Famous people from Spain
Here is a list of famous people from Spain. Curious if anybody from Spain made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, known as Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Guernica, a portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp are regarded as the three artists who most defined the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortune, making him one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.
Alternative rock Artist
Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler, simply known as Enrique Iglesias, is a Spanish singer-songwriter, actor, and record producer based in America. Iglesias started his career in the mid-1990s on an American Spanish Language record label Fonovisa which helped turn him into one of the biggest stars in Latin America and the Hispanic Market in the United States becoming the biggest seller of Spanish-language albums of that decade. By the turn of the millennium he made a successful crossover into the mainstream market and signed a multi-album deal with Universal Music Group for an unprecedented US $48,000,000 with Universal Music Latino to release his Spanish albums and Interscope to release English albums. In 2010, he parted with Interscope and signed with another Universal Music Group label, Universal Republic. Iglesias has sold over 100 million units worldwide, making him one of the best selling Spanish language artists of all time. He has had five Billboard Hot 100 top five singles, including two number-ones, and holds the record for producing 23 number-one Spanish-language singles on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks. He has also had 13 number-one songs on Billboard's Dance charts, more than any other single male artist. Altogether, Iglesias has amassed more than 70 number-one rankings on the various Billboard charts. Billboard has called him The King of Latin Pop and The King of Dance.
David Ferrer Ern is a Spanish professional tennis player. As of October 2013, he is ranked the world no. 3 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Ferrer turned professional in 2000, and is known as a clay-court specialist, having won half of his titles on the surface. However, he has had significant success on all surfaces, having reached the final of the French Open in 2013, the semifinals of the Australian and US Opens twice each, and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon twice. He was part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2008, 2009, and 2011. His biggest individual title to date was the Paris Masters in 2012, and he was runner-up at the Tennis Masters Cup in 2007. He first achieved a top-10 ranking in 2006 and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 3 in July 2013.
Fernando José Torres Sanz, nicknamed El Niño, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker for Chelsea and the Spain national team. Torres started his career with Atlético Madrid, progressing through their youth system to the first team squad. He made his first team debut in 2001 and finished his time at the club having scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances. Prior to his La Liga debut, Torres played two seasons in the Segunda División for Atlético Madrid, making 40 appearances and scoring seven goals. He joined Premier League club Liverpool in 2007, after signing for a club record transfer fee. He marked his first season at Anfield by being Liverpool's first player since Robbie Fowler in the 1995–96 season to score more than 20 league goals in a season. Torres became the fastest player in Liverpool history to score 50 league goals. He left the club in January 2011 to join Chelsea for a record British transfer fee of £50 million, which made him the most expensive Spanish player in history. In his first full season at Chelsea, Torres was integral in the club winning the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, despite receiving criticism for a comparatively low goal-scoring record. The following season he scored in the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final, helping Chelsea to win the competition for the first time. Torres, along with Chelsea team-mate Juan Mata, became the first player to simultaneously hold all four of the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup and the European Championships.
Fernando Alonso Díaz is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion who is currently racing for Scuderia Ferrari. Alonso started in karting from the age of 3. He won three consecutive karting championships in Spain from 1994 to 1997, and he became world karting champion in 1996. He made his Formula One debut in the 2001 season with Minardi, and then moved to the Renault as a test driver the next year. Starting in 2003 Alonso then became one of the main drivers of the team. On 25 September 2005, he won the Formula One World Driver's Championship title at the age of 24 years and 58 days, at the time making him the youngest Formula One World Drivers' Champion. After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion at the time. He joined McLaren in 2007, before returning to Renault for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010, he joined Scuderia Ferrari. Nicknamed El Nano, a typical pseudonym for Fernando in Asturias, his place of birth, Alonso acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Alonso also had become the youngest driver to win a pole position and Grand Prix respectively in the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix and the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, before both records were broken by Sebastian Vettel in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. With his fourth place finish in the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix, scoring his 1,571st career point, Alonso took over the record for most championship points in his career.
Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas Soler is a Spanish footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Fàbregas plays mainly as a central midfielder or attacking midfielder but has also played as a winger or a second striker on some occasions. Fàbregas started his career as a trainee with Barcelona but was signed by Premier League side Arsenal in September 2003 at the age of 16. Following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004–05 season, he went on to establish himself as Arsenal's starting central midfielder, playmaker and captain. He broke several of the club's records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best young players for his position. After protracted transfer negotiations, Fàbregas returned to Barcelona; the Catalan giants signed the midfielder for an initial fee of £35 million with a further £5 million in variables on 15 August 2011. In international football, the Spaniard's national career began when he represented the Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of his club performances, he was called up to the senior squad in 2006. He has played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, helping Spain to become eventual winners in the three most recent tournaments, and most notably setting up Andrés Iniesta for the winning goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final in South Africa.
David Villa Sánchez, nicknamed El Guaje, is a Spanish footballer who currently plays as a striker for Atlético Madrid and the Spanish national football team. He can also operate as a winger. Despite sustaining a serious injury as a child, he started his professional career with Sporting de Gijón. He moved to Real Zaragoza after two seasons, where he made his La Liga début, winning his first senior honours—the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España. He joined Valencia CF in 2005 for a transfer fee of €12 million and was part of the Valencia team that won the Copa del Rey in the 2007–08 season. In 2010 he moved to FC Barcelona for €40 million where he won his first La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles. Villa made his international début in 2005. He has since participated in three major tournaments, becoming an integral member of the Spain teams that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. He scored three goals at the 2006 World Cup, was the top scorer at Euro 2008 and earned the Silver Boot at the 2010 World Cup. He is the first Spanish player to ever reach 50 international goals and is Spain's all-time top goalscorer, having also scored more World Cup goals than any other player in Spain's history in the process. The goals-to-games ratio he has achieved for the national team has not been matched by any player since Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish military leader who ruled as the dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death. He came to power during the Spanish Civil War while serving as the Generalísimo of the Nationalist faction. Franco came from a military background. He became a highly decorated soldier and won rapid promotions in the army. He rose to prominence during the 1920s as a commander in the Spanish Legion and became the youngest general in Europe. He was then appointed in charge of Academia General Militar, Spain's main military academy at Zaragoza. However, with the fall of the Spanish monarchy and the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931, Franco, as a conservative and monarchist officer, was marginalized from power by the Republican government. Franco managed to return to prominence with the electoral victory of the conservatives in 1933. He was appointed Chief of Staff of the military and suppressed the anarchist uprising of 1934. In 1936, Franco and a group of Spanish military leaders conspired to overthrow the Popular Front–led Republican government. The rebellion was only half successful and evolved into a civil war, during which Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists. He was able to secure the support of Italy and Germany while integrating the many heterogeneous rebel factions into the Movimiento Nacional. After winning the civil war, Franco had the Spanish Parliament dissolved. He then established a dictatorship and was de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain. His official posts were that of Head of State and Head of Government as the Caudillo and Prime Minister respectively.
