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Santana playing for Fiorentina in 2008
|Full name||Mario Alberto Santana|
|Date of birth||23 December 1981|
|Place of birth||Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Chievo (loan)||28||(3)|
|2012||→ Cesena (loan)||16||(3)|
|2012–2013||→ Torino (loan)||27||(4)|
|2014||→ Olhanense (loan)||3||(0)|
|2015||→ Frosinone (loan)||12||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 March 2019|
He started his career for Argentinian team San Lorenzo. After his contract with San Lorenzo expired, he decided to try his luck in European football, moving to Italy in January 2002 for Serie A team Venezia, then relegated at the end of the season. He then followed his chairman Maurizio Zamparini to Serie B team Palermo, where he showed high qualities in his role.
In 2003, he was then loaned to Serie A side A.C. ChievoVerona (along with Stefano Morrone with Eugenio Corini moved to opposite direction), becoming one of the most interesting wingers in the Italian top division, and being first capped for the Argentina national football team in a friendly match against Japan on 18 August 2004. He then came back to Palermo, that was just promoted in Serie A at the time, for the following season.
In May 2006, he was signed by la viola for €6.5 million (€5 million plus 50% of Parravicini) to prepare for 2006–07 UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round. But due to 2006 Serie A scandal, Fiorentina finished 9th and did not qualified for any European competitions.
In 2009–10 season, La Viola signed Marco Marchionni, made Santana at first became a backup player, likes the first group stage of 2009–10 UEFA Champions League match against Lyon, substituted Marchionni in the 72 minutes. He started the third group stage match, as Marchionni was rested. In the 4th match he lost his starting place again, to Marchionni. He substituted Juan Vargas in the 77th minutes in that match. In the last 2 match of the group stage, Santana played a new role, as attacking midfielder, as Adrian Mutu was rested.
In the league Santana was moved to left midfield position (rotated with Vargas), attacking midfielder, second striker (when Mutu was unavailable and later the coach preferred Jovetić) or right midfielder when Marchionni was rested.
Santana initially had a better chance to play after Martin Jørgensen left in January 2010.
Napoli and loans to Cesena and Torino
On 12 July 2012, Santana was loaned out to newly promoted Torino F.C. for the 2012–2013 Serie A campaign.
Genoa and later years
On 19 July 2013, Santana completed a move from Napoli to Genoa. In the January 2014 transfer window, he left Italy after 12 years competing in Serie A, signing a loan deal with Olhanense in Portugal.
He left Frosinone in January 2016 to sign a permanent deal with Lega Pro club Pro Patria, staying at the club also after the club's relegation to Serie D the following season. On 22 June 2018, after Pro Patria won the Serie D title, he signed a contract extension until 2019. He left Pro Patria by the end of the 2018–19 season.
Santana acquired his Italian nationality by marriage to Italian wife. His nationality was granted in February 2008.
|1||18 August 2004||Shizuoka Stadium, Fukuroi Japan||Japan||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
- "Fiorentina swoop for Santana". UEFA.com. 27 May 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- "Gamberini and Santana out for Viola". UEFA.com. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- "Santana out for five months". Football Italia. 24 April 2010. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- "Transfer news: Genoa complete the signing of Mario Santana". Sky Sports. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "Transfer news: Genoa midfielder Mario Alberto Santana joins Olhanense". Sky Sports. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Si rinnovano i primi Calciatori Biancoblu". Pro Patria. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "UFFICIALE: Pro Patria, si separano le strade con Mario Alberto Santana" (in Italian). TuttoMercatoWeb. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
- "Palermo, Santana il primo acquisto in D: "Tornare qui è una grande emozione"". Sky Sport (in Italian). 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- "Santana da oggi è cittadino italiano" (in Italian). acffiorentina.it. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008.[dead link]