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Finkler playing for Melbourne Victory in 2012
|Full name||Guilherme Ozelame Finkler|
|Date of birth||24 September 1985|
|Place of birth||Caxias do Sul, Brazil|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2006–2007||→ Wolverhampton (loan)||0||(0)|
|2007||→ Mouscron (loan)||1||(0)|
|2011||Brasil de Pelotas||5||(0)|
|2012||→ ABC (loan)||3||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 October 2016.
Guilherme Finkler (born 24 September 1985) is a Brazilian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Wellington Phoenix in the A-League. He is known as Guilherme in Brazil and Gui Finkler in Australia and New Zealand.
Finkler played for Brazilian side Juventude, scoring four times in 15 appearances in the 2006 season. Upon returning from a loan spell at Cianorte he played in three further matches in 2007. Finkler's subsequent Brazilian club was Juventude's Porto Alegre rival, Caxias.
England and Belgium
Finkler had a spell in Europe during the 2006–07 season, when he had a trial at the then English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers. He impressed enough during pre-season games, scoring several goals, that the club took up a season-long loan option. However, he never made a first team appearance in competitive games. After failing to stake a claim in the side, his loan was cut short in January 2007 by mutual consent. Finkler continued his stay in Europe by seeing out the 2006–07 season on loan at Belgian Pro League side Mouscron.
Finkler made his debut for the Victory in round 1 against crosstown rivals Melbourne Heart. After playing regularly for the Victory, Finkler suffered a season ending injury in round 12 against A-League debutant club Western Sydney Wanderers, when his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was ruptured in a heavy tackle. Finkler would return to frustrate Western Sydney but the ACL damage required surgery in a new country, with a new language, and rehabilitation for nearly a year. Until his injury, Finkler had been leading the A-League season 2012/13 assists count with eight. He made his return to football in the 2013–14 season.
Finkler made substitute appearances in the opening 0–0 draw with Melbourne Heart and in round 2 away to Adelaide. Finkler scored his first goal for Melbourne Victory (also Victory's first goal of the season) in a 2–2 draw against Adelaide United.
After the disruption of Ange Postecoglou's departure in the following weeks to coach the Australian national side, assistant-turned-manager Kevin Muscat continued to use Finkler off the bench, only bringing him on for the final 10–25 minutes of matches to build up match fitness and strengthen his post-operation knee. His corners from the right-hand side being the highlight of his brief appearances, as well as free kicks.
After a dispiriting home loss to Newcastle Jets, Victory hosted Perth Glory on Friday 13 December 2013. Guilherme came off the bench for the final 17 minutes and scored his first ever home goal following Adama Traore's solitary goal of the season, to make it 2–0 and seal the match, with a classy move.
The final derby with John Aloisi in charge of the Heart took place with both teams desperate for a win. Heart had not won a match since a 3–1 win over Sydney in February 2013, and Victory to try to stay in the top 5. Again Finkler named on the bench. Troisi scored a goal and was subbed for Finkler after just under an hour, and Finkler laid up Mitch Nichols with a sublime pass to put Victory 3–0 up against the 10-man Heart, and gift Nichols his first, and last brace at Melbourne Victory – days later J-League club Cerezo Osaka managed by Australian Ranko Popovic increased its offer for Nichols to $325k from $200k. Victory eventually sold him at the 3rd bid, on 6/1/2014, for AUD$400k – double the initial offer, and with a clause that would benefit Victory financially if Cerezo re-sold him. This and Finkler's improvement after returning from injury led to more time on the pitch and a regular starting XI place.
Finkler scored against Western Sydney Wanderers with a free kick taken at the end of the match to save the game for the Victory. Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat and Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic both praised the goal, which was taken from close to the same spot that Finkler had used an earlier free kick from to cross the ball in. These tactics were not working, and with Finkler taking several corners from the RHS, it was unlikely the Wanderers defence would be breached with a cross. Deep into injury time, Victory won a free kick 30 yards from goal, taken by Finkler. He decided not to curve the ball in to the smaller Victory forward line to be again cleared by the WSW defense, and took Ante Covic the WSW keeper, as well as many team mates and the opposition defence by surprise by having a shot and scoring a memorable goal to draw the match, ending a pattern of home defeats by WSW.
On Saturday 4 January 2014, Guilherme Finkler was named in the Melbourne Victory starting XI for the first time since his knee injury sustained exactly one year and one day prior. his knee for his club's match against Brisbane Roar. He was subbed off after just over an hour against league leaders Brisbane Roar, with the score 0–1, when Victory had a defender sent off.
On 14 January 2014, Finkler appeared as a substitute for Andrew Nabbout after 19 minutes in a game against Western Sydney. The match lasted for longer than most, with two drinks breaks per half due to the heatwave that was over Melbourne (which affected working conditions in several professions, and other sports including the Australian Open, seeing compulsory breaks in play). Finkler scored his fourth goal for the season in the 90th(+6) minute to make the score 3–1 to his tem.
Finkler scored his club's first penalty of the season against Perth on New Year's Eve, 2013, in the absence of the previous season's penalty taker Mark Milligan.
In the final home and away match, in Wellington on 12 April 2014, Finkler provided an assist and scored his 8th goal of season in a chain of passes described by FoxSports commentary as a Master class.
Finkler was the hero as he scored his 9th goal of the season in the final minutes of regulation time at Docklands Stadium versus Sydney FC – a team that had beaten Victory 5–0 last time they played there, on 26 January 2014 (Australia Day). Sydney also beat Victory 3–2 in Sydney, and in the 3rd home-and-away match of 2013/14, at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on 29 March in Melbourne's final home match of the season Sydney scored first in a 1–1 draw. It would be fair to say that Sydney FC were Victory's "bogey team" in 2013/14. However Finkler scored a dramatic late goal to get a result
Finkler's growing popularity at Melbourne Victory with his two-year contract ending on 30 April 2014 fast approaching sparked media interest in his future, however Gui did not give any indication to journalists regarding where he would be playing after that date – the upcoming playoff for a position in the group stage of the Asian Champions League required a total of 3 internationals + 1 additional Asian player, but Finkler was not included: instead Kevin Muscat selected defenders Pablo Contreras (Victory's 2013/14 international marquee player) and Adama Traore, who was at that time an international player (on 4 April he became an Australian citizen, less than a month before leaving Melbourne Victory to play in Europe), and forward Kosta Barbarouses as the third, without taking advantage of the ability to sign a fourth player from another AFC country. Finkler's omission from the playoff with Muangthong United meant that he could not participate in the group stage either. However at the time the team list was submitted to the ACL, Finkler was being slowly integrated back into the side as he recovered from his injury. After falling short of qualifying for the last 16 by 1 on goal difference, it was a frustrating end to the season, to be denied clear penalties in the dying minutes of the final ACL group match, then unbelievably similarly in the semi-final in Brisbane against the eventual champions Roar. After the sad news that star defender Adama Traore was departing the A-League just weeks after obtaining citizenship and lighting up the twittersphere with the hashtag #aussieadama, and days after winning the Victory Medal, Melbourne Victory released some positive news: Guilherme Finkler had signed a two-year contract, electing to stay at the Victory along with stalwarts Archie Thompson and Adrian Leijder, strikers Kosta Barbarouses, contracted for 2014/15, and new signing Besart Berisha, whose contract runs for the same amount of time as Finkler's – up until the end of the 2015/16 season.
On 9 May 2014 Melbourne Victory signed Guilherme Finkler for a further two years.
The midfielder played free of injury amassing 10 assists and 7 goals, and helped his club win the Aleague in Australia.
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