Aitor "Txiki" Begiristain Mujika (born 12 August 1964) is a Spanish former footballer who played mainly a left winger but also as a forward, and is the director of football of English club Manchester City.
Begiristain in 2016
|Full name||Aitor Begiristain Mujika|
|Date of birth||12 August 1964|
|Place of birth||Olaberria, Spain|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / Forward|
|1995–1997||Deportivo La Coruña||43||(4)|
|1997–1999||Urawa Red Diamonds||61||(16)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Begiristain represented the Spain national team in one World Cup and one European Championship. He worked as a director of football after retiring, including with Barcelona and also at Manchester City.
Born in Olaberria, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Begiristain began his professional career with Real Sociedad in 1982 at the age of 18, being immediately cast into the first-team's setup. After 16 La Liga games in his first season, he became an essential member of the side that was coached by John Toshack, also including Luis Arconada, Roberto López Ufarte, José Mari Bakero and Luis López Rekarte; the highlights of his career at Real included scoring the second goal in the 1987 Copa del Rey final against Atlético Madrid, which was eventually won on penalties after the 2–2 draw.
In the 1987–88 campaign, Begiristain helped his team finish runners-up in both league and cup, losing in both competitions to FC Barcelona. Within a month of the latter he, along with Bakero and López Rekarte, signed for the Catalan club.
Begiristain scored in his league debut for Barcelona, a 2–0 home win over RCD Español, and finished his first year at the Camp Nou with 38 games and 12 goals, adding two in nine matches in the victorious campaign in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Alongside fellow Basque players Bakero, Andoni Zubizarreta, Julio Salinas and Ion Andoni Goikoetxea, he was part of the side dubbed Dream Team, winning numerous honours.
During seven seasons at the club, Begiristain played more than 300 official matches and scored 63 goals in the league, with a career-best 15 in 1992–93 as Barça won the third of four successive titles. Among his best moments were hat-tricks against Real Valladolid in 1991, and Real Zaragoza two years later.
In 1995, after gradually losing his importance with Barcelona (although he still registered 44 games and 13 goals in the last two seasons combined), Begiristain signed for Deportivo de La Coruña, where he linked up with two past acquaintances, Toshack and López Rekarte. He helped his new team win the Supercopa de España, scoring in the away leg for a 2–1 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.
During the last season in Galicia, Begiristain only appeared ten times, but scored against CF Extremadura on the final round, granting Depor a third-place finish with the 1–0 win. By this time, he had played in more than 500 competitive matches in his country and surpassed the 100-goal mark.
After retiring as a player, Begiristain worked as a commentator for Televisió de Catalunya before becoming director of football at former club Barcelona in 2003. On 29 June 2010 he declared that, with president Joan Laporta leaving, it was the right time for him to part ways with the organization as well.
Begiristain earned 22 caps and scored six goals for Spain, making his debut in a 1–2 defeat to Czechoslovakia on 24 February 1988, in a friendly match played in Málaga. He represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1988 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, playing his last game in the latter competition, a 3–0 round-of-16 win over Switzerland where he netted the closer from a penalty.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Copa de la Liga||Europe||Total|
|Real Sociedad||1982–83||La Liga||16||0||2||0||3||0||0||0||21||0|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||J.League Cup||Asia||Total|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1997||J1 League||15||4||2||0||2||0||–||19||4|
|1.||22 January 1989||Ta' Qali National Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta||Malta||0–2||0–2||1990 World Cup qualification|
|2.||11 March 1992||José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain||United States||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|3.||16 December 1992||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Latvia||4–0||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|4.||16 December 1992||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Latvia||5–0||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|5.||24 February 1993||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Lithuania||3–0||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|6.||2 July 1994||Robert F. Kennedy, Washington, D.C., United States||Switzerland||3–0||3–0||1994 FIFA World Cup|
- La Liga: 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94
- Copa del Rey: 1989–90
- Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994; Runner-up 1988, 1990, 1993
- European Cup: 1991–92
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1988–89
- UEFA Super Cup: 1992
- "2–2: La Real entonó el alirón" [2–2: Real sang victory song]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 28 June 1987. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Del 'Dream Team' a los despachos" [From the Dream Team to the offices]. El País (in Spanish). 30 October 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "El Barça volvió a explotar en la segunda parte" [Barça fired up in second half again]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 4 September 1988. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Del susto... a la apisonadora" [From scare... to steamroll]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 25 February 1991. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "El Barça ensaya la euro-remontada" [Barça rehearse euro-comeback]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 27 September 1993. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Otro golpe" [Another blow]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 28 August 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Riazor no cree en milagros" [Riazor does not believe in miracles]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 23 June 1997. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Riquelme leaves Barça for good". UEFA. 21 June 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- "Rome ready to welcome European superpowers". UEFA. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- "Begiristain leaves Barcelona". Soccerway. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- "Manchester City appoint Txiki Begiristain as director of football". BBC Sport. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Ensayo fatal y derrota inquietante" [Fatal rehearsal and troubling defeat] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 25 February 1988. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "La selección aplasta a Suiza y está en cuartos" [National team crush Switzerland and reach last eight]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 3 July 1994. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Txiki Begiristain at BDFutbol
- "Begiristain". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Txiki Begiristain". European Football. Retrieved 18 February 2016.