Dani (footballer, born 1976)
Dani in 2011
|Full name||Daniel da Cruz Carvalho|
|Date of birth||2 November 1976|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1996||→ West Ham (loan)||9||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He spent most of his eight-year professional career with Ajax after starting out at Sporting, appearing in nearly 100 official matches and winning three major titles. He also competed abroad in Spain, with Atlético Madrid.
All youth levels comprised, Dani played 69 times for Portugal and scored 33 goals. He made his full debut in 1995.
A skilled attacking player whose career was cut short by poor professional judgment, Dani was born in Lisbon and began his career with local Sporting Clube de Portugal, making his first-team debuts during 1994–95, aged just 17, in a team which also included Luís Figo, Ricardo Sá Pinto and Bulgarian Krassimir Balakov, and helped the capital side to the season's Portuguese Cup.
In January 1996, Dani served a small stint in the Premier League with West Ham United, scoring at Tottenham Hotspur and at home against Manchester City. Despite playing a decent role in his nine-game career, his season ended when he was sacked by manager Harry Redknapp when he missed training after being spotted in a nightclub. Subsequently, he represented AFC Ajax, appearing regularly for the Amsterdam club but almost never as an undisputed starter, although he netted an important goal in the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal clash against Atlético Madrid, in a 3–2 away win (4–3 aggregate).
In December 2000, after a brief spell with S.L. Benfica, Dani signed for Atlético Madrid in the Spanish second division, teaming up with compatriot Hugo Leal. After the Colchoneros returned to La Liga, he was pretty much absent for the majority of the 2002–03 campaign and, after failing to find a new team, definitively retired from football in early 2004 at only 27.
Previously, he appeared for the nation at the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship in Qatar, being awarded the second place in both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards, and also competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics where the team reached a final fourth place.
- Moore, Glen (12 February 1996). "Dani buoys West Ham on debut". The Independent. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- Jones, Ken (23 March 1996). "City refuse to employ crisis tactics". The Independent. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- "'I lost all respect for him': Former West Ham loanee Dani on troubles with Harry Redknapp". Evening Standard. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "Babangida thrills Ajax". The Independent. 20 March 1997. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Balasch, M. (31 December 2000). "Gil, a vueltas con la persecución política" [Gil, going crazy with political persecution]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Dani – FIFA competition record (archive)
- Casado, Edu (4 July 2013). "Qué fue de… Daniel da Cruz Carvalho 'Dani': era tan guapo que decidió retirarse" [Whatever happened to… Daniel da Cruz Carvalho ‘Dani': he was so good-looking he decided to retire]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 January 2015.