Borja Iglesias, born on January 17, 1993, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, is a prominent Spanish footballer known for his striking abilities. His career has been notable both on and off the field, marked by his social commitment and advocacy stances. At 31 years of age, he has left Spain for the first time in his career, joining Bayer Leverkusen on loan with an option to buy for €8 million, where he’ll be looking to provide cover for the injured Victor Boniface.
Celta de Vigo (2013-2018):
He started his career at Celta de Vigo, joining the reserve team and debuting in the Segunda División B. He became the all-time top scorer for the reserve team, scoring 32 goals in the 2016-2017 season, the highest in all 80 teams of the Segunda División B.
Loan to Real Zaragoza (2017-2018 Season):
After an impressive season with Celta’s reserve team, Iglesias was loaned to Real Zaragoza in Spain’s Second Division. This move was seen as a chance for Iglesias to prove his worth at a higher level. He immediately made an impact, proving his scoring ability and becoming a key figure in Zaragoza’s attack. Iglesias scored 23 league goals, becoming the team’s top scorer and the third-highest in the Second Division.
One year after departing Sevilla, Isco is excelling in midfield for crosstown rivals Real Betis and enjoying a mid-career renaissance under Manuel Pellegrini at the age of 31.@JJMont3ro takes a look at Isco’s rebirth at the Estadio Benito Villamarín:https://t.co/EUnrFlXRsx pic.twitter.com/2eLQL3U6yz
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) January 15, 2024
His contribution was crucial for the team’s competitive position in the league. A highlight was scoring his first professional hat-trick in a 3-2 win against Real Valladolid. Beyond his goals, Iglesias earned the respect and admiration of fans and teammates for his work ethic, positive attitude, and team play. At the end of the season, he posted a farewell letter on social media, expressing gratitude to the club and fans.
Signing with RCD Espanyol (2018-2019):
Following his successful season at Zaragoza, Iglesias caught the attention of RCD Espanyol. In July 2018, he signed a four-year contract with the Catalan club, who paid his release clause of €10 million. Iglesias made an immediate impact at Espanyol, scoring his first goal in the First Division in his second match, contributing to a 2-0 victory over Valencia. During his season with Espanyol, Iglesias displayed a remarkable scoring ability.
He scored his first double against SD Huesca and continued to score in subsequent league matches against Valladolid, Athletic Club, Sevilla, and Girona. On March 2, Iglesias scored the fastest goal of the season in a match against Real Valladolid, scoring within 18 seconds. Iglesias was vital for Espanyol, with his goal-finding ability and teamwork crucial for the club’s aspirations. He quickly became one of the most beloved and respected players among Espanyol fans.
Transfer to Real Betis (2019 – 2024):
In August 2019, Iglesias joined Real Betis, after the club activated his release clause of €28 million. This move was one of the highlights of that season’s transfer market in LaLiga. Iglesias established himself as a key piece in the team’s tactical scheme. His ability to score goals and his presence in the rival area significantly strengthened Betis’s attack.
At 21 years of age, Nico Williams has emerged as one of the most exciting wingers in Spain for Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Club:
-3 penalties won (most in La Liga)
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) January 23, 2024
One of his most notable moments with Betis was his contribution to the team in the 2022 Copa del Rey. He scored a goal in the final and was named the most valuable player of the match, helping Betis secure the trophy. In August 2022, he was named the “Best Player of La Liga Santander” by the National Professional Football League (LaLiga), thanks to his excellent performances and decisive goals.
Social Role and Activism:
- Fight Against Homophobia and Support for Black Lives Matter:
Iglesias has been vocal in supporting social causes, including his fight against homophobia and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. This commitment has led him to publicly express himself and make significant gestures, such as painting his nails black.
- Vocal Stance Against RFEF Management:
His critical public stance against the management of former Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales highlights his willingness to use his influence to advocate for positive change in the football world.
By: Juanjo Montero / @JJMont3ro
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Jörg Schüler / Bayer 04 Leverkusen