Santiago Cañizares was born in Madrid in 1969 and started his career as a footballer at the club Calvo Sotelo. Later he played for the youth teams at Real Madrid, Castilla, Elche, Mérida and Celta, the club where he first played in the first division.
In 1994 he went back to Real Madrid, where he won two leagues, a Spanish Super Cup and a Champions League title in four seasons. He then signed for Valencia where he won a European Super Cup, a Spanish Super Cup, two league titles, a UEFA Cup and two Copas del Rey.
He has 46 caps for Spain and won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 92. Cañizares retired in 2008, having won the Zamora trophy for the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets four times.