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Iñigo Idiakez

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Iñigo Idiakez
Idiakez in 2005
Personal information
Full name Iñigo Idiakez Barkaiztegi
Date of birth (1973-11-08) 8 November 1973 (age 47)
Place of birth San Sebastián, Spain
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Attacking midfielder, Forward
Youth career
1989–1992 Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1995 Real Sociedad B 64 (25)
1992–2002 Real Sociedad 233 (33)
2002–2003 Oviedo 33 (4)
2003–2004 Rayo Vallecano 29 (5)
2004–2006 Derby County 88 (20)
2006–2008 Southampton 35 (2)
2007Queens Park Rangers (loan) 5 (1)
Total 487 (90)
National team
1995–1996 Spain U21 6 (0)
1996 Spain U23 3 (0)
Teams managed
2010–2011 Euskalduna
2011–2012 Berio
2020– Cultural Leonesa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Iñigo Idiakez Barkaiztegi (born 8 November 1973)[1] is a Spanish former footballer who played as a midfielder or forward, and is the manager of Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.

Beginning his career at Real Sociedad, he appeared in 254 official matches during his tenure while competing in ten La Liga seasons (36 goals scored). In his homeland, he also represented Segunda División clubs Oviedo and Rayo Vallecano. He moved to England in 2004 at the age of 30, where he represented Championship teams Derby County, Southampton and Queens Park Rangers, retiring in 2008; he played for Spain at under-21 and under-23 levels.

Idiakez went into coaching in 2009, working at amateur level in Spain before signing with Apollon Limassol from Cyprus as assistant manager. He moved back to England in 2013, taking up a youth coaching position at Leicester City. He joined Derby County as first-team coach in 2016, before being appointed at Luton Town.

Playing career



Idiakez was born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa. In 1989 he joined local Real Sociedad's youth system, making his senior debut with the B-team where he shared teams with his older brother Imanol.[2] He first appeared with the main squad on 8 November 1992 – on his 19th birthday – against Cádiz CF in La Liga;[3] he did not become a regular until 1994–95 despite that early debut, playing nearly two full seasons with the reserves in Segunda División B.

Subsequently, Idiakez spent a further eight top flight campaigns with the Txuriurdin, going on to appear in more than 250 competitive games.[4] During most of his spell he was a regular substitute and, in 1998–99 and 2000–01, scored a career-best seven league goals.[5]

At the end of 2001–02, having finished his contract with Real Sociedad, Idiakez signed with Real Oviedo, who had just been relegated to Segunda División and were in a deep financial crisis. He only spent one year with the Asturias side, who finished the season penultimate, being relegated to the third level then demoted a further tier because of financial irregularities.[6]

Idiakez then moved to Madrid's Rayo Vallecano, also from the second division. Again, his new club finished second from the bottom and was relegated at the end of the campaign.[7]


In the summer of 2004, Derby County manager George Burley signed Idiakez up on a free transfer.[8] He immediately adapted to the Championship, being named as the club's Player of the Season in his debut year as they finished in fourth place, but failed to win promotion through the play-offs;[9] he was also included in the Championship PFA Team of the Year,[10] having renewed his contract in April 2005[11] and later in August after reported advances from Wolverhampton Wanderers.[12]

At Derby, Idiakez played in an advanced position and took most free kicks and corners.[13][14][15][16] In 2005–06, under Phil Brown first and Terry Westley after, the team only finished in 20th position, narrowly avoiding relegation; he ended his stint at the Pride Park Stadium with 22 competitive goals in 96 matches.[17]

On 31 August 2006, Idiakez was once again signed by Burley, moving to Southampton for a fee of around £250,000.[18] In March of the following year, after only a handful of appearances for the Saints,[19][20] he joined Queens Park Rangers on loan for a month,[21] scoring once against Leicester City in a 3–1 away win[22] and subsequently returning to St Mary's Stadium.[23]

In the 2006–07 campaign play-off semi-final, on 15 May 2007, Southampton played Derby County: after the tie finished 4–4 on aggregate at extra time the match went to a penalty shootout, and Idiakez missed the crucial penalty, helping to send his former club through to the final.[1][24]

Southampton released Idiakez at the end of 2007–08, and the player then underwent trials with Major League Soccer team San Jose Earthquakes and Bournemouth,[25] but was not offered a contract.


