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Iñaki Urdangarin
Spanish royalty, handball player

Iñaki Urdangarin

Iñaki Urdangarin
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Spanish royalty, handball player
Is Athlete Handball player
From Spain
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 15 January 1968, Zumarraga
Age 54 years
Father: Juan María Urdangarin Berriochoa
Spouse: Infanta CristinaDuchess of Palma de Mallorca
Children: Juan Urdangarín y de BorbónPablo Urdangarín y de BorbónMiguel Urdangarín y de BorbónIrene Urdangarín y de Borbón
The details (from wikipedia)


Iñaki Urdangarin y Liebaert (born 15 January 1968), is a retired handball player, turned entrepreneur, accused of embezzling about 6 million euros in public funds for sporting events since 2004 through his nonprofit foundation, the so-called Nóos case, and of political corruption by using his former title of Duke of Palma as the husband of the Infanta Cristina.

Early life and education

Urdangarin is the son of Juan María Urdangarin Berriochoa (b. Zumárraga, 19 September 1932 - d. Vitoria-Gasteiz, 10 May 2012) and wife Claire Françoise Liebaert Courtain (b. Antwerp, 16 July 1935), of Spanish Basque and Belgian (both Walloon and Flemish) descent respectively. He has six siblings. His paternal grandparents Laureano de Urdangarin y Larrañaga (1898–1982) and wife Ana de Berriochoa y Elgarresta (1902–1996) came from the tiny and humble Basque village of Zumarraga.

He obtained an MBA after a "tailor made study".

Sports career

At the age of 18, Urdangarin became a professional handball player with FC Barcelona Handbol, where he remained until his retirement in 2000. Meanwhile, he studied at the Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas (ESADE) in Barcelona, from which he received a master's degree in business administration.

As a member of the Spanish handball team, he participated in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Summer Olympics, serving as team captain in 2000. The team won the bronze medal in 1996 and 2000.

Urdangarin has been a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee since 4 April 2001, and was elected first deputy chairman on 16 February 2004. In 2001, he received the Grand Cross of the Spanish Royal Order of Sports Merit (Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo).

Corruption and money laundering

In November 2011, Urdangarin was accused of diverting public funds for his own profit through the non-profit Nóos institute in the 'Palma Arena' case. The Spanish Anticorruption bureau conducted searches at the Nóos institute. The daily El País published a budget document for an international event organized by the Noos institute. It is believed that he persuaded various Spanish public administrations (mostly regional governments) to sign agreements with the Nóos Institute for both work that was never done and work that was dramatically overstated up to €5,800,000 from public administrations.

In December 2011, the Anticorruption Bureau confirmed that Urdangarin had been sending substantial sums of public money to accounts in Belize and the United Kingdom. That same month, the Royal Household of Spain announced that Urdangarin would not participate in any official Royal Family activity for the foreseeable future, as a result of the scandal. In his 2011 Christmas Eve National Speech, King Juan Carlos stated that "La justicia es igual para todos" ("Justice is the same for everyone"); the following day he clarified that he was speaking generally.

On 6 February 2012, Urdangarin appeared before a judge regarding allegations of corruption. He is being investigated with 14 others, including Jaume Matas, former premier of the Balearics. He appeared again on 25 February 2012 in Mallorca to answer questions before the investigating judge, José Castro.

On 26 January 2013, the Spanish royal household removed the section covering Iñaki Urdangarin from its official website.

Since 12 June 2015, he is no longer referred to as the Duke of Palma de Mallorca following the removal of that title from his wife the Infanta Cristina.

On 10 June 2016 Prosecutor Pedro Horrach called for Urdangarin to be jailed for 19-and-a-half years and fined 980,000 euros. The date of the verdict has not been set.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • 15 January 1968 – 4 October 1997: Don Iñaki Urdangarin Liebaert
  • 4 October 1997 – 12 June 2015: His Excellency Don Iñaki, Duke of Palma de Mallorca
  • 12 June 2015 – present: The Most Excellent Don Iñaki Urdangarin Liebaert

In view of contradictory Spanish legislation, enacted over the past 30 years, Urdangarin was not legally entitled to use the ducal title of his wife (Royal Decree 1368/1987, Transitory Provisions, Third). But by centuries-old social convention in Spain, he held the courtesy title of duke. As such, by the same social convention he was styled as "His Excellency", and as a Grand Cross he remains officially addressed as The Most Excellent.


  • Spain Spain  : Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Sports Merit (Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo, 30/11/2001).
  • Luxembourg Luxembourg  : Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown (07/05/2001).


Personal life

According to the Royal household Urdangarin met the Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. However Consuelo León Llorente and María Molina maintain in their book 'Infanta Cristina', that they met in 1992. They married in Barcelona on 4 October 1997; The couple have four children, all born in Barcelona: Juan (born 29 September 1999), Pablo (born 6 December 2000), Miguel (born 30 April 2002), and Irene (born 5 June 2005).

The family lived in Barcelona from 1997 until 2009, where Urdangarin was director of planning and development for Motorpress Ibérica and a founding partner of Nóos Consultoría Estratégica. From 2009 to 2011, they lived in Washington, D.C., where he worked for Telefónica, before returning to Barcelona. In August 2013 Urdangarin remained in Barcelona to stand trial, while his wife and children moved to Geneva, Switzerland, to work with the Caixabank Foundation. He joined the family a short time later.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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