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Up until the transfers of Archilbald, Hughes and Lineker to Barcelona, the thought of British and Irish players upping sticks and moving to Spain was virtually unheard of. There's been more players who have transferred over to clubs in La Liga than you first think, so here's our list of British and Irish players who have played in Spain...









Player Name Year Details
David Vaughan 2007 Crewe to Real Sociedad
Gifton Noel Williams 2007 Burnley to Real Murcia
Gifton Noel Williams 2007 Real Murcia to Elche
Ian Harte 2004 Leeds Utd to Levante
Michael Owen 2004 Liverpool to Real Madrid
Jonathan Woodgate 2004 Newcastle Utd to Real Madrid
David Beckham 2003 Man Utd to Real Madrid
Stan Collymore 2001 Bradford City to Real Oviedo
Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond reluctantly agreed to let Collymore transfer to Real Oviedo for nothing to help reduce the wage bill at the finacially crippled Yorkshire club. Collymore agreed an 18 month contract with Oviedo and he was hailed as a hero in the northern city - some 2000 fans turning up at the airport to greet him. However, the goodwill didn't last long - just 5 weeks and 3 games into his Spanish career Collymore decided to quit football for good, aged only 30.
Mark Draper 2000 Aston Villa to Rayo Vallecano
Steve Archibald 1990 Hibernian to RCD Espanol
Dalian Atkinson 1990 Sheffield Wednesday to Real Sociedad
After the success of John Aldridge at the Basque club, Real Sociedad decided to have another go with a striker from the English league and plumped for Sheffield Wednesday's talented powerhouse Dalian Atkinson. Whilst Aldridge was a goal poacher of in the classic mould of schoolyard goalhanger, Atkinson was capable of anything from electric 40 yard runs and rocket shots, to hilarious miscues.
Kevin Richardson 1990 Arsenal to Real Sociedad
John Alrdige 1989 Liverpool to Real Sociedad
Michael Robinson 1987 QPR to Osasuna
Sammy Lee 1987 QPR to Osasuna
Gary Lineker 1986 Everton to Barcelona
Mark Hughes 1986 Man Utd to Barcelona
Steve Archibald 1984 Spurs to Barcelona
Gerry Armstrong 1983 Watford to Real Mallorca
Armstrong's impressive performances in the 1982 in Spain, scoring the winner in Northern Ireland's famous victory over hosts Spain in Valencia, earned him a move to Real Mallorca the following season. Armstrong had 2 seasons with the Barralets, scoring 8 goals and receiving plenty of abuse from opposition fans who remembered his goal in Valencia. Armstrong is now a regular La Liga commentator and pundit on Sky.