Josep "Pep" Guardiola i Sala is a Spanish football manager and manager of German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. Guardiola had played as a defensive midfielder and spent the majority of his playing career with FC Barcelona. He was part of Johan Cruyff's "dream team" that won Barcelona's first European Cup. He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy; Al-Ahli in Qatar; and for Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico while attending managing school. While playing in Italy, he served a four-month ban for a positive drug test, although he was cleared of wrongdoing twice on appeal in 2009 before the Courts of Justice of the Italian Football Federation and the Federal Anti-Doping Courts of the Italian Olympic Committee. As an international, he played for Spain, and in friendly matches for Catalonia. After retiring as a player, Guardiola became coach of FC Barcelona B, and mid-2008 he succeeded Frank Rijkaard as the first team manager. In his first season as manager, Barça won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest UEFA Champions League-winning manager ever. The following season, Guardiola and Barcelona won the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup, bringing the manager's tally to the maximum of six trophies in six competitions in one year, thus completing six trophies sextuple in two seasons.
Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish football goalkeeper who plays for and captains both La Liga club Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. In 2008 he was the captain of the Spanish team that won their first European Championship in 44 years, the Spanish team that went on to win Spain's first World Cup and the 2012 European Championship. Considered to be one of the finest goalkeepers of his generation, Casillas was nominated for the European Footballer of the Year award in 2008, ranking fourth overall. At the end of 2012 he was voted into the UEFA Team of the Year for the sixth consecutive time. As of 2011 Casillas is one of a very select group of players who have won all major club and national championship titles. In 2010, he was awarded with the Sports Prince of Asturias Award. On 19 October 2010, Casillas became the most capped goalkeeper of all time in the UEFA Champions League and in November 2011, he became the most capped player of all time for the Spanish national team.
Fernando Verdasco Carmona is a professional tennis player. His career-high singles ranking is World No. 7, achieved in April 2009. Verdasco started playing tennis at four years of age and had a full-time coach when he was eight. As of 2009, Verdasco has been working in Las Vegas with Andre Agassi and his team, including Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes. Verdasco has aided Spain in winning three Davis Cup titles, winning the deciding match in both 2008 and 2009, he was part of the winning team in 2011 as well. His best performance in a Grand Slam was making the semifinals of the 2009 Australian Open, where he lost to compatriot and eventual champion Rafael Nadal in five sets. Verdasco has also reached the quarterfinals twice at the US Open, in 2009 and 2010, losing to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal respectively, the latter of whom went on to win the title, and once at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, where he led eventual champion Andy Murray two sets to love before being defeated in five sets.
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may have been innocent. His father was Seneca the Elder and his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, called Gallio in the Bible.
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes. He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios. In 1569, Cervantes moved to Rome where he worked as chamber assistant of Giulio Acquaviva, a wealthy priest who became a cardinal during the following year. By then, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Algerian corsairs. After five years of slavery he was released on ransom from his captors by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order. He subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville. In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, "Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written."
Latin pop Artist
Alejandro Sanz is a Spanish singer-songwriter and musician. For his work, Sanz has won a total of fifteen Latin Grammy Awards and three Grammy Awards. He has won the Latin Grammy for Album of the Year three times, more than any other artist. Throughout his career, he has released a total of eight studio albums and six DVDs. The singer is noted for his flamenco-influenced ballads, but he has also experimented with rock, salsa, and hip hop. Born in Madrid, Sanz began playing guitar at age seven, taking influence from his family's flamenco roots. He released his debut album at age sixteen, although he did not gain commercial success in Spain until his second release, Viviendo Deprisa. His next two records, Si Tú Me Miras and 3 also fared well commercially, but it was his 1997 breakthrough album Más that garnered international success. El Alma al Aire followed in 2000, selling more than a million copies in its first week. In 2002, he became the first Spanish artist to record an MTV Unplugged album. His collaboration with Shakira on the single "La Tortura" reached number one on several charts worldwide. His albums No Es lo Mismo and El Tren de los Momentos showed Sanz experimenting with more diverse styles of music, while his most recent release, Paraíso Express served as a return to form for the musician. He signed to Universal Music Group in 2011 and released his ninth studio album, La Música No Se Toca, on September 25, 2012.
Professional Road Racing Cyclist
Alberto Contador Velasco is a Spanish professional cyclist, one of five riders to have won all three Grand Tours of road cycling. He was the winner of the 2007 Tour de France with the Discovery Channel team. With the Astana team he has won the 2008 Giro d'Italia, the 2008 Vuelta a España and the 2009 Tour de France. He initially also won the 2010 Tour de France with this team, and the 2011 Giro d'Italia with team Saxo Bank-SunGard, only to be stripped of these titles later having been found guilty of a doping offence. Following his return from a suspension, he won the 2012 Vuelta a España. Notable summit stage finishes on which he has victories include the Alto de El Angliru in the Vuelta, the Plateau de Beille in the Tour and Mount Etna in the Giro. After being widely expected to lose his tenuous lead in the 2007 Tour de France in that race's final individual time trial, Contador has become a more accomplished time trialist, with several victories in the discipline. He has earned a reputation as an all-rounder, a cyclist who excels in all aspects of stage racing which are needed for high places in the general classification. Contador's career has been marked by doping allegations. The Operación Puerto doping case led his Astana-Würth team to withdraw en masse from the 2006 Tour de France before it began. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but was also accused of doping after his victory in the race the following year. In September 2010, Contador announced that he had tested positive for clenbuterol in a control taken during that year's Tour de France, in which he finished as winner, but although he was suspended during an investigation, he was cleared by the RFEC. A review by the Court of Arbitration for Sport initially set for June 2011 was later deferred several times until February 2012, when the CAS decided that Contador be stripped of the results obtained in the 2010 Tour de France and later, which also caused him to lose his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory. He was also suspended until 5 August 2012, and his contract with Team Saxo Bank was annulled. Upon the completion of his ban, Contador rejoined the renamed Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.
