Clubs: Club Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC
• A fast developer, he starred for Spain's youth teams, becoming a European champion at U16 and U19 level in successive years and top-scoring in both tournaments; made his Atlético debut in May 2001, in the Segunda División, won promotion the following season and scored 13 goals in his first top-flight campaign.
• Appointed captain at 19, he gained the nickname of El Niño (The Kid) and went on to score 84 goals in 214 league matches for the club despite modest team achievements and no European participation besides the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
• Made his senior debut for Spain in September 2003 and played at UEFA EURO 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup (scoring ten goals in the tournament, qualifiers included) before starring for La Roja at UEFA EURO 2008 and hitting the winning goal in the final against Germany.
• Joined Liverpool in 2007 for a reported €30m and proved an immediate success, registering 24 Premier League goals and six in the UEFA Champions League in his maiden campaign; maintained a high goal output over the next two seasons despite injury problems.
• Appeared in all seven matches of Spain's 2010 World Cup winning-campaign in South Africa, coming on as an extra-time substitute in the final triumph over the Netherlands.
• Joined Chelsea FC for an English record £50m (€57.5m) in January 2011, and despite struggling initially, found some form towards the end of the 2011/12 season, confirming victory with a breakaway goal against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-final and coming on as a substitute in the showpiece win versus FC Bayern München.
• Despite starting just twice at UEFA EURO 2012, his three goals and an assist proved enough to earn him the Golden Boot as Spain retained their European crown.
• Scored six goals in an ever-present nine UEFA Europa League appearances in 2013, including the opener in the Blues' 2-1 final victory against SL Benfica.
UEFA European Championship: winner 2008, 2012
UEFA EURO 2008: Team of the Tournament
UEFA EURO 2012: Top scorer
UEFA Champions League: winner 2012
UEFA Europa League: winner 2013
UEFA European Under-19 Championship: winner 2002
UEFA European Under-16 Championship: winner 2001
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 2008