Open main menu

José Ramón Alexanko Ventosa (Spanish pronunciation: [xo'se ra'mon alek'saŋko βen'tosa]; born 19 May 1956) is a Spanish retired footballer and manager, and the current director of football of Valencia CF.

José Ramón Alexanko
Personal information
Full name José Ramón Alexanko Ventosa
Date of birth (1956-05-19) 19 May 1956 (age 63)
Place of birth Barakaldo, Spain
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
Athletic Bilbao
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1976 Bilbao Athletic 97 (9)
1976–1980 Athletic Bilbao 91 (8)
1976Alavés (loan) 5 (0)
1980–1993 Barcelona 274 (26)
Total 440 (43)
National team
1977 Spain U21 2 (0)
1978–1982 Spain 34 (4)
1979 Basque Country 1 (0)
Teams managed
1997–1998 FC U Craiova
1998–1999 Naţional Bucureşti
2000–2002 Barcelona (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

During his career the central defender played with success for both Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, winning several accolades for the latter – 16 in total – and appearing in 367 La Liga games over the course of 17 seasons (34 goals).[1]

A Spanish international on more than 30 occasions, Alexanko represented the nation in one World Cup and one European Championship.


Club careerEdit

Athletic BilbaoEdit

Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, Alexanko joined Athletic Bilbao's youth system in 1972, then served an unassuming loan with Basque neighbours Deportivo Alavéssecond division – and returned subsequently. He made his La Liga debut on 12 December 1976, in a 5–2 home win against RCD Español (30 minutes played).[2]

An undisputed starter from his second season onwards, Alexanko's highlights at Athletic were winning two runners-up medals, one in the Copa del Rey and one in the UEFA Cup, both in 1977. Among his teammates were veterans José Ángel Iribar and Javier Irureta.

Barcelona / CoachingEdit

In 1980, Alexanko signed for FC Barcelona, paving the way for a number of fellow Basque players including José Mari Bakero, Txiki Begiristain, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea, Julio Salinas and Andoni Zubizarreta. With him as captain they formed the backbone of the legendary Dream Team, which won four consecutive league championships.

Among his most memorable moments during his 13 seasons at the Catalan side, Alexanko scored the winning goal as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 1–0 in the 1988 domestic cup final,[3] also playing about ten minutes in the 1992 European Cup Final. Six years earlier he had his penalty shootout attempt saved by FC Steaua Bucureşti's Helmuth Duckadam, as Barça lost the 1986 edition in Seville.[4]

After retiring as a player in 1993, Alexanko started a coaching career as he managed Romanian sides FC Universitatea Craiova and FC Naţional Bucureşti. In the middle of 2000 he returned to Barcelona, assisting head coach Carles Rexach (his teammate in the forward's last season as a player).

In July 2005, Alexanko was named the club's youth system coordinator.[5] On 7 January 2017, he became director of football at Valencia CF in the place of Jesús García Pitarch.[6]


Alexanko was accused of raping a maid in a hotel at Papendal, the Netherlands, in 1988. Eventually, all of the charges were dropped.[7]

International careerEdit

Alexanko made his debut for Spain on 15 November 1978, playing in the 1–0 home win against Romania for the UEFA Euro 1980 qualifiers. He represented the nation at both Euro 1980 and the 1982 FIFA World Cup, retiring from the international scene at only 26 after the second group stage draw against England in the latter competition, with a total of 34 caps; he also appeared in one game for the Euskadi XI, in 1979.



  1. ^ Jonathan Stevenson and Chris Bevan (22 April 2008). "When Bryan Robson tamed Barca". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Naufragó el Español en el centro del campo" [Español adrift in midfield]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 13 December 1976. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. ^ "El día que volvieron a ser campeones" [The day they were champions again] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 31 March 1988. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  4. ^ Duckadam inspires Steaua;, 18 April 2006
  5. ^ Alexanco: "Todo ha cambiado, ahora los niños ya vienen con representante" (Alexanco: "Everything has changed, now even kids come with agent") Archived 28 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine; El Entorno, 17 July 2005 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ "Comunicado oficial: Dimisión irrevocable del director deportivo, Jesús García Pitarch" [Official announcement: Irreversible resignation of sporting director, Jesús García Pitarch] (in Spanish). Valencia CF. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  7. ^ Alexanco será procesado por presunta violación (Alexanko to be charged with alleged rape); El País, 14 January 1989 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ "Spain – Cup 1977". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Athletic 2–1 Juventus". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Legends – José Ramón Alexanko". FC Barcelona. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Rapid Bucureşti 1–0 Universitatea Craiova (1998)". Romanian Soccer. Retrieved 3 September 2014.

External linksEdit