Tommy Robredo Garcés is a Spanish professional tennis player. His career-high singles ranking is world no. 5, which he reached in August 2006 soon after winning the Hamburg Masters. He turned professional in 1998 and was coached by José Manuel "Pepo" Clavet and is now coached by Karim Perona. Robredo considers his forehand to be his best shot, and red clay is his favorite surface.
Glenn Thomas Jacobs is an American professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring name Kane. He is signed to WWE. Born in Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain, Jacobs graduated from Northeast Missouri State University before beginning his professional wrestling career on the independent circuit in 1992. He wrestled in promotions such as Smoky Mountain Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Association before joining the World Wrestling Federation in 1995. Jacobs played several characters until 1997, when he was repackaged as Kane, the masked half-brother of The Undertaker, with whom Jacobs would alternatively feud or team as the Brothers of Destruction. Kane has won 18 total championships during his WWF/E career, including being a three-time world champion, and is also a 12-time tag team champion, having held the World Tag Team Championship, WCW Tag Team Championship and WWE Tag Team Championship with various partners. He also is a Money in the Bank winner. He holds several records in the Royal Rumble match, including most eliminations in a single match, most appearances, and the quickest elimination of another competitor.
Raúl González Blanco, commonly known as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays for the Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd as a striker. Raúl was born in the San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighborhood of Madrid where he played for the local youth team before moving to the Atlético Madrid youth team. He later moved to Real Madrid's youth academy and played at its various levels. In 1994 he signed his first professional contract with the fourth division team Real Madrid C and then was swiftly promoted to the first division team. He is regarded to be one of Spain's greatest ever players. Raúl spent 16 years of his career playing for Real Madrid and is the club's all-time top goalscorer with 323 goals, just ahead of Di Stéfano, who scored 307 goals. Raúl is also the most capped player in the history of the club with 741 appearances, just ahead of Sanchís. With The Whites, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, four Supercopa de España titles, one UEFA Super Cup and two Intercontinental Cup becoming the Champions League's all-time leading goalscorer and second most capped player. In 2003, he was appointed captain of the team and retained that position until his departure from the club in 2010.
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain from 1556 and of Portugal from 1581 . From 1554 he was King of Naples and Sicily as well as Duke of Milan. During his marriage to Queen Mary I (1554–58), he was also King of England and Ireland. From 1555, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spanish as "Philip the Prudent" (Felipe el Prudente), his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans, including his namesake Philippine Islands. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its influence and power. The expression "The empire on which the sun never sets" was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his possessions. During Philip's reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1575, and 1596. This was partly the cause for the declaration of independence which created the Dutch Republic in 1581. A devout Catholic, Philip is also known for organizing a huge naval expedition against Protestant England in 1588, known usually as the Spanish Armada, which was unsuccessful, partly due to storms and grave logistical problems. Philip was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and round-faced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, and pink skin, but his overall appearance is very attractive." The Ambassador went on to say "He dresses very tastefully, and everything that he does is courteous and gracious."
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
Tennis Tournament Champion
Aránzazu "Arantxa" Isabel María Sánchez Vicario is a Spanish former World No. 1 professional tennis player. She won four Grand Slam singles titles, six Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus, who was the figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família. Much of Gaudí's work was marked by his big passions in life: architecture, nature, religion. Gaudí studied every detail of his creations, integrating into his architecture a series of crafts in which he was skilled: ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís, made of waste ceramic pieces. After a few years, under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by nature. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he was conceiving them. Gaudí's work enjoys widespread international appeal and many studies are devoted to understanding his architecture. Today, his work finds admirers among architects and the general public alike. His masterpiece, the still-uncompleted Sagrada Família, is one of the most visited monuments in Catalonia. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Gaudí's Roman Catholic faith intensified during his life and religious images permeate his work. This earned him the nickname "God's Architect" and led to calls for his beatification.
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer. Almodóvar is a successful and internationally known filmmaker. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family and identity are among Almodóvar’s most prevalent themes. His films enjoy a worldwide following and he has become a major figure on the stage of world cinema. He founded Spanish film production company El Deseo with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar who has produced almost all of Pedro’s films. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and received an honorary doctoral degree in 2009 from Harvard University for his contribution to the arts.
Federico García Lorca
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He was executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. In 2008, a Spanish judge opened an investigation into Lorca's death. The García Lorca family eventually dropped objections to the excavation of a potential gravesite near Alfacar. However, no human remains were found.
Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy—after an early emigration from his birthplace and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut in 2002, aged 18. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season, and has remained in the side ever since. He was an integral part of the Barcelona side in 2009, the only time which a club has achieved six titles in one season. He is considered as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, aswell as one of the most finest footballers in his generation. Iniesta played for Spain at Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels, before making his international debut in 2006. He was selected in the team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He helped Spain win the Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. Iniesta was also chosen for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was a key member of the victorious Spanish side; he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands and was named the Man of the Match, and was also selected in the tournament's All-Star Team. At Euro 2012, Iniesta steered Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, being chosen as the Best Player of the Tournament and winning 3 Man of the Match awards.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was court painter to the Spanish Crown; throughout the Peninsular War he remained in Madrid, where he painted the portrait of Joseph Bonaparte, pretender to the Spanish throne, and documented the war in the masterpiece of studied ambiguity known as the Desastres de la Guerra. Through his works he was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of artists of later generations, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.
Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem is a Spanish actor. In 2007, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. He has also garnered critical acclaim for roles in films such as Jamón, jamón, Carne trémula, Boca a boca, Los Lunes al sol and Mar adentro. He portrayed the main antagonist Raoul Silva in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall, for which he received both a BAFTA and a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Bardem has also won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, five Goya Awards, two European Film Awards, a Prize for Best Actor at Cannes and two Coppa Volpis at Venice for his work. He is the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Oscar, as well as the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award. He received his third Academy Award nomination, and second Best Actor nomination, for the film Biutiful.
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI, born Roderic Llançol i de Borja was the head of the Catholic Church from 11 August 1492 to his death in 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized Valencian surname, Borgia, became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his papacy. However, his reputation is mostly drawn from his enemies, the Italian prelates and barons whose power he subverted. Two of Alexander's successors, Sixtus V and Urban VIII, described him as one of the most outstanding popes since St. Peter. His reputation rests more on his considerable skills as a diplomat, politician, and civil administrator rather than as a pastor, although regarding the latter he was no less effective than any of the other renaissance pontiffs.
