Spanish Celebrities & Sports Personalities
Fernando Alonso Díaz (born July 29, 1981, in Oviedo, Spain) is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion.
On September 25, 2005, he won the Formula One World Drivers Championship title at the age of 24 years and 58 days, breaking Emerson Fittipaldis record of being the youngest Formula One World Drivers Champion (this record was subsequently broken by Lewis Hamilton). After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion. In 2007, he became the second F1 driver, after Michael Schumacher, to score at least 100 points for three consecutive seasons.
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal Parera (born 3 June 1986) is a former World No. 1 Spanish professional tennis player, currently ranked #2. Nadal has won six Grand Slam singles titles, and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles.
Nadal was ranked World Number #1 from 18 August 2008 to 5 July 2009. In 2009, he became the first player to simultaneously hold Grand Slam titles on clay, grass, and hardcourt. His success on clay has earned him the nickname The King of Clay.
Nadal was ranked World No. 2, behind Roger Federer for a record 160 weeks before earning the top spot.
Fernando José Torres Sanz (born 20 March 1984) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the Spanish national team as a striker.
Torres started his career with Atlético Madrid, progressing through their youth ranks. He made his professional debut in 2001 and finished his career with the club having scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances, earning the nickname El Niño (“The Kid”). Prior to the La Liga debut, Torres played two
seasons in the Segunda División, making 40 appearances and scoring seven goals. He joined Liverpool in 2007, after Liverpool signed him with the club’s record transfer fee. He marked his first season at Anfield by being the Liverpool’s first player, since Robbie Fowler in 1995–96, to score more than 20 league goals in a season.
He is also a Spanish international and made his debut for the country against Portugal in 2003. He has since participated in three major tournaments, UEFA Euro 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. He did not score a goal at Euro 2004, but he scored three at World Cup 2006. Torres scored the winning goal for Spain in their 1–0 win over Germany in the UEFA Euro 2008 Final.
Raúl González Blanco (born 27 June 1977 in Madrid, Spain), usually known simply as Raúl, is a Spanish football forward who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid. He is a three-time winner of the UEFA Champions League and is currently the competitions all-time leading goal scorer with 40 goals. In addition to that, Raúl is also the current leading scorer of the Spanish National Team with 44 goals.
Daniel Pedrosa Ramal (born September 29, 1985 in Sabadell, Spain) is a Grand Prix motorcycle racer. Pedrosa grew up in a village near Sabadell called Castellar del Vallès. He is the youngest world champion in 250cc Grands Prix
Alberto Contador Velasco (born 6 December 1982 in Pinto, Madrid) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam Astana. He was the winner of the 2007 Tour de France with the Discovery Channel team, and the 2008 Giro d’Italia, the 2008 Vuelta a España, and the 2009 Tour de France with Astana. He is the fifth racer in history, and the first Spaniard, to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling.
Contador has been referred to as the best climbing specialist and stage racer in the world.
José Antonio Domínguez Banderas (born 10 August 1960), better known as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish film actor and singer. He began his acting career at age 19 with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar and then starred in high-profile Hollywood films including Assassins, Evita, Interview with the Vampire, Philadelphia, Desperado, The Mask of Zorro, the Spy Kids trilogy, and the Shrek sequels.
Julio Iglesias (born September 23, 1943 in Madrid) is a Spanish singer who has sold over 300 million albums in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music he is one of the top 10 best selling music artists ever. While Iglesias rose to international prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer of romantic ballads and his success has continued as he entered new musical endeavors. Thus far, he has performed approximately 5,000 concerts.
Francesc “Cesc” Fàbregas i Soler (born 4 May 1987 in Arenys de Mar, Barcelona Province, Spain) is a Spanish central midfielder who captains the English Premier League club Arsenal and plays for the Spanish national team.
Fàbregas started his career as a trainee with Barcelona but was signed by Arsenal in September 2003, aged just 16 years. He did not feature much in his first season for The Gunners, but following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004–05 season, his playing time increased. Before long, he had established himself as Arsenals starting central midfielder and playmaker. He went on to break several of the clubs records, earning a reputation as a technically gifted player. In international football, the Spaniards national career began when he represented the winning Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of his club performances, he was called up to the senior squad in 2006. He has played in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008, where he helped Spain to become eventual winners in the latter.
