Lucho González

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Lucho González
Lucho Gonzalez (OM).jpg
González playing with Marseille
Personal information
Full name Luis Óscar González
Date of birth (1981-01-19) 19 January 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Al Rayyan
Number 33
Youth career
1995–1998 Huracán
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2002 Huracán 110 (11)
2002–2005 River Plate 82 (18)
2005–2009 Porto 111 (32)
2009–2012 Marseille 87 (15)
2012–2014 Porto 57 (8)
2014– Al Rayyan 2 (0)
National team
2003– Argentina 44 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 January 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 September 2011

Luis Óscar "Lucho" González (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlut͡ʃo ɣonˈsales]; born 19 January 1981 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Al Rayyan SC in the Qatar Stars League. A versatile midfielder who is able to play in different positions but mainly in the centre, he is well known for his fierce shot, passing skills and hardworking style, being affectionately known as El Comandante (the commander) due to his leadership skills.[1][2]

After starting with Huracán and River Plate he signed for Porto in 2005, going on to have two separate spells at the club and appear in more than 200 official games, winning nine major titles. He also played in France with Marseille.

An Argentine international on 44 occasions, González represented his country in the 2006 World Cup and two Copa América tournaments.

Club career[edit]

Early years / Porto[edit]

González began his career at Club Atlético Huracán, at the age of 14, making his first division debut on 29 April 1999 in a 1–2 home loss against Racing Club de Avellaneda. Three years later he transferred to another side in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Club Atlético River Plate, where he was a very important first-team member in the conquest of back-to-back Clausura tournaments, contributing with 56 games and nine goals combined.

González's performances at River earned him a deal with Portugal's F.C. Porto in 2005, signing a five-year contract.[3] In his first season, he scored ten goals in 30 matches, including braces against Académica de Coimbra (5–1), F.C. Penafiel (3–1) and Vitória de Guimarães (3–1), helping the northerners to the first of their four consecutive league titles.

At Porto, González eventually became team captain. In November 2006 he signed an improved five-year contract and, in August of the following year, the team paid 6.65 million to Global Soccer Agencies (later renamed Rio Football Services) to achieve full ownership of the player, as the club activated the clause by rejecting an offer from Everton.[4][5]

Lucho remained a fan favorite at the Estádio do Dragão for the duration of his link. On 22 March 2009, he netted against C.F. Estrela da Amadora in the first leg of the Portuguese Cup semifinals (2–0 home win, 3–2 on aggregate), whilst during the league campaign, El Comandante scored nine times in only 23 games to help Porto to the fourth title in a row (the season ended with the double conquest).

Marseille[edit]

In June 2009 González was sold to Olympique de Marseille in France, for a fee of €18 million, with the possibility of an increase to €24 million depending on the player's performance.[6] He scored his first official goal for his new club on 19 September, opening the scoring in a 4–2 home win against Montpellier HSC,[7] and also found the net on 26 November, in the UEFA Champions League group stage draw against A.C. Milan at the San Siro (1–1).[8] On 5 December, again in Ligue 1, he scored the 2–1 against OGC Nice in the 77th minute, in an eventual 3–1 triumph against the ten-men hosts.[9]

On 8 December 2009 González scored against Real Madrid, but also missed a penalty kick later in the game, in an eventual 1–3 home loss in the Champions League, with the subsequent "relegation" to the UEFA Europa League,[10] with the team ending its run in the competition the round-of-16.

After the winter break, González netted in the 5–1 home thrashing of Valenciennes FC, opening the score in the 33rd minute.[11] Previously, in late January 2010, he also helped Marseille reach the Coupe de la Ligue final, finding the net against Lille OSC in the quarter-finals (2–1).[12] On 28 February 2010, he scored once in a 3–0 away win against Paris Saint-Germain FC, which left Marseille in fourth place;[13] he finished his first season with 32 games and five goals, as L'OM eventually won the league/league cup double.

González scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season on 29 August 2010, in a 1–1 away draw against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.[14] A month later, he netted the winning goal against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, in a 2–1 home win.[15] On 3 November, he grabbed a brace in a 7–0 away routing of MŠK Žilina, in the season's Champions League,[16] as Marseille was eventually ousted in the last-16 by eventual finalists Manchester United.

González warming up for Marseille in 2010

On 12 February 2011 Lucho provided an assist for André-Pierre Gignac, helping his team defeat Sochaux 2–1 away from home.[17] In Marseille's next game, he opened the score in a 2–1 win over AS Saint-Étienne.[18]

On 11 March 2011, González scored the second goal in a 2–0 win against Stade Rennais FC, keeping the pressure on Lille in the title race.[19] He provided the assist for Benoit Cheyrou's goal against RC Lens, in a 1–0 win, and also started in the French League Cup final, won against Montpellier by the same result.[20]

Due to his solid performances, González was linked with a transfer to Arsenal in England, in early May 2011.[21] But he sought to allay these fears and show his commitment to the club by saying that "I don't know why there are so many things said about this at the moment. It annoys me a bit. At no time has it left my mouth that I wanted to leave or that I didn't feel good here. I have a contract with OM until 2013 and the people at the club seem happy with me."[22]

On 8 May 2011, Marseille faced title challengers Olympique Lyonnais at the Stade de Gerland, and González scored in an eventual 2–3 loss,[23] with his team eventually finishing second to champions Lille. After the season ended, chairman Jean-Claude Dassier confirmed that the player was seeking an exit from the club, amidst interest of several teams.[24]

