In recent years, Spain is well renowned for its success on the football pitch.

In recent years, Spain is well renowned for its success on the football pitch.

Internationally, before Germany lifted the title last summer, La Roja were World Champions as well as double European Champions, whilst success at club, domestic and European scale has naturally heightened interest in up and coming stars from further afield.

English football is no different to this theory and neither are Derby County.

Although fleetingly signed in the past, two Spaniards – Ivan Calero being the only current player to make the move from his native homeland to link up with the club – but as the club prepares for their final pre–season fixture against Villarreal, takes a look back at some of the other Spanish players that have featured for the Ram’s in recent years…

Manel Martínez Fernández – Forward

Derby County Career: 2004

Derby County Appearances: 16

Derby County Goals: 3

Previous Club: Espanyol

Fee: Free Transfer


The first of seven Spanish players to have worn a Rams shirt, Manel arrived at the iPro Stadium during the January transfer window of 2004.

It was George Burley who acquired the services of the former Espanyol target man as a replacement for the injured Brazilian striker, Junior.

Manel found the back of the net on three occasions in 16 appearances before ending his short tenure as a Ram and returning to Spain.

Inigo Idiakez – Midfielder

Derby County Career: 2004 - 2006

Derby County Appearances: 96

Derby County Goals: 22

Previous Club: Real Vallecano

Fee: Free Transfer


Just months following the arrival of Manel, George Burley once more dipped into the Spanish transfer market and secured the signature of midfield ace, Inigo Idiakez, in May of 2004.

Set piece specialist and a true fans’ favourite, Idiakez adapted to football in England immediately. The Spanish gem established himself as regular name on the team sheet and was respectively named as Derby’s Player of the season at the end of his first Championship campaign.

Idiakez remained at the iPro until 2006 when he was sold to fellow Championship side Southampton and since retiring, has taken his first furore into coaching by taking up a position at Leicester City.

Alberto Bueno – Forward

Derby County Career: 2010 -2011

Derby County Appearances: 29

Derby County Goals: 5

Previous Club: Valladolid

Fee: Loan (From Valladolid)


It was no less than four years after Idiakez left before Derby announced another Spaniard amongst their first team ranks.

Alberto Bueno – a product of Real Madrid’s academy – was the name on every fans lips when he arrived at the iPro stadium on a season-long loan in late August of 2010.

The Player started off his short time at Derby very brightly, scoring in consecutive matches against Crystal Palace and Preston North End.

Bueno has grown in stature since his time with the Rams with the 2014/15 campaign proving to be personally notably as he excelled in the forward lines at Rayo Vallecano – scoring 17 goals.

His form earned the now 27-year-old a move to Portugal giants FC Porto, where he signed a five-year deal and will be hoping to feature in the highest echelons of club football.

Daniel Ayala – Defender

Derby County Career: 2011

Derby County Appearances: 17

Derby County Goals: 0

Previous Club: Hull City

Fee: Loan (From Liverpool)


Only the second Spanish player to arrive on loan, Daniel Ayala arrived at the iPro on the 11 February from his then parent club – Liverpool.

Despite his age, the young Spaniard already had an array of experience to offer Derby – namely thanks to his time at Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League and a previous stint on loan at Hull City, which ended just a month before he was offered a Rams squad number.

Ayala made 17 appearances for Derby, firmly establishing himself on the manager’s team sheet. Subsequently after his loan expired, he was handed another Premier League opportunity when a permanent deal was agreed for him to move to Norwich City.

Now 24, Ayala narrowly missed out on a return to the top flight after he played an integral part in Middlesbrough’s march to the Play-Off Final before they were defeated by his former club, Norwich, at the final hurdle.

Omar Mascarell – Midfielder

Derby County Career: 2014 - 2015

Derby County Appearances: 30

Derby County Goals: 0

Previous Club: Real Madrid

Fee: Loan (From Real Madrid)


In August 2014, highly-rated Real Madrid prospect Omar Mascarell arrived at Derby County on a season-long loan.

The Spanish midfielder came in as a replacement for the newly signed George Thorne, who suffered an injury during the Rams pre-season tour in Austria ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

Mascarell was a regular feature for Derby, making 30 appearances in all competitions. However, his loan spell with the Rams was cut short when the Spaniard sustained a foot injury, forcing him to return back to Madrid early.

Ivan Calero – Midfielder

Derby County Career: 2014 - Present

Derby County Appearances: 3

Derby County Goals: 1

Previous Club: Atletico Madrid

Fee: Free Transfer


Following a successful trial at the club, the young Ivan Calero, formally of Atletico Madrid, was announced as a Derby player on a two-year deal.

The signing of Calero, alongside Omar Mascarell, sparked a rediscovered desire for the Rams to bring in Spanish talent to the iPro Stadium. This was further emphasised later on in the season when central defender, Raul Albentosa arrived at Derby in January.

Calero gained his first taste of first team experience in August when he came on as substitute against Charlton Athletic in the League Cup – it was during this game that Calero scored his first goal in a Rams Shirt.

The Spanish midfielder also experienced his first taste of senior football during a short-loan spell with Burton Albion following a successful first season with the Rams’ Under 21 squad.

Raul Albentosa – Defender

Derby County Career: 2015 - Present

Derby County Appearances: 9

Derby County Goals: 0

Previous Club: Eibar

Fee: Undisclosed


The most recent Spanish addition to Derby County, Raul Albentosa came to the iPro Stadium during the winter transfer window in 2015.

The giant central defender arrived from La Liga side, Eibar, on a two and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee, but has recently returned to his homeland after joining La Liga outfit, Malaga, on a season-long loan deal.

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