Álvaro Recoba

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Recoba and the second or maternal family name is Rivero.
Álvaro Recoba
Alvaro Recoba.jpg
Personal information
Full name Álvaro Alexander Recoba Rivero
Date of birth (1976-03-17) 17 March 1976 (age 41)
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder, Forward, Winger
Youth career
Danubio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Danubio 34 (11)
1996–1997 Nacional 33 (17)
1997–2008 Internazionale 175 (53)
1999 Venezia (loan) 19 (11)
2007–2008 Torino (loan) 22 (1)
2008–2010 Panionios 21 (5)
2010–2011 Danubio 31 (11)
2011–2015 Nacional 82 (17)
Total 488 (144)
National team
1995–2007 Uruguay 69 (11)
2016 Uruguay (beach soccer) 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of June 14, 2015.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 16, 2016

Álvaro Alexander Recoba Rivero (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈalβaɾo alekˈsander reˈkoβa riˈβeɾo]; born 17 March 1976; nickname "El Chino"[1]) is a Uruguayan former footballer, who last played for Primera División Uruguaya side Club Nacional de Football, as either a forward or midfielder. Although he began and ended his footballing career in his native country, he also played for several European clubs throughout his career, most notably Italian side Inter Milan, where he spent eleven seasons.

At international level, Recoba won 69 caps for the Uruguay national team between 1995 and 2007, participating at the 2002 World Cup and two Copa América tournaments.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Recoba started his career with Uruguay's Danubio. After several years in the Danubio youth teams, he appeared on the first team when he was 17 years old and played for two full seasons, 1994–95 and 1995-96.[2] At the start of the 1996–97 season, Danubio agreed to transfer Recoba to Club Nacional de Futbol. The following season, Nacional agreed to send Recoba to Italy's Serie A club Internazionale.

Internazionale[edit]

Recoba made his debut for Internazionale on the same day as Ronaldo (31 August 1997), against Brescia in San Siro, scoring two goals in the last ten minutes of the match: one, a powerful 30-yard shot that flew past the keeper, the next, a free kick into the top corner after a Cristiano Doni foul. The goals allowed Internazionale to come back and win the match 2–1.[3]

Loan to Venezia[edit]

After two seasons with Internazionale, he was loaned out to relegation-battling Venezia,[4] for whom he scored 11 times and made 9 assists in 19 games. Eventually, Venezia escaped relegation that season.

Return to Internazionale[edit]

Álvaro Recoba number 20 Internazionale shirt

After his tenure at Venezia, Recoba returned to Inter. In January 2001, he renewed his contract with the club until 30 June 2006. During the same month, he was accused of carrying a fake passport and lost the Italian nationality he'd received in 1999. The Italian football organisation penalised Recoba with a one-year ban, which was later reduced on appeal to four months.[5] Overall, he played for Italian champions Internazionale in the Italian Serie A for ten seasons, from 1997 to 2007.

On 16 March 2007, Recoba confirmed to Sky Italia that he wanted to leave the team at the end of the 2006–07 season, citing lack of appearances with the first team. On 31 August 2007, he was loaned to Serie A club Torino F.C., where he rejoined Walter Novellino, his previous boss at Venezia.

Torino[edit]

Recoba scored his first goal for the club in the second game of the season, a 1–1 draw with Palermo, after a good combination between himself and Alessandro Rosina.[6] On December 19, 2007 Recoba gave a top-class performance against A.S. Roma in the Coppa Italia, scoring two excellent goals in Torino's 3–1 win.[7] However, his performances have been disappointing due to injuries and lack of playing time; he has not made the expected impact despite a good start and finished the season out of the starting formation.[8]

Panionios[edit]

On 5 September 2008, Recoba signed for Greek top division team Panionios, where he joined Greek international and former Inter teammate Lampros Choutos as well as Uruguay national team player Fabián Estoyanoff. He made his debut in a 2–1 win against Aris on October 18. He proved his quality by assisting both goals for his teammates Maniatis and Gonzaga.[9] In his next match, he inspired Panionios to a 5–2 away win against Ergotelis where he scored two goals. He finished the season with five goals and seven assists, despite continuous fitness problems.

