Rubén Baraja Vegas was born on the 11th July 1975 and is a Spanish retired footballer, and current manager of CD Tenerife.
A complete central midfielder with good tackling, technique, and offensive qualities, together with accurate passing and goalscoring ability, he played mostly for Valencia during a 17-year professional career, being an essential figure in five of the club’s major titles, which included two La Liga championships.
Baraja was also a consistent part of the Spain national team for five years, appearing in one World Cup and one European Championship and winning 43 caps.
In June 2011, Baraja returned to former team Atlético Madrid as part of newly appointed manager Gregorio Manzano’s coaching staff. In the summer of 2013 he returned to main club Valencia, first coaching the youths then the reserves.
Baraja was appointed manager of Elche CF, newly relegated to the second tier, on 12 July 2015. On 6 June of the following year, he resigned after failing to agree new terms.
On 8 November 2016, Baraja took the reins at fellow league team Rayo Vallecano. After only three wins from 13 games, he was sacked on 20 February 2017 as they sat a point above the relegation places.
Baraja was appointed at Sporting de Gijón on 12 December 2017. Towards the end of the season, he received a four-match ban and a €3,005 fine for preventing FC Barcelona B’s Sergi Palencia from taking a throw-in; this included the first game of the play-offs, in which eventual champions Valladolid eliminated the Asturians 5–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals.
On 18 November 2018, Baraja was dismissed after losing the Asturian derby against Real Oviedo, leaving the team in 14th position with a streak of only one win from 11 matches. In December of the following year, he became coach of CD Tenerife in the same league.