Giovani dos Santos

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For the Brazilian long-distance runner, see Giovani dos Santos (athlete).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is dos Santos and the second or maternal family name is Ramírez.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani Dos Santos - 002.jpg
Dos Santos training for Barcelona in 2008
Personal information
Full name Giovani dos Santos Ramírez
Date of birth (1989-05-11) 11 May 1989 (age 27)
Place of birth Monterrey, Mexico
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Forward, Midfielder
Club information
Current team
LA Galaxy
Number 10
Youth career
2002–2006 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Barcelona B 27 (6)
2007–2008 Barcelona 28 (4)
2008–2012 Tottenham Hotspur 15 (0)
2009 Ipswich Town (loan) 8 (4)
2010 Galatasaray (loan) 14 (0)
2011 Racing Santander (loan) 16 (5)
2012–2013 Mallorca 29 (6)
2013–2015 Villarreal 58 (12)
2015– LA Galaxy 36 (17)
National team
2005 Mexico U17 8 (2)
2007 Mexico U20 6 (5)
2012 Mexico U23 9 (3)
2007– Mexico 90 (17)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:08, 18 September 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 07:21, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Giovani "Gio" dos Santos Ramírez[2](Spanish pronunciation: [ʝoβani ðos ˈsantos]; born 11 May 1989) is a Mexican professional footballer who currently plays for MLS club LA Galaxy and the Mexico national team. A versatile forward, dos Santos can play as an attacking midfielder, winger and secondary striker.

Giovani began his football career at a very young age, being recruited by Spanish club FC Barcelona and played for their B team until age 18. He made his way up the ranks, eventually playing for the senior squad, making his debut in 2007. That year, dos Santos was named by World Soccer Magazine as one of the "Top 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers".[3] After playing one season, he was transferred to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 in search for more playing time. Though he would stay with the club until 2012, his time there was mostly spent away on loan, at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray, and Racing Santander, with varying degrees of success.[4] Tottenham eventually sold him to Mallorca in 2012. Mallorca later sold dos Santos to Villarreal a year later.[5]

Giovani was a member of the Mexico under-17 team that won the 2005 U17 World Championship held in Peru. He made his debut for the Senior national team in a 1–0 victory over Panama on 9 September 2007, and represented El Tri at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. With Mexico, Giovani has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2015, scoring in the 2009 and 2011 finals and winning the MVP award in 2009. He was also a member of Mexico's team that won the gold-medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Club career[edit]


Born in Monterrey, Nuevo León,[2] Giovani joined FC Barcelona's academy of La Masia at the age of eleven[6] and played for Barcelona's Juvenil A category where he helped his team to make a comeback in the league and win the regional title. This title allowed them to participate in the Youth Copa del Rey, where they faced other regional champions, among them their historic arch-rivals, Real Madrid. Giovani once again played a significant role during the tournament and helped the team win the national title of the Juvenil A category.

Dos Santos with Barcelona in 2008

In 2006, he was invited on the pre-season tour of Barcelona's senior squad; during a friendly match on 29 July 2006, he scored in his senior team debut game against Danish club AGF Aarhus.[7] On 28 November 2006, Barcelona included dos Santos in their 23-man squad for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.[8]

During the summer of 2007, Giovani was once again invited to join Barça's senior squad on their pre-season tour. On 29 August 2007, dos Santos received dual nationality[9] and was included in the official first team squad. He made his competitive and league debut on 2 September 2007 (at 18 years and 114 days) during a 3–1 home win against Athletic Bilbao, coming on for Thierry Henry in the 62nd minute.[10]

Giovani made his Champions League debut on 20 September 2007 during a 3–0 home win against Olympique Lyonnais. He came on as a substitute for Xavi in the 79th minute.[11]

On 17 May 2008, Giovani scored a hat trick against Real Murcia, with a final score of 5–3, granting a victory to Barça on the team's last game of the 2007–08 season. It was also the last game dos Santos played before joining Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

On 18 June 2008, Giovani passed a medical and agreed terms to complete his move to Tottenham Hotspur from Barcelona. Barcelona reported that the transfer fee was €6 million with an additional €5 million payable depending on appearances for Tottenham.[12][13][14]

