Continuing our alphabetical world tour, next up is Venezuela. The only CONMEBOL country to never appear in a World Cup, Venezuela have for years been the victim of a strong South American continent (and the fact their national sport is baseball, but that’s another argument).
According to the Premier League website, just two players have represented Venezuela in the Premier League to date.
First Player – Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham; 2013-14)
Centre half Fernando Amorebieta moved to Fulham in 2013 after eight years with Athletic Bilbao, with Cottagers fans hopeful their side could challenge for Europe after recent forays in the Europa League.
Instead, 2013/14 was a disaster. Amorebieta featured 23 times as Fulham crashed out of the Premier League with a whimper. It was to prove his only Premier League season, despite winning promotion with Middlesbrough two seasons later.
Though he was born in Venezuela, Amorebieta won caps for Spain’s under 19s. In 2011, three years after being an unused substitute in a senior match with Spain, he made his debut for the Venezuela national team, ultimately winning 15 caps.
- Most appearances – Salomon Rondon (140)
- First appearance – Fernando Amorebieta (FULHAM 1-1 West Brom, September 14th 2013)
- Most goals – Salomon Rondon (35)
- First goal – Fernando Amorebieta (FULHAM 2-2 Hull City, April 26th 2014)
More of a household name perhaps, the second and final Venezuelan to appear in the Premier League was Salomon Rondon, who spent four years in the Premier League with West Brom and Newcastle.
- Salomon Rondon is Venezuela’s all-time top scorer, with 30 goals.
- Fernando Amorebieta made four appearances for the Basque Country national team (non-FIFA affiliated), making his debut against Venezuela in the opening of their new stadium ahead of the 2007 Copa America.
- Both Venezuelans to play in the Premier League have been relegated.