Iván Helguera Bujía
Date of birth: 28 March 1975
Iván Helguera started his professional career with a third division side Manchego in 1995. After a season at Albacete, he spent a year in Italy at Roma before returning to Spain to join Espanyol. In 1999, the then manager John Toshack brought him to Real Madrid and his talents have been flourishing ever since, with 22 caps already for the national side.
A versatile central midfielder, he started his career playing in the heart of defence and sometimes drops back to fill that role when his side are short at the back. . He made his mark during Euro 2000, and during the last two years has been recognised as one of the best in Europe in his position. Another player who can pop up to score goals from time to time, he is being hailed as the natural successor to Hierro both for his club and his country.