The young Mexican was on target twice as Tottenham beat local Spanish side UD Tavernes in an 8–0 thumping on their 2008–09 pre-season tour. Giovani also played in Tottenham's other pre-season games such as the 5–1 wins over Leyton Orient and Norwich City. He also scored the second goal in the 3–0 win over Borussia Dortmund to help Spurs to make it two wins out of two and take home the Feyenoord Jubileum Tournament trophy. Giovani scored his first competitive goal for Spurs in the UEFA Cup on 26 February 2009 against Shakhtar Donetsk.[15] After 12 first team appearances, he was sent on loan to Ipswich Town for the remainder of the season.[6]

Giovani returned to Tottenham at the start of the 2009–10 season and his first game of the season came against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup, in which he provided an assist. He was substituted off, however, due to an ankle injury early on in a League Cup game against Preston North End and has only managed to make a substitute appearance in a 1–0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

His commitment was questioned by former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who warned him to stay away from nightclubs and revealed that he was often late for training on Mondays.[16] Redknapp assured dos Santos, however, that he was still part of his plans at Tottenham.[17]

Giovani scored and had an assist in Tottenham's Europa League group match against Shamrock Rovers on 29 September 2011 at White Hart Lane. On 7 January 2012, he scored a goal and completed an assist for a 3–0 win against Cheltenham Town F.C. in the third round of the F.A. Cup.

Ipswich Town (loan)[edit]

In March 2009, Giovani signed on loan at Ipswich Town until the end of the season.[18] He made his debut on 14 March 2009, coming on as a substitute against Reading.[19] He scored his first league goal and the equaliser in the following game against Burnley. He scored his second goal against Bristol City on Easter Monday, a 94th-minute penalty to equalise for Ipswich. He also claimed an assist and a goal from the penalty spot in Ipswich's 3–2 win over local rivals Norwich City a week later.[20] He finished his loan with four goals in eight appearances.[6]

Galatasaray (loan)[edit]

In January 2010, Giovani signed for Turkish club Galatasaray on loan for the remainder of the 2009–10 season, with an option to purchase him at the end of that period.[21] The move reunited the player with Frank Rijkaard, his former coach at Barcelona. On 31 January, he made his debut coming on as a 58th-minute substitute for Emre Çolak in a league game against Denizlispor with victory 2–1.[22] He returned to Tottenham in the summer having failed to score for Galatasaray, and stayed there for half a season before being loaned to La Liga club Racing Santander in January.

Racing Santander (loan)[edit]

On 31 January 2011, Giovani joined La Liga side Racing de Santander on loan until the end of the season from Tottenham.[23] He made his debut for his new club on 5 February 2011 as a substitute against Real Zaragoza, drawing the game 1–1. He scored his first goal as a substitute against Villarreal CF in the 68th minute on 27 February 2011. Dos Santos scored a brace in a 3–2 win league match over Hércules CF.


Dos Santos against Sevilla midfielder Hedwiges Maduro

It was reported that Giovani had told Tottenham that he wanted a move in the summer of 2012 or else he would leave on a free transfer during the next transfer window. His agent stated there was interest from Serie A club Internazionale,[24] as well as La Liga clubs such as Sevilla FC and Atlético Madrid.[25]

On 31 August 2012, Giovani signed a four-year deal with Spanish outfit RCD Mallorca, being introduced as their new number 9.[26][27] On 22 October, Giovani made his debut for Mallorca, playing 60 minutes and assisting both goals in a 3–2 away defeat to Sevilla.[28] Giovani played another 60 minutes on 28 October in a 5–0 home defeat to Real Madrid. Giovani scored his first goal against RCD Espanyol on 18 January 2013. Though Mallorca would finish the season in 18th place and was relegated, dos Santos was a mainstay in the squad, amassing 32 total appearances and finished as their top goal-scorer with six goals as well as providing seven assists.


On 9 July 2013, dos Santos completed a much speculated move to recently promoted side Villarreal for a reported €6 million.[29] He finished the 2013–14 season with 11 goals and 8 assists, helping the club finish the season in sixth place.

