García playing for Zenit in 2017
|Full name||Francisco Javier García Fernández|
|Date of birth||8 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Mula, Spain|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|Zenit St. Petersburg|
|2004–2007||Real Madrid B||86||(10)|
|2014–||Zenit St. Petersburg||72||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 September 2013
Francisco Javier "Javi" García Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈθ̼isko xaβˈjer ˈxaβi ɣarˈθi.a ferˈnandeθ]; born 8 February 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Russian club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. A defensive midfielder by nature, he can also appear as a central defender.
A product of Real Madrid's youth system, García was born in Mula, Region of Murcia, and played three La Liga games for the first team whilst still a junior, making his debut at the age of 17 in a 5–0 home win against Levante UD on 28 November 2004. After that he would spend the entire 2005–06 season with Real Madrid Castilla, the team's B-side, in Segunda División.
The summer of 2006 was a very busy one for García. First, he won the UEFA European Championship with the under-19s, impressing first-team head coach Fabio Capello, who recalled him to training sessions. He played in most of Real's pre-season games, including a starting line-up spot in both Ramón de Carranza Trophy games, playing in central midfield alongside new purchase Émerson; he failed to appear for the main squad in official matches, however.
In August 2007, in the campaign of García's supposed definitive promotion to the first team, coach Bernd Schuster would eventually prevent that golden opportunity – as fellow cantera players Rubén de la Red and Esteban Granero also left the club – and offers began to appear from clubs in the Premier League including Liverpool, and domestic teams such as Atlético Madrid and Deportivo de La Coruña. García would finally settle for CA Osasuna on 31 August, signing for four seasons for a fee of €2.5 million as the Navarre side was keen to replace injury-struck midfielder Javad Nekounam (out of action for several months); having first appeared in a 1–1 home draw with Sevilla FC, where he played one minute, he scored twice in his first six matches, in wins against Levante (4–1) and Villarreal CF (3–2).
García's contract included a buy-back clause that could see him return to Real Madrid for €4 million. On 29 April 2008 Osasuna officially reported that the Merengues had exercised their purchase option, and the player returned to the Santiago Bernabéu for 2008–09; he made his first league appearance for Real in his second spell during his side's 7–1 thrashing of Sporting de Gijón on 24 September, coming on as a second-half substitute for Mahamadou Diarra.
Deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, García signed for S.L. Benfica in Portugal on 21 July 2009, for five years and a fee of €7 million. An undisputed starter throughout his first season, he also found the net on three occasions, most notably through a header in the last minute for the game's only goal against Associação Naval 1º de Maio at home, as the club clung onto the top position on 9 November and eventually won the national championship.
García appeared in 43 official matches for Benfica in 2011–12. His only two goals of the season came against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Lisbon derby 1–0 home win, and at Chelsea for the campaign's UEFA Champions League quarterfinals: in the latter he netted from a corner kick in the 85th minute to make it 1–1, but ten-men Benfica eventually lost it 1–2 and 1–3 on aggregate.
On 31 August 2012, García signed with Manchester City for £15.8 million. He made his league debut on 15 September in a 1–1 away draw against Stoke City, scoring with his head from a Carlos Tevez free kick.
After picking up a thigh injury in the early minutes of the Champions League group stage contest against Borussia Dortmund, García went on to miss several weeks of action. He made his return against West Ham United, replacing Tevez in the 84th minute of a 0–0 draw at Upton Park; on 15 December he started in a 3–1 success at Newcastle United, netting the second goal.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg announced the £13 million signing of García on 13 August 2014, after he passed the medical and agreed to personal terms with the Russian Premier League club. He scored his first goal for his new team 18 days later, the only goal in an away win over FC Lokomotiv Moscow.
García represented the Spanish under-21s at the 2009 UEFA European Championship, appearing against England (0–2 loss) in an eventual group stage exit. He earned his first cap for the full side on 26 May 2012, playing 22 minutes in a 2–0 friendly win with Serbia in St. Gallen.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Real Madrid||2004–05||La Liga||3||0||0||0||—||0||0||3||0|
|Manchester City||2012–13||Premier League||24||2||4||0||0||0||5||0||33||2|
|Zenit||2014–15||Russian Premier League||24||3||1||0||0||0||11||0||36||3|
- Real Madrid B
- Real Madrid
- Manchester City
- Zenit Saint Petersburg
- Spain U19
- "Barclays Premier League squad numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Real Madrid 5–0 Levante; ESPN Soccernet 28 November 2004
- García shoulders Spanish burden; UEFA.com, 14 July 2006
- "Capello y sus 'guerreros' caen ante el Villarreal en el Carranza" [Capello and his 'warriors' fall to Villarreal in the Carranza] (in Spanish). El País. 20 August 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Osasuna ficha a Javi Garcia" [Osasuna signs Javi García] (in Spanish). Marca. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Osasuna 4–1 Levante; ESPN Soccernet, 26 September 2007
- Osasuna 3–2 Villarreal; ESPN Soccernet, 7 October 2007
- El Real Madrid recompra a Javi García (Real Madrid rebuys Javi García); CA Osasuna, 29 April 2008 (Spanish)
- Real Madrid 7–1 Sporting Gijon; ESPN Soccernet, 24 September 2008
- Javi García confirmed for €7 million; Planet Benfica, 21 July 2009
- Benfica move back into tie for first place; PortuGOAL, 9 November 2009
- Javi Garcia heads Benfica to derby victory; PortuGOAL, 26 November 2011
- Chelsea 2–1 Benfica; BBC Sport, 4 April 2012
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Javi Garcia completes move to Blues; Manchester City, 31 August 2012
- Stoke 1–1 Manchester City; BBC Sport, 15 September 2012
- Manchester City v Sunderland: Garcia and Yaya Toure provide fitness doubts; Mail Online, 5 October 2012
- West Ham 0–0 Man City; BBC Sport, 3 November 2012
- Javi Garcia nears £13m move to Zenit St Petersburg as Manchester City trim foreign players in line with homegrown rules; Mail Online, 13 August 2014
- Lokomotiv Moscow 0–1 Zenit St Petersburg; ESPN FC, 31 August 2014
- "Second-half strikes see England through". UEFA.com. 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Adrián está listo para la Eurocopa" [Adrián is ready for Euro] (in Spanish). Marca. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Javi García". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Javi García at ESPN FC
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