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Manuel Almunia (born May 19, 1977 in Pamplona) is a Spanish football player who currently plays for Arsenal as a goalkeeper.

The first team he played for was Spanish side Recreativo de Huelva. He then joined Celta Vigo for whom he played for nearly a year before moving to Albacete Balompie on a loan deal on November 1, 2003, forging his way quickly into the first team squad and making 24 league appearances.

He was signed for Arsenal on July 14, 2004 and made his debut in a 2-1 League Cup win over Manchester City on October 27, 2004. He played in all the Gunners' League Cup matches that season, including the quarter-final against Manchester United on December 1, 2004; Almunia fumbled a save from David Bellion after 19 seconds, gifting him the only goal of the game.

Despite his occasional mistakes, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has not given up faith in the keeper, and he has since played in some important matches for Arsenal when Jens Lehmann was not available. This included a win over Sheffield United in the 2004-05 FA Cup, where Almunia made two saves in a penalty shootout after the game finished 0-0, to take the Gunners through to the quarter-finals.

 

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