Profile: Cañas

Juan José Cañas had the honour of lifting the Copa del Rey 2005 trophy as Real Betis captain. He received the cup from King Juan Carlos and offered it to the thousands of béticos present at Vicente Calderón Stadium.

Without a doubt, the best possible ending of a great career. Cañas did not play that Copa del Rey final against Osasuna but his teammates, and al, the fans, wanted to have that gesture that this player raised in the Green and White Academy deserved. He wore Betis shirt for 15 seasons and left a huge print of professionalism and commitment behind him.

Juan José Cañas Gutiérrez was born on the 17th of May of 1972 in Rota (Cádiz). He entered Betis Academy at 16 and became Youth Copa del Rey champion in 1990 in a final in which the team beat FC Barcelona 4-2. A team managed by José Emilio del Pino with some other players that also became important in Real Betis history, such as Ángel Cuéllar, Juan Merino, Roberto Ríos or Luis Márquez.

He made his debut with the first team on the 20th of November of 1991, in a Copa del Rey match against Getafe. He was in the starting eleven and played the 90 minutes.
Eleven days later, on the 1st of December of 1991, he played his first league match. It was at Benito Villamarín Stadium in a game between Real Betis and Malaga CF. Five minutes before the end, Cañas, aged 19 at the time, came on for Gabino.

That season, Juanjo Cañas played four more matches, becoming a full time first team player the following year, under the management of José Ramón Esnaola. He started to progress as a reliable midfielder and his consolidation came in 1994, when Lorenzo Serra Ferrer arrived in Heliópolis. Since that moment, he became one of the references of the Green and White midfield.

He was part of that great team that played the Copa del Rey final in 1997, and was always one of the main men in following years under different managers. He also had the chance to play continental competitions such as the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup.

In 2004, his contract was finishing and everything indicated that it was not going to be renewed. However, the return of Lorenzo Serra changes the unfolding of events and he stays in the Club for another two years, which gave him the chance to lift the Copa del Rey in 2005.

Hard-working, with a great sacrifice ability, powerful and versatile, the fans will always remember him for his great performance rate and honesty.

He wore the Green and White shirt for 15 straight seasons, achieved two promotions and one relegation, and played 359 official games (302 league; 42 Copa del Rey; 5 UEFA Cup Winners Cup; and 10 UEFA Cup) and scored 19 goals.

After his retirements, he stayed at the Club for three years as scout, until he left in 2010. However, he returned as member of the technical staff with manager Gabriel Calderón. Again, he retook his position as scout, position in which he still is.