Pablo Aimar

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Aimar and the second or maternal family name is Giordano.
Pablo Aimar
Pablo Aimar playing against.jpg
Aimar playing for Johor Darul Takzim in 2014
Personal information
Full name Pablo César Aimar Giordano
Date of birth (1979-11-03) 3 November 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth Río Cuarto, Argentina
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1985–1993 Estudiantes Río Cuarto
1993–1997 River Plate
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2000 River Plate 82 (21)
2001–2006 Valencia 162 (27)
2006–2008 Zaragoza 53 (5)
2008–2013 Benfica 107 (12)
2013–2014 Johor Darul Takzim 8 (2)
National team
1995 Argentina U17 6 (2)
1997 Argentina U20 7 (1)
1999–2009 Argentina 52 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 April 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Pablo César Aimar Giordano (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo aiˈmar]; born 3 November 1979) is an Argentine professional footballer. A technically gifted and creative attacking midfielder with a vast array of skills,[1] Aimar excels as an advanced playmaker, where he is best able to utilise his dribbling, vision, and passing ability to create chances for team-mates. Due to his talent and flamboyance, he was given the nicknames El Payaso (the clown) and "El Mago" (the wizard) throughout his career.[2] Aimar also holds a Spanish passport.[3] As a youth, compatriot Lionel Messi stated in 2002 that Aimar was one of his biggest influences as a player.[4]

After starting his senior career at River Plate in 1996, he amassed La Liga totals of 215 games and 32 goals over eight seasons with Valencia and Real Zaragoza between 2001 and 2008, before spending five years in Portugal with Benfica, winning nine major titles between the three teams. In 2013, he joined Johor Darul Takzim in Malaysia, but was released in April 2014 after struggling with injuries.[citation needed]

Aimar earned 52 caps for Argentina over 10 years, representing the nation in two World Cups and as many Copa América tournaments, as well as a Confederations Cup. He reached the final of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2007 Copa América with the Argentine national side.

Club career[edit]

River Plate / Valencia[edit]

Born in Río Cuarto, Córdoba, Aimar began his career with Club Atlético River Plate, joining the senior team in the 1997–98 season.[citation needed]

Valencia CF of the Spanish La Liga signed Aimar at age 21 in January 2001 for 24 million.[5] Former Argentine World Cup winner Diego Maradona said at the time, "Pablo is the only current footballer I’d pay to watch",[6] and due to his talent and displays, the media soon labelled him as a potential heir to Maradona.[7]

At Valencia, manager Rafael Benítez built a system to suit Aimar's style and slight physique, with physical midfielders, strong wingers and a target forward.[5] Aimar helped Valencia reach the 2001 UEFA Champions League Final, although he was taken off at half-time and Valencia lost to FC Bayern Munich on penalties.[5] The following year, he appeared in 33 league games and scored 4 goals to help the club win the 2001–02 La Liga title,[8] and in 2004, he helped Valencia win the 2004 UEFA Cup Final and the 2003–04 La Liga title.[5]

However, after Benítez left in 2004, Aimar struggled under new manager Claudio Ranieri.[5]

Zaragoza[edit]

In Summer 2006, Aimar joined fellow top flight club Real Zaragoza for €12 million.[9] He made his league debut on 27 August in a 2–3 away loss against Deportivo de La Coruña, and scored two goals in his first four matches.[citation needed]

The Aragonese side were relegated at the end of 2007–08, with the playmaker appearing in 22 contests without scoring while also often hindered with injuries.[10] During that season, he teamed up with former Valencia teammate Roberto Ayala.[citation needed]

Benfica[edit]

On 17 July 2008, Aimar signed a four-year contract with S.L. Benfica from Portugal, for a fee of €6.5 million.[11] After struggling with injuries to start the 2008–09 season, he finished strongly.[12][clarification needed]

In the 2009–10 campaign, Aimar was reunited with former River Plate teammate Javier Saviola, who was let go by Real Madrid following his own injury struggles.[12] The two combined as double trequartista to support striker Óscar Cardozo, along with fellow Argentine Ángel Di Maria on the wing.[13] Saviola said of Aimar, "I have never played with another player who knows where I'm going to be or just lifts his head knowing where I'm going to."[14] Benfica won the club's 32nd championship following a five-year wait. He played 46 games in the 2010–11 season in all competitions and scored seven goals, winning the Taça da Liga.

On 6 June 2013, after 179 official appearances and 17 goals, 33-year-old Aimar announced he was leaving Benfica, thanking the club for "five wonderful years".[15]

Johor Darul Takzim[edit]

On 7 August 2013 Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, Johor Darul Takzim F.C. president, confirmed that Aimar had signed a two-year contract with the team.[16][17] He made his debut in the Malaysia Super League six months after signing, in a 2–0 win against Perak FA.[18]

Aimar was released on 21 April 2014, due to injury problems.[19]

Return to River Plate[edit]

On 5 January 2015, Aimar returned to River Plate for preseason training. He said that he would sign with the club only if he could deal with the physical demand, after two surgeries to his heel and not having played since leaving Johor Darul in April 2014.[20]

International career[edit]

Aimar first represented Argentina at youth levels. Along with future senior team stars Esteban Cambiasso and Juan Román Riquelme he won the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, and went on to gain over 50 full caps since his debut in 1999;[21] he played in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.

In the 2002 World Cup, for which he was picked ahead of Riquelme, Aimar appeared against England, subbing in for Juan Sebastián Verón in the 0–1 loss, which led coach Marcelo Bielsa to start him against Sweden at the latter's expense.

Aimar scored the last goal of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup during Argentina's 1–4 loss in the final to champions Brazil, also appearing with the national side in the 2007 Copa América (losing in the final to the same team, this time 0–3).

