Manuel Almunia

Manuel Almunia

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Manuel Almunia

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Manuel Almunia Rivero (born 19 May 1977) is a professional footballer. He plays as a goalkeeper for Arsenal.

Club career

Early career

Born in Pamplona, Navarre, Almunia started his senior career with Osasuna's reserve team in 1997, playing two seasons with the team in Segunda División B. He went on to spend two more seasons in the category, with Cartagena and Sabadell, joining the top flight in 2001–02, with Real Club Celta de Vigo.

However, shortly after joining Celta, Almunia was loaned out to Segunda División side Eibar, where he spent 2001–02 as first-choice goalkeeper. During the 2002–03 season, Celta loaned him out to first-division club Recreativo de Huelva, where he played understudy to José Antonio Luque and César, only making two league appearances. Almunia's début in the first division came on 17 November 2002, following ared card to the latter, in a 0–3 defeat at Deportivo Alavés.

He then returned to Celta, being loaned for the third and final time, now to Albacete Balompié on 1 November 2003. He made his club début the following week, in a 1–0 loss at Málaga. Almunia achieved first-choice status, making a total of 24 league appearances until the end of the season, while helping Albacete finish 14th.


Almunia signed for Arsenal on 14 July 2004 for an undisclosed sum, and in 2006 had a taste of the big occasion when he replaced Robert Pires in the 18th minute of the Champions' League......
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