Diego Javier Llorente Ríos (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo ʎoˈɾente ˈri.os]; born 16 August 1993) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Premier League club Leeds United and the Spain national team. He was named in the Spain squad for UEFA Euro 2020
Llorente with Real Sociedad in 2018
|Full name||Diego Javier Llorente Ríos|
|Date of birth||16 August 1993|
|Place of birth||Madrid, Spain|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2012–2013||Real Madrid C||29||(1)|
|2013–2015||Real Madrid B||63||(3)|
|2015–2016||→ Rayo Vallecano (loan)||33||(2)|
|2016–2017||→ Málaga (loan)||25||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:57, 18 May 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 June 2021
Born in Madrid, Llorente joined Real Madrid's youth system in July 2002, one month shy of his ninth birthday. In the 2012–13 season he made his senior debut, appearing with the C team in a 1–1 away draw against Caudal Deportivo for the Segunda División B.
On 24 March 2013, Llorente made his first appearance with Real Madrid Castilla, coming on as a substitute for injured Iván González in an eventual 4–0 home win over Córdoba CF. On 11 May, he was an unused bench player for the main squad in a La Liga match at RCD Espanyol, but finally made his debut in the competition on 1 June, replacing Álvaro Arbeloa for the dying minutes of the last game of the campaign, at home against CA Osasuna.
On 14 July 2015, Llorente moved to neighbouring Rayo Vallecano in a season-long loan deal. He scored his first goal in the top flight on 3 January 2016, the first in a 2–2 home draw against Real Sociedad, and was an undisputed starter as his team eventually suffered relegation as third from bottom.
Llorente was loaned to Málaga CF also in the top tier on 8 July 2016.
On 26 June 2017, Llorente signed a five-year contract with fellow league team Real Sociedad. In his league debut, on 10 September, he contributed one goal to a 4–2 away win against Deportivo de La Coruña after replacing Iñigo Martínez midway through the second half. Four days later, in his very first appearance in European competition, he started and scored twice in a 4–0 home defeat of Rosenborg BK in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Leeds United announced the signing of Llorente on a four-year deal on 24 September 2020, for a reported fee of £18 million. He made his Premier League debut on 5 December, coming on for the injured Robin Koch in the ninth minute of an eventual 3–1 away loss to rivals Chelsea. He scored his first league goal on 19 April 2021, heading home a cross from Jack Harrison in a 1–1 home draw against Liverpool.
In May 2016, Llorente was called up to the Spain national team by manager Vicente del Bosque for a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina. He made his debut later in the month, replacing Cesc Fàbregas in the 3–1 win in Switzerland.
Style of play
A right-footed player who possesses good positioning and is strong in the air, Llorente can operate as a central defender or defensive midfielder.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Real Madrid C||2012–13||Segunda División B||29||1||—||—||0||0||29||1|
|Real Madrid B||2012–13||Segunda División||1||0||—||—||0||0||1||0|
|2014–15||Segunda División B||31||2||—||—||0||0||31||2|
|Real Madrid||2012–13||La Liga||1||0||0||0||—||0||0||1||0|
|Rayo Vallecano (loan)||2015–16||La Liga||33||2||4||0||—||0||0||37||4|
|Málaga (loan)||2016–17||La Liga||25||2||2||0||—||0||0||27||2|
|Real Sociedad||2017–18||La Liga||27||3||1||1||—||0||0||28||4|
|Leeds United||2020–21||Premier League||15||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||15||1|
- "Diego Javier Llorente Ríos". Real Sociedad. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Caudal Deportivo vs Real Madrid C" (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Jesé y Morata destrozan con sus dobletes al Córdoba" [Jesé and Morata destroy Córdoba with their doubles]. Marca (in Spanish). 24 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "4–0: An outstanding Castilla thrash Córdoba at the Di Stefano where they remain unbeaten in 2013". Real Madrid CF. 24 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Madrid draw hands title to Barca". ESPN FC. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Mourinho bows out with win". ESPN FC. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "Diego Llorente nuevo jugador del Rayo Vallecano" [Diego Llorente new player of Rayo Vallecano] (in Spanish). Rayo Vallecano. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
- "Rayo Vallecano 2–2 Real Sociedad". ESPN FC. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "Diego Llorente arrives at Málaga CF on loan from Real Madrid". Málaga CF. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- "La Real Sociedad ficha a Diego Llorente" [Real Sociedad sign Diego Llorente] (in Spanish). Real Sociedad. 26 June 2017. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- Melero, Delfín (10 September 2017). "Con la cabeza bien alta" [Head held high]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "Llorente leads Real Sociedad charge". Marca. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "Leeds United sign Diego Llorente". Leeds United F.C. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
- "Diego Llorente: Leeds United sign Spain defender from Real Sociedad". BBC Sport. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
- Johnston, Neil (5 December 2020). "Chelsea 3–1 Leeds United: Blues go top after comeback win in front of fans". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Begley, Emlyn (19 April 2021). "Leeds United 1–1 Liverpool: Diego Llorente denies Reds place in top four". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
- "Estamos preparados" [We are ready]. Marca (in Spanish). 27 May 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- Campos, Tomás (29 May 2016). "Nolito endulza un duelo atípico" [Nolito sweetens an atypical duel]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- Braidwood, Jamie (24 May 2021). "Euro 2020 news LIVE: Sergio Ramos left out of Spain squad plus latest before England announcement". The Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- Diego Llorente at Soccerway
- "Diego Llorente". European Football. Retrieved 3 April 2021.