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Cani (Spanish footballer)

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Name  Ruben Calmache
Full name  Ruben Gracia Calmache
Years  Team
Date joined  2006
Number  6
Weight  75 kg
Playing position  Midfielder
Height  1.8 m
Place of birth  Zaragoza, Spain
Role  Spanish footballer

Cani (Spanish footballer) imgdesmotivacioneses201105ocanirubengracia
Date of birth  (1981-08-03) 3 August 1981 (age 34)
Current team  Deportivo de La Coruna (#6 / Midfielder)
Similar People  Cristian Ansaldi, Jesus Gamez, Mateo Musacchio, Guilherme Siqueira, Bruno Soriano

Rubén Gracia Calmache (born 3 August 1981), known as Cani, is a Spanish retired footballer. Usually a right midfielder, he also played on the left.


During his career he played almost exclusively with Zaragoza and Villarreal, winning two major titles with the former and appearing in 327 official games with the latter.


Cani was born in Zaragoza. A youth graduate of his hometown's Real Zaragoza, he was shining in the B-team which was playing in Segunda División B after a loan stint with lowly Utebo FC in Tercera División and, as the main squad's fate was already decided in the 2001–02 season (relegation, ranking last) he received his first-team debut, playing 30 minutes in a 1–1 home draw against FC Barcelona.

After helping the Aragonese club regain its top flight status by appearing in 24 games and scoring five goals, his first coming on 23 March 2003 in a 2–0 win at Real Oviedo, Cani went on to become a vital midfield element. In the 2003–04 campaign, he helped Zaragoza win the Copa del Rey in a 3–2 extra time win against Real Madrid – he was also sent off during the match.


During 2005–06, Cani was one of La Liga's best passers, and at the season's end he signed with Villarreal CF for €11 million. He appeared in 32 games for the 2007–08 runners-up, although he did not score.

In the 2008–09 campaign, after a shaky start, which included not being called to some matches by coach Manuel Pellegrini in spite of being healthy, Cani finished strongly, scoring five times in the last nine appearances, including the final three: Real Madrid (3–2), Valencia CF (3–1) and RCD Mallorca (3–2), as Villarreal finished fifth; after the Chilean manager's departure to the Merengues, he again appeared in the starting XI regularly.

Cani continued to be an undisputed starter in 2010–11 – Robert Pirès had also left the club. On 9 January 2011, he netted the opener at Real Madrid, with a subtle finish inside the box; already on the bench, he threw a water bottle at opposing manager José Mourinho after the coach celebrated Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick (which put the score at 3–2 for the hosts, eventually 4–2) in front of his team's bench, being immediately sent off. The one-match suspension was later lifted, and he found the net in the next game, a 3–3 home draw against Sevilla FC for the season's domestic cup, and in the following, scoring from more than 50 metres in a 4–2 home win against CA Osasuna, with the Valencians eventually finishing the league in fourth place; he added three goals in a semi-final run in the UEFA Europa League, including one in each leg of the last-four clash against FC Porto in an eventual 4–7 aggregate loss.

On 7 January 2015, Cani joined Atlético Madrid on loan for the remainder of the season, after successfully passing a medical. He made his first appearance three weeks later, coming on as a substitute for Arda Turan for the last 27 minutes of a 2–3 home loss to Barcelona for the Spanish Cup quarter-finals (2–4 on aggregate).

Later career

On 23 July 2015, Cani terminated his contract with Villarreal and signed a one-year deal with Deportivo de La Coruña the following day. He left at the end of the campaign, contributing with 888 minutes to a 15th-place finish.

On 6 July 2016, Cani returned to his first club Zaragoza after agreeing to a two-year deal. Roughly one year later, despite featuring regularly during the second division season, the 36-year-old announced his retirement.


  • Copa del Rey: 2003–04; Runner-up 2005–06
  • Supercopa de España: 2004
  • References

    Cani (Spanish footballer) Wikipedia

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