|Full name||Julen Guerrero López|
|Date of birth||7 January 1974|
|Place of birth||Portugalete, Spain|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
Born in Portugalete, Biscay, Guerrero joined Athletic Bilbao as an eight-year-old, and subsequently progressed through the junior ranks of the club. Along with Aitor Karanka he was a member of the under-19 team that won a national double of cup and league in 1991–92, and also appeared and scored for the reserves in the Segunda División during the same season.
Guerrero made his senior debut on 6 September 1992 aged 18, under Jupp Heynckes. He quickly made an impact and, although a midfielder, totalled 28 La Liga goals in his first two seasons (65 in six). He was awarded the New Spanish Player of the Year by El País in 1993, and won the Spanish Footballer of the Year by both Don Balón and El País the following year. In 1993–94 he scored a hat-trick against Albacete Balompié (4–1, home), adding four against Sporting de Gijón (7–0 also at the San Mamés Stadium); his arrival at the first team was met with unprecedented furor amongst the younger population due to both his footballing abilities and his charisma, and he became one of the first football celebrities as his pop-like figure boosted Athletic's image overseas. He finished the campaign with 18 – fifth in the charts– and was named the side's youngest-ever captain by Dragoslav Stepanović shortly after.
The early promise Guerrero showed attracted interest from, among others, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Juventus FC, S.S. Lazio and Manchester United. However, he remained loyal to Athletic and, in 1997, signed a ten-year contract which was the longest in the club's history, and also made him the team's highest-paid player.
In 1997–98, Guerrero netted eight times in 29 matches as the Basques finished second, leading to direct qualification for the UEFA Champions League where he put on strong performances in the group stage against Juventus and Galatasaray SK. Subsequently, however, his career went into decline and, in 2002, he was deemed surplus to requirements by coach Luis Fernández while still only 28; in his last four seasons he could only manage 57 games with just four goals but, despite his poor form, remained a fan favourite, and the decision to drop him caused some controversy.
Guerrero announced his retirement as a player at an emotional press conference on 11 July 2006. He scored 116 goals in 430 competitive matches over the course of 14 seasons, including four in 17 appearances in various European competitions, but did not win any major honours.
On 27 January 1993, when still only 19, Guerrero made his debut for Spain in a friendly with Mexico, in Las Palmas. He went on to play 41 games and score 13 goals, and also represented the nation at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and UEFA Euro 1996.
Among Guerrero's personal international highlights were hat-tricks against Malta (3–0 in Attard, on 18 December 1996) and Cyprus (8–0, 8 September 1999). His last international took place in October 2000.
Guerrero also played 11 times[a] for the Basque Country autonomous team between 1993 and 2006, scoring six goals – this included another hat-trick in 1997, against Yugoslavia. Both were records for some years, although Xabi Prieto went on to appear in more matches and Aritz Aduriz scored more goals.
- He made 12 appearances in total, but his debut in 1993 was against club side Real Sociedad, not counted by some sources.
Style of play
Often hailed as one of the greatest attacking midfielders of his generation, Guerrero was ambidextrous, and was renowned for his free kicks and finishing skills, derived from his sharp nose for goals. He was often referred to by the media as El Rey León (The Lion King) and La Perla de Lezama (The Pearl of Lezama).
- Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Guerrero goal.
|1||2 June 1993||Žalgiris Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania||Lithuania||1–0||2–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|3||8 September 1993||Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain||Chile||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|5||29 March 1995||Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Belgium||1–0||1–1||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|6||6 September 1995||Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain||Cyprus||1–0||6–0||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|7||20 September 1995||Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain||Argentina||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|8||18 December 1996||Ta' Qali, Attard, Malta||Malta||1–0||3–0||1998 World Cup qualification|
|11||8 September 1999||Vivero, Badajoz, Spain||Cyprus||3–0||8–0||Euro 2000 qualifying|
- Julen Guerrero at WorldFootball.net
- "Leyendas del Athletic Club de Bilbao – Guerrero" [Athletic Club de Bilbao legends – Guerrero]. El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- Múgica, Jon (25 September 2001). "Julen Guerrero llega a los 300" [Julen Guerrero reaches 300]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- "Guerrero cuelga las botas tras 24 años en el Athletic" [Guerrero hangs up his boots after 24 years at Athletic]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 11 July 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Guerrero says goodbye at Athletic". UEFA. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- "Athletic Club: a way of life". Athletic Bilbao. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
- Martín, Javi (23 June 2013). "El Athletic en la [sic] finales de Copa Juvenil" [Athletic in Copa Juvenil finals] (in Spanish). La Cantera de Lezama. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- "Guerrero pride at Athletic honour". UEFA. 24 October 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Pla Díaz, Emilio. "Spain – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 August 2006.
