Walter Samuel

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Luján and the second or maternal family name is Samuel.
Walter Samuel
Walter Samuel FC Internazionale.jpg
Samuel with Internazionale in October 2011
Personal information
Full name Walter Adrián Luján Samuel
Date of birth (1978-03-23) 23 March 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth Laborde, Argentina
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Basel
Number 6
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1997 Newell's Old Boys 42 (0)
1997–2000 Boca Juniors 77 (4)
2000–2004 Roma 122 (9)
2004–2005 Real Madrid 30 (2)
2005–2014 Internazionale 172 (13)
2014– Basel 2 (0)
National team
1997 Argentina U20 6 (0)
1999–2010 Argentina 56 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 September 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 June 2010

Walter Adrián Luján Samuel (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwalter saˈmwel]; born Walter Adrián Luján; 23 March 1978) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Basel in the Swiss Super League.[1] Samuel has been regarded as one of football's toughest defenders, with teammate and Inter captain Javier Zanetti referring to him as the "hardest player" he has played with.

Gifted with natural power and good defensive skills, Samuel played a key role in Inter's treble success in the 2009–10 season, partnering with Lúcio in defence under José Mourinho, and he has accumulated over 50 caps for the Argentine national team. Samuel was a large, powerful, aggressive centreback who excelled in the air, both defensively, and as a goal threat on set pieces. He also had an excellent positional sense, which, along with his tough, tight marking and hard tackling, made him extremely effective at anticipating opponents. His strong, uncompromising style of play has earnt him the nickname Il Muro ("The Wall").[2]

Early life and personal life[edit]

Samuel was born Walter Adrián Luján to a single Jewish mother, who raised him on her own.[3][4] As a teenager, Luján adopted the family name of his stepfather, Samuel.[3][5] He has a daughter and two sons with his wife Cecilia.[6]

Club career[edit]

Walter Samuel with Internazionale.

Samuel started playing professionally in 1996 in Argentina for Newell's Old Boys, and a year later moved to Boca Juniors, where he played 103 matches and scored five goals in all competitions until 2000.[7] In that year, Roma bought his contract for 40.265 billion Italian lire (about €20 million).[8][9] He gained fame as one of the best defenders in the Italian league and gained a nickname to match. His quality attracted interest from Spanish team Real Madrid.

Real Madrid paid €25 million for his transfer in 2004.[10] Samuel failed to make an impact at Madrid and was not the leader at the back that Real so desperately needed. He was one of the three non-EU players of the team, along with Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos; they all obtained Spanish passports, however, in 2005.[11] In August 2005, he returned to the Serie A with a transfer to Internazionale on a four-year contract for reported €16 million fee.[12]

Walter Samuel with Internazionale as a substitute.

In the Derby della Madonnina on 23 December 2007, he hurt himself whilst marking the Brazilian international Kaká, and a couple weeks later, he had reconstructive surgery on his medial collateral ligament. He was expected to be out until the end of the 2007–08 season. In actuality, he started training with the first team again in October of the 2008–09 season and promptly earned a first team place back under manager José Mourinho. Samuel suffered a severe knee injury in the 7 November 2010 fixture against Brescia. He was out for five months and made an earlier than expected return to the Inter squad for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final away leg match against Schalke 04. Samuel made his return to the pitch in Inter's away match at Napoli on 15 May 2011.

Under manager Andrea Stramaccioni, beginning in the latter half of the 2011–12 season, Samuel, along with the team's other centre backs, has been used in a rotating starting policy.

After 9 seasons with Inter, on July 23, 2014, Samuel signed a one-year contract with Basel in the Swiss Super League.[13] He made his first team league debut on 31 August 2014 in the 3–1 home win against the Young Boys.[14]

International career[edit]

Samuel has played 56 matches for Argentina, scoring five goals. He played for his country in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan, but after a series of injuries that affected his play, he lost his place.

Years later, due to the solid performances and after becoming a regular starter in Internazionale, he earned his place back in the national team, with Diego Maradona choosing him to be a starter in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Club statistics[edit]

As of 1 October 2014.
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Newell's Old Boys
1995–96 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
1996–97 35 0 0 0 0 0 35 0
1997–98 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 42 0 0 0 0 0 42 0
Boca Juniors
1997–98 12 0 0 0 0 0 12 0
1998–99 34 2 0 0 6 0 40 2
1999-00 31 2 0 0 20 1 51 3
Total 77 4 0 0 26 1 103 5
Roma
2000–01 34 1 0 0 0 0 34 1
2001–02 26 5 0 0 7 0 33 5
2002–03 31 2 0 0 10 0 41 2
2003–04 31 1 0 0 8 0 39 1
Total 122 9 0 0 25 0 147 9
Real Madrid
2004–05 30 2 2 0 8 0 40 2
Total 30 2 2 0 8 0 40 2
Internazionale
2005–06 27 2 6 0 9 0 42 2
2006–07 18 3 6 0 3 0 27 3
2007–08 12 0 1 0 5 1 18 1
2008–09 17 1 2 0 1 0 20 1
2009–10 30 3 1 0 13 1 42 4
2010–11 10 0 0 0 3 0 13 0
2011–12 28 2 1 0 6 1 35 3
2012–13 16 1 1 0 5 0 22 1
2013–14 14 2 1 0 15 2
Total 172 13 19 0 45 4 236 17
Basel
2014–15 2 0 1 0 1 0 4 0
Total 2 0 1 0 1 0 4 0
Total 445 28 22 0 105 5 572 33

National team statistics[edit]

[15]

Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1999 10 1
2000 10 0
2001 8 2
2002 6 0
2003 5 1
2004 6 0
2005 5 1
2006 2 0
2007 0 0
2008 0 0
2009 0 0
2010 4 0
Total 56 5

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Internazionale
Roma
Boca Juniors

International[edit]

Argentina U-20

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basel secure Samuel signature". TEAMtalk. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Campioni ai Raggi X - Walter Samuel: Il Muro Nerazzurro". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Skolni, David (25 June 2010). "Mystic Soccer: Lucky number". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Fine, Jeremy (2010-06-08). "Are There Jews in the World Cup?". The Great Rabbino. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  5. ^ "El juvenil Luján que asombró a Argentina"Diario AS (Spanish)
  6. ^ "Congratulations to the Samuel family". Inter.it. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Samuel, Walter Adrián". Historiadeboca.com.ar. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "BILANCIO D’ESERCIZIO E CONSOLIDATO DI GRUPPO AL 30 GIUGNO 2000". AS Roma (in Italian) (Borsa Italiana Archive). Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Samuel a Roma!". AS Roma (in Italian). 4 April 2000. Archived from the original on 13 April 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  10. ^ PERFEZIONATO IL CONTRATTO DI TRASFERIMENTO DEL CALCIATORE SAMUEL[dead link]
  11. ^ "Ronaldo e Samuel comunitari come Carlos" (require login). La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 4 July 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Inter complete Samuel signing". uefa.com. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  13. ^ FC Basel 1893 (2014). "Walter Samuel zum FC Basel" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  14. ^ Marti, Caspar (2014). "FCB-YB 3:1: Dank Effizienz zum Sieg gegen die Berner" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2014-08-31. 
  15. ^ "Wálter Samuel". National Football Teams. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]