Nicolás Gaitán

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Nico Gaitán
Nicolás Gaitán.jpg
Gaitán in action for Benfica in 2012
Personal information
Full name Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán
Date of birth (1988-02-23) 23 February 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth San Martín, Argentina
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Benfica
Number 10
Youth career
2001–2008 Boca Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Boca Juniors 66 (12)
2010– Benfica 101 (17)
National team
2009– Argentina 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 August 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Osvaldo Nicolás "Nico" Fabián Gaitán (born 23 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays mainly as an attacking midfielder for S.L. Benfica in Portugal.

Club career[edit]

Boca Juniors[edit]

Born in San Martín, Buenos Aires, Gaitán rose from the ranks at Boca Juniors, having entered its youth system at the age of 13 in spite of doubts regarding his future due to his small frame.[1] He made his competitive debut with the club on 1 June 2008 in a 3–1 win against Arsenal de Sarandí, and scored his first two Primera División goals two months later in a 3–0 success at Club Atlético Huracán.[2]

On 23 September 2008 Gaitán netted his first goal in an international tournament, that year's Copa Sudamericana, against Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito. Two days later he again made the scoresheet, in the 4–2 win over Newell's Old Boys where he also set up Lucas Viatri for his side's final goal.[3]

Gaitán scored seven times in 33 games in his last season with Boca, who only managed to finish 11th in the Apertura and 16th in the Clausura, however.

Benfica[edit]

On 3 May 2010, Portugal's S.L. Benfica confirmed they had reached an agreement to sign Gaitán for €8.4 million,[4] as a replacement for countryman Ángel di María who had just been sold to Real Madrid[5]his move, after the transfer of Óscar Cardozo for €11.6 million, was the second most expensive purchase in the club's history. He made his official debut for his new team by starting and playing 66 minutes in a 1–2 away loss to C.D. Nacional, opening his scoring account also with a brace, at home against Associação Naval 1º de Maio on 14 November (4–0).

Gaitán finished his first year with the Lisbon side with 48 appearances all competitions comprised, scoring nine times as it finished second in the league and won the domestic league cup. For his performances, he was named Portuguese League Breakthrough Player of the Year.[6]

In the 2011–12 campaign Gaitán led the UEFA Champions League assists table, until the knockout stage.[7] In 2013–14 he contributed with eight goals overall as his team conquered the treble, including the game's only goal in the Portuguese Cup's decisive match against Rio Ave FC, on 18 May 2014;[8] his performances were praised throughout the season.[9][10]

International career[edit]

Gaitán made his international debut for Argentina on 30 September 2009, as a substitute in a 2–0 friendly win with Ghana, and he made his first start in a 3–2 success against Costa Rica on 26 January of the following year.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Boca Juniors
Benfica

Individual[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 18 May 2014[13][14]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Boca Juniors 2007–08 1 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09 32 5 11 1 43 6
2009–10 33 7 2 0 35 7
Total 66 12 13 1 79 13
Benfica 2010–11 26 7 5 1 3 0 13 1 1 0 48 9
2011–12 25 3 1 0 4 0 14 1 44 4
2012–13 23 3 5 1 2 0 13 1 43 5
2013–14 26 4 5 1 1 1 10 2 42 8
Total 100 17 15 3 10 1 50 5 1 0 177 26
Career total 169 29 15 3 10 1 59 6 1 0 255 39

International[edit]

As of 9 April 2012[15]
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2009 1 0
2010 2 0
2011 3 0
2012 0 0
Total 6 0

Style of play[edit]

Gaitán began playing as a midfielder, sometimes leaning to the left. After moving to Benfica he assumed a more advanced role, where he seemed more comfortable.

A left-footer who is also able to play on the right, with good dribbling skills and close control, Gaitán's main asset is ball distribution as he is able to cross from either flank, and while on the right he possesses the vision to pick holes when cutting inside.[16][17]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nicolás Gaitán". The Elastico. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Todo fue muy sencillo" [It was all very easy] (in Spanish). ESPN FC. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Newells 2 Boca 4 – Apertura 2008" (in Spanish). Taringa. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Comunicado" [Announcement] (in Portuguese). CMVM. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Why Benfica's Nicolas Gaitan is more complete than Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, but still too expensive for Manchester United". Goal.com. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gaitan – I Liga 2010/2011 breakthrough player" [Gaitan – Jogador revelação da I Liga 2010/2011]. Ser Benfiquista. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Gaitán é rei das assistências na Champions" [Gaitán is king of assists in Champions] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Benfica complete treble". PortuGOAL. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "In-demand Gaitan content with life at Benfica". FourFourTwo. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Benfica vence com mais uma "obra de arte" de Gaitán" [Benfica wins with yet another "work of art" by Gaitán] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 Jun 2014. Retrieved 3 Jun 2014. 
  13. ^ "N. Gaitán". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Nicolás Gaitán". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Nicolás Gaitán at National-Football-Teams.com
  16. ^ "Talent scout: Nicolás Gaitán, Benfica". The Independent. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Manchester United transfers: Scouting report for Nicolas Gaitan". Bleacher Report. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External links[edit]