After several months in the sidelines, Aimar received another international callup in October 2009, for decisive 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay. In the match against the former he repaid the faith placed in him by coach Diego Maradona, assisting Gonzalo Higuaín for Argentina's opener with a sublime through ball, in an eventual 2–1 win.

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 16 August 2000 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Paraguay 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualification
2. 27 March 2002 Geneva, Switzerland  Cameroon 2–1 2–2 Friendly
3. 30 April 2003 June 11 Stadium, Tripoli, Libya  Libya 3–1 3–1 Friendly
4. 6 September 2003 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Chile 2–0 2–2 2006 World Cup qualification
5. 9 September 2003 Estadio Olímpico, Caracas, Venezuela  Venezuela 1–0 3–0 2006 World Cup qualification
6. 15 November 2003 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Bolivia 3–0 3–0 2006 World Cup qualification
7. 29 June 2005 Waldstadion, Frankfurt, Germany  Brazil 1–4 1–4 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
8. 28 June 2007 José Pachenco Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  United States 3–1 4–1 2007 Copa América

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 18 April 2014[22][23]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
River Plate 1996–97 1 0
1997–98 16 4
1998–99 18 2
1999–00 32 13
2000–01 15 2 5 1 20 3
Total 82 21 5 1 87 22
Valencia 2000–01 10 2 10 2
2001–02 33 4 1 0 6 2 40 6
2002–03 31 8 2 0 11 3 44 11
2003–04 25 4 5 0 8 0 38 4
2004–05 31 4 1 0 6 2 37 6
2005–06 32 5 2 0 1 0 35 5
Total 162 27 10 0 32 7 204 34
Zaragoza 2006–07 31 5 1 0 32 5
2007–08 22 0 2 0 1 0 25 0
Total 53 5 3 0 1 0 57 5
Benfica 2008–09 22 1 2 0 1 0 4 1 29 2
2009–10 25 4 1 0 11 1 4 0 41 5
2010–11 23 5 6 1 12 1 5 0 46 7
2011–12 24 2 2 0 12 1 4 0 42 3
2012–13 13 0 3 0 3 0 2 0 21 0
Total 107 12 14 1 39 3 18 1 178 17
Johor Darul Takzim 2014 8 2 0 0 8 2
Total 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 2
Career Total 412 67 27 1 77 11 18 1 534 80

International[edit]

Argentina
Year Apps Goals
1999 2 0
2000 5 1
2001 7 0
2002 6 1
2003 9 4
2004 2 0
2005 6 1
2006 6 0
2007 7 1
2009 2 0
Total 52 8

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

River Plate
Valencia
Benfica
Johor

International[edit]

Argentina U-17
Argentina U-20
Argentina

Individual[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Aimar's younger brother, Andrés, is also a professional footballer and a midfielder. He represented several teams in his country – starting his career at River Plate – also playing for a few months in Israel.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aimar's divine improvisation; UEFA.com, 23 September 2004
  2. ^ "Da "Nuovi Maradona" a "Nuovi Borghi": Pablo Aimar". Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Aimar jura la Constitución y será jugador comunitario (Aimar swears the constitution and will play as a non-foreign); El Periódico de Aragón, 14 June 2007 (Spanish)
  4. ^ "Aimar, Messi's childhood idol". Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Brassell, Andy (6 April 2010). "Benitez welcomes former protege Aimar to Anfield". ESPN FC. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Pablo Aimbar". World Soccer. 2 September 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Davies, Christopher (19 February 2001). "Aimar aims for immediate impact". http://www.telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Abdullah Shams Al-Deen (16 June 2009). "Goal.Commentary: Where In The World Is Pablo Aimar?". Goal.com. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Aimar adds zest for Zaragoza; UEFA.com, 29 July 2006
  10. ^ Zaragoza lose Aimar inspiration; UEFA.com, 30 January 2007
  11. ^ Aimar leaves Zaragoza for Benfica; UEFA.com, 17 July 2008
  12. ^ a b Marcotti, Gabriele (20 April 2010). "Portugal's Benfica Helped by Reunion of River Plate Teammates". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Cox, Michael (2 March 2010). "Benfica – the most attractive side in Europe?". Zonal Marking. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Aimar and Saviola of one mind for Benfica". UEFA. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Pablo Aimar despede-se do Benfica: "Foram cinco anos maravilhosos"" [Pablo Aimar says goodbye to Benfica: "I had five wonderful years"] (in Portuguese). A Bola. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has confirmed that the former Benfica player, Pablo Aimar, will join Johor Darul Takzim next season". Goal.com. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Johor Darul Takzim confirm addition of Pablo Aimar for next season". Fanatix. 7 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Johor Darul Ta'zim 2–0 Perak: Southern Tigers overcome defensive Seladangs". Goal.com. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Troppi infortuni: club malese scarica Pablo Aimar" [Misfortunes galore: Malaysian club releases Pablo Aimar] (in Italian). Sky Sport. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Aimar: I am anxious to play but I need to be in form". Buenos Aires Herald. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Argentina – Record International Players; at RSSSF Archived 17 January 2010 at WebCite
  22. ^ "P. Aimar". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Pablo Aimar at ESPN FC
  24. ^ "South American Team of the Year". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  25. ^ Gala 108.° aniversário do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Sport Lisboa and Benfica's 108th anniversary gala); Magalhães SAD SLB, 29 February 2012 (Portuguese)
  26. ^ "Pablo Aimar: "Cuando hablamos con Andrés le digo que Estudiantes va a salir de esta situación"" [Pablo Aimar: "When i talk with Andrés i tell him that Estudiantes will turn things around"] (in Spanish). Telediario Digital. June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 

External links[edit]