Wijnaldum with PSV in 2011
|Full name||Georginio Gregion Emile Wijnaldum|
|Date of birth||11 November 1990|
|Place of birth||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 May 2016.
Georginio Gregion Emile Wijnaldum (Dutch pronunciation: [d͡ʒɔrˈd͡ʒiɲoː ʋɛiˈnɑldɵm]; born 11 November 1990) is a Dutch footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and the Netherlands national team.
A youth product of Feyenoord, he made his professional debut in 2007 as the youngest player ever to represent the club, and played 134 matches for them in a five-year period. He also played four seasons at PSV Eindhoven, winning the KNVB Cup in the first and the Eredivisie in the last. In 2015 he joined Premier League side Newcastle United for £14.5 million, before departing a year later to join Liverpool in a £23 million deal.
A full international with over 30 caps since making his debut in 2011, Wijnaldium was a member of the Dutch squad which came third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Georginio Wijnaldum was born and raised in Rotterdam, South Holland. At the age of six his parents divorced and his mother moved to Amsterdam. Wijnaldum decided to stay in Rotterdam and moved in with his grandmother, where he lived the remaining part of his childhood. Both his parents are of Afro-Surinamese descent.
In Wijnaldum's younger years he never showed interest in football. He never played with a ball or watched football on TV. His ambition was to become a gymnast or acrobat. This changed when Wijnaldum's nephew asked him to come to Sparta Rotterdam's opening day with him; then he got invited to the Sparta Rotterdam youth academy and his love for football started to grow slowly.
Wijnaldum has two younger brothers, one of whom, Giliano Wijnaldum is currently playing for VfL Bochum. Wijnaldum was formerly known as "Georginio Boateng," but following his mother's divorce he took her maiden name "Wijnaldum."
At the age of six, Wijnaldum developed himself rapidly at Sparta Rotterdam, winning two championship titles in his first two seasons. Soon Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord showed interest in the youngster, but Wijnaldum declined all offers: "I didn't watch football on TV and I didn't know any of the first team players of Sparta or any of the top clubs. I only knew the real famous players of Oranje, so the offers didn't impress me much. I had a good time at Sparta, I wanted to stay." After playing for Sparta Rotterdam for seven seasons and representing the Netherlands at various youth levels, Wijnaldum decided to accept a new Feyenoord offer. He was convinced playing for Feyenoord was better for his development as a football player and believed in Feyenoord's vision.
At Feyenoord, Wijnaldum joined a successful generation with the likes of Leroy Fer and Luís Pedro. Wijnaldum stood out as an exceptional talent. In January 2007, a few weeks after turning 16, Wijnaldum was invited to the first team's training camp in Belek, Turkey, by Feyenoord manager Erwin Koeman.
On 8 April 2007, Wijnaldum made his official debut in Feyenoord's starting line-up in the Eredivisie home match against FC Groningen (0–4). At the age of 16 and 148 days, Wijnaldum became the youngest player ever to play in Feyenoord's first team and was chosen Feyenoord's man of the match. On 2 December 2007, Wijnaldum scored his first Eredivisie goal for Feyenoord against Heracles Almelo in a 6–0 home win.
In the season 2008–09 Wijnaldum made his official European debut. On 18 September 2008, Wijnaldum was named in the starting line-up in the UEFA Cup home match against Kalmar FF (0–1). On 2 October 2008, Wijnaldum scored his first European goal for Feyenoord in the return match against Kalmar FF, which resulted in a 1–2 win and a place in the group stage.
On 6 March 2009, Wijnaldum signed a new contract at Feyenoord which keeps him in de Kuip until summer 2012. On 27 February 2011 Wijnaldum helped his struggling Feyenoord to a 5–1 demolition of FC Groningen, scoring four goals. He scored two goals from open play in the first half and two more from the penalty spot to add his total for the season to 8 goals.
On 29 June 2011 the technical director of Feyenoord announced that they had reached a transfer deal for Wijnaldum reported to be worth €5 million with PSV Eindhoven. On the opening day of Eredivisie 2011/12 season, Wijnaldum made his debut for PSV in a 3–1 loss against AZ. On 21 August 2011, Wijnaldum scored his first goal for PSV in a 3–0 victory against ADO Den Haag. Since joining the club, Wijnaldum established himself in the starting eleven as he scores goals and develops assists from his attacking role in midfield in Eredivisie, KNVB Beker and Europa League. After the retirement of Mark van Bommel and the departure of Kevin Strootman in the summer of 2013, Wijnaldum was named PSV's captain for the 2013-14 Eredivisie season. In that year he just played 11 matches (4 goals) due to a back injury. For the 2014-15 Eredivisie season Wijnaldum returned to full fitness and captained PSV to their first title since 2008.
On 11 July 2015, Wijnaldum joined Newcastle United on a five-year contract, for a reported transfer fee of £14.5 million, making him the most expensive signing of Mike Ashley's ownership. He made his debut on 9 August as Newcastle began the season with a 2–2 home draw against Southampton, heading in a goal from Gabriel Obertan's cross. He would score his second Newcastle United goal in a 2–2 draw with Chelsea on 26 September. On 18 October, Wijnaldum scored four goals in a 6–2 home win over Norwich City, becoming only the second Newcastle player to score more than three goals in a Premier League game. Wijnaldum was considered the player of the match in a game against Liverpool when he forced Martin Škrtel into an own goal as well as scoring himself in a 2–0 win. He scored against Manchester United in a 3-3 draw on January 12, and again four days later in a 2-1 win against West Ham and later scored twice against Tottenham in a 5-1 win on the final day of the season, finishing the season as relegated Newcastle's top goalscorer.
On 22 July 2016, Wijnaldum returned to the Premier League, signing for Liverpool on a five-year contract, for an initial £23 million with a further £2 million in conditional add-ons. He was handed the number 5 shirt.
Wijnaldum was one of the key players of the Netherlands U17 on the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Belgium. The team finished third in their group behind England and Belgium, failing to qualify for the knock-out stage. Quickly after the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, Wijnaldum got selected for the Netherlands U19. Despite excellent individual performances, the team underachieved and failed to qualify for the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship in Czech Republic and 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship in Ukraine.
Wijnaldum had to deny his first Netherlands U21 invitation on 9 August 2009. Wijnaldum received an invitation for the friendly match against England U21 by manager Cor Pot. Wijnaldum made his official Netherlands U21 debut on 4 September 2009, in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification match against Finland U21 (2–0).
On 30 May 2011, Wijnaldum was named in the Netherlands squad for friendlies against Brazil and Uruguay, but was not selected in either match. He made his international debut in the match against San Marino on 2 September 2011, appearing as a substitute in the 86th minute and promptly scoring the final goal in an 11–0 win.
- As of 25 July 2016
- As of match played 4 June 2016.
|1||2 September 2011||Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands||1||San Marino||11–0||11–0||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|2||12 July 2014||Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília, Brazil||12||Brazil||0–3||0–3||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|3||12 June 2015||Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia||20||Latvia||0–1||0–2||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|4||10 October 2015||Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan||23||Kazakhstan||0–1||1–2||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|5||1 June 2016||Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland||29||Poland||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|6||4 June 2016||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria||30||Austria||0–2||0–2||Friendly|
- PSV Eindhoven
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