LA Galaxy[edit]

On 15 July 2015, the Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy announced the signing of dos Santos as a Designated Player,[30] in a reported $7 million deal.[31]

On 6 August, dos Santos made his competitive debut and scored his first competitive goal for the Galaxy in a CONCACAF Champions League fixture against Trinidadian side Central FC. Three days later, he made his MLS debut and scored a goal and provided an assist in the 3–1 win over Seattle Sounders.

In July 2016, he was included in the roster for the 2016 MLS All-Star Game.[32] On 21 July 2016, dos Santos came off of the bench during the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open Cup, scoring within three minutes of coming onto the pitch. The goal help the Galaxy start a comeback leading to a 4–2 victory over Seattle Sounders to advance to the semi-finals for the first time in ten years.[33]

International career[edit]

U12 Danone Nations Cup[edit]

Giovani participated at the 2001 Danone Nations Cup that was held in the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, where 40 countries also participated. Mexico would finish the tournament fifth. He won the Golden Boot award for top goalscorer.

Mexico U17[edit]

During the 2005 U-17 World Championship, which his team won, dos Santos assisted half of the goals of Mexico during the tournament, a feat that won him the Adidas Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, finishing behind only to Brazilian and former Manchester United midfielder Anderson.

Mexico U20[edit]

In the U-20 World Cup Qualifiers, he scored twice; once against St. Kitts and Nevis in the 86th minute and the second against Jamaica in the 56th minute. He was forced to sit out the last game for precautionary reasons against Costa Rica, as he had received a yellow card in the previous match. The game ended in a 1–1 draw, but Mexico still qualified, finishing top of the regional group.

During the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Mexico was placed in Group C, where they were drawn against Gambia, Portugal, and New Zealand. On 2 July 2007, dos Santos and the rest of the Mexico team played against Gambia and won 3–0, with Giovani opening the scoring in the second half with a volley into the top left-hand corner from outside of the box. Giovani then played against Portugal, where Mexico won 2–1, scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot. As Mexico had already qualified from the group, he was rested for the game against New Zealand. In the round of 16, Mexico played against Congo and dos Santos returned to the starting line-up and yet again opened the scoring with a goal from the penalty spot in a match that Mexico won 3–0. In the quarter-finals, Mexico was eliminated by Argentina by an own goal on the second-half, which was the only goal of the game in a 1–0. Dos Santos was awarded the Adidas Bronze Ball.

Mexico U23[edit]

In June 2012 Giovani was called up to play with the Mexico under-23 squad that would participate at the 2012 London Olympics.[34] On 29 July, dos Santos started on the bench, but later scored his first two goals against Gabon, earning Mexico a 2–0 win.[35] Dos Santos scored his third goal of the tournament on 4 August against Senegal, scoring a crucial tie breaking goal in the 98th minute of extra time to give Mexico a 3–2 lead, which eventually led to a 4–2 win. He was in the starting XI for the semi-final match against Japan and played the first half of the game, but had to be substituted out for Raúl Jiménez in the 46th minute due to an injury, which ultimately ruled him out of the final against Brazil. Dos Santos was however on the bench and watched Mexico defeat Brazil 2–1 at Wembley Stadium.[36]

Mexico national team[edit]

Giovani earned his first selection for a Mexico senior team roster when Hugo Sánchez picked him for exhibition games against Panama and Brazil.[8] Giovani appeared for the first time for Mexico in a 1–0 victory over Panama on 9 September 2007 wearing the number 10 jersey.[37] The match was abandoned at half time because of heavy rain.[8] He scored his first two goals for Mexico on 24 June 2009 in a friendly match against Venezuela, a game in which he was also named Man of the Match.

He scored his third goal for Mexico on 19 July in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-final game against Haiti in the 42nd minute and also recorded two assists in the 4–0 victory. On 26 July 2009, he helped Mexico end a ten-year drought of victory against the United States on American soil with a 5–0 victory that helped secure Mexico's fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup.[38] He was named player of the tournament.

