|Full name||Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido|
|Date of birth||1 March 1989|
|Place of birth||Cancún, Mexico|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||Real Sociedad|
|2006–2007||→ Salamanca (loan)||32||(8)|
|2007–2008||→ Osasuna (loan)||33||(3)|
|2011||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||8||(2)|
|2011–2012||→ Real Sociedad (loan)||37||(12)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 May 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido (born 1 March 1989) is a Mexican football player currently playing as a striker for Real Sociedad. He also plays for the Mexico national football team. He started his career at Mexican club C.D. Guadalajara, and caught the eye after finishing as the top scorer at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship. After joining Arsenal, he has had loan spells at Spanish clubs UD Salamanca and CA Osasuna, finally joining Real Sociedad permanently on 10 August 2012.
Carlos Vela's career started with Guadalajara, alongside his brother Alejandro Vela. After winning the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship with Mexico and finishing as the top scorer with five goals, Jorge Vergara, owner and president of Chivas de Guadalajara, offered to sign him. Since Vela's family lived in the then-recently-storm-stricken Cancún, Quintana Roo, he asked that the club help relocate them as a condition of his signing. Vela had previously shown his great affection to his father, whose birthday fell on the day on which Mexico beat Brazil in the final of the U-17 World Cup, by carrying the cup to his father and dedicating his Golden Boot to him.
Vela attracted interest from a number of European clubs, and eventually Arsenal won the race for his signature in November 2005 on a five-year deal for a £125,000 fee that rose to £550,000 after he played 50 first-team games. However, since English work permit restrictions for non-EU citizens prevented him from playing in England, Arsenal quickly loaned him out to Celta de Vigo in February 2006, but was returned right away with no games played.
At the end of the season, Vela was sent to Spanish Segunda División club Salamanca, on loan for the 2006–07 season. He had a successful stay there, creating many of Salamanca's 53 goals, eight of which he scored himself.
After his loan spell with Salamanca ended, bigger clubs of La Liga, such as Levante, Osasuna and Almería were all interested in taking him on loan from Arsenal for whom he was still ineligible to play as he still had yet to receive a work permit. Eventually, a one year loan move to Osasuna was agreed, with the option of an extension for another year. However, no permanent option had been contemplated. On 31 October 2007, he scored his first goal with Osasuna, in a match against Real Betis, a performance that went on to earn several plaudits from the Spanish press.
Return to Arsenal
On 22 May 2008, Vela was granted a work permit that allowed him to play in England. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger confirmed that Vela would be involved with the first team in the coming season and that he viewed Vela as a striker in the Eduardo mould.
Vela made his competitive debut for Arsenal on 30 August 2008 in their Premier League match against Newcastle United, coming on as a substitute for Robin Van Persie in the 63rd minute. Arsenal won the match 3–0. In his full debut on 23 September 2008 against Sheffield United in the League Cup, Vela scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 win, with his second goal recently voted as one of Arsenal's 50 greatest goals. The match was also notable for featuring Arsenal's youngest ever side, with an average age of 19.
On 8 March 2009, in the FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Burnley, Vela scored the first goal in a 3–0 win by chipping the ball over the keeper and into the goal. He scored his first goal in the Premier League for Arsenal away to Portsmouth on 2 May 2009 making him just the second Mexican player to score a goal in the Premier League.
On 28 April 2009, he was excluded from Arsenal's training session as a precaution due to the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Two of Vela's friends from Mexico visited him over the weekend and Arsenal were asked to keep him away. However, he returned to training the next day after being given the all-clear.
Vela missed Arsenal's pre-season campaign of the 2009–10 season after suffering an ankle injury which kept him out until September. He returned to action on 22 September by coming off the bench in Arsenal's 2–0 win by assisting the first and scoring the second goal against West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup. On 21 November 2009 Vela made his first appearance of the season in the Premier League away to Sunderland, playing 21 minutes after coming on as a substitute for Eduardo. Vela renewed his contract with Arsenal on 10 December 2009. On 4 May 2010, Vela played his 50th game in an Arsenal shirt, against Blackburn Rovers. On 9 May 2010, he scored the fourth goal of Arsenal's victory over Fulham.
Vela wore the number 11 shirt for the 2010–11 campaign, as Robin van Persie switched to the number 10, which was vacated by former Arsenal defender William Gallas. Coincidently, his brother Alejandro also wears the number 11 shirt for Cruz Azul in Mexico. He scored his first goal of the season against Bolton Wanderers in a 4–1 home win on 11 September 2010. On 15 September 2010 Vela scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League when Arsenal beat Portuguese side S.C Braga 6–0.
