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Team Spotlight: CA Osasuna and their talented past

Along with being among an elite group of only four Spanish clubs to be owned by their fans, CA Osasuna have also played host to some highly talented players in their past.

From La Roja internationals to two double European Cup winners, the Pamplona-based club have enjoyed plenty of famous names gracing their pitch, despite constantly switching between the La Liga and Segunda Division.

Players and managers

One of the most well-known players from years gone by is ex-Real Madrid defender Pachín, who spent a season at Osasuna before earning a move to Los Blancos. He went on to win two European Cups and seven top-flight titles in his nine years in the Spanish capital.

Pachín did return to manage Osasuna for a year in 1976, getting them promoted to the Segunda Division, but swiftly moved on afterwards. Yet, he isn’t the only man to both play and manage the Los Rojillos, with former Mexico international Javier Aguirre also completing the feat in 2002.

Aguirre had spent the majority of his playing career in his homeland, mostly with América, but his one and only venture to Europe did not last long, spending just one season and 13 league appearances at Osasuna, before heading back to Mexico and joining Guadalajara.

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He become a little more known during his days as a manager, having led his home nation, prior to taking over at El Sadar. Four years later, all spent in La Liga, he left the club for Atletico Madrid, before also enjoying spells at other Spanish outfits including Real Zaragoza and Espanyol.

Academy products

Osasuna’s academy has been more than prosperous in the past, but they have been the starting point for four Spanish internationals in recent years, with the quartet amassing 61 caps between them.

Among those is Javi Martinez, who featured for the ‘B’ team, before coming to prominence at Athletic Bilbao and earning a move to Bayern Munich in 2012. Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta made over 100 appearances for Osasuna before switching to Marseille, prior to joining the English outfit.

Nacho Monreal is also currently in London, but with Arsenal, having played in the Los Rojillos first-team for five years, while Raul Garcia enjoyed two spells at his hometown club and now plays at Athletic Bilbao.

Foreign talent

As with Aguirre, it is not just Spanish talents that have called Osasuna home for even a brief amount of time. Most notably, ex-Liverpool midfielder and double European Cup winner Sammy Lee spending three seasons in Pamplona, having since become an assistant manager at several Premier League sides.

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Czech Republic legend Jaroslav Plasil, who has won over 100 caps for his country, joined the club in 2007, before moving on to French outfit Bordeaux two years later.

There are many more famous names that have lined up for Osasuna, and for a club with such a up-and-down history as theirs, the Los Rojillos have had the pleasure to welcome some amazing talents. Their only wish will be that they can attract or produce more in the future.

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