Borja Valero

Borja Valero Iglesias (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈboɾxa βaˈleɾo]; born 12 January 1985) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Fiorentina.

Borja Valero
Valero with Fiorentina in 2012
Personal information
Full name Borja Valero Iglesias
Date of birth (1985-01-12) 12 January 1985 (age 36)[1]
Place of birth Madrid, Spain[1]
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 6
Youth career
1995–2004 Real Madrid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 Real Madrid C
2005–2007 Real Madrid B 77 (4)
2007–2008 Mallorca 34 (4)
2008–2011 West Bromwich Albion 31 (0)
2009–2010Mallorca (loan) 33 (5)
2010–2011Villarreal (loan) 35 (3)
2011–2012 Villarreal 36 (5)
2012–2017 Fiorentina 165 (14)
2017–2020 Inter Milan 82 (4)
2020– Fiorentina 20 (0)
National team
2002–2003 Spain U17 15 (3)
2003 Spain U18 3 (1)
2004 Spain U19 4 (2)
2011 Spain 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:33, 31 May 2021 (UTC)

He began his career with Real Madrid but did not have any impact with its first team, and played for Mallorca and in England for West Bromwich Albion before joining Villarreal in 2010. He also spent several years in Serie A, with Fiorentina and Inter Milan.

Over five seasons, Valero amassed La Liga totals of 139 games and 16 goals.

Club career

Real Madrid

Valero was born in Madrid, and began his football career as a youngster in the ranks of Real Madrid.[2] He made his first appearance for the reserve side in Segunda División B as a second-half substitute, took part in the playoffs to earn promotion and played two full seasons in Segunda División.[3]

Valero played only twice for the first team: given his debut by Fabio Capello against Écija on 25 October 2006, replacing Javi García after 60 minutes of a match for the Copa del Rey,[4] he also featured once in the UEFA Champions League, substituting Miguel Ángel Nieto in a 2–2 away draw with Dynamo Kyiv in the group stage.[5]


In August 2007, Valero signed a five-year contract with Mallorca following his release from Real Madrid.[6] He scored his first La Liga goals in a 7–1 home win over Recreativo on 9 March 2008,[7] and added another a month later, against his former team in a 1–1 home draw.[8]

On 11 May, Valero scored the first goal for Mallorca as they came back from 2–0 down to beat Barcelona in Frank Rijkaard's last home game as the latter's manager.[9] He made 17 starts and played a total of 1,892 minutes during the season, helping to a seventh-place finish.

In mid-August 2008, Mallorca's president stated that he had rejected bids from West Bromwich Albion for Valero and Óscar Trejo,[10] but a week later, Valero signed for the latter – newly promoted to the Premier League – for a club record fee of 7 million (£4.7 million). He agreed a four-year contract, with the option of a further year.[11]

West Bromwich Albion

Valero made his debut four days later in Albion's 1–3 League Cup defeat away to Hartlepool United.[12] Manager Tony Mowbray said that he would have benefited from his first game in English football, only hours after receiving international clearance, despite the defeat.[13]

Following the team's relegation to the Championship after just one season, Valero said that he intended to remain at the club: "I still have a three-year contract here and would like to be true to that. For sure playing in the second division is not ideal. But if I have to put up with it then I am going to put up with it."[14] By the beginning of the next campaign, however, he had changed his mind: "I prefer to play in Mallorca and not to be in the second division in England. This is clear. I am disposed for a loan return but it is necessary for an accord between the clubs".[15]

Just hours before the close of the transfer window, Valero returned to Mallorca on loan for 2009–10.[16] On 13 September, in the first match in his second spell, he scored their 1000th top level goal in a 1–1 draw at Villarreal.[17] In another away fixture, he netted in the last minute for the nine-man side to clinch a 1–1 draw against Atlético Madrid in October,[18] and was ever-present as they finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League; he also won the prestigious Don Balón Award for the best Spanish player in the Spanish League.[19]

At the end of the campaign, Valero returned to his parent club after Mallorca confirmed they could not afford to take up the agreed fee of £2.5 million to make the move permanent.[20]


For 2010–11, it was reported that Valero was joining Villarreal on a five-year contract,[19] but the clubs eventually agreed on a season-long loan, with the move to be made permanent at the end of the campaign.[21] He scored on his home debut, a 4–0 win against Espanyol on 12 September 2010,[22] and featured heavily throughout the season as the team finished in fourth position and qualified for the Champions League.