West Bromwich (loan)
On 28 January 2011, Vela joined West Bromwich Albion on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season. He made his debut on 1 February 2011 in a 2–2 draw against Wigan Athletic playing 58 minutes of the game. He scored his first goal coming in as a substitute for the Baggies in his third match for the club with a 92nd minute equaliser against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 20 February 2011. Vela once again scored for West Brom in the dying minutes of a game against Stoke City to salvage a 1–1 draw after coming on as a late substitute.
Real Sociedad (loan)
On 15 August 2011, Arsenal announced that Vela would be loaned out to Spanish club Real Sociedad, subject to a medical. After passing the medical exams, he was officially presented on 17 August 2011. As Vela was sent away on loan, his number 11 shirt was given to new Arsenal signing André Santos, although the club's website still listed Vela as having the shirt number 11. On 4 December 2011 Vela scored a bicycle kick goal to equalise for Real Sociedad, his second of the season, against Málaga before teammate Diego Ifran scored a late winner to make the score 3–2. Vela scored the only goal for Real Sociedad in a 2–1 loss to Barcelona, making it his third goal for the season.
During early February 2012, rumours of Vela's future at Arsenal began to surface, claiming that he wished to stay in Spain with Real Sociedad. Vela has been quoted saying "I don't want to return to Arsenal. I have asked my agent to negotiate with Arsenal to stay here."
After a successful loan spell in Spain, making over 30 appearances in all competitions and scoring 12 goals, Vela was officially transferred to Real Sociedad from Arsenal on 17 July 2012, with the move believed to have cost £4 million. The deal was confirmed by Arsenal on 10 August. He was given the number 11 shirt.
For the 2012–13 season, Vela has played predominantly on the right wing and has 14 goals and 9 assists. There has been speculation in the media that he would return to Arsenal, however there has been no confirmation of any talks between the two teams taking place.  Vesa later said that he didn't want to "return to a place where he had bad memories", silencing the rumours.  Vela had a great influence on the Real Sociedad team that ended fourth in the 2012-13 La Liga, qualifying for the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League Qualification Play-off Round.
Vela played in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, held in Peru, where he helped Mexico to victory. He was a pivotal figure in the final against Brazil as Mexico triumphed 3–0. Vela subsequently finished as top scorer with five goals, claiming the Adidas Golden Boot.
During his stay at Osasuna, Vela made his full international debut for Mexico in a September 2007 friendly against Brazil. On 18 October 2007, Vela scored his first senior international goal for Mexico in a friendly against Guatemala played in Los Angeles.
Vela was called up for the two-legged playoff against Belize and the preceding friendlies. On 8 June 2008, Vela scored his second senior international goal for Mexico in a friendly against Peru at the 20th minute to help Mexico with their 4–0 victory. A match later for Mexico he scored in their qualifying opener versus Belize making the match 1–0. In the return leg against Belize he again scored the opening goal of the match and beginning the 7–0 rout in favour of Mexico.
In mid-2009, Vela was called up to play in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He scored his fifth goal in a preparation friendly for the Gold Cup against Venezuela. Vela subsequently started in Mexico's opener against Nicaragua. However, after five minutes, an opposing player tackled Vela and he fell awkwardly on his right leg. However, x-rays showed he did not break anything and could play again in the tournament. Mexico would advance to the semi-finals against Costa Rica, where Vela would make his return in the 81st minute. After extra time, the game was tied 1–1 and went to penalties. After Guillermo Ochoa saved Ledezma's penalty, Vela scored Mexico's fifth penalty to send them to the final. In the Gold Cup final, Vela was brought on at half time with the score deadlocked at 0–0. Mexico went on to defeat the US 5–0 with Vela providing the pass to Giovani Dos Santos for the first penalty, creating the second goal, scoring the third and assisting the fourth. Vela scored one goal and assisted a goal in Mexico's 4–1 win over El Salvador which meant Mexico qualified for the 2010 World Cup. In the match against New Zealand, he scored a goal, in which he took out three defenders before tapping the ball next to the goalkeeper Glen Moss.