On 9 June 2009, Recoba agreed to remain at Panionios for the following season, as per the terms of his original contract. On 6 December 2009, and after being constantly injured, Recoba came to an agreement with the club to mutually rescind his contract on 16 December 2009. Panionios stated that the termination was "friendly" and that they "were honoured" by his association with the club despite his injury-riddled spell.[10][11]

Back to Uruguay[edit]

Recoba playing for Nacional

After nine days without a club, Recoba announced on 24 December 2009 that he would sign with Danubio F.C.,[12] where he had played for Danubio from 1993 to 1995.[2]

In July 2011, he signed for Nacional. He appeared in many games coming on from the bench, but still helped the team to win the Torneo Apertura. Recoba scored the second goal in the clásico victory 2-1 against Peñarol by taking a penalty kick during stoppage time. The result allowed Nacional to surpass Peñarol in the tournament table. He also scored the only goal in the last gane against Liverpool.

During the Torneo Clausura, he started more games, scoring the third and definitive goal of that tournament's clásico, which ended ending 3–2 for Nacional.

He scored the only goal in the final game of 2011–12 Campeonato Uruguayo against Defensor Sporting Club on 16 June 2012.

During the Uruguayan Clásico on 9 November 2014, at the age of almost 38, Recoba scored a thirty-yard free-kick in the 5th minute of stoppage time to win again the game for Nacional.[13]

International career[edit]

Recoba made his debut for Uruguay on January 18, 1995 in a friendly match against Spain (2–2) in the Estadio Riazor in A Coruña, replacing Enzo Francescoli in the 65th minute.[14] He played at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. His only goal at the tournament came against Senegal in Uruguay's final group game, but it was not enough as the match finished in a 3–3 draw and eliminated Uruguay in the first round.

In September 2005, he scored the winning goal against Argentina in a World Cup qualifier. This helped Uruguay qualify as South America's fifth-placed team and put them in position to play for the intercontinental playoff against Oceania champions Australia. However, Uruguay lost 4–2 in a penalty shootout after a draw in aggregate score. Recoba who was substituted in the second leg of the playoff by Marcelo Zalayeta after 73 minutes.[15] When he was interviewed for the Australian documentary November 16 in 2015, he indicated his displeasure at the decision to replace him, saying "I was OK. I had the will to keep going. I was disappointed to come off in a game like that."[16]

Despite his lack of appearances in Internazionale's playing squad, Recoba was again picked for the Uruguay national team. He scored his 12th international goal in a 2–1 victory on 2 June 2007, in a friendly against Australia and he also appeared for Uruguay in the Copa América 2007, in which the national team finished 4th. In total, Recoba was capped 69 times with Uruguay.

Retirement[edit]

Recoba played his last game as a football player on March 31, 2016, at the age of 40, at the Estadio Gran Parque Central in Montevideo.[1] The occasion was an exhibition game, organized by Nacional, between one team of current and former National players, with Hugo de León, Felipe Revelez, "Cacique" Medina, among others, and a team of Amigos del Chino, with international stars such as Juan Román Riquelme, Christian Vieri, Carlos Valderrama, Juan Sebastián Verón, Iván Zamorano, and others.[17]

Playing style[edit]

A quick, technically gifted, and creative offensive midfield playmaker, who was capable both of scoring and creating goals, Recoba's main strengths were his dribbling skills, ball control, pace, his brilliant long passing and crossing ability, and his powerful and accurate striking ability with his left-foot from outside the area.[18] He was a set-piece, penalty kick, and corner-kick specialist, renowned for his curling free-kicks, and has scored goals of great quality, examples of which were his two goals on his debut with Inter.[18] Recoba was capable of playing in several offensive positions, and has been used as an attacking midfielder, as a supporting striker, and as a winger. He was also for a period the highest paid football player in the world.[18][19][20] Despite his talent, Recoba was often injury prone throughout his career,[21][22] and was also criticised for his poor work-rate and inconsistency, which has led pundits and managers to accuse him of not fulfilling his potential.[18][23][24][25]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Source:[26]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Uruguay League Cup South America Total
1994 Danubio Primera División 14 6 14 6
1995 20 5 20 5
1996 Nacional Primera División 22 8 22 8
1997 11 9 11 9
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1997–98 Internazionale Milano Serie A 8 3 5 2 6 0 19 5
1998–99 1 0 1 0 2 0 4 0
1998–99 Venezia Serie A 19 11 0 0 0 0 19 11
1999–00 Internazionale Milano Serie A 27 10 6 0 0 0 33 10
2000–01 29 8 3 2 9 5 41 15
2001–02 18 6 0 0 4 0 22 6
2002–03 27 9 1 0 14 3 42 12
2003–04 19 8 3 0 7 3 29 11
2004–05 13 3 4 2 5 1 22 6
2005–06 20 5 3 0 7 1 30 6
2006–07 13 1 3 0 2 0 18 1
2007–08 Torino Serie A 22 1 2 2 0 0 24 3
Greece League Greek Cup Europe Total
2008–09 Panionios Super League 14 4 2 1 - 16 5
2009–10 5 0 0 0 - 5 0
Uruguay League Cup South America Total
2009–10 Danubio Primera División 13 5 13 5
2010–11 18 6 18 6
2011–12 Nacional Primera División 24 8 1 0 25 8
2012–13 21 5 9 1 30 6
2013–14 19 2 7 0 26 2
2014–15 8 2 8 2
Country Uruguay 152 50 17 1 168 51
Italy 216 65 31 8 56 13 303 86
Greece 19 4 2 1 - 21 5
Total 387 119 33 9 73 14 493 142

