Samuel with Inter in October 2011
|Full name||Walter Adrián Luján Samuel|
|Date of birth||23 March 1978|
|Place of birth||Laborde, Argentina|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1996–1997||Newell's Old Boys||42||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 April 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Walter Adrián Luján Samuel (born Walter Adrián Luján; 23 March 1978) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Internazionale. 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 pace, Samuel played a key role in Inter's treble success in the 2009–10 season under José Mourinho and has accumulated over 50 caps for the Argentine national team. His strong, uncompromising style of play has earnt him the nickname Il Muro ("The Wall").
Early life and personal life
Samuel is Jewish, and was born Walter Luján to a single Jewish mother, who raised him on her own. As a teenager, Luján adopted the family name of his stepfather, Samuel. He has a daughter and two sons with his wife Cecilia.
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. In that year, Roma bought his contract for 40.265 billion Italian lire (about €20 million). 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. 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. In August 2005, he returned to the Serie A with a transfer to Internazionale on a four-year contract for reported €16 million fee.
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 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.
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.
|Newell's Old Boys|
National team statistics
|Argentina national team|
- Serie A: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2005–06, 2009–10, 2010–11
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
- Skolni, David (25 June 2010). "Mystic Soccer: Lucky number". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Fine, Jeremy (2010-06-08). "Are There Jews in the World Cup?". The Great Rabbino. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- "El juvenil Luján que asombró a Argentina" – Diario AS (Spanish)
- "Congratulations to the Samuel family". Inter.it. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2009.
- "Samuel, Walter Adrián". Historiadeboca.com.ar. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "BILANCIO D’ESERCIZIO E CONSOLIDATO DI GRUPPO AL 30 GIUGNO 2000". AS Roma (in Italian) (Borsa Italiana Archive). Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "Samuel a Roma!". AS Roma (in Italian). 4 April 2000. Archived from the original on 13 April 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- PERFEZIONATO IL CONTRATTO DI TRASFERIMENTO DEL CALCIATORE SAMUEL[dead link]
- "Ronaldo e Samuel comunitari come Carlos" (require login). La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 4 July 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Inter complete Samuel signing". uefa.com. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "Wálter Samuel". National Football Teams. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Walter Samuel at National-Football-Teams.com
- Samuel's profile at footballdatabase.com
- Guardian statistics