Inigo Idiakez

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Inigo Idiakez is a former Spanish footballer who was born in San Sebastian on 8th November 1973. His brother Imanol was also a professional footballer. Idiakez began his career with Real Sociedad in 1992, initially with the youth and B side. He made his debut for the first team on 8th November 1992, on his 19th birthday, against Cadiz. Idiakez didn't establish himself as a regular in the Sociedad side until a year later however. He made 233 league appearances over ten years, scoring 33 times. His last two seasons at Sociedad were probably the most successful for Idiakez. In 2000/01 he scored 7 LA Liga goals in 34 matches. Returning Erreala Manager John Toshack made him captain in 2001. He left the club in 2002 having played with a number of big names such as Xabi Alonso, Valery Karpin and Agustin Aranzabal.

Idiakez dropped down a division to join Real Oviedo in the summer of 2002. He spent just a single season there before moving to fellow second tier side Rayo Vallecano.

Idiakez moved to Derby County in 2004, and made his debut for The Rams on 7th August 2004 in a 1-0 defeat at Leeds. He scored his first goal a week later in a 3-2 win over Ipswich. The Spanish midfielder adapted to life in England brilliantly, impressing everyone with his terrific range of passing. Idiakez was one of the most technically gifted players outside the top flight, and was deservedly named Derby's player of the year for 2004/05. He helped George Burley's side to a 4th place finish, scoring 9 goals along the way.

As Burley departed Derby in the summer of 2005, the clubs fortunes changed for the worse in 2005/06, as The Rams spent much of the season in the bottom half, eventually finishing 20th. Despite Derby's poor season, Idiakez continued to shine, and was one of the clubs few decent players in an otherwise poor season. He scored 11 times in his second campaign in England.

Idiakez started Derby's first five matches of 2006/07 before moving to Southampton for £275,000, who by now were managed by Inigo's former Derby boss George Burley. Idiakez made his Saints debut on 9th September 2006. The Spaniard often struggled with injury in his first season at St Marys, managing to get on the pitch just 14 times. When he did play Idiakez was usually fairly solid, although rarely spectacular. He scored his first goal for the club on 14th October 2006 in a 3-2 defeat at Leicester. The former Sociedad man had a short spell on loan at fellow Championship outfit QPR in March 2007, and scored at Leicester for the second time in the same season on 17th March in a 3-1 win. Idiakez returned to Saints in April and missed a crucial penalty in a shoot out against old club Derby in the play-off semi final second leg on 15th May 2007, which sent The Rams to the Wembley final.

Injury problems persisted for Idiakez in 2007/08, and when he was fit he was less impressive than he had been in previous years. His best run of form in a Saints shirt came at the end of the season under new manager Nigel Pearson. Idiakez helped keep Southampton in the Championship with some impressive displays in the final weeks. He was released from his contract at St Marys in June 2008.

After leaving Southampton Idiakez had trials at Bournemouth San Jose Earthquakes, but failed to win a contract at either side. He coached a number of low level Spanish teams before becoming assistant manager to George Burley at Cypriot side Apollon Limassol.