Idiakez played for Spain at under-21 level,[26] his first cap arriving on 6 June 1995 in a 4–0 victory over Armenia held in Granada for the 1996 UEFA European Championship qualifying phase.[27] He also participated in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, featuring three times for the quarter-finalists.[28]

Additionally, Idiakez appeared in four friendly games for the Basque Country unofficial team, scoring twice.[29]

Coaching career

Idiakez returned to his hometown of in 2009, beginning his coaching career with the Añorga KKE youth team. Later, he was in charge of non-league sides SD Euskalduna and Berio FT also in the Basque Country.[30][31]

In 2011, Idiakez completed his coaching qualifications when he earned the UEFA Pro Licence.[32] A year later, he joined his former Derby and Southampton boss Burley as assistant manager at Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot First Division, with the pair leaving after only two games.[33]

Idiakez returned to England in 2013, to take up the position of youth development coach at Premier League club Leicester City, managing the under-12 to under-16 age groups. He remained there for three years, before re-joining Derby County as first-team coach in July 2016;[34] he left the latter only two months later, following the suspension of manager Nigel Pearson.[35]

In September 2017, Idiakez was appointed as professional development phase lead coach at League Two's Luton Town.[31] He returned to managerial duties on 1 December 2020, after being appointed in charge of Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa in his country's third division.[36]


Spain U21


  1. ^ a b Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-9926-8640-6.
  2. ^ "Imanol Idiakez queda libre para enero" [Imanol Idiakez is free in January] (in Spanish). Fichajes. 6 December 2003. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  3. ^ "3–0: La Real Sociedad superó con claridad al Cádiz" [3–0: Real Sociedad overcame Cádiz easily]. ABC (in Spanish). 9 November 1992. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  4. ^ Tito Irazusta (26 July 2015). "Iñigo Idiakez: "Salí mal de la Real, pero aprendí a estar donde me quieren"" [Iñigo Idiakez: «I left Real on the wrong foot, but I learned to be where I am wanted»]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Íñigo Idiakez" (in Spanish). Historias de Cromos. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  6. ^ "El Oviedo, descendido a Tercera División" [Oviedo, relegated to Tercera División]. El País (in Spanish). 2 August 2003. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  7. ^ "El Rayo que se apagó en Salamanca" [Lightning ("Rayo" in English) lost light in Salamanca] (in Spanish). Rayo Herald. 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  8. ^ Watson, Chris (27 June 2017). "Derby County's best signings this century – Rams fans have their say". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Championship review 2004/05". BBC Sport. 10 May 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Sunderland/Wigan dominate line-up". BBC Sport. 24 April 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Idiakez extends contract at Derby". BBC Sport. 15 April 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Idiakez extends contract at Derby". BBC Sport. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  13. ^ Murphy, Dan (3 March 2005). "Hoddle stuck on draws as Reich header saves Derby". The Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Derby 1–0 Plymouth". BBC. 5 March 2005. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  15. ^ Instone, David (7 August 2006). "Derby County 2 Southampton 2: Peschisolido strips gloss off Burley's Pride Park return". The Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Derby County fan Q&A: Mel Morris has done wonders for the club off the field". HITC. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Feature: A recent history of Spanish Rams". Derby County F.C. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Transfer deadline day". BBC Sport. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Southampton 0–0 Derby". BBC Sport. 4 February 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Southampton 3–2 West Brom". BBC Sport. 6 October 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Idiakez seals loan switch to QPR". BBC Sport. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Leicester 1–3 QPR". BBC Sport. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  23. ^ "Saints recall Idiakez from loan". BBC Sport. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
  24. ^ "Derby secure play-off final berth". BBC Sport. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  25. ^ "Idiakez trains with Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Italia ya ganó un Europeo a España en el 1996" [Italy have already won European Championships against Spain in 1996] (in Spanish). Orgullo Bianconero. 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  27. ^ "La 'Sub-21' sólo le mete cuatro a Armenia" [The ‘Under-21s’ can only put four past Armenia]. Mundo Deportivo. 7 June 1995. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  28. ^ Iñigo IdiakezFIFA competition record (archived)
  29. ^ Ramón Besa; Mikel Ormazabal (23 December 1998). "Las selecciones autonómicas festejan el mejor fútbol" [The autonomous national teams celebrate the best football]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Iñigo Idiakez entrenará a la S.D. Euskalduna" [Iñigo Idiakez will coach S.D. Euskalduna]. Mundo Deportivo. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  31. ^ a b Watson, Chris (11 September 2017). "Former Derby County player and coach Inigo Idiakez takes up new role with Luton Town". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  32. ^ "Licencia UEFA PRO" [UEFA PRO Licence] (in Spanish). Official website. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  33. ^ "El Apollon destituye a Burley e Idiakez tras sólo dos partidos" [Apollon fire Burley and Idiakez after only two games]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 22 September 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  34. ^ "Former Derby County player and coach Inigo Idiakez takes up new role with Luton Town". Leicester City F.C. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Inigo Idiakez: Derby County coach leaves following Nigel Pearson suspension". BBC Sport. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Íñigo Idiakez, nuevo entrenador de la Cultural" [Íñigo Idiakez, new manager of Cultural] (in Spanish). Cultural Leonesa. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
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