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Bakero in 2010
|Full name||José María Bakero Escudero|
|Date of birth||11 February 1963|
|Place of birth||Goizueta, Spain|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
José María Bakero Escudero (born 11 February 1963) is a Spanish retired footballer, and is a manager. Having played mainly for Real Sociedad and Barcelona, he began his career as a forward (not being a prolific goalscorer) but was converted into an attacking midfielder, who possessed passing and scoring ability (with both his right foot and his head, the second despite his short stature) and great leadership skills.
During a 17-year professional career, Bakero amassed La Liga totals of 483 games and 139 goals, winning a total of 17 titles. In the 2000s, he embarked on a coaching career. A Spanish international during seven years, he represented the nation in two World Cups and one European Championship; in 1999, he began working as a manager.
Born in Goizueta, Navarre, Bakero made his senior debut with Real Sociedad on 6 September 1980 when only 17, coming from the bench in a 2–3 away loss against Valencia CF, and finished his debut season with 27 appearances but no goals. Appearing only in two games in 1981–82, he was however part of the Basque sides which won back-to-back La Liga titles, his teammates including Luis Arconada, Jesús María Satrústegui and Jesús María Zamora.
In 1988, Bakero signed for FC Barcelona, where he was joined by several other Real and Basque players: Txiki Begiristain, Luis López Rekarte, with Julio Salinas coming from Atlético Madrid but having also played with Athletic Bilbao, as another Real player, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea, joined two years later – they would form the backbone of the legendary Dream Team. Between 1988 and 1997 he (who scored 47 league goals in his first four years combined) played 329 matches overall for the Catalans, being instrumental in their league conquests from 1990 to 1994 and also appearing in the historic 1992 European Cup Final; in the latter tournament, as his team was trailing 0–2 at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the second round after a 3–1 home win, his 90th-minute header secured qualification.
Having appeared scarcely during 1996–97, his last game coming on 18 November 1996 in a 6–1 home thrashing of Real Valladolid in which he scored, Bakero retired later that campaign after a small abroad stint with Mexico's Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz. He also had unsuccessful trials with Middlesbrough and Norwich City.
Bakero earned 30 caps for Spain, netting on seven occasions. His debut came on 14 October 1987 during an UEFA Euro 1988 qualifier against Austria, replacing future Barcelona teammate Francisco Carrasco in a 2–0 home win.
|1.||18 November 1987||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Albania||1–0||5–0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|2.||18 November 1987||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Albania||2–0||5–0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|3.||18 November 1987||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Albania||5–0||5–0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|4.||19 December 1990||Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Albania||9–0||9–0||Euro 1992 qualifying|
|5.||20 February 1991||Parc des Princes, Paris, France||France||0–1||3–1||Euro 1992 qualifying|
|6.||16 December 1992||Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Latvia||1–0||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|7.||24 February 1993||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Lithuania||2–0||5–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
Bakero moved into coaching after retiring in 1997, first as an assistant under both Lorenzo Serra Ferrer and Louis van Gaal. He also worked as a sports adviser with the Generalitat de Catalunya and, in 2004–05, had his first head coaching experience, joining Málaga CF's B-side in January 2005 and helping them narrowly escape relegation from the second division.
In October 2007, Bakero joined Ronald Koeman's (another Barcelona teammate) coaching staff at Valencia, being dismissed in late April 2008. On 10 November 2009, more than a year after his last job, he signed with Polonia Warsaw, again as head coach. While the team was last in the league at that point, not only did he manage to prevent relegation but also led them to a win against city neighbours Legia Warsaw, the first in ten years; he was sacked on 13 September 2010, after suffering the first loss of the campaign.
Bakero signed with another club in the Ekstraklasa on 3 November 2010, now Lech Poznań. In his official debut, he led the side to a 3–1 win against Manchester City in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
On 25 February 2012, following a 0–3 away loss against Ruch Chorzów, Bakero was relieved of his duties. In 2013, he moved to South America to coach Juan Aurich from Peru, being fired in September of that year due to poor results.
In 2015, Venezuelan club Deportivo La Guaira hired Bakero as interim technical director, to help the new coaching staff by running training sessions. He returned to Barcelona on 10 July 2017, as head of the youth academy alongside former teammate Guillermo Amor.
Bakero was the third of 11 children. His brothers Santiago and Jon were also footballers, and both forwards: the former played five seasons in the first division, with Hércules CF and Real Sociedad (where he coincided with José Mari from 1986 to 1989), while the latter did not appear in higher than the second level (where he played mostly for FC Barcelona B). After he joined Polonia as a coach he was accompanied, at his request, by Jon as an assistant.
Bakero's sister, Itziar, was also a footballer, who played at international level. His son, Jon, played college soccer in the United States for Wake Forest University, winning the Hermann Trophy in 2017.
|Puebla||July 1999||September 1999||Liga MX||8||1||3||4||12.50||6||11||–5|
|Málaga B||January 2005||August 2005||Segunda División||22||6||6||10||27.27||13||25||–12|
|Real Sociedad||23 March 2006||26 October 2006||La Liga||16||3||5||8||18.75||18||24||–6|
|Copa del Rey||1||0||0||1||0.00||1||4||–3|
|Polonia Warsaw||10 November 2009||13 September 2010||Ekstraklasa||22||9||6||7||40.91||23||20||+3|
|Lech Poznań||3 November 2010||25 February 2012||Ekstraklasa||39||18||8||13||46.15||53||27||+26|
|Juan Aurich||5 January 2013||7 September 2013||Peruvian Primera División||31||8||9||14||25.81||38||39||–1|