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|
|2004–2007||Real Madrid B||86||(10)|
|2014–2017||Zenit St. Petersburg||73||(6)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 October 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 September 2013
Francisco Javier "Javi" García Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈθisko xaβˈjeɾ ˈxaβi ɣaɾˈθi.a feɾˈnandeθ]; born 8 February 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Real Betis. A defensive midfielder by nature, he can also appear as a central defender.
He started his career with Real Madrid, but represented mostly the reserve team, going on to have a three-year spell with Benfica in Portugal. In 2012 he signed with Manchester City, then spent a further three seasons in the Russian Premier League with Zenit where he appeared in 108 matches across all competitions.
A product of Real Madrid's youth system, García was born in Mula, Region of Murcia, and played three La Liga matches for the first team while still a junior, making his debut at age 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 the reserves 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 Emerson; however, he failed to appear for the main squad in official matches.
In August 2007, in the campaign of García's supposed definitive promotion to the first team, head 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 €2.5 million transfer fee 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 former 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 the 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 on a five-year contract for a €7 million transfer fee. An undisputed starter throughout his first season, he also scored three goals, 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 Primeira Liga.
García appeared in 43 official matches 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 quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League – in the latter, he netted off a corner kick in the 85th minute to make it 1–1, but ten-men Benfica eventually lost 1–2 and 1–3 on aggregate.
On 31 August 2012, García joined Manchester City for £15.8 million. He made his Premier League debut on 15 September in a 1–1 away draw against Stoke City, scoring with a header from a Carlos Tevez free-kick.
After picking up a thigh injury in the early minutes of the Champions League group stage clash against Borussia Dortmund, García missed 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 and scored his side's second goal.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
On 13 August 2014, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg announced the £13 million signing of García 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 Spain national under-21 team 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||—||11||0||36||3|
Real Madrid B
Zenit Saint Petersburg
- "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, 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 sign 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 rebuy Javi García) Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.; CA Osasuna, 29 April 2008 (Spanish)
- Real Madrid 7–1 Sporting Gijon; ESPN Soccernet, 24 September 2008
- "Benfica confirma à CMVM contratação de Javi Garcia por cinco anos" [Benfica confirm signing of Javi Garcia for five years to PSMC] (in Portuguese). TSF. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- 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). Portuguese Securities Market Commission. 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
- Neil Johnston (15 December 2012). "Manchester City bounced back from the disappointment of losing the Manchester derby with a stylish victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- 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
- Хави Гарсия продолжит карьеру в Испании [Javi García will continue his career in Spain] (in Russian). FC Zenit. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- "Second-half strikes see England through". UEFA. 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
- "Javi García: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "European U-19 Championship 2006". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
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