A product of Real Madrid’s youth system, Roberto Soldado first cut his teeth in La Liga during a loan spell at Osasuna in 2006/07. Handed precious few opportunities on his return to Los Blancos in 2007/08, Soldado subsequently signed for Getafe, where he enjoyed two prolific seasons – thus earning a summer 2010 switch to Valencia as a replacement for no less a front-man than David Villa.

 

Rising to the challenge impressively, Soldado has scored over 20 goals in all competitions in each of his three terms so far with Valencia, in the process cementing his reputation as one of La Liga’s most feared goalgetters. His scoring record has put him in the reckoning for the Spain squad for some years now though, despite making his debut in 2007, he missed out on selection for UEFA EURO 2008 and then appeared to drop off La Selección’s radar.

 

That was until 2012, when current La Roja boss Vicente del Bosque sporadically brought this expert penalty-area predator back into the fold. Soldado responded with goals, but EURO 2012 was soon added to the list of major tournaments in which he had failed to appear. All of which should make the now 28-year-old doubly determined to prove his international credentials, having made the squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013.