzaiz attracted interest and in the summer of 1996 he joined Athletic de Bilbao. In ten seasons at the Basque outfit, he scored 115 goals in 367 league appearances. During 1997–98, he helped Athletic finish second - 32 matches, eight goals - which led to direct qualification for the UEFA Champions League, where the player netted once in 10 games.
In six of the seasons with Athletic, Urzaiz scored in double figures, but the emergence of youth graduate Fernando Llorente (1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)) prompted his exit from the squad, in July 2007.
On 19 July 2007, Urzaiz signed a one-year contract with Ajax Amsterdam, joining fellow Spaniards Gabri and Albert Luque. He made his official Ajax debut in the Champions League qualifier against Slavia Prague.
After just three league appearances, Urzaiz was released by Ajax, announcing his retirement at nearly 37 shortly afterwards.
Urzaiz played for Spain as a youth international, helping the country win the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Denmark, in 1988. He also scored four goals at the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship in Portugal.
On 10 October 1996, Urzaiz made his debut for the senior side, a 0–0 away draw with the Czech Republic for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Over the next three years he made only three more appearances and failed to score. However, he emerged as the hero as Spain qualified for UEFA Euro 2000, scoring six goals in three games. This included two against Austria and a hat-trick against Cyprus. He scored a further two in a friendly against Poland and was picked for the final stages in Belgium and the Netherlands.
After 25 caps and eight goals, Urzaiz made his last appearance for Spain in a 3–0 friendly loss against England, in Birmingham in 2001. Between 1997 and 2005, he also made seven appearances for the Euskadi XI and scored twice in a 3–2 win over Morocco, in 2000.
1989–90 Real Madrid B Segunda División 10 (5)
1990–91 Real Madrid B Segunda División B 11 (0)
1990–91 Real Madrid La Liga 0 (0)
1991–92 Albacete La Liga 11 (1)
1992–93 Real Madrid B Segunda División 27 (7)
1992–93 Real Madrid La Liga 0 (0)
1992–93 Celta La Liga 6 (1)
1993–94 Rayo Vallecano La Liga 20 (1)
1994–95 Salamanca Segunda División 21 (3)
1995–96 Espanyol La Liga 41 (13)
1996–97 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 38 (16)
1997–98 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 32 (8)
1998–99 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 36 (16)
1999–00 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 33 (5)
2000–01 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 34 (10)
2001–02 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 36 (16)
2002–03 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 31 (14)
2003–04 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 37 (8)
2004–05 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 31 (12)
2005–06 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 26 (3)
2006–07 Athletic Bilbao La Liga 33 (8)
2007–08 Ajax Eredivisie 3 (0)
_________________________Total 517 (147)
Real Madrid CF
Spanish Cup: 1992–93
Spanish Supercup: 1990
Dutch Supercup: 2007
UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship: 1988
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