- Castañeda, Eduardo (6 September 1993). "Julen, en plan Guerrero, amarga la tarde al 'Alba'" [Julen, like a Warrior (pun on his surname), bitters 'Alba' afternoon]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Castañeda, Eduardo (4 April 1994). "Goles en una tarde de cátedra" [Goals in an afternoon for lessons]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Díaz-Guerra, Iñako (7 December 2021). "Julen Guerrero: "Fuera de Bilbao se descontrolaba todo, no podía ni salir del hotel"" [Julen Guerrero: "Everything was out of control outside of Bilbao, I could not even leave the hotel"]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Lowe, Sid (24 January 2005). "Whatever happened to Julen Guerrero?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- "El póker de Julen Guerrero" [Julen Guerrero's poker] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- Castañeda, Eduardo (30 August 1995). "Guerrero, el capitán más joven de la historia del club" [Guerrero, youngest-ever captain in the club's history] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- "Julen Guerrero, modelo de capitán y símbolo de Lezama" [Julen Guerrero, captain extraordinaire and symbol of Lezama]. Hoy (in Spanish). 11 July 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- Segurola, Santiago (23 June 1995). "Julen Guerrero rechaza una oferta del Madrid y seguirá en el Athletic" [Julen Guerrero rejects offer from Madrid and will remain at Athletic]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- García, Aitor (10 January 2005). "La siesta del niño prodigio" [The wonderkid takes a nap]. ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Canibe, Álvaro (22 December 2019). "El día que Julen Guerrero pudo fichar por el Real Madrid" [The day Julen Guerrero could have signed for Real Madrid]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- Aguado, Gonzalo (27 August 2014). "Guerrero: Athletic philosophy reaps rewards". UEFA. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Rodrigálvarez, Eduardo (5 December 1998). "Julen Guerrero vive su temporada más amarga en el Athletic" [Julen Guerrero goes through his most bitter season in Athletic]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Matchett, Karl (28 February 2014). "Francesco Totti vs. Javier Zanetti and the 20 best one-club men of recent times". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Ortiz de Lazcano, Javier (9 October 2015). "Los discípulos de Pichichi" [Pichichi's disciples]. El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- Martín, Luis (17 September 2007). "Un problema con nombre de mito" [A problem with the name of a myth]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- Gascón, Javier (28 January 1993). "Más joven, pero igual de gris" [Younger, but just as grey]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- Río, Endika (11 July 2019). ""La Eurocopa es una gran oportunidad para que Bilbao siga creciendo"" ["The Eurocup is a great chance for Bilbao to keep growing"]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- Román, Rogelio (19 December 1996). "'Hat-trick' de Julen" [Julen hat-trick]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "España golea 8–0 a Chipre y pasa a la fase final de la Eurocopa" [Spain rout Cyprus 8–0 and qualify to Eurocup finals]. El País (in Spanish). 9 September 1999. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Pla Díaz, Emilio. "Julen Guerrero – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 August 2006.
- Río, Endika (29 December 2012). "Euskal Selekzioa: Una historia dividida en tres fases" [Euskal Selekzioa: A history divided into three phases]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Encinas, Mikel (26 December 2016). "Para Prieto todo empezó contra Honduras" [For Prieto everything started against Honduras]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Victoria de Lecea, Jokin (31 December 2016). "La interminable racha de Aduriz" [The endless streak of Aduriz]. Deia (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- "14 años del último partido de Julen Guerrero" [14th anniversary of Julen Guerrero's last match]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 20 May 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- "Julen Guerrero, el adiós de un jugador emblemático" [Julen Guerrero, farewell of an emblematic player]. ABC (in Spanish). 11 July 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Jiménez, Mayca (17 March 2017). "¿Qué fue de Julen Guerrero?: el 'Rey León' que rechazó un cheque en blanco al Madrid" [What happened to Julen Guerrero?: the 'Lion King' that rejected Madrid's blank cheque]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2022.
- Marcos, Carlos (21 October 1996). "El hermano de Julen Guerrero mantiene al Éibar arriba" [Julen Guerrero's brother keeps Éibar up]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Ortiz, Beatriz (19 December 2008). "Qué fue de... Julen Guerrero, el símbolo del Athletic" [What happened to... Julen Guerrero, Athletic's symbol] (in Spanish). Cadena SER. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Julen Guerrero at BDFutbol
- Julen Guerrero at FootballDatabase.eu
- Valente, Alejandro (21 April 1994). "España, 'bronce' sin gustar" [Spain, unassuming 'bronze']. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.