Gerard Piqué i Bernabeu is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central defender for FC Barcelona. A product of Barça's cantera, he initially left the club for Manchester United in 2004, where he remained for four years, before returning to Barça under Pep Guardiola's leadership, helping the club become the first ever to complete a Sextuple. Piqué is one of four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, the others being Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto'o. Piqué has also represented Spain, making his debut on 11 February 2009. He played an integral role in the Spain team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I, also known as Isabella the Catholic, was queen of Castile and León. She and her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, brought stability to the kingdoms that became the basis for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and unburdened the kingdom of the enormous debt her brother had left behind. Her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms. Isabella and Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects and for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the "New World". Isabella was granted the title Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1974.
Mosheh ben Maimon, called Moses Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn, or RaMBaM, was a preeminent medieval Spanish, Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer and one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135, and died in Egypt on December 12, 1204. He was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt. Although his writings on Jewish law and ethics were met with acclaim and gratitude from most Jews, even as far off as Iraq and Yemen, and he rose to be the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, there were also vociferous critics of some of his writings, particularly in Spain. Nevertheless, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprising a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship. His fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law. In the Yeshiva world he is called sometimes "haNesher haGadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah.
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Catalan Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his native city in 1975. Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.
Xabier "Xabi" Alonso Olano is a Spanish footballer. He plays as defensive midfielder and is a deep-lying playmaker. Alonso began his career at Real Sociedad, the main team of his home region Gipuzkoa. After a brief loan period at SD Eibar, he returned to Sociedad where then-manager John Toshack appointed Alonso as his team captain. Alonso succeeded in the role, taking Real Sociedad to second place in the 2002–03 season. He moved to Liverpool in August 2004 for £10.5 million. He won the UEFA Champions League in his first season at the club, scoring the equalising goal in the Final. The following season, he won the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. He moved to Real Madrid for the start of the 2009–10 season in a deal worth around £30 million. He made his international debut for Spain in April 2003 in a 4–0 victory against Ecuador. While playing for Spain, Alonso has won the Euro 2008, the Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, and he has also represented his country in the Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. On 23 June 2012, Alonso won his 100th cap for Spain in the quarter-final of the Euro 2012 against France: he celebrated the occasion by scoring both of Spain's goals to send them into the semi-finals.
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers that began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Born in Medellín, Spain, to a family of lesser nobility, Cortés chose to pursue a livelihood in the New World. He went to Hispaniola and later to Cuba, where he received an encomienda and, for a short time, became alcalde of the second Spanish town founded on the island. In 1519, he was elected captain of the third expedition to the mainland, an expedition which he partly funded. His enmity with the Governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, resulted in the recall of the expedition at the last moment, an order which Cortés ignored. Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others. He also used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter; she would later bear Cortés a son. When the Governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortés, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements. Cortés wrote letters directly to the king asking to be acknowledged for his successes instead of punished for mutiny. After he overthrew the Aztec Empire, Cortés was awarded the title of Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, while the more prestigious title of Viceroy was given to a high-ranking nobleman, Antonio de Mendoza. In 1541 Cortés returned to Spain, where he died peacefully but embittered, six years later.
Pau Gasol Sáez is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He is a four-time All-Star, and a three-time All-NBA selection, once on the second team and twice on the third team. He has won two NBA championships, both with the Lakers. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002 with the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, but his rights were traded to Memphis. He currently holds the Grizzlies franchise records for field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, offensive, defensive, and total rebounds, blocked shots, turnovers, and points. After seven seasons with the team, Gasol was traded to the Lakers in 2008. His younger brother, Marc, was sent to the Grizzlies in the deal. Gasol has won two Olympic silver medals with the Spanish national basketball team.
Hadrian was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. He is also known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. Hadrian was regarded by some as a humanist and was philhellene in most of his tastes. While he is regarded as one of the Five Good Emperors, Chazalic literature contains critique regarding his foreign policies of Judaic religious tolerance. Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus to an ethnically Italian family, either in Italica near Santiponce. His predecessor Trajan was a maternal cousin of Hadrian's father. Trajan never officially designated an heir, but according to his wife Pompeia Plotina, Trajan named Hadrian emperor immediately before his death. Trajan's wife and his friend Licinius Sura were well-disposed towards Hadrian, and he may well have owed his succession to them. During his reign, Hadrian traveled to nearly every province of the Empire. An ardent admirer of Greece, he sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire and ordered the construction of many opulent temples in the city. He used his relationship with his Greek favorite Antinous to underline his philhellenism and led to the creation of one of the most popular cults of ancient times. He spent extensive amounts of his time with the military; he usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers. He ordered military training and drilling to be more rigorous and even made use of false reports of attack to keep the army alert.
Juan Manuel Mata García, commonly known as Juan Mata, is a Spanish footballer, who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and he can also play as a winger. A graduate of Real Madrid's youth academy, Mata played at Real Madrid Castilla for the 2006–07 season, where he finished the season as the side's second best scorer with 10 goals. At the start of the 2007–08 season, Mata signed for fellow La Liga side Valencia CF, through a contractual clause at Real Madrid. He was voted the team's Best Young Player, at the end of that season. Mata won the Copa del Rey in his debut season at Valencia. Following his debut for Valencia in 2007, Mata became an integral part of the club's midfield, making over 174 appearances for the duration of four seasons. In the 2011–12 season, Mata moved to England, signing for Premier League club Chelsea in August 2011 for a fee in the region of €28 million. On 27 August 2011, Mata made his debut and scored a goal for Chelsea against Norwich City, where he came on as a substitute. Mata won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup in his debut season at Chelsea. He also won the club's Player of the Year award. After scoring a goal against Monterrey in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup, he has now scored on his debut in the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Capital One Cup, and Club World Cup for Chelsea. Mata's second season at Chelsea proved to be even more successful, helping the club to qualify for the next season's Champions League and winning the Chelsea Player of the Year Award for a second successive year. On 15 May 2013, Mata won the UEFA Europa League, joining teammate Fernando Torres to become the first players to have held all four of the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup, and the European Championships simultaneously. In addition, he also has the Under-21 Football Championship at that time.
