Experience, presence and agility are the main virtues of Santiago Cañizares , who has been widely regarded as one of the best European goalkeepers of recent times
He started as a schoolboy at Real Madrid, was transferred to Celta Vigo for one season and returned to Madrid, where he spent four years before moving to Valencia CF
The Madrid-born goalkeeper was part of the Copa del Rey winning-team in his first season in the club. He was vital as Valencia CF reached two UEFA Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001, and his excellent performances earned him a spot in the UEFA best starting XI of the world. After Gaizka Mendieta's departure he replaced him as team's captain.
Cañizares played a vital role in the 2001/02 League title win, lifting the trophy in his last match against Real Betis. He also lead the team to a new League win in the 2003/04 campaign, conceding only 25 goals in 37 games. He made a total of seven appearances in European competitions, managing to keep a clean sheet in all the games he played.
The Valencia CF keeper made his international debut with Spain in the crucial match against Denmark in November 1993. His big chance came when he replaced Andoni Zubizarreta in the last ten minutes of the game, becoming a cornerstone of the side's qualification for the FIFA World Cup. His next three appearances in 'La Roja' shirt at the UEFA Euro Cup competition were also remarkable.