Ezequiel Garay

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Garay and the second or maternal family name is González.
Ezequiel Garay
Spar-Zen (2).jpg
Garay playing for Zenit in 2014
Personal information
Full name Ezequiel Marcelo Garay González
Date of birth (1986-10-10) 10 October 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Zenit St. Petersburg
Number 24
Youth career
Newell's Old Boys
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 Newell's Old Boys 14 (1)
2005–2008 Racing Santander 60 (12)
2008–2011 Real Madrid 31 (1)
2008–2009 Racing Santander (loan) 24 (2)
2011–2014 Benfica 78 (9)
2014– Zenit St. Petersburg 33 (1)
National team
2003 Argentina U17 6 (2)
2008 Argentina U23 9 (0)
2007– Argentina 31 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 August 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 27 June 2015

Ezequiel Marcelo Garay González (Spanish pronunciation: [eseˈkjel ɣaˈɾai]; born 10 October 1986) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Russian club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and the Argentina national team as a central defender.

He started his career with Newell's Old Boys but moved to Spain at the age of 19, going on to amass La Liga totals of 109 games and 15 goals over the course of six seasons, with Racing de Santander and Real Madrid. In 2011 he signed with Benfica, winning four major titles, most notably the domestic treble in the 2013–14 season.

Garay represented Argentina at the 2014 World Cup, and two Copa América tournaments.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Garay was born in Rosario, Santa Fe. At the early age of 18, he made his professional debut for hometown's Newell's Old Boys, in the Argentine top division. His first match was against Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, as the local club eventually won the Apertura championship in the 2004–05 season.

Garay made another 12 league appearances for Newell's, scoring his first and only goal for the side in the local derby against Rosario Central, a 2–1 win.[2]

Racing Santander[edit]

In December 2005 Garay joined La Liga club Racing de Santander, helping with seven complete matches as the Cantabria team barely avoided relegation. His first full season was nothing short of spectacular as he netted nine league goals in 31 games, being the second top scorer in his position in Europe's major leagues only behind Inter Milan's Marco Materazzi (ten); against Real Madrid only, he scored three times – 2–1 home win[2] (both through penalties, as well as five other goals) and 1–3 away loss – as Racing eventually finished tenth, the club's best since returning to the top flight in 2002.

On 19 March 2008, in the semifinal match of the Copa del Rey against Getafe CF, Garay suffered a serious leg injury which put him out of action for the remainder of the campaign. He still scored three goals in 22 contests with his club finishing in a best-ever sixth position, qualifying for the first time to the UEFA Cup – one of those came on 30 September 2007 in a 1–0 win at UD Almería.[3]

Garay playing for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad in 2011

Real Madrid[edit]

On 18 May 2008 Racing sold Garay to Real Madrid,[4] but received the player again on a season-long loan. Returned in July 2009, he made his league debut for the Merengues on 29 August, in the opening game of the season against Deportivo de La Coruña, a 3–2 home win; on 12 December, after coming on as a substitute for severely injured Pepe, he scored his first goal for the club, heading in a free kick from Xabi Alonso to make it 3–2 at Valencia CF with six minutes to go.[5]

Garay was only fourth-choice stopper in 2010–11 under new manager José Mourinho, only appearing in five league matches, adding two in the season's Spanish Cup (including one minute in the final against FC Barcelona, a 1–0 extra-time win).[6]

Benfica[edit]

Garay with Benfica in 2011

On 5 July 2011 Garay transferred to S.L. Benfica[7] for a fee of €5.5 million,[8] signing a four-year contract - initially part of the deal that sent Fábio Coentrão to Real Madrid,[9] Garay eventually signed a separate deal.[10] Real Madrid also remained eligible for 50% of any transfer fee Benfica would receive,[8] and the latter also sold part of his rights to Benfica Stars Fund for €1.175 million, making the club owner of 40%.[11]

During his spell in Lisbon, Garay shared teams with a host of compatriots, and often partnered with Luisão in central defence.[12][13][14] On 24 April 2014 he scored his eighth official goal of the season, netting his team's first in a 2–1 home win over Juventus F.C. for the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.[15]

Zenit[edit]

On 25 June 2014, Russian club Zenit signed Garay in a transfer totalling €15 million, according to the international press, with Benfica receiving €6 million for their 40% share in the player, while Real Madrid received €7.5 million.[16][17]

