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Fernando Llorente Torres (born February 26, 1985 in Pamplonamarker, Navarremarker) is a Spanishmarker professional footballer who plays as a striker for Athletic Bilbao, in Spain's first division, and also for the Spanish national football team.

Club career

Llorente joined Athletic de Bilbao in 1996, at the age of 11. He spent several seasons in the various junior levels of the club, moving in 2003 to CD Baskonia of the fourth category, effectively an Athletic youth team, and also a feeder club since 1997.

Llorente scored 12 goals in 33 appearances for Baskonia, paving way for his promotion to Bilbao Athletic, Athletic's reserve team, then in Segunda División B.

After featuring in 16 games and scoring 4 goals for the Bilbao Athletic in the first half of season, Llorente was awarded with a contract extension until June 2008. On January 16, 2005, Llorente made his first-team debut, in a 1–1 home draw with RCD Espanyol. Three days later, in a Spanish Cup match against UD Lanzarote, he scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 victory. He would go on to feature in all but five of the 19 remaining league games and score three goals, while also featuring in four Cup matches and a UEFA Cup game against Austria Vienna.

Before the 2005–06 season, Llorente's squad number was promoted from number 32 to 9. He scored in the opening day Basquemarker derby 3–0 victory against Real Sociedad. Throughout the season, Llorente found goals hard to come by, which could be partly attributed to a series of injuries including a knee strain, Gastroenteritis, and a muscle injury. He ended the season with just four goals, two in the league and as much in the Cup, against CE L'Hospitalet.

On July 13, 2006, Llorente signed a new contract with Athletic until June 2011, which included included a buy-out clause of between 30 and 50 million. He started the season as arguably the club's fourth-choice striker, behind Aritz Aduriz, Joseba Etxeberría and veteran Ismael Urzaiz. Athletic's poor form and lack of goals led to then-coach Félix Sarriugarte into rotating the players, allowing Llorente to force his way back into the side. Llorente ended the season with only two goals in 23 matches, although he did score an important goal in the closing minutes of a 1–1 away draw with Valencia CF.

In preparation for the 2007–08 season, Llorente scored 6 goals in 6 pre-season games, and another against CD Numancia in the Caja Duero Trophy. His form led to Llorente becoming Athletic's first-choice forward, and although he started the season poorly, he ended it with a total of 11 league goals for a side that finished in mid-table. His tally included four goals in two games against Valencia, and further strikes against FC Barcelona, Villarreal CF and Atlético de Madrid.

Prior to 2008–09, Llorente was confident of a successful season. "I know that I am capable of scoring goals and having a good year and I want to start this term in the same form that I ended the last one in" he said. Despite Athletic's modest start to the season, Llorente scored 6 league goals with another in the Cup, against Recreativo de Huelva.

International career

Llorente represented Spain at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. His five goals led him to win the silver boot as the competition's second highest scorer, and he was also capped at under-18 and 19 levels.

On November 14, 2008, senior national team manager Vicente Del Bosque called Llorente for a friendly against Chile. He was brought on as a substitute in the 72nd minute of a 3–0 win. He scored his first goal in a 2-0 friendly win over England, on 11 February 2009, coming on from the bench to score in the 64th minute. He scored his second goal for the national team at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup with a low finish against South Africa.

Additionally, Llorente was called several times by the Basque Country national football team. Despite living until the age of 12 in La Rioja, he is eligible because he was born in Navarre. He scored one goal for the tricolor in a match against Catalonia at the Camp Noumarker, in 2006.

International goals



Statistics

Career

All stats correct as of November 12 2009.

Club League Season League Cup UEFA Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
CD Baskonia Tercera División 2003–04 33 12 - - - - 33 12
Bilbao Athletic Segunda División B 2004–05 16 4 - - - - 16 4
Athletic Bilbao La Liga 2004–05 15 3 4 3 1 0 20 6
2005–06 22 2 3 2 - - 25 4
2006–07 23 2 1 0 - - 24 2
2007–08 35 11 5 1 - - 40 12
2008–09 34 14 9 4 - - 43 18
2009–10 9 2 2 1 8 6 19 9
Total club 138 34 24 11 9 6 171 51
Career Total 186 48 24 11 9 6 220 67


Honours

Country



Individual



References

  1. Fernando Llorente Stats, News - Athletic Bilbao - ESPN Soccernet


External links




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