Leo Franco

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Leo Franco
Leofranco.jpg
Personal information
Full name Leonardo Neoren Franco
Date of birth (1977-05-20) 20 May 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth San Nicolás, Argentina
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
San Lorenzo
Number 1
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Independiente 2 (0)
1997–1998 Mérida 0 (0)
1998–1999 Mallorca B 23 (0)
1999–2004 Mallorca 148 (0)
2004–2009 Atlético Madrid 153 (0)
2009–2010 Galatasaray 26 (0)
2010–2014 Zaragoza 67 (0)
2014– San Lorenzo
National team
1997 Argentina U20 6 (0)
2004–2006 Argentina 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 June 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Leonardo "Leo" Neoren Franco (born 20 May 1977) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for San Lorenzo de Almagro as a goalkeeper.

After starting out at Independiente in 1995 he went on to spent the vast majority of his career in Spain, playing 328 La Liga games over the course of 14 seasons in representation of Mallorca, Atlético Madrid and Zaragoza.

An Argentine international for two years, Franco represented the nation at the 2006 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Born in San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Buenos Aires, Franco started his career at Club Atlético Independiente, moving at the age of 20 to Spain with CP Mérida where he did not appear in La Liga, barred by Carlos Navarro Montoya and suffering team relegation. In the following year he joined RCD Mallorca, spending his first season with the B-team and again dropping down a level, now in the second division.

Franco would be however promoted to the Balearic Islands side's main squad, going on to establish himself as the starter after replacing compatriot Carlos Roa in the pecking order. In the 2000–01 campaign he appeared in 27 games as Mallorca finished in a best-ever third position, and helped the club win the Copa del Rey two years after.

Franco was signed by Atlético Madrid in 2004, being first-choice from the beginning. Until the end of 2007–08 he saved seven penalties, including two against Sevilla FC on 23 March 2006 (0–1 home loss) and two more at Real Betis on 2 December (1–0 win).[1][2] Precisely during that season, he was challenged by newly signed Christian Abbiati (loaned by A.C. Milan), but regained his starting status in the 2008–09 season, relegating veteran Grégory Coupet to the bench.

On 1 July 2009, aged 32, after not seeing his contract with the Colchoneros renewed, Franco left Atlético – as Coupet[3]– and signed with Galatasaray S.K. in Turkey.[4][5]

Franco returned to Spain after only one year, signing with Real Zaragoza for two seasons. He made his official debut on 29 August 2010, keeping a clean sheet at Deportivo de La Coruña in a 0–0 draw.[6]

International career[edit]

With the Argentina U-20 team, Franco won the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia.[7] On 6 May 2006, two years after making his debut for the senior side, he was selected by coach José Pekerman – also the manager of the under-20s – to the squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

On 30 June 2006, Franco replaced injured Roberto Abbondanzieri in the quarter-final clash against hosts Germany, failing to save one single penalty shootout attempt.[8]

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 28 December 2013[9]
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Independiente 1995–96 1 0 - - - - 1 0
1996–97 1 0 - - - - 1 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Mérida 1997–98 0 0 - - - - 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mallorca B 1998–99 23 0 - - - - 23 0
Total 23 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
Mallorca 1999–00 30 0 - - - - 30 0
2000–01 27 0 - - - - 27 0
2001–02 22 0 - - - - 22 0
2002–03 36 0 - - - - 36 0
2003–04 33 0 - - 3 0 36 0
Total 148 0 0 0 3 0 151 0
Atlético Madrid 2004–05 37 0 - - - - 37 0
2005–06 34 0 - - - - 34 0
2006–07 32 0 - - - - 32 0
2007–08 18 0 - - - - 18 0
2008–09 32 0 - - 6 0 38 0
Total 153 0 0 0 6 0 159 0
Galatasaray 2009–10 26 0 0 0 7 0 33 0
Total 26 0 0 0 7 0 33 0
Zaragoza 2010–11 23 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
2011–12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012–13 4 0 6 0 0 0 10 0
2013–14 19 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
Total 46 0 6 0 0 0 52 0
Career total 398 0 6 0 16 0 420 0

International[edit]

Argentina
Year Apps Goals
2004 1 0
2005 2 0
2006 1 0
Total 4 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]