Ángel Imanol Lafita Castillo (born 7 August 1984) is a Spanish former professional footballer. Usually a winger, being comfortable on both sides of the pitch, he can also appear as an attacking midfielder.
Lafita training with Zaragoza in 2009
|Full name||Ángel Imanol Lafita Castillo|
|Date of birth||7 August 1984|
|Place of birth||Zaragoza, Spain|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2007–2008||→ Deportivo La Coruña (loan)||24||(3)|
|2008–2009||Deportivo La Coruña||33||(8)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Zaragoza / DeportivoEdit
A product of hometown Real Zaragoza's youth system, Lafita was born in Zaragoza, being promoted from their reserves after stellar performances during the 2004–05 season and making his first-team – and La Liga – debut on 28 August 2005 in a 0–0 draw at Atlético Madrid. He went on to become an important element in 2006–07, helping the Aragonese to a berth in the UEFA Cup after contributing with 28 games and one goal, in a 2–0 away win against Racing de Santander on 10 December 2006.
In August 2007, Lafita was loaned to Deportivo de La Coruña which had an option to buy at the end of the campaign. After helping the Galician side reach the UEFA Intertoto Cup (with the subsequent UEFA Cup qualification), scoring three consecutive goals in February–March 2008, the clause was activated in July for €2 million.
After being troubled with physical problems at the start of 2008–09, Lafita returned to Depor in late October 2008. He netted four times in his first seven games, including a brace against Real Betis in a 3–0 away success on 2 November.
In July 2009, Zaragoza paid the sum requested to rebuy the player but Deportivo did not compel, claiming both clubs had agreed on a higher fee (€3.5 million). Lafita still played the first match of the new season, a 2–3 loss at Real Madrid but, in September, the Professional Football League deemed him a Zaragoza player.
Lafita started throughout most of the 2010–11 campaign, but also spent one month on the sidelines with a knee injury. On 30 April 2011, he scored twice in a 3–2 away win over Real Madrid, being also involved in the other goal as he was brought down in the box by Ricardo Carvalho, which resulted in a converted penalty, as Zaragoza finally escaped relegation.
On 29 May 2012, after failing to negotiate a new contract, Lafita agreed to join Getafe CF on a four-year deal. His first goal for his new team arrived on 18 November, in a 2–1 home win over Real Valladolid.
Lafita scored his sixth and seventh goals of 2013–14 on 3 May 2014, helping the Madrid outskirts side to a 2–2 away draw against FC Barcelona – his second in that game came in the 92nd minute. On 21 December, early into the second half of an eventual 1–1 draw at Granada CF, he suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee, being sidelined for the rest of the season.
In January 2016, aged 31, Lafita moved abroad for the first time, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal at Al Jazira Club in the United Arab Emirates. He made his competitive debut on the 8th, in a 2–2 draw at Al-Wasl FC.
In April 2018, Lafita announced his retirement.
Football ran in Lafita's family: his uncle, Francisco Villarroya, played professionally for Real Madrid, Deportivo and Zaragoza, also being a Spanish international. His father Juan played 19 times with Zaragoza's first team in the late 70's/early 80's, also representing CD Castellón, and younger brother Ignacio played for Zaragoza B as well as neighbours SD Huesca.
- El Zaragoza 'recupera' la Champions (Zaragoza 'regain' Champions); El Mundo, 10 December 2006 (in Spanish)
- "Transfer information". 7m.cn. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Deportivo La Coruña 2–0 Espanyol; ESPN Soccernet, 24 February 2008
- Deportivo La Coruña 2–1 Sevilla FC; ESPN Soccernet, 1 March 2008
- Valencia 2–2 Deportivo La Coruña; ESPN Soccernet, 9 March 2008
- El Deportivo paga la opción de compra por Lafita (Deportivo pay buying option for Lafita) Archived 19 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine; El Periódico de Aragón, 4 July 2008 (in Spanish)
- Lafita ruled out of Depor's Croatia trip; UEFA, 15 August 2008
- Real Betis 0–3 Deportivo La Coruña; ESPN Soccernet, 2 November 2008
- Lafita vuelve al Real Zaragoza rodeado de polémica (Lafita returns to Real Zaragoza surrounded by controversy); Cadena COPE, 1 September 2009 (in Spanish)
- Un mes sin Lafita (One month without Lafita); El Periódico de Aragón, 17 February 2011 (in Spanish)
- Zaragoza end Real title dream; ESPN Soccernet, 30 April 2011
- El Getafe hace oficiales los fichajes de Abraham y Lafita (Getafe make Abraham and Lafita's signings official); Marca, 29 May 2012 (in Spanish)
- Getafe sign Ángel Lafita from Real Zaragoza Archived 8 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Footballcracy, 4 June 2012
- Getafe 2–1 Real Valladolid: Una genialidad de Ángel Lafita permite la remontada azulona (Getafe 2–1 Real Valladolid: Ángel Lafita genius move allows blue comeback); Goal, 18 November 2012 (in Spanish)
- El Barcelona rinde su alma (Barcelona relinquish their soul); Marca, 3 May 2014 (in Spanish)
- "Lafita's season ended prematurely". Marca. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Look to boost Al Jazira's standing: Jones, Lafita". Dubai Easy. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- McAuley, John (8 January 2016). "Kenwyne Jones and Angel Lafita handed debuts as Al Jazira leave Al Wasl with hard-fought draw". The National. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "Lafita anuncia su retirada del fútbol" [Lafita announces retirement from football] (in Spanish). El Periódico de Aragón. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
- «Los sentimientos no se venden: siempre seré zaragocista» («You can't sell feelings: I will always be a zaragocista»); Heraldo de Aragón, 11 June 2011 (in Spanish)