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the Pope. After being seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, he underwent a spiritual conversion while in recovery. De Vita Christi by Ludolph of Saxony purportedly inspired Loyola to abandon his previous military life and devote himself to labour for God, following the example of spiritual leaders such as Francis of Assisi. After claiming to experience a vision of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in March 1522, he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave, and formulating the fundamentals of the Spiritual Exercises. In September 1523, Loyola reached the Holy Land to settle there, but was sent back to Europe by the Franciscans.
Jorge Lorenzo Guerrero is a Spanish professional motorcycle road racer. He is the 2006 and 2007 250cc World Champion, and the 2010 and 2012 MotoGP World Champion. He currently competes in the MotoGP class, riding for the factory Yamaha team.
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon was Queen of England from 1509 until 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII and previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Prince Arthur. The daughter of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was three years old when she was betrothed to Prince Arthur, heir apparent to the English throne. They married in 1501, but Arthur died five months later. In 1507, she held the position of ambassador for the Spanish Court in England, becoming the first female ambassador in European history. Catherine subsequently married Arthur's younger brother, the recently succeeded Henry VIII, in 1509. For six months in 1513, she served as regent of England while Henry VIII was in France. During that time the English won the Battle of Flodden, an event in which Catherine played an important part. By 1525, Henry VIII was infatuated with his mistress Anne Boleyn and dissatisfied that his marriage to Catherine had produced no surviving sons, leaving their daughter, the future Mary I of England, as heiress presumptive at a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events that led to England's break with the Roman Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters. In 1533 their marriage was declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgment of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope. Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and considered herself the King's rightful wife and queen, attracting much popular sympathy. Despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, and died there on 7 January 1536. Catherine's English subjects held her in high esteem, thus her death set off tremendous mourning among the English people.
Feliciano López Diaz-Guerra is a Spanish professional male tennis player. He was born in Toledo and now lives in the Spanish capital, Madrid. Lopez achieved his current career-high singles ranking of World No. 15 in January 2012. In 2005, he was the first male Spanish tennis player to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon since 1972, when Manuel Orantes reached the semi-finals. This was Lopez's best Grand Slam result thus far and he repeated it at Wimbledon in 2008, losing to Marat Safin in four sets, and again in 2011, losing to Andy Murray in straight sets. Lopez defeated Tim Henman at the 2007 Wimbledon second round in what would be Henman's last Wimbledon match. He is sponsored by Wilson and Joma. In 2009, he played the then-longest match in Australian Open history, losing to Gilles Müller, before the Novak Djokovic–Rafael Nadal final and Rafael Nadal–Fernando Verdasco semifinal eclipsed it in time. Throughout his career, he has played in the most 5 set matches that have gone beyond 6–6, his longest fifth set being 16–14 at the 2009 Australian Open against Gilles Müller.
Roberto Soldado Rillo is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League as a striker. After emerging through Real Madrid's youth system, he went on to appear in only 27 official games for the first team. Over the course of nine La Liga seasons he amassed totals of 207 matches and 101 goals, representing also Osasuna, Getafe and Valencia. An international since 2007, Soldado represented Spain at the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Latin pop Artist
Belinda Peregrín Schüll, better known as Belinda Peregrín or simply Belinda, is Spanish-born Mexican singer-songwriter and actress. She started her career as child actor at the age of 10 when she was cast the lead role in the children's telenovela ¡Amigos X Siempre!. She later appeared in other children's programs Aventuras en el Tiempo in 2001 and Cómplices Al Rescate in 2002 with their subsequent soundtrack releases and international tours. Her debut self-titled album Belinda was a commercial success in Latin America, selling over 2.5 million records worldwide. The album spawned number one singles "Ángel" and "Vivir"; the main themed song of Corazones al límite. Following her departure from Sony BMG and management in 2005, Belinda's second album Utopía earned her two Latin Grammy Awards nominations and was certified platinum in Mexico. It contained the top ten singles "Ni Freud Ni Tu Mamá", "Bella Traición" and "Luz Sin Gravedad". Belinda has also appeared in film including the Disney Channel Original Movie, The Cheetah Girls 2 and has dubbed voice roles for The Tale of Despereaux in 2008 and Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones in 2012. Following her return to Mexican television in Camaleones and the series Mujeres Aseseinas 3, inspired her subsequent album Carpe Diem which spawned the hit single "Egoísta". Her fourth studio album Catarsis was released in July 2, 2013, featuring its singles "En El Amor Hay Que Perdonar" and "En La Obscuridad".
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer IV, sometimes called the Holy, was the Count of Barcelona who brought about the union of his County of Barcelona with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the Crown of Aragon.
César Vidal Manzanares
César Vidal Manzanares, born 1958 in Madrid, is a Spanish radio host, historian and author. He has hosted the radio show La Linterna on Cadena COPE since 2004. A lawyer turned historian and then by request of his friend and host of La Mañana he became the host of La Linterna, currently is the second most popular radio show of Cadena COPE. He is known for the editorials at the beginning of the shows in which he links historical facts to current issues. He is also known for his views on Radical Islam, Spanish Civil War and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's administration. In La Guerra que Ganó Franco, Checas de Madrid and Paracuellos-Katyn. El Genocidio de la Izquierda he explains his views of the conflicts which are at odds with the leading leftist approach of the war but which are shared by fellow conservatives like Pío Moa and Ricardo de la Cierva. He has claimed in his show that Islam and France are Spain's two main enemies throughout its history. In his book, Paracuellos-Katyn. El Genocidio de la Izquierda, he provides facts as well as an actual number of people murdered during the Spanish Civil War for practicing Catholicism. His detractors, including Ian Gibson, accuse him of lack of rigor in his works, that often offer biased arguments. He has published more than 100 books. He also writes a column in La Razón, and used to publish his Misterios de la Historia in Libertad Digital.
Liana Mendoza is an actor, stunt performer, and screenwriter.
Fernando Arribas is a film cinematographer.
Juli Cantó is an actor.
Gorka Vázquez is a film director.
Juan Díaz is an actor.
Fernando Javier Llorente Torres, nicknamed El Rey León, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Juventus F.C. in Serie A, as a striker. Llorente started his career with Athletic Bilbao, working his way through the various youth ranks, and becoming one of the most important offensive players for the club in the following decade, since making his first team debut in 2005. He scored 29 goals for the club in all competitions in the 2011–12 season, and was described as a "Bilbao legend". A Spanish international since late 2008, Llorente helped the national team win the 2010 World Cup. He also represented the nation at Euro 2012.
