They Played For Both Clubs: Bolton v Ipswich

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There was only ever one candidate.....

Since founding father of this site, Mark, took a step back - the jobs have been shared around. From a personal point of view I shall be looking after the ‘They Played For Both Clubs' section. I like to think that this decision was made because of my own encyclopaedic knowledge of Bolton Wanderers and football in general, but I have also heard a shocking rumour that the appointment was made because I was the first to reply to the group email that was sent to the Lion of Vienna Suite writers last week, but I digress.

So, this weekend we host Ipswich Town, managed by professional Irish Yorkshireman Mick ‘Mick' McCarthy. I spent all of twenty seconds thinking about footballers who have plied their trade at both Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town before settling on the subject of this week's article.

Iván Campo Ramos.

Born in San Sebastien, Spain, in February 1974, Campo is nothing short of a Bolton Wanderers icon. He played for Logrones and CD Alaves in his youth, turning professional in 1993 at Alaves in the third tier of Spanish football. That season they won Group II of the Segunda Division B.

Campo left the Basque club in 1995, to join Valencia, playing in La Liga under three managers: Brazilian legend Carlos Alberto Parreira, caretaker Jose Manuel Rielo and then future Spanish national manager Luis Aragones.

In his first season at the Mestalla, Valencia finished in 2nd place, behind champions Atletico Madrid - to put this season into a modern context, Barcelona finished in third place, with Real Madrid in sixth, 17 points behind their city rivals Atletico. Campo spent the season on loan at Valladolid as he continued his footballing education, helping the side avoid relegation to the second division.

The following year saw Campo establish himself in the Valencia first team following his return from loan. He made 25 appearances in the 1996/97 season, scoring once. He was, however, released from his Valencia contract, and moved to RCD Mallorca in time for the 1997/98 season, who at the time were managed by Argentinian Héctor Cúper, a man well known for his defensive tactics. Mallorca, with Campo as a central defender, finished a creditable fifth.

It was then however, that Campo came to a wider European audience, as he was signed by Real Madrid for £6m. There he took his place amongst familiar names such as Roberto Carlos, Fernando Redondo, Raúl, ex-Valencia teammate Mijatović and my own favourite, Croatian Davor Šuker. Ivan Campo helped Real Madrid to a 2nd place finish behind eventual champions Barcelona. He made 27 appearances, scoring once.

The following season marked the start of the Vicente del Bosque era of trophy winning at the club, having taken over from John Toshack early in the campaign. The squad was also largely different from the previous squad, with the arrival of Steve McManaman and Nicolas Anelka, as well as local talents Michel Salgado, and Ivan Helguera, to support the budding young talent of Raúl, Iker Casillas, Fernando Morientes as well as Guti, and the older veterans like Fernando Hierro and Roberto Carlos. Hierro and Anelka would of course go on to play with Campo at Bolton Wanderers.

Madrid finished in a disappointing 5th position in the league, however they did win the UEFA Champions League following a 3-0 win against Campo's former side Valencia at the Stade de France, Paris. Campo played the full 90 minutes and collected his winner's medal.

Campo's playing time in Madrid however grew less and less over the following seasons. In 2002 he was sidelined by Vicente del Bosque, and when offered the chance to come on loan to Bolton Wanderers by manager Sam Allardyce, Campo took it.

He made his debut at home to Liverpool in September 2002, coming off the bench to score, though was unable to stop his side falling to a defeat. Primarily used as a central defender, he helped Bolton Wanderers avoid relegation, finishing in 17th place ahead of media darlings West Ham United. He made 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and making a huge impact on the club.

He was expected to return to Madrid at the end of the 2002/03 season, but instead signed for Bolton Wanderers on a three year deal, news of which thrilled the club and fans alike. Moved into a defensive midfield position, over the next five years he became an integral part of a successful Bolton side who would defy all expectation, under Allardyce, to become a top-half Premiership outfit.

Bolton reached the League Cup final in 2004, and despite being cheated out of a win by incompetent buffoon Mike Riley, in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough, finished eighth in the league, at the time the highest finish in their Premiership history. The following year we finished in fifth place, and earned entry to the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club's history.

We progressed as far as the last 32 but were eliminated by a Franck Ribery-led Marseille as they lost 2-1 on aggregate.

With Campo's help, between 2003-04 and 2006-07, Bolton recorded consecutive top-eight finishes, a record bettered only by the traditional big four of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. His contribution, primarily from a defensive midfield position, was invaluable. He was a ball-winner, but his range of passing was such that moves flowed through Campo, the ball was attracted to him. He was beloved by the supporters, who saw his flair and dramatic style as being truly entertaining.

However, the good times didn't last - Allardyce's departure would be the herald of tougher times at Bolton, and for Campo. Initially shunned by new manager Sammy Lee, he found it hard to get a regular game.

The 2007-08 season saw Wanderers struggle under Lee's replacement, Gary Megson, finishing in 16th place, with safety only being guaranteed on the final day of the season - despite this, we reached the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup. During the European run, Bolton gained an unexpected draw at former European champions Bayern Munich, also defeating Atlético Madrid along the way before being knocked out by Sporting Lisbon over two legs.

The end of the season saw Campo leave the club, as Megson decided in his infinite wisdom to dispense with the experience and quality that the player still had, the berk.

Campo went on to sign for Ipswich Town, then of the Championship, making 17 appearances, scoring once, against Barnsley in a 3-0 win. Ipswich manager, ex-Manchester United dog-walker Roy Keane then released the 35 year old Campo at the end of the season. Expected to retire, he instead joined AEK Larnaca of the Cypriot Second Division, where he made eight appearances.

Ivan Campo retired from professional football at the end of the 2009/10 season, having made 384 professional appearances, scoring 21 goals.

Career Honours

Real Madrid:

2000/01 - La Liga champions

1999/00 and 2001/02 - UEFA Champions League

1997/98 - Intercontinental Cup

2001/02 - Spanish Super Cup

International Career

Campo only made four appearances for the Spanish National side, after appearing in a 4-0 win against Sweden in March 1998. He then made three further appearances at the 1998 World Cup, held in France, though the Spanish side were knocked out in the Group Stage.

Ivan Campo, we salute you.

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