'Pipo' Baraja Full name Rubén Baraja Vegas Date of birth 11/07/1975 Place of birth Valladolid Nationality Spanish Height/Weight 1,80 m. / 75 Kg. Debut 04/08/2000 Rubén Baraja is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential Valencia CF players of the ‘90s. Nicknamed ‘El Pipo’, he was an integral part of one of the team’s golden periods, witnessing some of the most brilliant moments in the club’s history. He was the cornerstone of the team who won two leagues, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and who finished Champions League runner-ups. Those honours earned him a place in the best starting XI of the world in 2004. He was capped 43 times for Spain during his career, which allowed him to play in both the World Cup and Euro Cup competitions. Born in Valladolid on June 11, 1975 Baraja started as a schoolboy in the youth levels of Real Valladolid and turned professional in 1993. Between 1993 and 1996 he started to prove his outstanding qualities: a great fitness, an extraordinary ability to build up the attack (accurate passing, vision, quick dribbling…) combined with a great mobility and shooting skills, which earned him a spot among Valencia CF most prolific midfielders. Rubén Baraja joined Atletico Madrid from Valladolid, where he stayed a period of 4 years. Then he moved on to Valencia CF, where he became one of the best midfielders in Europe. His contributions were vital to the team’s qualification for the Champions League finals in San Siro in 2001. The 2001/02 campaign was one of the most brilliant ones in his career, scoring two decisive goals in the crucial game against Espanyol and leading his team to their first League title win after 31 years. Baraja was also an integral part of the 2003/04 League and UEFA cup winnning campaign, plus the European Cup Winners’ Cup a few months later against Oporto. TEAMS: Real Valladolid, Club Atlético de Madrid TITLES: 2 Ligas,1 Copa del Rey, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Supercopa de Europa, dos veces finalista de la UEFA Champions League, miembro del mejor equipo del mundo el año 2004.