Diego Tristán

Diego Tristán
Personal information
Full name Diego Tristán Herrera
Date of birth (1976-01-05) 5 January 1976
Place of birth La Algaba, Spain
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1998 Betis B 94 (33)
1998–1999 Mallorca B 39 (15)
1999–2000 Mallorca 35 (18)
2000–2006 Deportivo La Coruña 177 (87)
2006–2007 Mallorca 13 (0)
2007–2008 Livorno 21 (1)
2008–2009 West Ham 14 (3)
2009–2010 Cádiz 29 (8)
Total 422 (165)
National team
2001–2003 Spain 15 (4)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Tristán and the second or maternal family name is Herrera.

Diego Tristán Herrera (born 5 January 1976) is a Spanish retired professional footballer who played as a striker.

At his peak, he was considered amongst the best players in his position in Europe, displaying a vast array of skills: dribble, shot accuracy, aerial ability and off-the-ball movements. He is best known for his Deportivo de La Coruña spell, where he spent six years, often overshadowed by physical and personal problems.[1]

Over the course of eight La Liga seasons, Tristán amassed totals of 227 games and 95 goals. He appeared with the Spanish national team at the 2002 World Cup.

Club career

Early years

Born in La Algaba, Province of Seville, Tristán came through the youth ranks of local Real Betis, going on to finish his sporting formation with the B-side of RCD Mallorca.

After one season in Segunda División he made his La Liga debut in 1999–2000, against CD Numancia on 12 September 1999 (scoring in the process), and finished his first top flight campaign with 18 goals.


After nearly moving to league powerhouse Real Madrid during the 2000 summer, a deal barred by Lorenzo Sanz's exit from the club's presidency, Tristán joined Deportivo de La Coruña, forming a dreaded attacking partnership (on occasions, as Depor mainly operated in a 4–5–1 formation) with Dutchman Roy Makaay.

As Makaay was first-choice during 2000–01, Tristán threatened to quit Deportivo when he found himself in and out of the side, but eventually became an undisputed starter in the following season and responded, netting 21 league goals for the Javier Irureta-led team, a competition best. He added six in the campaign's UEFA Champions League and five in the Copa del Rey;[2] this included a hat-trick in a 5–0 home win against former club Mallorca, on 7 April 2002.[3]

Afterwards, Tristán injured his ankle on international duty, losing again the starting berth to Makaay who even won the European Golden Boot for his performances. The former could not adapt to his secondary role, but still scored 19 overall goals for the Galicians during that season.

Even when Makaay left Deportivo in June 2003 for FC Bayern Munich, Tristán never regained his form and confidence: in the 2003–04 campaign he played just ten full matches and was taken off in 20. His 18 further appearances as substitute made him miss only eight out of 56 matches, but he only produced 13 goals (eight in the league, two in the domestic cup and three in the Champions League, including one in a 3–8 away defeat to AS Monaco FC on 5 November 2003).


In total, Tristán scored 87 goals in the shirt of Deportivo in four seasons, leaving in July 2006 – he was released on 1 September along with teammate Lionel Scaloni.[4] After being linked with several clubs in Spain and overseas, including Bolton Wanderers, he agreed to rejoin Mallorca after a six-year hiatus,[5] but was released on 31 January 2007 due to a lack of fitness, form and goals.

Tristán signed a one-year contract with Serie A's A.S. Livorno Calcio in July 2007, as the Italians searched for a replacement for Ukraine-bound Cristiano Lucarelli,[6] who signed with FC Shakhtar Donetsk, but he ultimately failed to impress with the Tuscany team, scoring only once during the campaign and eventually dropping down to Serie B.

On 29 September 2008 it was confirmed Tristán was undergoing a trial at West Ham United of the Premier League.[7] On 14 October he signed a contract,[8] making his debut on 8 December as a late substitute in the 0–2 home defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.[9] He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 home victory over Stoke City on 28 December, also coming from the bench.[10]


On 24 July 2009, Tristán joined second division club Cádiz CF after having been released by West Ham at the end of the season, thus returning to his native Andalusia after 14 years.[11] He regained some of his scoring form in his first and only season, but his team was relegated after finishing in 19th position; in the last league match, a 4–2 home win against Numancia on 19 June 2010 – with the striker grabbing a brace – proved insufficient.[12]

International career

On 2 June 2001, courtesy of his stellar Deportivo performances, Tristán earned a debut for Spain, scoring in a 4–1 home win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Oviedo. In the finals in South Korea and Japan he appeared sparingly for the quarterfinalists after picking up an injury,[1][13] and did not manage to find the net.

Tristán scored on his last cap, a 3–0 friendly win in Portugal on 6 September 2003.[14]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 2 June 2001 Carlos Tartiere, Oviedo, Spain  Bosnia and Herzegovina 4–1 4–1 2002 World Cup qualification
2. 1 September 2001 Mestalla, Valencia, Spain  Austria 1–0 4–0 2002 World Cup qualification
3. 2 April 2003 Antonio Amilivia, León, Spain  Armenia 1–0 3–0 Euro 2004 qualifying
4. 6 September 2003 D. Afonso Henriques, Guimarães, Portugal  Portugal 0–3 0–3 Friendly




Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1995/96Betis BSegunda División B381100-3811
1998/99Mallorca BSegunda División391500-3915
1999/00MallorcaLa Liga351800-1154623
2000/01DeportivoLa Liga291922-1124223
2006/07MallorcaLa Liga13030--150
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2007/08LivornoSerie A211211
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2008/09West HamPremier League1433000--173
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2009/10CádizSegunda División29810----308
Country Spain 3891512817--6122475190
Italy 211211
England 143173
Total 424155513193









  1. 1 2 Tristán, pesadilla eterna (Tristán, eternal nightmare); El País, 1 May 2005 (Spanish)
  2. Golden Shoe: Tristán moves up after treble; UEFA.com, 18 March 2002
  3. Weekend review: Tristán treble lifts Deportivo; UEFA.com, 8 April 2002
  4. Deportivo's Tristán and Scaloni released from contracts; ESPN Soccernet, 1 September 2006
  5. Striker Tristán agrees a return to Real Mallorca; ESPN Soccernet, 13 September 2006
  6. Tristán to fill Lucarelli void; UEFA.com, 23 July 2007
  7. West Ham hand a trial to former European Golden Boot winner Diego Tristan; Mail Online, 29 September 2008
  8. Tristán deal completed; West Ham United, 14 October 2008
  9. West Ham 0–2 Tottenham; BBC Sport, 8 December 2008
  10. West Ham 2–1 Stoke; BBC Sport, 28 December 2008
  11. Tristan joins Cádiz; FIFA.com, 24 July 2009
  12. El Cádiz golea, pero no se salva y vuelve a Segunda B (Cádiz routs, but does not survive and returns to Segunda B); Marca, 19 June 2010 (Spanish)
  13. La verdadera lesión de Diego Tristán es un edema óseo (Diego Tristán's real injury is a bone edema); La Voz de Galicia, 19 September 2002 (Spanish)
  14. "España recupera el buen juego con una goleada en Portugal (0–3)" [Spain back to playing well with a goalfest in Portugal (0–3)] (in Spanish). El País. 7 September 2003. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  15. "Diego Tristán". Soccerway. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  16. "Diego Tristán". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  17. "Diego Tristán". European Football. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  18. "Spain – List of Topscorers ("Pichichi") 1929–2015". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
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