Jesús Navas González is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester City as a right winger. His main assets are his quick dribbling and an ability to run at opposing defenders. He played the vast majority of his career with Sevilla, appearing in nearly 400 official games and winning six major titles, including two UEFA Cups and two Copas del Rey. In 2013 he signed for Manchester City. A Spanish international since 2009, Navas helped his country win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Carles Puyol i Saforcada is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona. Mainly a central defender he can also play on either flank, especially as a right back. He served as a longtime team captain for his only club FC Barcelona after taking over from Luis Enrique in August 2004, going on to appear in more than 500 official games for the team and win 21 major titles, notably six La Liga and three UEFA Champions League championships. A Spanish international on more than 100 occasions, Puyol was part of the squads that won the Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup tournaments.
Álvaro Negredo Sánchez is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Manchester City in the Premier League, as a striker. Nicknamed La fiera de Vallecas, his early career was associated with Real Madrid, although he could never become a part of its first-team setup, going on to represent other clubs in his country, namely Sevilla. Over the course of six seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 209 games and 102 goals. A Spanish international since 2009, Negredo was part of the team that won Euro 2012.
Teresa of Ávila
Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be a founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with John of the Cross. In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV and in September 27, 1970, was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography and her seminal work El Castillo Interior are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices as she entails in her other important work, Camino de Perfección.
Nicolás Almagro Sánchez is a Spanish professional tennis player, ranked world no. 16 on the ATP World Tour. He reached the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2008, 2010 and 2012, as well as the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2013. Almagro has won 12 singles titles and he achieved his career-high singles ranking of World No. 9 in May 2011.
ʾAbū l-Walīd Muḥammad bin ʾAḥmad bin Rušd, commonly known as Ibn Rushd or by his Latinized name Averroës, was a Moroccan Andalusian Muslim polymath, a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics and Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics, physics and celestial mechanics. Averroes was born in Córdoba, Al Andalus, present-day Spain, and died in Marrakesh, present-day Morocco. He was interred in his family tomb at Córdoba. The 13th-century philosophical movement based on Averroes' work is called Averroism. Averroes was a defender of Aristotelian philosophy against Ash'ari theologians led by Al-Ghazali. Averroes' philosophy was considered controversial in Muslim circles. Averroes had a greater impact on Western European circles and he has been described as the "founding father of secular thought in Western Europe". The detailed commentaries on Aristotle earned Averroes the title "The Commentator" in Europe. Latin translations of Averroes' work led the way to the popularization of Aristotle and were responsible for the development of scholasticism in medieval Europe.
Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was a Castilian nobleman and military leader in medieval Spain. He was called El Cid by the Moors and El Campeador by Christians. He is the national hero of Spain. He was born in Vivar del Cid, a town near the city of Burgos. Born a member of the minor nobility, El Cid was brought up at the court of the Spanish Emperor Ferdinand the Great and served in the household of Prince Sancho. He rose to become commander and the royal standard-bearer of Castile upon Sancho's ascension in 1065. He went on to lead the Castilian military campaigns against Sancho's brothers, the rulers of the kingdoms of Leon and Galicia as well as against the Muslim kingdoms in Andalusia. He became famous for his military prowess in these campaigns and helped enlarge Castilian territory at the expense of the Muslims while driving Sancho's brothers from their thrones. This, however, ended up putting him in a difficult position when, in 1072, Sancho died suddenly without issue, leaving his brother, Alfonso, as his only heir and ruler of the reunified empire. Although El Cid continued to serve the crown in the person of Alfonso, who was now Emperor of Spain, he lost his status in court and was held in suspicion. Finally, in 1081, he was ordered into exile.
Carlos Moyá Llompart is a retired former world no. 1 tennis player from Spain. He was the French Open singles champion in 1998 and was the singles runner-up at the 1997 Australian Open. In 2004, he helped his country win the Davis Cup. He currently resides in Switzerland.
Camilo Sesto is the stage name of Camilo Blanes Cortés, a singer, songwriter, music producer and composer of romantic ballads, pop and rock. In 2011, he was awarded the "Maximum Hispanic Pride" medal, delivered in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. He has released albums in English, and some of his classic songs have been interpreted by Italian, Portuguese and German singers. With a frenetic activity level in the 1970s and 1980s, he remains one of the artists with the most number 1 hits, totaling 52, his number of top 40 list-songs being 18. In 4 decades of activity he is estimated to have exceeded 175 million copies sold worldwide, making him one of the biggest selling artists in the Spanish speaking world. As a composer he has written songs for artists such as Miguel Bose, Cristina, Francisco, Angela Carrasco, Lani Hall, Audrey Landers, Lucía Méndez, Manolo Otero, Sergio Fachelli, Charytín Goyco, José José and Federico Cabo among others, and produced and translated into Spanish the lyrics of one of the albums of Air Supply. In 1975 he starred in the role of Jesus in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar,  which he financed in its Spanish adaptation. [Citation needed]
Víctor Valdés i Arribas is a Spanish football goalkeeper who currently plays for FC Barcelona in La Liga. He is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Barcelona's history, having won a total of 19 trophies including five La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, and two Copa del Rey titles. He also has won the Zamora Trophy a record five times. He currently holds the club records as goalkeeper with most appearances in the league and in official competition, breaking Andoni Zubizarreta's records during the 2011–12 season. Before joining the full team in 2002–03 season, Valdés played for the youth teams and FC Barcelona B.
Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, was a Roman Catholic missionary born in Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre, and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India, but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries. In these areas, being a pioneer and struggling to learn the local languages in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. It was a goal of Xavier to one day reach China.
Professional Road Racing Cyclist
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte is a Spanish road racing cyclist for UCI ProTour team Movistar Team. Valverde's biggest wins have been the 2009 Vuelta a España, the Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2006, 2008 and 2006 UCI ProTour series championship. He has twice collected the silver medal in the UCI Road World Championships, in 2003 and 2005. Valverde is rare in combining different specialities in road bicycle racing, being a strong climber and sprinter. After a lengthy court battle, he was suspended for two years as part of the Operación Puerto blood doping investigation, but he returned to competition in 2012 upon completion of the ban.
