Ivan De La Pena
Ivan De la Pena Lopez is a Spanish footballer who currently features for the Spanish football club Espanyol. He is an attacking central midfielder and bars the nicknames Little Buddha and The Shaven One.
Ivan de la Pena progressed through the youth academy at Spanish and European giants FC Barcelona and made his debut for the senior side in 1995 when the great Johan Cruyff was in charge of the club. In the summer of 1998 after aking 81 league appearances for the Blaugranas, Ivan de la Pena moved to Lazio, although he was voted the best young player in Spain by El Pais in both 1996 and 1997.
He couldn’t settle in Rome and at Lazio and was first loaned out to French side Olympique Marseille and then FC Barcelona. In the summer of 2002 he was signed by Barcelona’s other club Espanyol.
It was at Espanyol that De la Pena found his rhythm and started fulfilling his ambition. He is now a regular for Espanyol and is one of important players for the club. The Little Buddha has made over 150 league appearances.
Ivan de la Pena has played 5 times for Spain.