In the history of football there have been a great number of one-club-men. To name a few of these legends, now retired, who played their whole careers at the same club: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Paul Scholes (Manchester United) and Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), and these are just some of the many players that made history with their teams. Others like Francesco Totti (AS Roma), Carlos Gurpegui (Athletic Club), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Xabi Prieto (Real Sociedad), Daniele de Rossi (AS Roma), Leo Messi (FC Barcelona) and Thomas Müller (Bayern de Múnich) are still playing. Deservedly among these household names is our very own Bruno Soriano, who has played for the Villarreal First Team for ten years today.
It was 1st October 2006. On a Sunday at 6pm, the Submarine visited the Son Moix stadium to face Mallorca. That day, Manuel Pellegrini put out a starting line-up of Sebastián Viera in goal; Josemi, Peña, Quique Álvarez and Arruabarrena at the back; Cani, Somoza, Tacchinardi and Riquelme in the middle; and José Mari and Forlán up front. The match got off to a great start early on thanks to a brace by the Uruguayan in the space of 4 minutes (21' and 25'). Then the locals closed the gap with a goal by Bosko Janković (current Hellas Verona players), but the match would end in a 1-2 win for visitors Villarreal.
It was in the 66th minute that the Chilean Manager decided to take Tacchinardi off and give Bruno Soriano his debut, in those days wearing the number 28 on his back. At the time few would have thought that that young midfielder, of 22 years of age and rated as one of the best in Spain, would have the career that he has gone on to have at Villarreal: with more than 380 matches with the Submarine First Team, including those in their season in the Second Division A (Segunda División A), and more than 30,000 minutes played. Despite not being a habitual goal scorer, he has racked up 28 goals and 22 assists.
His outstanding performances meant he has been called up 10 times to play for the Spanish national team. His debut was on 11th August 2010 at the Estadio Azteca. Vicente del Bosque gave him his first senior cap, putting him on (71’) in place of Pedro. He played his first and only assist in 2012, in a friendly against South Korea, to make it 4-1 with the goal scored by Álvaro Negredo.
That boy from Artana, who has never forgotten his roots, became a man some time ago now. Today he is one of the leaders in the changing room and is a few games away from passing Marcos Senna as the Yellows player to have disputed the most matches in the First Division. And the best thing is, it seems as though he’s got many years left in his boots, to keep rewriting, in gold letters, his legend with the Submarine. Congratulations captain!