Joanna of Castile
Joan, known as Joan the Mad, was queen in her own right of the Castile from 1504 and of Aragon from 1516. From the union of these two crowns modern Spain evolved. Joanna married Philip the Handsome, who was crowned King of Castile in 1506, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain. After Philip's death that same year, Joanna became mentally ill and was confined to a nunnery for the rest of her life. Though she remained the legal queen of Castile throughout this time, her father, Ferdinand II of Aragon, was regent until his death, when she inherited his kingdom as well. From 1517, her son, Charles, ruled as king in her name.
David Josué Jiménez Silva is a Spanish footballer who plays for Manchester City and the Spanish national team. Silva plays mainly as an attacking midfielder but has also played as a winger or a second striker on some occasions. A Spanish international since the age of 20, he was an integral member of the squads that won three consecutive international tournaments — UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2012 — the first time a European team has achieved such a feat. Silva spent six years of his professional career with Valencia CF, appearing in more than 150 games and winning one Copa del Rey in 2008, before moving in the summer of 2010 to Manchester City. His passing ability and possession-retaining qualities have earned him the nickname "Merlin" from his teammates. Since joining City, Silva has appeared in over 100 games in three seasons, winning the FA Cup and Premier League.
Letizia, Princess of Asturias
Letizia, Princess of Asturias, is the wife of Felipe, Prince of Asturias, the heir apparent to the Spanish throne. Before her marriage to the prince, she was a journalist and news anchor.
Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla y Matheu was a Spanish composer. With Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados he is one of Spain's most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century. His image was on Spain's 1970 100-pesetas banknote.
Enrique Ortiz de Landázuri Yzarduy, born August 11, 1967 is a Spanish singer-songwriter. Bunbury was born in Zaragoza, Spain. He got involved in music in the early 1980s, making his debut in a high school band called Apocalipsis, and later played along with Proceso Entrópico. In 1984, Bunbury joined a group called Zumo de Vidrio, debuting as a lead vocalist. After adopting the nickname of Bunbury, taken from the Oscar Wilde stage play The Importance of Being Earnest, the musician teamed up with Héroes del Silencio, becoming a major number in the Hispanic rock scene. The band eventually broke up in 1996 and Bunbury started his solo career in 1997 with a electro-rock album, Radical Sonora with his new band: Copi, Del Moran, Ramon Gacias and former Héroes del Silencio guitarist Alan Boguslavsky. Recognized by his wish to always reinvent himself, Bunbury released in 1999 the album Pequeño, which sounded very different from anything he did before. His band also suffered changes, Boguslavsky was replaced by Rafa Dominguez, and the new faces, Ana Belén Estaje, Luis Miguel Romero, Javier Iñigo, Javier Garcia Vega & Antonio Ríos in the metal instruments.
Vicente del Bosque
Vicente del Bosque González, 1st Marquis of Del Bosque is a former Spanish footballer who is currently the manager of the Spanish national football team. After taking over from Luis Aragonés – who had led Spain to European success in the 2008 European Championship – Del Bosque went on to lead the national team to win their first-ever World Cup in 2010, and then to retain their European Championship in 2012. Del Bosque is also known for having coached Real Madrid from 1999 to 2003, which was the most successful period in the club's modern era. He is to date the only football manager to have won the Champions League, the European Championship, and the World Cup.
Lope de Vega
Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature. Nicknamed "The Phoenix of Wits" and "Monster of Nature" by Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega renewed the Spanish theatre at a time when it was starting to become a mass cultural phenomenon. He defined the key characteristics of it, and along with Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, he took Spanish baroque theatre to its greater limits. Because of the insight, depth and ease of his plays, he is regarded among the best dramatists of Western literature, his plays still being represented worldwide. He was also one of the best lyric poets in the Spanish language, and author of various novels. Although not well known in the English-speaking world, his plays were presented in England as late as the 1660s, when diarist Samuel Pepys recorded having attended some adaptations and translations of them, although he omits mentioning the author.
Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, is a worldwide acclaimed Spanish singer and television, film and theatre actor. A pioneer of modern Spanish music, he is considered a major influence in having opened the door and paving the way to the flood of Spanish singers that follow. His wide-range voice, added to his quality as showman, has entertained and engaged people worldwide for more than five decades.
Joaquín Ramón Martínez Sabina, known artistically simply as Joaquín Sabina, is a singer, songwriter, and poet. He has released fourteen studio albums, two live albums, and three compilation albums. He has collaborated and composed songs for Ana Belén, Olga Román and Miguel Ríos amongst others. He performed both solo and with a group for his live albums, performing with Javier Krahe and Alberto Pérez in La mandrágora, the group Viceversa in a 1986 concert, and with Joan Manuel Serrat in "Dos pájaros de un tiro". Sabina suffered a stroke in 2001 and although he physically recovered, he entered a deep depression which resulted in a four-year-long concert hiatus. He recovered and released his eighteenth album, Alivio de Luto, in November 2005 and in 2009 he released his album, Vinagre y rosas. In 2012 he released his latest album in collaboration with Joan Manuel Serrat: La Orquesta Del Titanic.
Francisco Pizarro González was a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire. Pizarro González was born in Trujillo, Spain, the illegitimate son of Gonzalo Pizarro, an infantry colonel, and Francisca González, a woman of poor means. His exact birth date is uncertain, but is believed to be sometime in the 1470s, probably 1471. Scant attention was paid to his education and he grew up illiterate. He was a distant cousin of Hernán Cortés. On 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonzo de Ojeda on an expedition to Urabí. He sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso, and, in 1513, accompanied Balboa to the Pacific. In 1514, he found a supporter in Pedrarias Dávila, the Governor of Castilla de Oro, and was rewarded for his role in the arrest of Balboa with the positions of mayor and magistrate in Panama City, serving from 1519 to 1523. Reports of Peru's riches and Cortés's success in Mexico tantalized Pizarro and he undertook two expeditions to conquer the Incan Empire in 1524 and in 1526. Both failed as a result of native hostilities, bad weather, and lack of provisions. Pedro de los Ríos, the Governor of Panama, made an effort to recall Pizarro, but the conquistador resisted and remained in the south. In April 1528, he reached northern Peru and found the natives rich with precious metals. This discovery gave Pizarro the motivation to plan a third expedition to conquer Peru, and he returned to Panama to make arrangements, but the Governor refused to grant permission for the project. Pizarro returned to Spain to appeal directly to King Charles I. His plea was successful, and he received not only a license for the proposed expedition but considerable authority over any lands conquered during the venture. He was joined by family and friends, and the expedition left Panama in 1530.
