LALIGA: Five things you may not know about Ander Barrenetxea
All academy players dream of achieving success with their lifelong club. Some manage it, but very few manage it as teenagers. The latest to do so is Ander Barrenetxea, who keeps smashing down doors at the age of just 19.
- Born on 27 December 2001 in San Sebastian, Ander Barrenetxea has the honour of being the first footballer born after the millennium to make his LaLiga Santander debut. The right winger made his first appearance in the competition on 22 December 2018, against Deportivo Alaves, with the match ending in a 1-0 defeat for his side.
- In that same match the young Real Sociedad academy graduate also became the second youngest player in the club’s history to make his LaLiga Santander debut. He did so at the age of 16 years and 359 days, only outdone by Pedro Irastorza Ayerbe, who debuted for the Basque outfit at the age of 15 years and 288 days back in 1933.
- Barrenetxea has a magnificent future ahead of him. Asier Garitano, who was in charge of the first team back then, was not prepared to wait for him to do his time with the reserves and promoted him to the first team straight from youth level, something which happens to very few academy players at elite level.
- His mother, Azu Muguruza, also has professional sport connections, having spent 20 years coaching IDK Gipuzkoa, the San Sebastian-based women’s basketball team. His mother is also a member of the Under-20 national team coaching staff. Another interesting fact is that, because he was too young to drive, in his first few seasons he would travel to the stadium in the city centre using the municipal bike sharing service.
- The winger from San Sebastian netted his first LaLiga Santander goal against Real Madrid, becoming the youngest player in Real Sociedad’s history to register on the score sheet, at the tender age of 17 years and 136 days. He has gone on to score in all three seasons that he has played at professional level since his debut.
PhotoCredit: © LaLiga – 2021