Despite the constant speculation, González remained with Marseille for the 2011–12 season. In the first matchday he opened the scoring in the 38' minute against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, in an eventual 2–2 home draw.[25] On 13 September, he netted the game's only goal in an away fixture against Olympiacos F.C. for the Champions League group stage, where he also earned Man of the match accolades.[26]

Back to Porto[edit]

On 30 January 2012, after 119 official appearances for Marseille, González returned to Porto, signing until June 2014. As a compensation for a debt Marseille still had from the original transfer Porto paid no transfer fee. The player also agreed on a salary reduction.[27][28] He scored in his first game in his second spell, a 2–0 win against Vitória de Setúbal for the season's Portuguese League Cup.[29]

On 31 March, Lucho opened the scoring in a 2–0 home victory over S.C. Olhanense for his first league goal since returning.[30]

International career[edit]

Under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, González made his first appearance with the Argentine national team on 31 January 2003 against Honduras.[31] He went on to represent the nation in the 2004 Copa América, scoring two goals during the tournament, as Argentina lost the final on penalties to Brazil.[32]

González also played with the team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[33] In the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup held in Germany, he helped the national side earn a second-place finish in the competition, once again losing to Brazil in the final.

In 2006 González was selected for the squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which Argentina, managed by José Pekerman, lost to hosts Germany in the quarter-finals on penalties. Subsequently, he was part of the Alfio Basile–managed squad at 2007 Copa América, where Argentina lost again to Brazil in the final, losing by a score of 3–0 to their archrivals.

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 4 February 2003 Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras  Honduras 1–2 1–3 Friendly
2 8 February 2003 Orange Bowl, Miami, United States  United States 0–1 0–1 Friendly
3 7 July 2004 Estadio Elías Aguirre, Chiclayo, Peru  Ecuador 6–1 6–1 2004 Copa América
4 20 July 2004 Estadio Nacional, Lima, Peru  Colombia 2–0 3–0 2004 Copa América
5 9 October 2004 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–0 4–2 2006 World Cup qualification
6 1 April 2009 Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz, Bolivia  Bolivia 1–6 1–6 2010 World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

González after winning the 2011 Trophée des Champions

Club[edit]

Huracán
River Plate
Porto
Marseille

Country[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ El retorno de "El Comandante" Lucho González, el hijo pródigo del Oporto (The return of "El Comandante" Lucho González, Porto's prodigal son); Diario Vasco, 31 January 2012 (Spanish)
  2. ^ Lucho: «El Comandante? Não comando ninguém» (Lucho: «El Comandante? I don't command anyone»); Record, 4 December 2012 (Portuguese)
  3. ^ "Lucho to land at Porto". UEFA.com. 18 April 2005. 
  4. ^ "Lucho staying at Porto". UEFA.com. 7 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Relatórios de contas 2006–2007 (Finance reports 2006–2007); Porto's official website (Portuguese)
  6. ^ "Comunicado da FC Porto – Futebol, SAD" [FC Porto – Football, SAD announcement] (in Portuguese). Porto's official website. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Marseille 4–2 Montpellier; ESPN Soccernet, 19 September 2009
  8. ^ Milan kept waiting by spirited OM; UEFA.com, 26 November 2009
  9. ^ Nice 1–3 Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 5 December 2009
  10. ^ Madrid march on as Marseille miss out; UEFA.com, 8 December 2009
  11. ^ Marseille 5–1 Valenciennes; ESPN Soccernet, 7 February 2010
  12. ^ Marseille 2–1 Lille; ESPN Soccernet, 27 January 2010
  13. ^ Paris Saint-Germain 0–3 Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 28 February 2010
  14. ^ Bordeaux peg back ten-men; ESPN Soccernet, 29 August 2010
  15. ^ Marseille 2–1 Sochaux; ESPN Soccernet, 25 September 2010
  16. ^ Gignac leads the way for majestic Marseille; UEFA.com, 3 November 2010
  17. ^ Sochaux 1–2 Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 12 February 2011
  18. ^ Remy goal sends Marseille second; ESPN Soccernet, 19 February 2011
  19. ^ Stade Rennais FC vs Marseille preview; Goal.com, 11 March 2011
  20. ^ Coupe de la Ligue: Marseille 1 Montpellier 0; Soccerway, 23 April 2011
  21. ^ Olympique Marseille's Lucho Gonzalez on Roma radar; Goal.com, 1 May 2011
  22. ^ Olympique de Marseille’s Lucho Gonzalez calms fears of his departure; Goal.com, 15 May 2011
  23. ^ Lyon 3–2 Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 8 May 2011
  24. ^ Lucho wants to quit Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 1 June 2011
  25. ^ Remy earns draw for Marseille; ESPN Soccernet, 6 August 2011
  26. ^ Marseille make winning start at Olympiacos; UEFA.com, 13 September 2011
  27. ^ Gonzalez to return to Porto; ESPN Soccernet, 30 January 2012
  28. ^ Lucho regressa a casa (Lucho returns home); Porto's official website, 31 January 2012 (Portuguese)
  29. ^ "Taca da Liga semi-finals set". PortuGOAL. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Last-gasp Bruno Cesar fires Benfica to vital win over Braga; PortuGOAL, 1 April 2012
  31. ^ Homenaje a Lucho Gonzalez (Homage to Lucho Gonzalez); Taringa! (Spanish)
  32. ^ World champs beat Argentina on penalties in Copa America final; Sports Illustrated, 25 July 2004
  33. ^ Lucho GonzálezFIFA competition record

External links[edit]