Montserrat Caballé is a Spanish operatic soprano. She has sung a wide variety of roles, but is best known as an exponent of the bel canto repertoire, notably the works of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi. She came to the attention of a much wider audience in 1988 when she sang with rock-star Freddie Mercury of Queen the song featuring her home city "Barcelona", later a theme song for the 1992 Summer Olympics in that city.
Mariano Rajoy Brey; born 27 March 1955 is the Prime Minister of Spain, elected on 20 November 2011. He has been leader of the People's Party since 2004. Under Prime Minister José María Aznar, Rajoy was Minister of Public Administration from 1996 to 1999 and Minister of Education from 1999 to 2000; he then served as Deputy Prime Minister from 2000 to 2003. Rajoy led the People's Party into the March 2004 general election, an election won by the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in the aftermath of the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Subsequently Rajoy was Leader of the Opposition from 2004 to 2011.
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV of Spain was King of Spain and Portugal as Philip III. He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death and in Portugal until 1640. Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez, and his rule over Spain during the challenging period of the Thirty Years' War. On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached 12.2 million square kilometres in area but in other respects was in decline, a process to which Philip's inability to achieve successful domestic and military reform is felt to have contributed.
Inmaculada Concepción Martínez Bernat, professionally known as Conchita Martínez, is a former professional tennis player born in the town of Monzón, Aragón, Spain. Martínez is currently the Captain of the Spain Fed Cup team. She is the only Spanish player to have won the women's singles title at Wimbledon, where she beat Martina Navrátilová to win the 1994 Women's Singles. She also was the singles runner-up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open.
Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms, many of which have been transcribed by Miguel Llobet and others for guitar. Many of his pieces such as Asturias, Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Cataluña, and the Tango in D are amongst the most important pieces for classical guitar. The personal papers of Isaac Albéniz are preserved, among other institutions, in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.
Francesc "Tito" Vilanova i Bayó is a Spanish former footballer who played as a central midfielder. After a professional career which consisted of 26 La Liga games in three seasons combined, all with Celta, he went on to work with Barcelona as an assistant coach under Pep Guardiola, being part of the squads that won 14 titles. In 2012 Vilanova was appointed first-team manager, winning the national championship in his first season. He stepped down in July 2013, due to ill health.
Saint Dominic, also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán, was a Spanish priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
David de Gea
David de Gea Quintana is a Spanish footballer who plays for Manchester United as a goalkeeper. Born in Madrid, he started his career aged 10 with Atlético Madrid and rose through the academy system at the club before making his senior debut in 2009. After being made Atlético's first-choice goalkeeper, he helped the team win both the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup, and his performances attracted the attention of Manchester United, whom he joined in June 2011. He was also the captain for the Spain under-21 national side.
Professional Road Racing Cyclist
Miguel Indurain Larraya is a retired Spanish road racing cyclist. Indurain won five consecutive Tours de France from 1991 to 1995, the fourth, and last, to win five times. He won the Giro d'Italia twice, becoming one of only seven people in history to achieve the Giro-Tour double in the same season. He wore the race leader's yellow jersey in the Tour de France for 60 days. Indurain's ability and physical size—1.88 m and 80 kg —earned him the nickname "Miguelón" or "Big Mig". He was the youngest rider ever to win the Spanish amateur national road championship, when he was 18, at 20 the youngest rider to lead the Vuelta a España, and at 20 he won a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir.
Latin pop Artist
Pablo Moreno de Alborán y Ferrándiz, popularly known as Pablo Alborán, is a Spanish singer. In 2011, he was nominated for three Latin Grammy Awards. The singer has released a studio album, a live album, four singles, four music videos and various musical collaborations. His records are distributed by EMI Music.5 which debuted in 2010 with their first official release, "Solamente tú", the first single from the debut album of Pablo Alboran, launched in February 2011. This debut ranked No. 1 in its first week of sales, making Pablo the first solo artist to sign a complete debut album to rank to the top since 1998 in Spain. A few months after releasing his first album, it was published in acoustic as the first recorded live concert by the singer. Several weeks after it debuted to the top in Spain, it was launched in Portugal, getting to be No. 1 for several weeks. Of all his singles, two stand out in terms of popularity: "Solamente tú" and "Perdóname" which he sang together with singer Carminho, being number one in sales, both in Spain and in Portugal.
Raúl Albiol Tortajada is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for S.S.C. Napoli in Italy, and the Spanish national team. His main asset is his versatility, as he can play as a central defender, right back or defensive midfielder. He spent most of his career with Valencia and Real Madrid, winning five major titles with both teams combined; over the course of ten seasons he amassed La Liga totals of 229 games and seven goals. A Spanish international since 2007, Albiol represented the country at the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships.
Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver is a Spanish professional road racing cyclist. He has been competing since 2001, and currently rides for the UCI World Tour team Team Katusha. His notable results in Grand Tours include ten stage victories, second place overall in the 2012 Giro d'Italia, third place in the general classification of the Vuelta a España in both 2010 and 2012 and third place in the 2013 Tour de France. He also finished first of the UCI world rankings in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and won classics such as the Flèche Wallonne and the Giro di Lombardia twice. He also won stage races including the 2010 Volta a Catalunya and the 2011 Vuelta a Burgos.
Alfonso X of Castile
Alfons X, Alphonse X or Alfonso X, called the Wise, was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 30 May 1252 until his death. During the Imperial election of 1257, a dissident faction chose him to be King of the Romans on 1 April. He renounced his imperial claim in 1275, and in creating an alliance with England in 1254 his claim on Gascony also. Alfonso established Castilian as a language of higher learning, and was a prolific author of Galician poetry, such as the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which are equally notable for their musical notation as for their literary merit. Alfonso's scientific interests—he is sometimes nicknamed "the Astrologer" —led him to sponsor the creation of the Alfonsine tables, and the Alphonsus crater on the moon is named after him. As a legislator he introduced the first vernacular law code in Spain, the Siete Partidas. He created the Mesta, an association of sheep farmers in the central plain, but debased the coinage to finance his claim to the German crown. He fought a successful war with Portugal, but a less successful one with Granada. The end of his reign was marred by a civil war with his eldest surviving son, the future Sancho IV, which would continue after his death.
Mercedes Muñoz Sampedro
Mercedes Muñoz Sampedro was an actress.