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Asier del Horno
Asier Del Horno Llevant.jpg
Del Horno playing for Levante in 2011
Personal information
Full name Asier del Horno Cosgaya
Date of birth (1981-01-19) 19 January 1981 (age 43)
Place of birth Barakaldo, Spain
Height 1.83 m
Playing position Left back
Youth career
1992–1993 Gallarta
1993–1999 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 Bilbao Athletic 26 (1)
2000–2005 Athletic Bilbao 108 (13)
2005–2006 Chelsea 25 (1)
2006–2011 Valencia 15 (0)
2007–2008 Athletic Bilbao (loan) 16 (0)
2010 Valladolid (loan) 13 (0)
2010–2011 Levante (loan) 22 (2)
2011–2012 Levante 13 (0)
Total 238 (17)
National team
1999–2000 Spain U18 14 (2)
2000–2003 Spain U21 16 (1)
2004–2005 Spain 10 (2)
2003–2007 Basque Country 4 (0)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Asier del Horno Cosgaya (born (1981-01-19)January 19, 1981) is a retired Spanish footballer who primarily played in the left back position.

He initially gained prominence during his stint with Athletic Bilbao, where he featured in 126 official matches over a span of five years and netted 17 goals. Following this, he transferred to Chelsea in England and clinched the Premier League title in the 2005–2006 season.

Del Horno was slated to participate in the 2006 World Cup with Spain, but a last-minute injury forced him to withdraw. He later returned to Spain to play for Valencia, who loaned him out to various clubs for the rest of his contract duration. His latter career was plagued by a series of physical setbacks, and he accumulated 187 appearances and 15 goals in La Liga.

Club career

Athletic Bilbao

Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, del Horno began his career at Athletic Bilbao in 1999, where his combative tackling and strength in the air saw him rise through the ranks as a left-footed central defender. However, his pace and ability to contribute to the attack led to his being switched to the flank by the time he had arrived in the seniors for both club and country.

Del Horno made his first-team debut in the 2000–01 opener at only 19, and finished his first season at the San Mamés Stadium with 14 games to help the Basques finish in 12th position.


In June 2005, del Horno moved to Chelsea for a fee of £8 million. He won the first and only league championship of his career with the Blues, as part of the squad that conquered the Premier League title.

During his spell at Stamford Bridge, del Horno played 34 overall matches and scored once, against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in a 2–0 victory on 27 August 2005. The following 22 February, late into the first half of a UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash at home against FC Barcelona, he received a straight red card for a foul on Lionel Messi, as his team went on to lose the match 1–2 and the tie 2–3.


On 21 July 2006, del Horno returned to Spain to sign for Valencia CF on a six-year contract worth 8 million, seen as a natural replacement for Amedeo Carboni who had retired at 41. Athletic Bilbao had expressed interest, but withdrew from further negotiations, forfeiting any further financial advantage; following surgery on his injured Achilles heel, which kept him off the pitches for most of the season, he made his debut for his new team on 3 March 2007 in a 1–0 home win over RC Celta de Vigo.

Del Horno was placed on the transfer list by manager Quique Sánchez Flores, as the latter announced that the defender would not retain his position for 2007–08. In the last day of the transfer window, he agreed to join his former club Athletic on a one-year loan deal, returning to Valencia after an injury-filled campaign. At the Che, his physical problems persisted and, after an unassuming first half of 2009–10 – only played in the Copa del Rey and only when facing rivals of smaller entity – he was loaned to Real Valladolid until the end of the season, on 30 January; an undisputed starter since his arrival, he could not however prevent the Castile and León side from returning to Segunda División, after a three-year stay in the top division.

For 2010–11, 29-year-old del Horno was loaned once again, joining freshly promoted side Levante UD. He was used regularly in both defensive positions as the Valencians eventually retained their league status, but also missed the final stretch due to physical ailments which had been bothering him since early into the campaign.

Later years

Upon returning to Valencia, del Horno's contract was immediately terminated. In early August 2011, he re-joined Levante on a permanent deal.

After again dealing with injury throughout the season, where he was not able to dislodge 35-year-old Juanfran from the left-back position, del Horno was released.

International career

Del Horno made his Spain debut on 3 September 2004, against Scotland. He scored the winner in a 1–0 friendly with England played in Madrid, two months later.

An ankle injury forced del Horno to withdraw from the 23-man squad named by Luis Aragonés for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Medical staff in the Royal Spanish Football Federation alleged that Chelsea had prior knowledge of the former's injury, but allowed him to continue playing; subsequently, his vacant position was controversially filled in by naturalised Argentinian Mariano Pernía, of Getafe CF.

Del Horno also represented the Basque Country regional team.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bilbao Athletic 1999–2000 Segunda División B 26 1 26 1
Athletic Bilbao 2000–01 La Liga 14 0 1 0 15 0
2001–02 La Liga 10 1 2 0 12 1
2002–03 La Liga 24 4 1 0 25 4
2003–04 La Liga 31 5 0 0 31 5
2004–05 La Liga 29 3 6 1 8 3 43 7
Total 108 13 10 1 8 3 126 17
Chelsea 2005–06 Premier League 25 1 4 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 34 1
Valencia 2006–07 La Liga 6 0 0 0 2 0 8 0
2008–09 La Liga 9 0 4 0 8 2 21 2
2009–10 La Liga 0 0 2 0 1 0 3 0
Total 15 0 6 0 11 2 32 2
Athletic Bilbao (loan) 2007–08 La Liga 16 0 5 1 21 1
Real Valladolid (loan) 2009–10 La Liga 13 0 0 0 13 0
Levante (loan) 2010–11 La Liga 22 2 2 0 24 2
Levante 2011–12 La Liga 13 0 2 0 15 0
Career total 238 17 29 4 0 0 23 5 1 0 291 24

International goals

(Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Del Horno goal)

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 November 2004 Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain  England 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 9 February 2005 Mediterráneo, Almería, Spain  San Marino 5–0 5–0 2006 World Cup qualification



See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Asier del Horno para niños

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