During a game against France he got struck in the right leg and got injured, Vela went out in the first half against and missed the 1–0 loss to Uruguay. When Mexico played Uruguay in the World Cup Vela's place was taken by Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
On 21 September 2010 it was announced that Vela and fellow Mexican international Efraín Juárez would be suspended from the Mexican National Team for 6 months for their involvement in a party on 7 September in Monterrey following a game with Colombia. Vela and 12 other players were also fined 50,000 Mexican peso (approx. US$3,953 as of 24 September 2010), and the money collected will most likely be used to help the flood victims in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (May 2012)|
- As of 14 May 2013
|West Bromwich Albion||2010–11||8||2||1||—||—||8||2||1|
- As of 19 August 2012
- Scores and results list Mexico's goal tally first.
|1.||17 October 2007||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, United States||Guatemala||2–1||2–3||Friendly|
|2.||8 June 2008||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Peru||3–0||4–0||Friendly|
|3.||15 June 2008||Reliant Stadium, Houston, United States||Belize||1–0||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4.||21 June 2008||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás, Mexico||Belize||1–0||7–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5.||24 June 2009||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, United States||Venezuela||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
|6.||26 July 2009||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, United States||United States||3–0||5–0||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|7.||10 October 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||El Salvador||4–1||4–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8.||3 March 2010||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, United States||New Zealand||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|9.||3 June 2010||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Italy||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
As of 29 March 2011
|1.||12 September 2007||Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, United States||Brazil||1–3||Friendly|
|2.||17 October 2007||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, United States||Guatemala||2–3||Friendly|
|3.||6 February 2008||Reliant Stadium, Houston, United States||United States||2–2||Friendly|
|4.||4 June 2008||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Argentina||1–4||Friendly|
|5.||8 June 2008||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Peru||4–0||Friendly|
|6.||15 June 2008||Reliant Stadium, Houston, United States||Belize||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|7.||21 June 2008||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás, Mexico||Belize||7–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8.||20 August 2008||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Honduras||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|9.||6 September 2008||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Jamaica||3–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|10.||10 September 2008||Estadio Victor Manuel Reyna, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico||Canada||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|11.||11 October 2008||Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica||Jamaica||0–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|12.||15 October 2008||Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Canada||Canada||2–2||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|13.||19 November 2008||Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||0–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|14.||1 April 2009||Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||1–3||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|15.||24 June 2009||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, United States||Venezuela||4–0||Friendly|
|16.||28 June 2009||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Guatemala||0–0||Friendly|
|17.||5 July 2009||Oakland, United States||Nicaragua||2–0||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|18.||23 July 2009||Chicago, United States||Costa Rica||5–4 (p.s.o.)||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|19.||26 July 2009||East Rutherford, United States||United States||5–0||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|20.||12 August 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||United States||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|21.||10 October 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||El Salvador||4–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|22.||14 October 2009||Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||Trinidad and Tobago||2–2||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|23.||3 March 2010||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, United States||New Zealand||2–0||Friendly|
|24.||16 May 2010||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Chile||1–0||Friendly|
|25.||24 May 2010||Wembley Stadium, London, England||England||1–3||Friendly|
|26.||26 May 2010||Freiburg, Germany||Netherlands||1–2||Friendly|
|27.||30 May 2010||Hans-Walter Wild Stadion, Bayreuth, Germany||Gambia||5–1||Friendly|
|28.||3 June 2010||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Italy||2–1||Friendly|
|29.||11 June 2010||Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||1–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|30.||17 June 2010||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa||France||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|31.||11 August 2010||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Spain||1–1||Friendly|
|32.||4 September 2010||Estadio Omnilife, Zapopan, Mexico||Ecuador||1–2||Friendly|
|33.||7 September 2010||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás, Mexico||Colombia||1–0||Friendly|
|34.||26 March 2011||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Paraguay||3–1||Friendly|
|35.||29 March 2011||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Venezuela||1–1||Friendly|
- Real Sociedad Player of the Year (1): 2011–12
- "Carlos Vela Player Profile". Real Sociedad Official Website. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Carlos Vela – Transfermarkt.de
- "Ramirez: "I didn't expect such a resounding victory"". FIFA. 3 October 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008. "I dedicate my goal tonight, and the trophy, to my father, because it's his birthday this evening."
- Northcroft, Jonathan (28 September 2008). "Arsene Wenger's generation game". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 28 September 2008. "Contrary to reports that he cost £2.5m, Vela arrived for a £125,000 fee that will rise to £550,000 if he plays 50 first-team games."
