Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes ( 2012)

Aaron William Hughes ( born November 8, 1979 in Cooktown ) is a Northern Irish football player. The current captain of the Northern Ireland national team, which can be used in addition to his preferred position in central defense as a full-back or in midfield, is known for his extremely fair play, with which he has rarely still on is no red card, a yellow and so far. After his sporting breakthrough at the end of the 1990s at Newcastle United, where he has played over 200 league games until the summer of 2005, he plays for a two-year spell at Aston Villa in July 2007 for Fulham in London. The biggest success to date was reaching the final of the Europa League for Hughes 2010.

Professional career

In the club

Newcastle United (1997-2005)

Hughes played since the age of twelve years for the Portadown Boys, went to every week for training in the "branch" of the youth academy of Manchester United ( " School of Excellence" ) to Belfast and was then for the Lisburn Youth Club, and later Coagh United active. He was discovered finally the so-called Milk Cup when he took up with the crew of a Christian youth organization (Boys ' Brigade ) against Newcastle United.

15 -year-old Hughes was henceforth part of the youth department of the " Magpies " and before the start of season 1997/98 he was in a tournament in Ireland for the first time in the A -Team to use. His competitive debut came the " baptism of fire " when he came off the bench on 26 November 1997 against FC Barcelona ( 0-1) at Camp Nou until the end of the season he had a total of eight missions boast, of which he had four times in the starting. It was noticeable early deliver its flexibility, which enabled him, despite striking preference for the center-back positions a good game as a full-back in the League Cup against the experienced England international Steve McManaman from Liverpool FC. Gradually he worked his way with confident and mature acting performances in the first team before, after he had initially started the 1998/99 season in the reserve team and the U-19 selection. Between November 1998 and January 1999, he defended his place in the first team, then found himself on the bench again, before he unexpectedly in the victorious FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur (2-0) had represented the injured Steve Howey.

Although he was now ascended to the Northern Ireland national team for stem force, the fight for a regular place in Newcastle designed as much more complicated. Hughes recommended in November 1999 in the UEFA Cup, as he neutralized before the back four Francesco Totti and a few days later as a left-back in the match against Tottenham, was in he the best player ( "Man of the Match" ) awarded. After a brief return to the bench, the injury caused by Alessandro Pistone finally for Hughes ' ​​promotion to regular player on the left. With his first league goal against Sheffield Wednesday ( 8-0 ), he was also the youngest so far Premier League scorer of his club. Only in the course of the 2000/01 season, when Hughes definitively established, he moved to his preferred position in the defensive center, showed his strengths in the ability to " read the game " as well as defensive actions to initiate rapid counter-attacks and eventually signed a new five-year contract.

In the course of the season 2001/ 02 he acted after initial games in central defense and other " special security " as against Thomas Hassler in the UEFA Intertoto Cup against TSV 1860 München, mostly as a right-back and was doing similar reliable as on the left. It was only when Andy Griffin forced upon in September 2002 on the right side, he left the post again, played from then mostly left again and held occasionally in the central area and in front of the middle. In October 2003, he won back his regular place of Griffin on the right side; also fell - as in previous years previously and later - his exceptionally fair play for a defender on, because in 47 official matches, he conceded only a yellow card. The 2004/05 season was Hughes's last season at Newcastle and was disappointing. Although he had a firm place in the now trained by Graeme Souness team further and put his show flexibility, the round ended disappointingly in 14th place and to the Northern Irishman had to undergo a groin operation in April 2005. Souness was planning to build a new team ultimately without Hughes, who then end of May 2005 for £ 1.5 million moved to Aston Villa.

Aston Villa (2005-2007)

In the trained by David O'Leary "Villans " Hughes was immediately part of the team and came mostly as a right-back for use. However, he was held in Birmingham not permanent happiness. Since Aston Villa had only occupies 16th place in the 2005/06 season, O'Leary had been going back and under his successor Martin O'Neill prospects deteriorated gradually. The reasons lay side by injury problems in the fact that Phil Bardsley Players out on loan he had made the place in the team contest. So he left after just two years, the club ahead in the direction of Fulham FC, who paid a transfer fee of one million pounds.

Fulham FC (since 2007)

At FC Fulham was for Hughes advantageous that he was there cared for by his former coach Lawrie Sanchez, who in turn knew his merits accurate. After an injury made ​​his debut still delayed until mid-September 2007, Hughes made ​​henceforth with the tall Norwegian Brede Hangeland at the " Cottagers ' central defense; also made ​​him Sanchez behind Brian McBride directly to the replacement captain. After a difficult season with a nearly -won league and new coach to Roy Hodgson Hughes Hangeland denied with an exceptionally good season 2008 /09. The defense allowed only 34 goals and helped the club to a surprising sixth place, which brought qualification for the Europa League with them. He nearly a year later reached the final against Atlético Madrid (1-2 aet), where he played a total of 56 competitive matches of the year - of which only two as right-back. In December 2009, he also extended his contract until the end of season 2012/13. Shortly before, already defensive partner Hangeland had signed a long-term contract.

Northern Ireland national football team

In the same year in which Hughes played twice for the Northern Ireland B national team, he came on 25 March 1997 on his debut in the A-Team. Before the end of the season 1997/98 he joined a total of three international matches against Slovakia ( 1-0), Switzerland ( 1-0) and by Substitutes in Spain (1:4), even though he just a handful of competitive matches the first team of Newcastle United had denied. In the following years he continuously struggled in the team and worked as a full-back in four out of ten qualifying matches for Euro 2000 put - to a duel with world champion French national football team (0-1) had joined in August 1999.

The captaincy Hughes practiced for the first time on 17 April 2002 against Spain ( 0:5 ), and since 2003 he has been entrusted with this function permanently. In contrast to the change of playing in the clubs Hughes has since been mostly placed in the center of defense, with Chris Baird operates a colleague from Fulham with him on the defensive, who also represents him in an emergency as captain. Although Hughes in the National team career lasting over a decade could never qualify for the finals of a World or European Championships, he led the team between 2005 and 2007 against England (1-0 ), Spain ( 3-2 ) and Sweden ( 2:1 ) to their initial successes in official matches. On 10 August 2011 he succeeded in his 77th match against the Faroe Islands ( 4-0) his first goal for the Northern Ireland national team.