Forgotten team-mate of Lampard and Pirlo is now a Premier League manager
A FORMER team-mate of Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and Frank Lampard is now managing in the top flight of English football.
The ex-defender kicked off his career with Basconia before joining Athletic Bilbao in 2001.
He enjoyed a 14-year spell with the La Liga side, making over 500 first team appearances and scoring 38 goals.
The Spaniard also captained Bilbao to a historic 3-2 win over Manchester United in the Europa League back in 2012.
He moved abroad for the first time in 2015 to join MLS side New York City, where he played alongside football icons Pirlo, Villa and Lampard.
But after just one year in the Big Apple he hung up his boots to pursue a career in management.
If you haven’t guessed already, the person in question is, of course, Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola.
The Cherries appointed the 41-year-old just hours after sacking Gary O’Neil in June.
Bournemouth chief Bill Foley revealed that Iraola’s “style of play” is what attracted the club to him.
Upon the Spaniard’s arrival at the Vitality Stadium, Foley said: “He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision.
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“His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we’re confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter.”
The former defender took over as Rayo Vallecano boss in 2020 and guided them to LaLiga promotion in the same season.
He previously managed Cypriot side AEK Larnaca FC and Spanish second-tier outfit Club Deportivo Mirandés.