2013/14 Italian Serie A
Albiol started out as a defensive midfielder and can play in an advanced role or at right-back, while he is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and when linking with the midfield. A composed defender, he is not a guaranteed starter for his country, but has proven himself to be a class act at the highest level.
Starting his career with Valencia, Albiol was handed his debut by current Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez in a UEFA Cup match against AIK Solna in September 2003, but it was only in the 2005-06 season, and following a loan spell with Getafe, that he secured a regular place in the heart of the club's defence.
Learning his trade alongside Roberto Ayala and Spain team-mate Carlos Marchena, Albiol developed into a player of some repute and shone in 2007-08, winning the Copa del Rey. Another impressive campaign the following season earned him a £13 million move to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 when he became the beneficiary of Florentino Perez's latest spending spree at the Bernabeu.
Strengths: Albiol possesses the natural attributes necessary for any centre back as he is tall, sturdy and quick.
Weaknesses: Has not been regularly tested at the very top level and could be exposed by the best in the world.
Career high: Winning a move to big-spending Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
Career low: At the age of 18 and on his way to sign on loan for Getafe, Albiol was involved in a serious car accident. He had his spleen removed and was in intensive care for 17 days, but somehow recovered to feature in the second half of the season.
Style: Assured, commanding, powerful, an accomplished defender.
Quotes: "We have signed a versatile player and one of the best defenders in Spain and Europe. He is a magnificent example of what you get when you combine talent, effort and sacrifice." Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, July 2009.
Trivia: Albiol played alongside Cesc Fabregas and David Silva at the Under-20 World Cup in Holland in 2005.
ITALIAN SERIE A