British players who have played in Spain, including Gareth Bale, and David Beckham, and Gary Lineker

22 Jul

Kieran Trippier said goodbye to English football when he left Tottenham Hotspur to join Atletico Madrid.

The full-back goes to the Wanda Metropolitano for a fee believed to be in the region of £20million.

Trippier signed a four-year contract with Atletico
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But Trippier is not the only British player to leave England and try their luck in LaLiga.

talkSPORT.com has taken a look at how British players have fared after deciding to play in Spain.

John Aldridge (Real Sociedad)

He was not welcomed by the club’s fans when he joined from Liverpool in 1989 but Aldridge became a firm favourite when he left two years later.

The former striker scored 33 goals in 63 LaLiga appearances and was part of an excellent English trio with Dalian Atkinson and Kevin Richardson in the 1990/91 season.

Steve Archibald (Barcelona)

The former striker joined Barca from Tottenham in 1984 for a fee of £1.8million and helped the Spanish club win the LaLiga title in his first season and also made it to the European Cup final in 1986.

However, restrictions on fielding foreign players meant Archibald had to leave the club in 1987 as Barcelona opted to play Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes ahead of him.

Gerry Armstrong (Real Mallorca)

He made a name for himself in Spain when he scored for Northern Ireland against the Spaniards during the 1982 World Cup, which was held in Spain.

And Armstrong got a move to Real Mallorca in 1983, spending two years there. He is now a pundit on Spanish football.

Gerry Armstrong goal v Spain in 1982
The goal against Spain was arguably Armstrong’s most memorable moment in his playing career

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

The Welshman completed his world-record at the time £85million move to Real Madrid in August 2013 and his time in Spain’s capital has been mixed.

While Bale has won many trophies there including four Champions Leagues, he’s been in a constant battle to win over the Bernabeu faithful who have never really taken to him.

And it looks like his Real Madrid career is coming to an end with Zinedine Zidane saying the club is working to make his transfer away happen.

Bake in action for Real Madrid
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David Beckham (Real Madrid)

Golden Balls completed his much publicised move to the Bernabeu in 2003.

Beckham had an up-and-down time at the club, being in a constant battle to try and stay in the first-team.

It ended well for him though, as Beckham played a huge part in Real Madrid wrestling a LaLiga title off Barcelona in 2006/07.

Beckham was a fully fledged Galactico for four seasons
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Stan Collymore (Real Oviedo)

He played for ten different clubs but his time at Real Oviedo is the least memorable part of Collymore’s 11-year career.

The England international made just three appearances for the Spanish club before announcing his retirement from football in March 2001, aged 30.

Laurie Cunningham (Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano)

The former winger got a dream move to Real Madrid from West Brom in 1979 and spent five years in Spain’s capital, winning one LaLiga title and two Copas del Rey.

Following spells at a number of English clubs, Cunningham returned to Spain in 1988 and moved to Rayo Vallecano in 1988. His life came to a tragic end a year later after being killed in a car crash.

Mark Hughes (Barcelona)

There was a great deal of anticipation when Hughes joined Barca from Manchester United for £2million in 1986 but things never quite worked out for him.

The Welshman was brought in to form a strike partnership with Gary Lineker but Hughes could only manage four goals in his only season at the Nou Camp and he eventually made a return to Old Trafford in 1988.

Alan Hutton (Mallorca)

After effectively being frozen out of Aston Villa’s team, right-back Hutton opted for a new challenge in the Spanish island of Mallorca.

He was unable to save Mallorca from LaLiga relegation in the 2012/13 season and duly went back to Villa that summer where he once again struggled to nail down a place in the first-team.

Hutton did reasonably well in his short stay in Mallorca
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Charlie I’Anson (Elche Illicitano, Elche, Alcorcon, Oviedo, Valencia B, Granada, Murcia)

The centre-back was tipped to thrive abroad when he moved to Spain from Grimsby Town in 2012.

And I’Anson has stayed in Spain since but has played for seven different clubs, failing to live up to his hype.

Sammy Lee (Osasuna)

The pint sized midfielder is best known for his time at Liverpool but Lee had a three-year spell with Osasuna during the twilight years of his playing career.

Lee made just 28 appearances in three years (1987-90) for the club but it would have been more had he not sustained a serious knee injury in 1989.

Gary Lineker (Barcelona)

The former England man is still looked back on fondly by Barca fans and with good reason.

Lineker scored 48 goals in 128 appearances for the club with 21 of them coming in his first season.

Mark Hughes and Gary Lineker, two of Britain's finest strikers in the 80s, in Barcelona colours
Lineker had a significantly better time in Catalonia than Hughes
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Steve McManaman (Real Madrid)

He was a real fan’s favourite at the Bernabeu, winning the supporters’ favourite player award twice in his four years at the club.

McManaman also won a number of trophies at Real including two Champions Leagues but was shifted as a result of the club’s ‘Galacticos’ policy.

Michael Owen (Real Madrid)

Three years after winning the Ballon d’Or in 2001, Owen completed his move from Liverpool to Real Madrid.

He scored 16 goals in his only season with the club having played second fiddle to Raul and Ronaldo before getting shipped out to Newcastle in August 2005.

Michael Owen scored 13 LaLiga goals in his only season at Real Madrid
Getty Images

Jermaine Pennant (Real Zaragoza)

Another Liverpool player who swapped Merseyside for Spain was Pennant.

He was only there for one season but perhaps the most memorable moment from his time there was how the former winger needed to be reminded after returning to England that he’d accidentally left his car at a Spanish train station for several months.

Patrick Roberts

The Manchester City man is currently on loan at Norwich but had a season-long loan spell at Girona in 2018/19.

However, it was a pretty forgettable time for striker Roberts, who failed to score a single goal and Girona were relegated from Spain’s top flight.

Roberts’ spell in Spain did not work out

Vinny Samways (Las Palmas, Sevilla, Algeciras)

Ex-Tottenham midfielder Samways had a pretty long stay in Spain, playing for three different clubs.

He moved to Las Palmas in 1996 before joining Sevilla in 2002. He then went to lower league club Algeciras via Walsall in 2004 before retiring from the game a year later.

Jonathan Woodgate (Real Madrid)

He went to Madrid with plenty of pedigree but Woodgate’s time at the Bernabeu was a total disaster.

Injury prevented him from making his debut for a year and his first game for Real saw Woodgate score an own goal and receive a red card.

And just when he started to get in good form in his second season he got more injuries which would cost him a place in England’s 2006 World Cup squad.