Last Five | Santi Bueno

Looking back at five years of highs and lows for the Wolves men's first-team players before the 2023/24 season, next up is the recent career of Old Gold defender Santiago Bueno.


  • Barcelona B (0 apps | 0 goals)
  • Peralada – loan (29 apps | 2 goals)

Having come through the ranks at Penarol in his native Uruguay, an 18-year-old Bueno was spotted by FC Barcelona scouts and brought across to Europe and into the club’s youth side in 2017. Although he hadn’t yet made an appearance for the Nou Camp outfit’s B team, the centre-back was sent out on loan during the second half of the 2017/18 season to Segunda Division B (the third tier of Spanish football) where he joined CF Peralada, which at the time was acting as a reserve team of Girona FC, under the name Peralada-Girona B. With 12 apperances under his belt, as well as his first professional goal to secure the winner against Saguntino, he returned there for a second spell during the entire 2018/19 season. During that campaign he scored goals in wins over Sabadell and Ebro, and even captained the team during April 2019 in defeat to Badalona.


  • Girona (2 apps | 0 goals)

With his contract at Barcelona having come to an end, and having impressed at Peralada, Bueno signed a five-year deal with the senior Girona side ahead of the 2019/29 season, but he had to wait until he could break into the team. His first appearance for the second tier club came in the December as he started and played the whole 90 minutes in the first round of the Copa Del Rey, as Girona claimed a 2-1 win over Linares. Having featured 13 times on the bench in La Liga 2, Bueno got his chance to make his league debut on the final game of the campaign, as he came off the bench for the final three minutes against Alcorcon. Most of Bueno’s minutes that season came for Uruguay’s under-23s as he faced three games in 2020 Olympic qualification, playing against Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, while scoring against the latter.


  • Girona (43 apps | 3 goals)

Although Bueno was not a first choice centre-back under head coach Francisco when the subsequent season began, he soon became a regular as he showed the qualities needed to help Girona to a fifth place finish in La Liga 2, and a place in the play-offs. The 2020/21 season was also Bueno’s best of his career so far in terms of goalscoring, with the defender firing home his first goal in Girona colours in the most dramatic of fashions, as he bagged a 120th minute winner to help his side claim a 2-1 win over Lugo in the Copa del Rey second round. However, their run would end in the last 16 to Villarreal. He also found the net twice during the later months of the league season, scoring in a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, before scoring the winner against Malaga during a seven-game winning streak. Bueno played every minute of Girona’s play-off run, which ended in a 3-2 aggregate loss to Vallecano.



  • Girona (39 apps | 1 goal)

Bueno and Girona were quickly able to get over their play-off heartbreak the following season as they claimed promotion out of the the Segunda Division, and earned a place back in La Liga following a three-year absence. Although a knee injury meant his season was delayed – which coincided with Girona winning just two of their opening 10 games to start the league campaign, the centre-back retuned in spectacular style, as he scored the winner in a 2-1 victory on the road at Mirandes by heading home Aleix Garcia’s cross. That was to be the only goal Bueno scored that season, but it wasn’t to matter, as his performances in defence were key to securing another play-off spot for Girona. But this time, there was to be a positive finish, with Bueno helping his side to a 3-1 aggregate victory over Tenerife in the final.


  • Girona (36 apps | 0 goals)

Back in the top flight of Spanish football, Girona utilised Bueno in every minute possible during the 2022/23 season, with his only absences coming through either injury or suspension. But it was not an easy task for Bueno and his defensive teammates to keep their sheets clean during the early months of the La Liga season, with the side not conceding in a match for the first time in the February of 2023, in a 1-0 win over Valencia. The following month, Bueno made his senior international debut, featuring for the full 90 minutes in the international friendlies against Japan and South Korea, in which Uruguay claimed a draw and a win respectively. He returned to Girona for the final months of the La Liga season, and helped the team to remarkable results against his former clubs Barcelona (a goalless draw) and Real Madrid (a 4-2 win) to secure a 10th place finish.

This article originally featured in Wolves' official 2023/24 matchday programme. Last season's programmes are still available to purchase online through retailers Curtis Sports