Pablo Gabriel García
García in action with PAOK
|Full name||Pablo Gabriel García Pérez|
|Date of birth||11 May 1977|
|Place of birth||Pando, Uruguay|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|1997–2000||Atlético Madrid B||38||(3)|
|1997||→ Peñarol (loan)||9||(0)|
|2002||→ Venezia (loan)||14||(0)|
|2006–2007||→ Celta (loan)||14||(0)|
|2007–2008||→ Murcia (loan)||21||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
A player of physical approach to the game (which earned him a reputation for being a dirty player), his nickname is Canario (canary), referring to his birthplace. He spent most of his professional career in La Liga, amassing 135 appearances in six years, representing four different teams, but also played several seasons in Greece with PAOK.
Born in Pando, Canelones Department, García started his career in Montevideo Wanderers FC. After a six-month spell at C.A. Peñarol he was transferred to Atlético de Madrid but, however, would never make it past its B-side, being subsequently transferred to Italian giants A.C. Milan after two seasons.
After just five Serie A appearances during the 2000–01 season, García was loaned to fellow league side Venezia A.C. in January 2002. In spite of the side's relegation, he had overall good performances.
Moving to La Liga side CA Osasuna for the 2002–03 campaign, García played intense football throughout three seasons in Navarre. In his first match, a 2–2 draw at Villarreal CF on 1 September 2002, he collected a booking and scored the match's final goal.
In the 2005 Spanish Cup final García, already an essential midfield element for Osasuna, received a straight red card after a dangerous challenge on Real Betis' Joaquín, as Osasuna lost 1–2 on extra time. However, he had already caught the eye of league giants Real Madrid which signed the player to a three-year contract, with compatriot Carlos Diogo also being purchased.
After having received 17 yellow (season-most) and one red cards during 2004–05 (the Cup final notwithstanding), García made his Real Madrid official debut on 10 September 2005, playing 11 minutes in a 2–3 home loss to Celta de Vigo. Eventually, he won the battle for the club's first-choice holding midfielder over Thomas Gravesen, although none were an undisputed starter.
After helping Madrid to a runner-up place in the 2005–06 season, García was deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Fabio Capello and, on 29 August 2006, he signed a one-year loan contract with Celta. After an uneventful personal campaign where he was injured for most of the year and his club was also relegated, he returned to Real Madrid in July 2007 to be loaned immediately again, this time to newly promoted Real Murcia.
After another relegation, García was released by Real Madrid on 10 July 2008 and, on the 23rd, agreed to join PAOK FC in Greece. He quickly became a fan favorite, not as much for his defensive abilities rather than his hot temper; managing to receive three red cards in his first six games, and also starring in an infamous incident with Olympiacos F.C. player Diogo Luis Santo during a derby. After being hit in the face by Diogo's elbow in a confrontation during a set piece, García retaliated with a punch to the Brazilian's belly; both actions surprisingly eluded the referee's attention, but the Uruguayan eventually received a three-match ban.
García's second season was much better overall, as PAOK only conceded 16 goals in 30 matches, finishing second in the table, with him forming a stable midfield partnership with Spaniard Vitolo. Additionally, he renewed his link to the club until 2012, even agreeing to a reduction in his salary, in line with the club's stagnant finances.
On 23 May 2012, it was announced that 35-year-old García renewed his contract with the Thessaloniki outfit for one more year. On 20 March of the following year he was mutually released from contract, after several incidents with coach Giorgos Donis.
García returned to PAOK on 4 June 2013 at the request of major shareholder Ivan Savvidis, penning a one-year deal. In the following winter transfer window, however, he left for fellow league side Skoda Xanthi FC, retiring after a couple of months at the age of 37.
A full Uruguayan international since 13 December 1997, in a King Fahd Cup match against United Arab Emirates, García quickly developed into a mainstay for the national team, and would appear at the 1999 Copa América for a total of 66 caps.
He played all 270 minutes in the country's participation in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, although he was not able to help his country qualify for the 2006 edition, after losing a penalty shootout to Australia on 16 November 2005.
García scored a powerful finesse shot from outside the box against Venezuela in the 2007 Copa América quarterfinals, but also missed a decisive penalty against Brazil in the semis, meaning the Charrúas would not play the tournament's final match.
- MVP 2011–12
- Osasuna snap up Uruguayan; UEFA.com, 23 August 2002
- Uruguayan pair make Madrid move; UEFA.com, 1 July 2005
- Pablo García joins Celta expedition; UEFA.com, 29 August 2006
- "Real announce Garcia departure". FIFA.com. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "Επέκταση συμβολαίου με τον Pablo Garcia" (in Greek). PAOK FC. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
- Uruguay – Record international players; at RSSSF
- Pablo Garcia – International Appearances; at RSSSF
- PAOK official profile
- Stats at Liga de Fútbol Profesional (Spanish)
- BDFutbol profile
- Stats at Lega Serie A (Italian)
- National team data (Spanish)
- Pablo García at National-Football-Teams.com
- Pablo García – FIFA competition record
- Soccerway profile