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 36)
Place of birth Las Rosas, Argentina
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
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)
2007–2009 River Plate 55 (1)
2009–2012 Zaragoza 100 (6)
2012– River Plate 151 (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 2 September 2018

Leonardo Daniel Ponzio (born 29 January 1982) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Club Atlético River Plate mainly as a defensive midfielder.

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 official games with the former and winning two major titles.

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 collect 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:[1] after making his La Liga debut on 31 August 2003 in a 0–1 home loss against Deportivo de La Coruña,[2] he went on to become an essential midfield figure for the Aragonese, only missing 11 games 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.[3] He contributed regularly as the team returned to the top flight immediately.

Ponzio was an everpresent defensive figure in 2009–10, inclusively featuring at right and left-back,[4][5] 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.[6][7]

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, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[8]

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.[9]




River Plate



  1. ^ Ponzio picked up by Zaragoza; UEFA, 23 July 2003
  2. ^ "Pandiani da al Deportivo los puntos de La Romareda" [Pandiani gives La Romareda points to Deportivo]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 31 August 2003. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Borque y Ponzio, laterales eventuales" [Borque and Ponzio, eventual fullbacks]. Heraldo de Aragón (in Spanish). 25 August 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  5. ^ "'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). 18 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Zaragoza on the up". ESPN Soccernet. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Diogo corre, Ponzio resuelve" [Diogo runs, Ponzio decides]. El País (in Spanish). 3 April 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Ponzio se desvincula del Zaragoza y ficha por River Plate" [Ponzio cuts ties with Zaragoza and signs for River Plate]. Marca (in Spanish). 4 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  9. ^ Leonardo PonzioFIFA competition record (archive)
  10. ^ Beckham misses out on Cup; BBC Sport, 17 March 2004

External links[edit]