International career[edit]

In 2005, Garay helped the Argentine under-20s win the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands. That side also included Sergio Agüero, Fernando Gago, Lionel Messi and Oscar Ustari.[18]

Garay earned his first cap for the senior team cap in a friendly against Norway, a 1–2 loss on 22 August 2007. He had previously been called in May by coach Alfio Basile to a series of friendlies prior to the 2007 Copa América, but injury prevented him from appearing in those matches and the official competition.[2]

Garay was selected by new national team manager Sergio Batista to the 2011 Copa América. He was also picked by the following coach, Alejandro Sabella, for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, making his debut in the competition on 15 June by featuring the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 group stage win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[19] He was first-choice in all the remaining games and, on 9 July, converted his penalty shootout attempt against the Netherlands (0–0 after 120 minutes) to send his country to the final for the first time in 24 years.[20]

Garay made the list for the 2015 Copa América,[21] starting in the team's opening fixture against Paraguay in La Serena (2–2).[22]

Club statistics[edit]

As of match played 9 December 2014[23][24]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Newell's Old Boys 2004–05 2 0 2 0
2005–06 12 1 12 1
Total 14 1 14 1
Racing Santander 2005–06 7 0 0 0 7 0
2006–07 31 9 1 0 32 9
2007–08 22 3 7 2 29 5
2008–09 24 2 2 0 4 0 30 2
Total 84 14 10 2 4 0 98 16
Real Madrid 2009–10 20 1 0 0 3 0 23 1
2010–11 5 0 2 0 1 0 8 0
Total 25 1 2 0 4 0 31 1
Benfica 2011–12 24 2 3 0 10 0 37 2
2012–13 27 1 1 0 14 1 42 2
2013–14 27 6 8 0 14 2 49 8
Total 78 9 12 0 38 3 128 12
Zenit 2014–15 15 1 1 0 10 0 26 1
Total 15 1 1 0 10 0 26 1
Career totals 216 26 25 2 56 3 297 31

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Newells
Real Madrid
Benfica
Zenit

International[edit]

Argentina

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of players" (PDF). FIFA.com. 11 June 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Onwards and upwards for Garay". FIFA.com. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Almeria 0–1 Racing Santander". ESPN Soccernet. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Garay: Gunning for the future". Real Madrid's official website. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Garay header secures Real win". ESPN Soccernet. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Ronaldo heads Real to victory; ESPN Soccernet, 20 April 2011
  7. ^ "Garay to move to Benfica". ESPN Soccernet. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Real Madrid sign fullback Coentrao from Benfica; Reuters, 5 July 2011
  10. ^ "Garay leaves Madrid for Benfica". ESPN Soccernet. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Luisão e Garay formam a 'muralha' ideal" [Luisão and Garay form ideal 'wall'] (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Benfica nunca perdeu esta época sem Luisão e Garay" [Benfica has never lost this season without Luisão and Garay] (in Portuguese). Público. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Benfica sem centrais titulares: «déjà vu» de Londres" [Benfica without starting centre-backs: London «déjà vu»] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Lima puts Benfica on top against Juventus". UEFA.com. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Sheen, Tom (25 June 2014). "Ezequiel Garay latest: Manchester United target completes £12m move to Zenit St Petersburg". The Independent. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Ezequiel Garay signs for Zenit". ESPN FC. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Ezequiel GarayFIFA competition record
  19. ^ "Bosnia beaten by Messi marvel". FIFA.com. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Romero the shoot-out hero as Argentina reach final". FIFA.com. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Gerardo Martino confirmó la lista de 23 convocados y mantuvo a Casco para la Copa América" [Gerardo Martino confirmed list of 23 selected and kept Casco for the Copa América] (in Spanish). La Nación. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Argentina 2–2 Paraguay". BBC Sport. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "E. Garay". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Ezequiel Garay at ESPN FC
  25. ^ a b c d "Ezequiel Garay". GFDB. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c "Zenit win race to sign Argentina defender Garay". Reuters. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ezequiel Garay #2, Argentina; #24, Zenit St Petersburg". Yahoo!. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "Chile 0–0 Argentina (Chile win 4–1 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  30. ^ "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 

External links[edit]