Ex Pats Xl: English Players Who've Graced Spain

From Vinny Samways to Mark Draper, 11 Englishmen who have plied their trade in Spain with varying levels of success...
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Ahead of England v Spain we remember 11 English players who have plied their trade in Spain...

GK: Jermaine Pennant

You might not think of Pennant as a goalkeeper, what with the fact he looks like he comes from a hip-hop version of Hobbiton . But let’s face it, any idiot who leaves his Porsche at a train station deserves to be stuck in nets. Stunk out Real Zaragoza and lent weight to the theory that English players are incapable of playing in Spain because they are, when all is said and done, shite.

CB: Jonathan Woodgate

Despite turning that bint off Big Brother into a raging cokehead and hanging around with people who thought that Asian’s cheeks were fair game as fodder, Woody gets his place in this team as the only defender.

RM: David Beckham

I’ve never lived in Spain and as sure as eggs is eggs I know I can speak more Spanish than diamond knackers. Turning ‘hola’ into a Spanish version of llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the heavily tattooed savant never managed to win the hearts of the Madrid faithful (until his final season) as he replaced the lauded McManaman. Spent most of his time allegedly slaying PRs and getting misspelt tattoos.

CM: Vinny Samways

Pastie-faced midget Samways was a decidedly unremarkable midfielder for Tottenham and Everton and was certainly not known for his tackling. Amazingly, he moved to Las Palmas, removed the hatchet from his face and put it into his armoury to become the most booked player in Spain. Also had a spell at Sevilla.

CM: Mark Draper

Now kit man at Notts County, Drapes fell out of favour at Villa in 1999-00 and was loaned to Rayo Vallecano, making four appearances. Came out of retirement in 2009 to sign for non –league Dunkirk where, by all accounts, he was so slow that he dug himself a huge hole in the centre circle and had to be hauled out by a local tug o’ war team.

AM: Laurie Cunningham

Despite eventually falling out with Madrid hierarchy after he was spotted celebrating a successful toe operation in a local disco, Laurie was brilliant for Real for a time. Produced his best performance in a 2-0 win at the Camp Nou against Barcelona, for which he received a standing ovation from the home fans. Tragically died in a car crash 1989 aged 33 while playing for Rayo Vallecano.

LM: Steve McManaman

Twice fans player of the year, loved by teammates from Zidane to Ronaldo and winner of two Champions Leagues in his time at the club, El Macca is the most successful Englishman to have played in Spain. He might look like the offspring of Nicole Kidman and Rodney Trotter but in his willingness to embrace Spanish culture, his refusal to be sold and the way he won back his place on numerous occasions, Macca is a cult-hero at the Bernebau.

RCF: Stan Collymore

Possibly the greatest waste of talent in the last 20 years, Stan had everything you could wish for in a footballer technically, but was as mad as a sack of crack smoking weasels. Played 3 games for Real Oviedo at the  end of his career and is now, via a spot of dogging, a successful radio presenter.

LCF: Dalian Atkinson

Best remembered for that goal for Villa agianst Wimbledon, Big D had a season with Real Sociedad, scoring 12 goals in the 1990-91 season. Also had a full fist fight with Big Ron at Villa. Both were naked and showering.

CF: Michael Owen

Non-playing multi-millionaire Owen managed 16 goals in 45 games for Real in the 2005-06 season and you can trace his disappointment at not making the grade their as pretty much the end of his spell as a top level striker. Hated by Newcastle fans.

ST: Gary Lineker

I can't think of any ex-player I dislike as much as the perma-tanned letch, but he managed 52 goals in his time at Barca and scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid, before being moved to the right-wing by Johan Cruyff.

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