Franco Costanzo

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Franco Costanzo
Franco Costanzo 5875.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1980-09-05) 5 September 1980 (age 33)
Place of birth Río Cuarto, Argentina
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Universidad Católica
Number 21
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2005 River Plate 87 (0)
2005–2006 Alavés 31 (0)
2006–2011 FC Basel 141 (0)
2011–2012 Olympiacos 6 (0)
2013– Universidad Católica 3 (0)
National team
1999 Argentina U-20 4 (0)
2003 Argentina 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 December 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 December 2010

Franco Costanzo (born 5 September 1980 in Río Cuarto, Córdoba Province) is a Argentine international football goalkeeper who plays for Chilean Primera División club Universidad Católica. He has earned the reputation of being an eccentric goalkeeper by often dribbling the ball past the opposition's strikers and by making somewhat unorthodox saves. Early in his career, Costanzo was once considered an excellent prospect; however, due to a few lengthy injuries, he has only recently managed to fulfill his full potential.

Football career[edit]

Costanzo started playing professionally with Buenos Aires giants Club Atlético River Plate in 2000 and made his first-team debut in 2001. He had become the first choice goalkeeper by 2002 and was looked upon by many as one of the most talented goalkeepers in South America. However, injury started to plague him and when he returned from the sidelines, Germán Lux had established himself as River Plate's Number 1. His search for first-team action then took him to Spain's La Liga as he transferred to Deportivo Alavés in 2005. He was first choice at Alavés straight away, but when they were relegated into the Segunda División, he asked the manager, José María Salmerón, to be put on the transfer list.

Swiss side FC Basel acquired his services in July 2006 for £1.4 million after the departure of veteran goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbühler. His Basel career did not get off to a great start; he made a blunder in his first match against FC St. Gallen on 30 July 2006 in the 3–2 away defeat. However, he played excellent in the second half of the 2006–07 season and was voted the FCB Player of the Year. He earned much praise during the 2007–08 season for his form as Basel became Champions and especially for his part in helping the team earn a valuable UEFA Cup away point against NK Dinamo Zagreb in the hostile atmosphere of the Maksimir Stadium on 8 November 2007.

On 17 July 2008, the day before the 2008–09 Swiss Super League season kicked off, he was named Basel captain and he signed a new contract until 2011.[1] His first game as captain was on 18 July 2008, in a 2–1 win over BSC Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf, in which he was named Man of the Match.

On 9 August 2009, Costanzo and team-mate Beg Ferati were involved in a scuffle after a 1–1 with FC Zürich. The pair began arguing on the pitch, and then Ferati shoved Costanzo who responded by pulling Ferati's hair. Other players then pulled them apart before the situation escalated.[2] Costanzo was fined by the club and given a three match ban by the Swiss Football Association.[3]

Costanzo played for FC Basel for five years, in which time they won the Swiss Cup three times and the national Championship also three times. He also played twice in the Champions League group-stages in the 2008–09 season and the 2010/–11 season where FC Basel did a couple of huge sensations like the draw in the Nou Camp in Barcelona where they tied 1–1 or in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome where they beat AS Roma 3–1. During this period he played 141 league games, including cup and international games he had over 200 club appearances. He played his last match for the team on 25 May 2011 and was substituted out in the 87th minute to a standing ovation. He was replaced by his designated successor Yann Sommer.

On 9 June 2011, it was revealed that Costanzo came to an agreement with Greek champions Olympiacos FC for a three-year contract. His performance was so bad that there were lists of jokes made in his name, comparable to Chuck Norris lists. [4] [5] [6] Just six months later, on 26 January 2012, Costanzo's contract was terminated by mutual consent.[7]

On 21 May 2012, Costanzo retired from professional football without saying clearly the reason of his decision.

On 29 June 2013, Costanzo returned to football signing for Universidad Católica a one-and-a-half-year contract.

National team[edit]

Costanzo was an internationalist at Under-20 level and was part of the Argentina squad at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. He played his only main team appearance was in Argentina's 4–2 World Cup Qualifying win over Uruguay at the River Plate Stadium on 9 October 2004.[8]

Honours[edit]

River Plate
FC Basel
Olympiacos

Personal life[edit]

Costanzo is married to Carla. The couple have three children. Their two daughters are named Emma and Zoe and their son named Ciro was born on 24 May 2011.[9] All three children were born in Basel.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ivan Ergić
FC Basel captain
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Marco Streller