David Ferrer Ern (born 2 April 1982 in Jávea/Xàbia) is a Spanish professional tennis player who lives in Valencia, Spain. He turned professional in 2000. Ferrer is known as a particularly dangerous clay court player, though he has had several respectable results on hard courts as well, especially his back-to-back semi-final appearances at the NASDAQ-100 Open in 2005–2006 and his semi-final appearance at the 2007 US Open. He broke into the top 10 in the ATP Tour singles rankings for the first time in 2006. His highest ranking to date is World No. 4, which he reached on 25 February 2008.
Penélope Cruz Sánchez (born April 28, 1974), better known as Penélope Cruz, is a Spanish actress. She gathered critical acclaim as a young actress for films such as Jamón, Jamón, La Niña de tus ojos, and Belle époque. She has also starred in several American films such as Blow, Vanilla Sky, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She is perhaps best known for her work with acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, in Volver and Todo sobre mi madre. Cruz has been awarded three Goyas, two European Film Awards, and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Goya, and a BAFTA for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She is Spains first female Oscar winner and also becomes the sixth Hispanic person to win an Oscar after José Ferrer, Rita Moreno and Benicio Del Toro (Puerto Rico), Anthony Quinn (Mexico), plus fellow Spaniard Javier Bardem.
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (born 25 September 1951) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.
Almodóvar is arguably the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family and identity are among Almodóvar’s most prevalent themes. His films enjoy a worldwide following and he has become a major figure on the stage of world cinema.
He founded Spanish film production company El Deseo S.A. with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar who has produced almost all of Pedro’s films.
Sergio García (born 9 January 1980) is a Spanish professional golfer who plays on both the United States PGA Tour and the European Tour. He has spent much of his career in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings (over 250 weeks between 2000 and 2008). He reached a career high ranking of two after winning the HSBC Champions tournament in November 2008. Garcia is currently known by many to be the best golf player in the world at this time without a Major Championship to his name.
Miguel Ángel Indurain Larraya (born 16 July 1964, Villava, Navarre) is a retired Spanish road racing cyclist. He is best known for winning the Tour de France from 1991 to 1995, becoming only the fourth person to win the event five times, and the first to win five in a row. Indurains ability and physical size—1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) and 80 kg (176 lbs)—earned him the nickname “Miguelón” or “Big Mig”. He was so popular that a Homo heidelbergensis cranium found in Atapuerca in 1992, when he also won the Giro, was nicknamed Miguelón in his honour.
Severiano “Seve” Ballesteros Sota (born 9 April 1957) is a Spanish professional golfer and former World No. 1, who was one of the sports leading figures from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. He announced himself to the golfing world in 1976, when at age 19 he finished second at The Open Championship. A part of a gifted golfing family, Ballesteros won five major tournaments between the years of 1979 and 1988, including The Open Championship three times, and The Masters twice. He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and captain. Ballesteros eventually retired from competitive golf in 2007 due to continued poor form.
Rafael “Rafa” Benítez Maudes (Born 16 April 1960) is a Spanish football manager. Benítez played football throughout his youth and joined the Real Madrid academy. He joined Real Madrids coaching staff at the age of 26, going on to work as the under 19 and reserve teams coach, and assistant manager for the senior team. Benítez moved away from Real Madrid but management spells at Real Valladolid and Osasuna were short-lived and unsuccessful. Benítez was appointed coach of Valencia and he proved himself to be amongst the top Spanish managers by winning La Liga in the 2001–02 season—Don Balón and El País named him Manager of the Year. In 2004, another league title and Valencias first UEFA Cup made him the clubs most successful manager. However, a disagreement between Benítez and the club director over team investment caused the Spaniard to switch to English Premier League outfit Liverpool. Benítez was a high-achiever in his first season as he guided Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Champions League, the highest honour in European club football. In the following three seasons he won the FA Cup and reached the 2007 Champions League Final, but has remained unable to win the Premier League, Liverpools best performance under Benitez being 2nd in 2008-09.
Josep Maria Carreras i Coll (born 5 December 1946, Barcelona), better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish Catalan tenor particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. He made his debut on the opera stage at the age of 11 as Trujamán in Manuel de Fallas El retablo de Maese Pedro and went on to a career that encompassed over 60 roles on the stages of the worlds leading opera houses and in the recording studio. He gained fame with a wider audience as one of The Three Tenors along with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in a series of mass concerts that began in 1990 and continued until 2003. Carreras is also known for his humanitarian work as the president of the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation (La Fundació Internacional Josep Carreras per a la Lluita contra la Leucèmia), which he established following his own recovery from the disease in 1988.