Full Name: Luis Amaranto Perea Mosquera
Squad Number: 21
DoB: 30 January 1979
Buyout Clause: € 30m
Previous Clubs: Independiente Medellín (2000-2003), Boca Juniors (2003-2004)
If you’re born in a place called Turbo, there’s a special kind of irony about it when you turn out to be one of the fastest runners in football. Luis Amaranto Perea, famous for his incredible stamina and pace, grew up in Colombia and played in and around South America before moving to Atlético Madrid in 2004, where he’s currently the joint longest serving player in the entire squad.
Perea debuted for Independiente Medellín in 2000 and played 117 games for the Colombian side before moving to Boca Juniors. Despite it being a short spell – Perea played only 16 games in Buenos Aires – that might have been the most succesful period in Perea’s career. The team won the Argentinian league and the Intercontinental Cup in 2003/2004.
In June 2004 the versatile defender signed for Atlético on a four year deal, along with Pablo Ibáñez. The two would form a strong centre-back partnership for a long time.
From 2008 onwards, Atlético signed many new defenders, but Perea managed to retain his position in the team, although he was occasionally shifted to right-back. With Perea in the team Atlético twice qualified for the UEFA Champions League, but the biggest success would come in 2010. With the Colombian starting in both matches, Atlético played and won the Europa League final, before losing the Copa del Rey final a week later.
On the 27th of August 2011, Perea started in Atlético’s 2-0 win over Internazionale in the UEFA Super Cup.
On the 1st of May 2011, Luis made his 204th appearance for Atleti, surpassing legendary Argentine defender Jorge Bernardo Griffa as the most-capped foreign player at Atlético. When asked about his legacy, specifically, how he would like to be remembered in 30 years, Perea said:
“I want to be remembered as a professional. The people have to value me as a sincere, hard-working and happy person. Beyond whether it went poorly or well for me on the field, I’m a hard worker and I hope that is what is remembered about me.”
Perea has played more than four hundred games in his entire career, but for all of his pace, stamina, and work rate, he is yet to score his first goal on a professional level.