- "Vela poised for European stage". FIFA. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "El mexicano Carlos Vela, a un paso de llegar cedido al Salamanca" [Mexican Carlos Vela, a step away from being transferred to Salamanca]. Diario Marca (in Spanish). 5 August 2006. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- Lewis, Darren (13 July 2007). "Jolly Good Vela". Daily Mirror (UK). Retrieved 20 July 2007. "The 18-year-old marksman, on loan at Spanish side Salamanca, has been tearing defences apart – setting up around half of their 53 goals last season and scoring eight in 31 appearances himself."
- Fraser, Peter (5 August 2007). "Vela looks forward to loan". Sky Sports. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Jugará Carlos Vela con el Osasuna" [Carlos Vela will play for Osasuna]. El Universal (in Spanish). 19 July 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- Symcox, Jonathan (20 July 2007). "Premiership – Wenger denies Anelka interest". Eurosport. Archived from the original on 13 August 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007. "Wenger has allowed Mexican teenager Carlos Vela, previously on loan at Celta Vigo and Salamanca, to join Liga club Osasuna on a season-long loan."
- Clark, Richard (16 November 2007). "Loan star Vela starts to sparkle in Spain". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Mexican striker Vela granted a work permit". Arsenal.com. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008. "Arsène Wenger said: "Vela will be involved with the first-team next season. He has played the whole season at Osasuna on the left wing and he had to work hard there. But for me it is not his position, he is a central striker, an Eduardo type."
- Clark, Richard (23 September 2008). "Wenger – Vela is so cool it makes me smile". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 1 August 2009. "Carlos can play central and wide as well. He's an Eduardo basically."
- "GGG29: Carlos Vela v Sheffield United, 2008". Arsenal.com. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009. "Vela was at the forefront of the onslaught with a hat-trick on his first start for the Club. All three were fine strikes but his second was really special."
- Harris, Chris (23 September 2008). "Arsenal 6–0 Sheffield United – Match Report". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 1 August 2009. "Nonetheless, with an average age of 19, this was still the youngest ever side to represent Arsenal."
- Clark, Richard (8 March 2009). "FA Cup: Arsenal 3–0 Burnley – Match Report". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- Ornstein, David (2 May 2009). "Portsmouth 0–3 Arsenal". BBC. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Clarke, Richard (28 April 2009). "Vela missed training over swine flu fears". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 7 August 2009. "Carlos Vela has had the all-clear to return to training after missing Monday's session due to a concern over swine flu."
- "Carlos Vela signs new long-term contract". Arsenal.com. 10 December 2011.
- "Arsenal 4–1 Bolton". BBC Sport. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Arsenal 6 – 0 Braga". BBC Sport. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Arsenal's Vela agrees West Brom loan deal". 29 January 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
- "Carlos Vela strikes late to salvage point for West Brom". 20 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.[dead link]
- "Vela Loaned Out". BBC Sport. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- "Vela: "Lo daré todo por la Real"". Real Sociedad Official Website. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Brazilian Santos completes move to Arsenal". Arsenal. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Carlos Vela". Arsenal. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Vela: Don't make me go back to Arsenal!". Daily Mirror. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Car to drive away from Arsenal". The Sun. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Carlos Vela joins Real Sociedad from Arsenal". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Mexican waves goodbye to Arsenal as Vela closes in on Real". Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Arsenal Striker Completes La Liga Switch: Carlos Vela Signs for Real Sociedad". Caught Offside. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/carlos-vela-finalises-real-sociedad-switch: "Carlos Vela finalises Real Sociedad switch." Arsenal.com. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Misfortune Hits Vela But Youngster's Spirits High". Goal.com. 7 July 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009. "...initial fears were that he would not be able to participate in the tournament any longer. But x-rays proved negative to a feared fracture and team doctors said the injury was a sprain. Vela may be able to participate in Thursday's game in Houston despite the setback."
- Longman, Jeré (26 July 2009). "Mexico Thumps U.S. to Win Gold Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2009. "Sunday, all of Mexico's goals came during a furiously counterattacking second half. The first four were delivered or facilitated by a pair of 20-year-old forwards, Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela."
- "Vela and Juarez banned by Mexico". BBC News. 22 September 2010.
- "Efraín Juárez y Carlos Vela, fuera seis meses del Tri" (in Spanish). Record.com. 21 September 2012.
- Real Sociedad official profile (Spanish)
- BDFutbol profile
- Carlos Vela at National-Football-Teams.com
- Arsenal.com profile
- Carlos Vela career stats at Soccerbase
- Transfermarkt profile
- 2010 FIFA World Cup profile
- Carlos Vela – FIFA competition record