Leonardo Ponzio

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Leonardo Ponzio
Leo Ponzio 2016.jpg
Ponzio with River Plate in 2016
Personal information
Full name Leonardo Daniel Ponzio
Date of birth (1982-01-29) 29 January 1982 (age 37)
Place of birth Las Rosas, Argentina
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
River Plate
Number 23
Youth career
Newell's Old Boys
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2003 Newell's Old Boys 90 (9)
2003–2006 Zaragoza 114 (5)
2007–2008 River Plate 55 (1)
2009–2012 Zaragoza 100 (6)
2012– River Plate 152 (8)
National team
2001 Argentina U20 7 (0)
2003–2013 Argentina 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 November 2018

Leonardo Daniel Ponzio (born 29 January 1982) is an Argentinian footballer who plays for Club Atlético River Plate mainly as a defensive midfielder. He is the most decorated player in River Plate history.

After starting out at Newell's Old Boys in 2000 he went on to spend his professional career with Zaragoza and River Plate, appearing in 246 competitive matches with the former and winning the 2004 Copa del Rey, adding several more accolades during his two spells with the latter.[2]

Club career[edit]

Born in Las Rosas, Santa Fe, Ponzio started his career in the youth system of Newell's Old Boys in neighbouring Rosario, going on to make more than 100 official appearances for the club. At only 21, he was signed by Spanish side Real Zaragoza for the 2003–04 season, for 3 million;[3] after making his La Liga debut on 31 August 2003 in a 0–1 home loss against Deportivo de La Coruña,[4] he went on to become an essential midfield figure for the Aragonese, only missing 11 matches in three seasons combined.

However, when Zaragoza finished sixth in the 2006–07 campaign and qualified to the UEFA Cup, Ponzio had already left, moving in January 2007 to Club Atlético River Plate. He scored his first goal for his new team in the 2007 edition of the Copa Libertadores, against Chile's Colo-Colo.

In January 2009, Ponzio returned to Zaragoza signing a four-and-a-half-year contract, with the club now in the second division.[5] He contributed regularly as the team returned to the top flight immediately.

Ponzio was an ever present defensive figure in 2009–10, inclusively featuring at right and left-back,[6][7] while collecting 15 yellow cards. He scored his only goal of the season on 3 April 2010, striking from long range in a 2–0 home success against Málaga CF.[8][9]

On 4 January 2012, aged 30, Ponzio, whose link with the club ran until June, left struggling – in sporting and financial terms – Zaragoza and returned to River Plate for personal reasons, agreeing to a three-and-a-half-year deal.[10]

International career[edit]

Ponzio played for Argentina at under-17 and under-20 levels, and received his first full cap in 2003. In 2001 he played all seven matches (five complete) as the national team won the FIFA U-20 World Cup, on home soil.[11]




River Plate[13]




  1. ^ "Leonardo Ponzio" (in Spanish). River Plate. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  2. ^ Siffredi, Carlos (11 December 2017). "Leonardo Ponzio, referente y sinónimo de títulos en River" [Leonardo Ponzio, reference and equal to titles at River]. Diario Popular (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Ponzio picked up by Zaragoza". UEFA. 23 July 2003. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  4. ^ Carpio García, José A. (31 August 2003). "Pandiani da al Deportivo los puntos de La Romareda" [Pandiani gives La Romareda points to Deportivo]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Ponzio: "Regresar a Zaragoza es perfecto para mí"" [Ponzio: "Returning to Zaragoza is perfect for me"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 1 February 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  6. ^ Giménez, Paco (25 August 2009). "Borque y Ponzio, laterales eventuales" [Borque and Ponzio, eventual fullbacks]. Heraldo de Aragón (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Ortiz, Christian (18 October 2011). "'Zucu' se estrena en el lateral y sigue los pasos de Ponzio" ['Zucu' has fullback debut and follows in Ponzio's footsteps]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Zaragoza on the up". ESPN Soccernet. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  9. ^ Quixano, Jordi (3 April 2010). "Diogo corre, Ponzio resuelve" [Diogo runs, Ponzio decides]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  10. ^ Gaudioso, Sonia (4 January 2012). "Ponzio se desvincula del Zaragoza y ficha por River Plate" [Ponzio cuts ties with Zaragoza and signs for River Plate]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  11. ^ Leonardo PonzioFIFA competition record
  12. ^ "Beckham misses out on Cup". BBC Sport. 17 March 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Un equipo de títulos" [A team of titles]. Olé (in Spanish). 15 March 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  14. ^ Sanders, Emma (9 December 2018). "Copa Libertadores final: River Plate beat Boca Juniors 3–1 in extra time (agg 5–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Nacional "B": River es campeón y volvió a Primera" [Nacional "B": River are champions and returned to Primera]. La Nueva Provincia (in Spanish). 23 June 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Argentina campeón Sub-20 2001" [Argentina Under-20 champions 2001]. El Gráfico (in Spanish). 5 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2018.

External links[edit]