Cristian Daniel Ledesma
|Full name||Cristian Daniel Ledesma|
|Date of birth||24 September 1982|
|Place of birth||Morón, Argentina|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Cristian Daniel Ledesma (born 24 September 1982) is a footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Lazio. A dual citizen of Argentina and Italy, he represents the latter at international level since November 2010.
Ledesma is a deep lying central midfielder with a powerful shot with either foot, and occasionally scores goals from long range.
In 2001, Ledesma was noticed by Italian club Lecce, whose sporting director Pantaleo Corvino decided to bring him to Salento. At Lecce, he immediately became a regular. Despite being young, he was captain until November 2005.
Ledesma's first year in the capital, the 2006–07 season, saw him establish himself as a key player despite a difficult start. His first moment of magic came in the December 2006 Derby della Capitale against historical rivals AS Roma, when he scored a strike from 25 metres out. He continued this good form until the end of the season, by which time Lazio had qualified for the UEFA Champions League. He successively served as vice-captain, and was a protagonist in Lazio's winning Coppa Italia 2008–09 campaign.
In July 2009, with his contract set to expire on June 2010, Ledesma was excluded from the first team due to disagreements with club chairman Claudio Lotito and did not play any competitive games during the whole first half of the 2009–10 season. This led the player to formally ask the Lega Calcio arbitration committee for a contract termination due to violation of its terms, only a few weeks after teammate Goran Pandev had taken the same exact action. This was however turned down on 26 January 2010 on the grounds that Ledesma was occasionally involved in first-team activities. After being linked with a move to Inter, he ultimately stayed at Lazio and, immediately after the replacement of head coach Davide Ballardini with veteran manager Edoardo Reja, he made his 2009–10 season debut on 14 February, being featured in the starting lineup in a 2–0 win at Parma. Since his return on the pitch, Ledesma immediately established himself back into being a key player for the biancazzurri.
On 23 August, Ledesma signed a new contract with Lazio, tying him to the club for another five years (until 2015). In his 2010–11 campaign, he was one of the protagonists of Lazio's surprising start that led the Rome club to even top the Serie A table for a few weeks between October and November. Lazio ended their 2011–12 season campaign qualifying once again for Europa League and only just missing out to Udinese by goal difference in a Champions League spot.
Ledesma has picked up where he left from to be the playmaker of Lazio's 2012–13 season campaign where they hope to challenge for a Champions League qualification. Under new Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic, Ledesma plays a more defensive role in a 4–1–4–1 formation where he sits in front of the defence and dictates the play.
On May 26th 2013 he wins his second Coppa Italia and Lazio's sixth beating Roma 1-0 in an historic derby, the first ever to assign a trophy.
Argentine-born Ledesma acquired Italian citizenship in 2008 through marriage to an Italian woman he met during his spell at Lecce; this made him eligible at international level for both Argentina and the Azzurri, as he had never been capped with the Selección before.
On 14 November 2010 Ledesma accepted a call-up by Italy manager Cesare Prandelli for a friendly match against Romania, thus becoming the third oriundo to become part of the Azzurri senior squad in the last ten years, the other two being Mauro Camoranesi and Amauri.
Updated until 04 March 2014
|Season||Club||League||National cups||Continental cups||Total|
|Total Serie A||364||15||32||3||31||0||427||18|
- "Ledesma loses Lazio case". SKY Sports. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Finalmente la fumata biancha: Ledesma ha rinnovato per i promissi 5 anni (Italian)". La Lazio siamo noi. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- "Ora anche Lippi vuole Ledesma in Nazionale". Corriere dello Sport – Stadio. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Balzaretti, Diamanti, Ledesma e Ranocchia le novità tra i 23 azzurri" (in Italian). FIGC.it. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.