International[edit]

Source:[27]

Uruguay national team
Year Apps Goals
1995 2 0
1996 3 3
1997 12 3
1998 0 0
1999 2 0
2000 9 1
2001 11 1
2002 7 1
2003 8 0
2004 4 0
2005 6 1
2006 0 0
2007 5 1
Total 69 11

Honours[edit]

Internazionale[28]
Nacional[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Uruguay legend Alvaro 'El Chino ' Recoba bids farewell to football" by Sam Kelly, ESPN FC, 1 April 2016
  2. ^ a b "El "Chino" hace la diferencia" ("The Chinese makes the difference"), Danubio F.C. website (in Spanish)
  3. ^ "Fantacalcio: Inter-Brescia, quando Recoba esplose nel giorno di Ronaldo" ("Fantasy Football: Inter vs Brescia, When Recoba exploded at the day of Ronaldo") by Marco Guidi, La Gazzetta dello Sport, 10 October 2014 (in Italian)
  4. ^ Contessa, Michele (January 13, 1999). "Recoba a Venezia: "Finalmente potro' giocare"". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Inter get Recoba back from ban". World Soccer News. October 12, 2001. Retrieved April 11, 2004. 
  6. ^ "Palermo 1 – 1 Torino". Football Italia. Channel 4. September 16, 2007. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Coppa: Recoba breaks Roma". Football Italia. Channel 4. December 19, 2007. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Novellino defends El Chino". Football Italia. Channel 4. December 3, 2007. Archived from the original on February 4, 2008. Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Alvaro Recoba debuts for Panionios : European Soccer". 
  10. ^ "Uruguayan star Alvaro Recoba quits Greek side Panionios - ESPN FC". ESPNFC.com. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ Ανακοίνωση
  12. ^ "www.impre.com". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Álvaro Recoba rolls back years to give Nacional victory over Peñarol". theguardian.com. The Guardian. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesu/uru-intres1995.html RSSSF
  15. ^ Australia v Uruguay, 16 November 2005, 11v11 website, 16 November 2005
  16. ^ "November 16" (Documentary Film). You Tube. 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Chino Leyenda Nacional: Recoba se despide en el GPC" ("Chinese legend of National: Recoba says farewell at the GPC"), Nacional website (in Spanish)
  18. ^ a b c d John Carlin (23 November 2003). "Recoba's riddle". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Don't get discouraged". cnnsi.com. Sports Illustrated. February 20, 2001. Retrieved June 13, 2008. 
  20. ^ Giancarla Ghisi (15 May 2003). "I vip dell' Inter accusano "Tutta colpa di Recoba, peggio di Tangentopoli"" [The Inter VIPs accuse: "Everything is Recoba's fault, worse than Tangentopoli"] (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Nadia Carminati (1 January 2007). "Recoba wants to be a regular". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  22. ^ "Recoba may not retire yet". Football Italia. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "Inter. Moratti: "Zanetti come Facchetti. Recoba pigro, era più forte di Ronaldo"" [Inter. Moratti: "Zanetti like Facchetti. Recoba was lazy, but more talented than Ronaldo"] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Fabio Costantino (15 October 2009). "Recoba: "Cercai di portare Barreto all'Inter"" [Recoba: "I tried to bring Barreto to Inter"] (in Italian). F.C. Inter News. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  25. ^ Roberto Gotta (4 October 2002). "Inter the world of paranoia". ESPN FC. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  26. ^ Álvaro Recoba at National-Football-Teams.com
  27. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/recoba-intl.html
  28. ^ a b "Á. Recoba". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 

External links[edit]