Full name: Gaizka
Date of birth: 27 March 1974
Following his impressive performance at Euro 2000, his club Valencia reached their second successive Champions League final under Mendieta's captaincy. However the club sold him to Lazio and he has had an abysmal season there. Fortunately for him, and to his many fans' delight, Atlético Madrid is close to signing him on loan for the coming season and he must be in a more positive frame of mind right now.
Camacho clearly retains his confidence in him and he has been called up for the national squad in all their matches leading up to this World Cup. The only question mark this time must be his lack of match play, since he was rarely included in the Lazio's starting line-up in the latter part of the season.
Mendieta is an instinctive play-maker and a respected team player, preferring to lead by example. He is capable of scoring spectacular goals, and his all round skills in midfield will be an invaluable asset for the team.