Manuel Neira

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Neira and the second or maternal family name is Díaz.
Manuel Neira
Personal information
Full name Manuel Alejandro Neira Díaz
Date of birth (1977-10-12) 12 October 1977 (age 39)
Place of birth Santiago, Chile
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Colo-Colo 8 (0)
1995–1997 Everton 21 (11)
1997–1999 Colo-Colo 30 (15)
1999–2000 Las Palmas 17 (4)
2000–2001 Racing Club 9 (2)
2001 Unión Española 17 (11)
2001 América 9 (2)
2002–2004 Colo-Colo 64 (35)
2005 Chiapas 11 (0)
2005–2006 Unión Española 59 (36)
2007 Hapoel Tel Aviv 0 (0)
2007–2009 Unión Española 52 (24)
2010 Deportes La Serena 7 (5)
2010 Universidad Católica (ECU) 6 (0)
2011 San Luis 24 (5)
2012 Santiago Morning 5 (2)
2012 Unión San Felipe 3 (0)
Total 342 (152)
National team
1998–2006 Chile 13 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 January 2007.

Manuel Alejandro Neira Díaz (born 12 October 1977) is a retired Chilean football player who played as a striker.

He played for clubs including Colo-Colo (Chile), UD Las Palmas (Spain), Racing Club (Argentina) and Unión Española (Chile), and scored 2 goals in 13 internationals, including selections for the 1998 World Cup and the 2001 Copa América.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Neira began his career, aged seventeen, at Primera División Chilena club Colo-Colo before moving to the Brazilian club São Paulo FC in 1994, after a notable performance at the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championships. In the next season, Neira return to Colo-Colo, but in 1996 Neira was loaned to Everton de Viña del Mar of the Primera B in this time.

From 1997 to 1998, Neira was consolidated as player in Colo-Colo, winning the Primera División Chilena title in two consecutive occasions, the 1997 and 1998 season. On December 1998, Colo-Colo sold Neira to the Spanish club UD Las Palmas. However, he was loaned back to Colo-Colo for one season. When Neira returned to the club, he proclaimed champion of the 1999–2000 Segunda División title. Neira was transferred to an Argentine "giant club" Racing Club de Avellaneda for the 2000–01 season. In the Torneo Apertura 2000, Neira only scored 2 goals in 9 games. During the summer of 2001, Neira was transferred to Unión Española, where he made a notable performance scoring 11 goals in 17 games, being one of the top-scorer of the Torneo Apertura. In June 2001, Neira was signed by the Colombian club América de Cali.

Colo-Colo[edit]

In January 2002, Neira was once again transferred to Colo-Colo. He obtained the runner–up title with the club in the Torneo Apertura, after Colo–Colo's 3-0 defeat against Cobreloa in the final. But in the Torneo Clausura of the same year, Neira made one of his most notable season in his career, winning the top–scorer title with 14 goals, and also winning the Primera Division title, after of win to Universidad Católica in the finals.

In the next season, the team lost twice in the same year the final against Cobreloa. However, Neira scored 21 goals in 42 matches over the season. There were many rumors that he would be transferred to Europe, which did not materialize. He played the Torneo Apertura 2004 scoring 1 goal in 16 matches. In June 2004, he was transferred to the Mexican club Chiapas. He remained there for one season in and then was transferred to Unión Española for second time in his career.

Unión Española[edit]

With Unión, Neira won the Torneo Apertura 2005 title, after of the victory against Coquimbo Unido for 2–1. In the next season (2006), Neira scored 19 goals in 29 matches. On December 2006, he was released of Unión and he received many offers for several clubs.

In January 2007, he agreed upon moving to Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. on a one-year deal with the club until December 2007, refusing an offer from Colo-Colo in this time.

In his second game for the team, in the Channel One Cup, he was injured severely by CSKA Moscow player Elvir Rahimić. Neira suffered two fractures in his ankle, and had to sit out for the rest of the season before he even played a single league game for Hapoel.

For the Torneo Clausura 2007, Neira return to Unión, after of Neira was released of the club. He made his Unión re–debut against Everton at Sausalito Stadium, in a 0–0 draw. He scored his first goal in his third cycle in the club against his former club Colo–Colo, in a 2–2 draw. Finally, Neira scored 9 goals in 19 matches for the tournament.

In December 2007, he tried his luck at the Turkcell Super League club Gaziantepspor, Neira only trained with them for a couple of weeks, but was not liked by the coach, and returned to Unión Española.

During 2008, in the Torneo Apertura 2008, he scored 3 goals in 12 matches. In the Torneo de Clausura 2008 he became a key player of the club, scoring 6 goals in 15 matches. However, the club ended up in the relegation/promotion play-offs. Neira helped the team by scoring 2 goals in 2 matches against Deportes Puerto Montt to save them from relegation.

International career[edit]

The first international appearance with Chile national football team was in the FIFA U-17 World Championship 1993 celebrated in Japan. In this tournament he was one of top–scorers of the tournament with Peter Anosike and Nwankwo Kanu with 5 goals under Wilson Oruma with 6 goals winning the third place of the tournament.

He participate in the Chile national under-20 football team, he played in the South American Youth Championship in the years 1995 and 1997.

He was selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup Chilean squad, but did not play.

Honours[edit]

Colo-Colo
Clausura 1997, 1998, Clausura 2002
Unión Española
Clausura 2005
Individual
  • Top-scorer: 1
Clausura 2002

References[edit]