Francisco Joaquín Pérez Rufete (born 20 November 1976) is a Spanish former footballer, and a manager. He played predominantly as a right winger with good dribbling ability, also being a player with a good workrate.
Rufete playing for Espanyol in 2009
|Full name||Francisco Joaquín Pérez Rufete|
|Date of birth||20 November 1976|
|Place of birth||Benejúzar, Spain|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1999||→ Málaga (loan)||20||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Over 12 seasons, Rufete amassed Spanish top division totals of 269 matches and 23 goals.
Born in Benejúzar, Province of Alicante, Valencian Community, Rufete was a product of FC Barcelona's youth system. He appeared once for the first team, in 1995–96's final round, a 2–2 away draw against Deportivo de La Coruña on 26 May 1996, and his first full professional season came in 1997–98, with Segunda División club CD Toledo.
After having started the 1998–99 campaign with RCD Mallorca (no appearances), he moved in January 1999 to Málaga CF, being instrumental, alongside Catanha and José María Movilla, in the side's promotion to La Liga (Málaga was in Segunda División B in the previous season).
After two exceptional individual seasons, Rufete moved to Valencia CF. Although not an undisputed starter after his first year, he contributed with good overall performances and, on 14 March 2004, he scored twice at RC Celta de Vigo (2–0) as the Che went on to win another domestic title.
After Quique Sánchez Flores arrived at Valencia from Getafe CF, Rufete was released and joined RCD Espanyol on a free transfer in July 2006. He was constantly hampered by injuries during the 2007–08 campaign, after having appeared in 11 UEFA Cup matches during the Catalans' run to the final in 2007.
In mid-July 2009, Rufete was released by Espanyol, moving close to home with Hércules CF in a two-year deal. In his first season, aged 32/33, the veteran contributed with nearly 2,000 minutes as the Alicante team returned to the top division after an absence of 13 years.
Rufete received three caps with the Spain national team in 2000, the first being in a 2–0 friendly win over Italy on 29 March in Barcelona. He came on as a substitute for Joseba Etxeberria at the hour-mark.
Rufete was released by Hércules in late 2011 after the club decided not to renew his contract, and retired from football shortly after. Two years later he returned to Valencia after being appointed youth coordinator, but switched to director of football after a few months.
On 18 April 2018, Rufete was given his first managerial position at UD Ibiza of the Tercera División. His team missed out on promotion with a penalty shootout defeat to Atlético Levante UD in the play-off final on 24 June.
Rufete returned to Espanyol as sporting director, and became their interim manager on 27 June 2020 when Abelardo Fernández was sacked from the last-placed club with six games to go. The next day, in his first professional game in charge, his side lost by a single goal at home to Real Madrid; he oversaw their first fall from the top flight since 1993.
- As of 19 July 2020
|Ibiza||18 April 2018||6 July 2018||10||7||2||1||11||4||+7||70.00|||
|Espanyol (interim)||27 June 2020||20 July 2020||7||0||1||6||1||8||−7||0.00|||
- "Francisco Javier Pérez RUFETE". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- Sanchis, Alberto (27 May 1996). "Fiesta Bebeto, golazo de Pep" [Bebeto party, Pep wonder goal]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Gallardo, Antonio (30 June 2012). "El nuevo Málaga cumple los 20 años en Champions" [New Málaga celebrate 20 years in Champions]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- Hernández, Marcos B. (14 March 2004). "El Valencia estrecha su cerco a la Liga" [Valencia edge closer to the League]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Rufete ready for Espanyol adventure". UEFA. 19 July 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- "Valverde no duda de los servicios médicos del club" [Valverde does not doubt the club's medical staff]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 12 September 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- "Rufete ficha por el Hércules "con la intención de llevar a una provincia entera a Primera"" [Rufete signs for Hércules "with the intention of taking an entire province to Primera"]. Marca (in Spanish). 19 July 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Rufete, un campeón arrastrado a un ERE" [Rufete, a champion reduced to a ERE]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). 20 October 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Astruells, Andrés (30 March 2000). "La selección saca nota" [National team get grade]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "El Hércules se ahorra un millón con el despido de Rufete, Del Olmo y Cristian" [Hércules save one million with sacking of Rufete, Del Olmo and Cristian]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). 20 October 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Rufete vuelve al Valencia como mánager general deportivo de su cantera" [Rufete vuelve al Valencia como mánager general deportivo de su cantera]. Marca (in Spanish). 17 June 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Rufete será presentado mañana como líder de la estructura deportiva" [Rufete will be presented tomorrow as leader of sporting structure]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). 24 November 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- "Rufete, nuevo entrenador de la UD Ibiza" [Rufete, new manager of UD Ibiza]. ABC (in Spanish). 18 April 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- Sánchez Venzalá, Tomás (24 June 2018). "El Ibiza se queda sin el ascenso" [Ibiza left without promotion]. Periódico de Ibiza (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- Gillingham, Geoff (27 June 2020). "Abelardo sacked by Espanyol". Marca. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- Dunne, Robbie (28 June 2020). "Real Madrid beat Espanyol to go two points clear at top of LaLiga". Diario AS. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- "Rufete: "Teníamos que acabar con la cabeza alta y de pie"" [Rufete: "We had to finish with our heads held high and standing up"] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- "UD Ibiza" (in Spanish). Resultados Fútbol. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
- "Rufete: Francisco Joaquín Pérez Rufete". BDFutbol. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
- "Valencia 2–0 Marseille". BBC Sport. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 26 June 2016.