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Joan Capdevila i Méndez (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈaŋ kədːəˈβiɫə]; born 3 February 1978) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Belgian club Lierse S.K. as a left back.
Over the course of 15 La Liga seasons he amassed totals of 410 games and 36 goals, mainly for Deportivo and Villarreal where, from his defensive position, he often contributed in the scoring department.
A Spanish international on 60 occasions, Capdevila represented the nation in one World Cup and two European Championships, winning one tournament in each competition.
Early years / Deportivo
Born in Tàrrega, Lleida, Catalonia, and a product of RCD Espanyol's youth system, Capdevila made his debut for its first team during the 1998–99 season, in a 2–2 La Liga draw at Athletic Bilbao, and joined Atlético Madrid the following year.
After the Colchoneros ' relegation, however, he signed with Galician side Deportivo de La Coruña in the summer of 2000, and would be a regular fixture in the team as left-back, first competing with Enrique Romero then as the undisputed first-choice. On 16 September 2006, he scored twice as Depor overcame Villarreal CF 2–0 at the Riazor Stadium.
For the 2007–08 campaign Capdevila moved to Villarreal on a three-year deal, and played in all the league games except two, for a side that finished runner-up, achieving direct qualification to the UEFA Champions League. He produced similar numbers in his second year, bettering his goal total in the process (five).
In the 2009–10 season, with no real competition for his position, Capdevila continued to figure prominently for Villarreal, only missing one league match – the defender added another five goals, but the club could not qualify for the UEFA Europa League this time, after finishing seventh. On 6 December 2009 he netted a brace in a 3–2 home win against Getafe CF, precisely the team that prevented the Valencian from reaching that achievement, even though the side was later reinstated at the expense of RCD Mallorca.
Midway through 2010–11 Capdevila faced stiff competition from José Catalá, even being relegated to the bench in some games. He did finish the campaign with more than 40 official appearances, including nine in Villarreal's Europa League semifinal run, where he scored in a 3–2 home win against eventual winners F.C. Porto (4–7 aggregate loss).
On 21 July 2011, aged 33, Capdevila moved abroad for the first time, joining S.L. Benfica in Portugal on a two-year contract. On 20 August he made his official debut in a 3–1 league win against C.D. Feirense at Estádio da Luz, but was not included in the club's squad for the group stages of the Champions League, which prompted rumours that he would seek a transfer away from the club in the January transfer window. Manager Jorge Jesus confirmed that another newly-signed, Brazilian Emerson, would be first-choice left-back and that the Spaniard would find it difficult to be included in match day squads.
However, during the final stages of the season, Jesus gave Capdevila a long run as a starter, and he made his Champions League debut for the Lisbon outfit on 4 April 2012, playing the second leg of the quarterfinals against Chelsea, a 1–2 loss at Stamford Bridge (1–3 on aggregate). He was also the habitual first-choice during the domestic League Cup campaign, which the Reds won for the fourth time in a row, and finished the campaign with 12 official games.
On 27 July 2012, Capdevila agreed on a return to his first professional club Espanyol. He was released alongside Simão Sabrosa on 22 May 2014, after only ten overall appearances in his second season.
On 16 July 2014, Capdevila signed for NorthEast United FC, as their marquee player ahead of the inaugural Indian Super League season. He said: “India is a huge country and it should be a privilege for me to be a small part in popularising this global game here and working with the young talented footballers of North East India”. He started in the franchise's first match, a 1–0 win over the Kerala Blasters at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, being deployed by manager Ricki Herbert as a central defender. On 27 November, in a 3–0 home defeat of league leaders Chennaiyin FC, he was sent off after 72 minutes for a second yellow card, as his team went on to rank in last position.
On 21 January 2015, Capdevila changed clubs and countries again, joining Belgian Pro League side Lierse SK.
Capdevila made his debut for Spain on 16 October 2002 against Paraguay, in a 0–0 draw. He scored his first international goal in an UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Sweden on 17 November 2007, as the national team won 3–0; previously, he made the country's final squad for Euro 2004, but did not leave the bench.