On 1 July 2011, Villarreal signed Valero on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee.[23] The former were relegated at the end of the campaign, and it was reported that he was among a number of players expected to leave.[24]


On 1 August 2012, Fiorentina agreed with Villarreal for the transfer of Valero.[25] The move was confirmed three days later, and he joined the Serie A side alongside teammate Gonzalo Rodríguez;[26] after joining, he said leaving his previous club was not easy and that he still had not come to terms with its relegation.[27]

Valero made an immediate impact at the Viola, scoring five league goals in 37 games in his first season and providing 11 assists[28] as the team qualified to the Europa League. He scored his first goal in 2013–14 on 15 September in a 1–1 home draw against Cagliari,[29] and, on 2 November, contributed to a 2–0 success at Milan;[30] subsequently, he was named in's Serie A Team of the Season.[31]

On 15 July 2014, Valero signed a new deal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi until June 2019.[32]

Inter Milan

On 10 July 2017, Valero transferred to Inter Milan on a three-year contract.[33][34] He scored his first goal for his new club on 30 October, in a 2–1 away win against Hellas Verona.[35]

Valero scored twice from 19 appearances in the 2019–20 campaign for the runners-up.[36]

Return to Fiorentina

On 16 September 2020, aged 35, Valero returned to Fiorentina.[37]

International career

Valero represented the Spain under-19 team at the 2004 European championships. In the final against Turkey he entered the match as an 85th-minute substitute and, two minutes into stoppage time, scored the only goal of the game.[38]

On 4 June 2011, Valero made his debut for the full side, against the United States in Foxborough, Massachusetts. He replaced David Silva in the second half, and assisted Fernando Torres in the last goal.[39][40]

Style of play

Primarily a central midfielder, Valero is a talented and creative playmaker, who is best known for his positional sense, vision, technique and passing ability,[41][42][43] as well as his leadership,[44] despite his lack of pace.[45] A versatile player, he is also capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker in front of the defence, as an attacking midfielder or even as an offensive-minded central midfielder, known as the "mezzala" role in Italian football jargon.[41][45][46][47]

Career statistics


As of match played 23 May 2021.[48][49]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup1 Continental Total
Real Madrid B 2005–06 Segunda División 392392
2006–07 372372
Total 764764
Real Madrid 2006–07 La Liga 00101020
Mallorca 2007–08 La Liga 34460404
West Bromwich Albion 2008–09 Premier League 30040340
2009–10 Championship 101020
Total 31050360
Mallorca (loan) 2009–10 La Liga 33550385
Villarreal 2010–11 La Liga 35350132535
2011–12 3652160446
Total 718711929711
Fiorentina 2012–13 Serie A 37141412
2013–14 32640111477
2014–15 28230110422
2015–16 3740050424
2016–17 3112061392
Total 1651413133221117
Inter Milan 2017–18 Serie A 36210372
2018–19 27010100390
2019–20 1921150253
Total 824311501005
Fiorentina 2020–21 Serie A 20010210
Career total 5113941368462046

1In West Bromwich Albion, includes FA Cup and Football League Cup.


As of match played on 4 June 2011[50]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals




Inter Milan


Spain U-19



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  2. Moyá, Miguel Ángel (10 March 2009). "Borja Valero: 'No me arrepiento de haber venido a Inglaterra'" [Borja Valero: 'I don't regret having come to England'] (in Spanish). RCDM. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
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  10. Acedo, Francisco (15 August 2008). "Mallorca reject Baggies' bid". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  11. "Baggies complete Valero capture". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  12. "Hartlepool vs WBA". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
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  28. "Le nostre pagelle: Ecco a voi il Borja Valero show nella giornata delle prime volte" [Our marks: Ladies and gentlemen the Borja Valero show in matchday of first times] (in Italian). Fiorentina News. 11 November 2012. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  29. "Serie A: Fiorentina 1–1 Cagliari – Pinilla replies to Borja Valero goal". La Gazzetta dello Sport. 15 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  30. Cesarini, Valentino (2 November 2013). "Milan-Fiorentina 0–2: Diavolo in crisi, Vargas e Valero non perdonano" [Milan-Fiorentina 0–2: Devils in crisis, Vargas and Valero show no mercy] (in Italian). Goal. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
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  33. "Borja Valero passa all'Inter" [Borja Valero goes to Inter] (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  34. "Borja Valero completes Inter move!". Inter Milan. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
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