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Francesc Arnau

Francesc Arnau
Full nameFrancesc Xavier Arnau Grabulosa
Date of birth (1975-05-23) 23 May 1975 (age 40)
Place of birthLes Planes, Spain
HeightScript error: No such module "convert".
Playing positionGoalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
1995–1999Barcelona B119(0)
National team
1996–1998Spain U2113(0)
1997Spain U232(0)
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Arnau and the second or maternal family name is Grabulosa.

Francesc Xavier Arnau Grabulosa (born 23 May 1975) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

In a 16-year professional career he only played for Barcelona and Málaga, appearing in 126 La Liga games over the course of 12 seasons.

Club career


Born in Les Planes d'Hostoles, Girona, Catalonia, Arnau was a youth graduate from La Liga powerhouse FC Barcelona. He made his first-team debut in 1996–97, in a 3–3 home draw against Atlético Madrid on 9 November 1996.

During five seasons Arnau was second-choice to Ruud Hesp and Pepe Reina, while also registered with the B-side.


For the 2001–02 campaign Arnau moved to Málaga CF for 2.1 million, also playing second-fiddle until the departure of Pedro Contreras to Real Betis in 2003. He would eventually become club captain, but lost his job in 2007–08 in the second division, to Iñaki Goitia.

In the 2009 summer Goitia was sold also to Betis, but Málaga also acquired Gustavo Munúa and Roberto Santamaría, so Arnau was demoted to as low as third-choice in the 2009–10 season, eventually finishing backup to the Uruguayan but without making one single official appearance.

After Munúa's departure, Arnau played the first game of 2010–11 – a 1–3 home loss against Valencia CF – as Rodrigo Galatto was not yet eligible.[1] He continued appearing regularly for the club in the following weeks after the Brazilian performed poorly and another new signing, Rubén, went down with an injury.

On 21 May 2011 Arnau played his last match as a professional, coming on as a substitute for Willy Caballero in the last minutes of a 1–3 home defeat against his first club Barcelona,[2] with Málaga finally retaining its top division status. After retiring at the age of 36, he continued working with his last team, as a youth coach, alongside former club teammate Salva.[3]

International career

Arnau appeared for Spain at the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, being named the tournament's MVP as the country emerged victorious.[4]





Spain U21


  1. ^ Valencia shrug off departures; ESPN Soccernet, 28 August 2010
  2. ^ Second XI ease to win; ESPN Soccernet, 21 May 2011
  3. ^ El Málaga cuenta con Arnau y Salva como entrenadores de cantera para La Academia (Málaga counts with Arnau and Salva as youth team coaches for the Academy); La Opinión de Málaga, 23 March 2011 Invalid language code.
  4. ^ "1998: Francesc Arnau". 1 June 1998. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Barça de titanes" [Titanic Barça] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 29 June 1997. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Título con súper-susto" [Title with mega-scare] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 29 August 1996. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "1998: Iván Pérez applies finishing touch". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 

External links