On 5 September 2009, Giovani contributed to all three goals in a 3–0 win over Costa Rica in the 2010 World Cup qualification stages. He scored the first goal from outside the penalty box with his preferred left foot and assisted in the following two goals.[39]

When his brother Jonathan dos Santos was cut from Mexico's final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup, his father Zizinho said that Giovani was very hurt and claimed he was unsure whether he would play in the World Cup.[40]

In the 2010 World Cup, Giovani started in every game for Mexico as a right winger. He completed 138 passes without providing an assist.[41] He was voted runner-up for the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament award, which eventually went to Thomas Müller of Germany.[42]

Giovani was called up to play the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup after a good mid-season loan to Racing Santander. On 9 June 2011, he scored a brace against Cuba in a 5–0 win.[43] In the final match against the United States, he scored in a 4–2 win, by dribbling inside the box against Tim Howard and chipping the ball into the top-left corner over Eric Lichaj. That goal was also named the best goal of the tournament.[44]

Giovani was called up by Miguel Herrera to play the 2014 World Cup. Giovani played in Mexico's World Cup opener against Cameroon. On 29 June 2014, Giovani opened the scoring in a 2–1 round of 16 defeat against the Netherlands with a left-footed long range strike.[45]

Style of play[edit]

A quick, skilful, and creative player, dos Santos is capable of playing in several offensive positions. He is usually deployed as a winger or as an attacking midfielder, and has even been used as a supporting striker. A technically gifted playmaker who possesses great flair, he has been described as a "clever" and "sharp" player, who has the capacity to both score goals and create chances for team-mates.[46][47] As a youngster, he drew attention to himself as a precocious talent, and in 2010 he was named by Don Balón as one the 100 best young players in the world born after 1989.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Giovani is the son of former Brazilian footballer Zizinho, who played for Mexico clubs Club América and León in the late 1980s.[49] His mother, Liliana Ramírez, is a Mexican national. Giovani has two brothers and two half-brothers; the elder, Éder, played for Club América's reserves team as a defensive midfielder before retiring in 2009, and his younger brother, Jonathan, currently plays for Spanish club Villarreal.[50]


Giovani dos Santos features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he appeared on the cover of the MLS custom edition of FIFA 16.[51]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 18 September 2016[52][53]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Barcelona B 2006–07 27 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 6 0
Total 27 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 6 0
Barcelona 2007–08 28 3 4 4 0 0 5 1 3 37 4 7
Total 28 3 4 4 0 0 5 1 3 37 4 7
Tottenham Hotspur 2008–09 6 0 0 2 0 0 4 1 0 12 1 0
2009–10 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1
2010–11 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 0
2011–12 7 0 1 2 1 1 4 1 1 13 2 3
Total 17 0 1 7 1 2 9 2 1 33 3 4
Ipswich Town 2008–09 8 4 1 0 0 0 8 4 1
Total 8 4 1 0 0 0 8 4 1
Galatasaray 2009–10 14 0 3 2 0 0 2 0 0 18 0 3
Total 14 0 3 2 0 0 2 0 0 18 0 3
Racing Santander 2010–11 16 5 2 0 0 0 16 5 2
Total 16 5 2 0 0 0 16 5 2
Mallorca 2012–13 29 6 7 3 0 0 32 6 7
Total 29 6 7 3 0 0 32 6 7
Villarreal 2013–14 31 11 8 3 1 0 34 12 8
2014–15 27 1 3 7 1 1 7 4 3 41 6 7
Total 58 12 11 10 2 1 7 4 3 75 18 15
LA Galaxy 2015 11 3 5 0 0 0 4 1 3 15 4 8
2016 25 14 11 2 1 0 0 0 0 27 15 11
Total 36 17 16 2 1 0 4 1 3 42 19 19
Career total 233 53 45 28 4 3 27 8 10 283 65 58


As of 9 July 2015
Mexico national team
Year Apps Goals
2007 4 0
2008 6 0
2009 12 5
2010 12 1
2011 19 5
2012 6 3
2013 14 0
2014 10 1
2015 9 2
Total 90 17