On 6 February 2008, Capdevila netted the winner in Spain's 1–0 win over France in an international friendly in Málaga. He was subsequently called up to the squad for Euro 2008, where he featured in all the games save one for the eventual champions: during the tournament he established himself as first-choice, his clearance in the dying seconds against Sweden being a crucial part of David Villa's late winner to make the score 2–1; together with right-back Sergio Ramos and central defenders Carles Puyol and Carlos Marchena, he helped keep clean sheets during all three matches of the knock-out stages and only conceded two goals in four contests.
During the first game of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup on 14 June 2009, Capdevila set up Fernando Torres's third goal of his hat-trick, and also assisted for Cesc Fàbregas's second international goal as Spain thrashed New Zealand 5–0 – in fact, all five goals were created from the left wing, with him playing a crucial part in the Spanish attack. In the second game against Iraq, three days later, he assisted Villa's on his 55th-minute goal (the match's only) and eventually he, Puyol, Villa and Torres were named in the team of the tournament, as the national side finished third.
On 20 May 2010, after appearing in all the matches during the qualifying stages, contributing with one goal in Spain's 4–0 home win against Armenia, Capdevila was selected by manager Vicente del Bosque to the squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he played all the games and minutes for the eventual champions, being the only member of the starting line-up for the final who was not a Real Madrid or FC Barcelona player, considering Villa had been signed by the latter days before the tournament.
- Spain U23
- As of 15 March 2015
- ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 4 June 2010. p. 29. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- ^ Capdevila makes Deportivo proud; UEFA.com, 16 September 2006
- ^ Capdevila veers towards Villarreal; UEFA.com, 25 June 2007
- ^ Villarreal comeback stuns Getafe; ESPN Soccernet, 6 December 2009
- ^ Falcao record as Porto progress; ESPN Soccernet, 5 May 2011
- ^ "Capdevila opts for pastures new with Benfica". UEFA.com. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- ^ Wins for Porto, Benfica and Braga; Sporting slip up again; PortuGOAL, 22 August 2011
- ^ Level crossing; Sky Sports, 8 September 2011
- ^ Juventus target Benfica's Joan Capdevila; Goal.com, 5 September 2011
- ^ 'Benfica's Joan Capdevila would accept Napoli move' – agent; Goal.com, 7 September 2011
- ^ Joan Capdevila is not our first choice left-back – Benfica's Jorge Jesus; Goal.com, 9 September 2011
- ^ Shaky Chelsea hold off ten-man Benfica; UEFA.com, 4 April 2012
- ^ Capdevila, quart fitxatge (Capdevila, fourth signing); Espanyol's official website, 27 July 2012 (Catalan)
- ^ "Capdevila y Simao dejan el Espanyol" [Capdevila and Simao leave Espanyol] (in Spanish). Marca. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- ^ Bali, Rahul (16 July 2014). "Capdevila: 'It’s a privilege to popularise football in India'". Goal.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- ^ Ganguily, Abhishek (13 October 2014). "ISL: NorthEast United ride high on Koke, beat Kerala Blasters 1–0". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- ^ "ISL: NorthEast United thrash leaders Chennaiyin FC 3–0". The Times of India. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- ^ "Capdevila: 'Als je 36 bent, zitten clubs niet langer op je te wachten'" [Capdevila: 'Since I am 36, clubs just do not sit and wait for you'] (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- ^ España gusta, golea y a la EURO (Spain pleases, routs and goes to EURO); UEFA.com, 18 November 2007 (Spanish)
- ^ Capdevila tumba a Francia (1–0) (Capdevila downs France (1–0)); La Verdad, 7 February 2008 (Spanish)
- ^ La Roja lean to the left
- ^ "Capdevila: Joan Capdevila Méndez". BDFutbol. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- ^ "Capdevila". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 January 2014.