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Iñaki Lafuente Sancha (born 24 January 1976) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Iñaki Lafuente
Personal information
Full name Iñaki Lafuente Sancha
Date of birth (1976-01-24) 24 January 1976 (age 43)
Place of birth Barakaldo, Spain
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1992–1993 Retuerto
1993–1995 Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1999 Bilbao Athletic 65 (0)
1995Getxo (loan)
1996Sestao (loan) 20 (0)
1998–1999Elche (loan) 37 (0)
1999–2009 Athletic Bilbao 128 (0)
2007–2008Espanyol (loan) 5 (0)
2009Sporting Gijón (loan) 13 (0)
2009–2011 Numancia 25 (0)
Total 293 (0)
National team
2006–2007 Basque Country 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He appeared in 146 La Liga games over ten seasons, mainly with Athletic Bilbao. He also represented Espanyol and Sporting de Gijón in the competition.

Club careerEdit

Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, Lafuente was a graduate of Lezama, the famed Athletic Bilbao youth academy. He made his debut with the first team in 1999–2000 after serving two loans at modest Basque neighbours, adding another with Elche CF three years later; after replacing Imanol Etxeberria[1] he competed with Dani Aranzubia for first-choice status during several La Liga seasons, appearing in 36 games in 2000–01 and adding 30 the following campaign.[2]

For 2007–08, Lafuente was loaned to RCD Espanyol as Gorka Iraizoz was sold in the opposite direction.[3] At his new club he backed up Carlos Kameni, and when the Cameroonian left for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations he became the starter, but retired injured in just his second appearance.[4]

In July 2008, Lafuente returned to Athletic Bilbao, being only third-choice. On 13 January 2009, due to Sporting de Gijón starter Iván Cuéllar's serious ankle injury, coincidentally in a match against the former, he was loaned to the Asturias side until the end of the campaign; in his first start, on the 25th, they were crushed 1–5 at Getafe CF.[5]

Lafuente was released by Athletic in the summer of 2009, ending a 16-year relationship. In late July, the 33-year-old moved to CD Numancia (freshly relegated to the second division),[6] being used mostly as a backup during his two-year spell[7] and retiring subsequently.


  1. ^ "Lafuente stays at Bilbao". Sky Sports [date stamp on page broken]. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Lafuente no entiende su vuelta a la suplencia" [Lafuente does not understand return to backup status] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  3. ^ New season First Division signings for 2007/08; Soccer Spain, 2007
  4. ^ "La ausencia de Kameni y la lesión de Lafuente hacen debutar a Casilla" [Kameni's absence and Lafuente's injury enable Casilla's debut] (in Spanish). Marca. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  5. ^ Getafe 5–1 Sporting Gijon; ESPN Soccernet, 25 January 2009
  6. ^ Joseba Garmendia ficha por el Numancia (Joseba Garmendia signs for Numancia); Diario AS, 24 July 2009 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ "Breve enciclopedia numantina" [Brief numantina encyclopedia] (in Spanish). Desde Soria. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2019.

External linksEdit