Sergio García de la Fuente
García playing for Catalonia in 2013
|Full name||Sergio García de la Fuente|
|Date of birth||9 June 1983|
|Place of birth||Barcelona, Spain|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Forward / Winger|
|1997–1999||→ CF Damm (loan)|
|2004–2005||→ Levante (loan)||31||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 19 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Barcelona, Catalonia, García rose through the ranks of FC Barcelona, finding however opportunities almost non-existent in the senior squad. He made four first-team appearances during the 2003–04 season, his debut coming on 3 September 2003 in a 1–1 home draw against Sevilla FC.
Moving to Levante UD in 2004 mere months after extending his Barça link, García proved himself a La Liga player, a trait he continued to display at Real Zaragoza, whether as a starter or the first option from the bench. In 2007–08 he played all 38 matches, while the Aragonese were eventually relegated from the top level.
At the beginning of the 2008–09 campaign, García was linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Stoke City, along with fellow team-mate Diego Milito. Rumours that he would leave Zaragoza had been further fuelled after the club's relegation, as he was thrown out of a side pre-season training session by manager Marcelino García Toral and was then left out of their opening day defeat against Levante.
On 1 September 2008, in the dying seconds of the transfer window, after continuous rumours, García signed for Real Betis, for a fee close to €10 million. He scored his first goal for his new club on 27 September in the team's home game against Real Madrid (1–2 loss), following up on his own saved penalty. On 16 November he netted a brace in at 3–1 home win over Racing de Santander and, on 18 January of the following, added another in the 3–1 success at Real Valladolid, in which he also assisted the other goal.
On 7 February 2009 García helped Betis achieve a landmark victory at neighbouring Sevilla, scoring in a 2–1 win. In form, he was struck with a knee injury after celebrating his opener against CD Numancia, a 3–3 home draw on 4 April, eventually missing a month of competition – with Betis struggling during this time – and eventually dropping down a level at the end.
García scored a career-high 12 goals in the 2009–10 season, but the Andalusians failed to promote. In August 2010 he signed a five-year contract with RCD Espanyol, moving to the Catalan side as a replacement to veteran Raúl Tamudo, who left the club after nearly 20 years of service.
Without having been previously capped, García made the Spanish final squad-of-23 for UEFA Euro 2008 (which Spain went on to win) as a replacement for Barcelona's Bojan Krkić. On 31 May 2008 he made his debut for the national side, coming on as a substitute for David Silva in a friendly match with Peru.
On 18 June García earned his first competitive cap, playing for the full 90 minutes against Greece in Spain's third and final group D game in Euro 2008: in the 88th minute he delivered a pinpoint left-footed cross for Daniel Güiza to head home the 2–1 winner.
García also represented Spain at all youth levels, as well as appearing frequently for the unofficial Catalan national team. On 22 December 2009 he scored the side's first goal in a 4–2 victory against Argentina and, on 30 December 2013, he netted twice in a 4–1 triumph over Cape Verde.
- Spain U19
- Spain U20
- Sergio García signs new deal; UEFA.com, 1 March 2004
- Marcelino echa del entrenamiento a Sergio García (Marcelino throws Sergio García out of training session); Periodista Digital, 4 August 2008 (Spanish)
- Betis build with Sergio García; UEFA.com, 2 September 2008
- Sergio García: "Poco a poco se puede estar más arriba" (García: "Little by little we can move up in the ranks"); Marca, 3 September 2008 (Spanish)
- Real Betis 1–2 Real Madrid; ESPN Soccernet, 27 September 2008
- Real Betis 3–1 Racing Santander; ESPN Soccernet, 16 November 2008
- Valladolid 1–3 Real Betis; ESPN Soccernet, 18 January 2009
- Sevilla FC 1–2 Real Betis; ESPN Soccernet, 7 February 2009
- Real Betis 3–3 Numancia; ESPN Soccernet, 4 April 2009
- "Raúl Out, Sergio García in Spain Euro 2008 Squad". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
- "Russia 2–0 Sweden & Greece 1–2 Spain". BBC Sport. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Catalonia – Cape Verde: Catalonia claim victory with eight FC Barcelona players (4–1)". FC Barcelona. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Espanyol official profile
- BDFutbol profile
- National team data
- Sergio García at National-Football-Teams.com
- Sergio García – FIFA competition record
- Soccerway profile