Mexico U17
Mexico U23



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  2. ^ a b Giovani Dos Santos Ramírez FC Barcelona
  3. ^ "Top 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers (2007)". Soccerlens. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Tucker, Duncan (24 August 2012). "Why Tottenham Hotspur Should Keep Giovani dos Santos". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  5. ^ Evelyn, Jen. "The Rebirth of Giovani Dos Santos". Inside Spanish Football. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Giovani Dos Santos". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Goals and debuts in Denmark (0–3)". 29 July 2007. 
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  10. ^ "Barcelona 3–1 Athletic Bilbao". ESPN Soccernet. 17 January 2007. 
  11. ^ "Barcelona 3–0 Lyon: Messi orchestrates win". ESPN Soccernet. 19 September 2007. 
  12. ^ Giovani transferred to Tottenham Hotspur
  13. ^ "Galatasaray set for Giovani loan swoop". Global Sports Media. 26 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Tottenham sign Giovani dos Santos from Barca". The Telegraph. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Tottenham 1–1 S Donetsk (agg 1–3)". BBC Sport. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  16. ^ Marc Issacs (6 July 2010). "TOTTENHAM: HARRY REDKNAPP WARNS GIOVANI DOS SANTOS". Daily Star. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Giovani dos Santos pleads with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp for one more chance to make his mark". Daily Mail. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "Ipswich sign Dos Santos on loan". BBC Sport. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009. 
  19. ^ "Reading 0–1 Ipswich". BBC Sport. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  20. ^ "Ipswich 3–2 Norwich". BBC Sport. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  21. ^ "Giovani Joins Galatasaray". Galatasaray SK. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  22. ^ "Denizlispor 1–2 Galatasaray". 
  23. ^ "Gio joining Racing Santander on loan". Tottenham Hotspur Official Webpage. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  24. ^ Giovani dos Santos could make Inter Milan move as Julio Cesar nears Spurs | Metro News
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  27. ^ "Giovani Dos Santos to join Real Mallorca from Tottenham. BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  28. ^ "Giovani dos Santos picks up two assists in Mallorca debut". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
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  30. ^ "LA Galaxy sign Giovani dos Santos". LA Galaxy. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  31. ^ Baxter, Kevin (14 July 2015). "Galaxy acquires Mexico team star Giovani Dos Santos after long pursuit". Los Angeles Times. 
  32. ^ "Villa, Pirlo and Kaka headline MLS All-Star squad to face Arsenal". FourFourTwo. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  33. ^ "Match Report: LA Galaxy secure spot in Open Cup semifinals with 4-2 win over Seattle Sounders". LA Galaxy. 21 July 2016. 
  34. ^ "Mexico announces full Olympic roster". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
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  36. ^ Borden, Sam (11 August 2012). "Mexico Wins Olympic Gold in Men's Soccer, Beating Brazil". New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  37. ^ "Dos Santos, a Mexican darling". Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  38. ^ Longman, Jeré (26 July 2009). "Mexico Thumps U.S. to Win Gold Cup". New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  39. ^ "Dos Santos chosen as Gold Cup MVP". 26 July 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  40. ^ "World Cup 2010: Giovani Dos Santos 'considering quitting Mexico squad'". The Telegraph. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  41. ^ Matt Monaghan (11 July 2010). "World Cup 2010 Special: Forget Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres, these are the stars who did the Premier League proud in South Africa". Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  42. ^ Alex Dimond (11 July 2010). "World Cup 2010: Germany's Thomas Mueller wins young player award, beating Mexico's Giovani dos Santos and Ghana's Andre Ayew". Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  43. ^ México 5 – Cuba 0 – (
  44. ^ Mexico repeat Gold Cup glory –
  45. ^ "Netherlands 2–1 Mexico". BBC. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  46. ^ Greg Hadley (4 August 2015). "Giovani dos Santos comes to L.A. with built-in fan base, but Galaxy sees more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  47. ^ Greg Beacham (15 July 2015). "LA Galaxy sign Mexican star Giovani dos Santos". Yahoo!. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  48. ^ "Don Balon's list of the 100 best young players in the world". Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  49. ^ "La familia Dos Santos, ante un partido que une raíces" [The Dos Santos family, before a match which unites roots] (in Spanish). Marca. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  50. ^ Arielle Castillo (15 July 2015). "Giovani Dos Santos 101: Everything you need to know about the LA Galaxy's new Designated Player". MLS Soccer. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  51. ^ "EA Sports FIFA 16 is finally in stores! Find out who made the MLS custom cover". MLS Soccer. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  52. ^ "Giovani Dos Santos Player Profile – ESPN FC". ESPN FC. 
  53. ^ Giovani dos Santos profile at Soccerway
  54. ^ "Supercopa de España History". Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  55. ^ "Danone Nations Cup History". Retrieved 25 March 2011. 

External links[edit]