|Birth name||Martín Leandro Castrogiovanni|
|Date of birth||October 21, 1981|
|Place of birth||Paraná, Argentina|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||119 kg (262 lb; 18 st 10 lb) |
|Rugby union career|
Martín Leandro Castrogiovanni (born October 21, 1981) is a retired Italian rugby union player. Born in Paraná, Argentina, Castrogiovanni qualified for Italy through his heritage, he moved to Italy as a teenager and represented the Italian national team 119 times over 14 years. In Italy he played for Calvisano between 2001 and 2006, before moving to England to play for Leicester Tigers where he played 145 games over 7 seasons, winning three Premiership Rugby titles. In 2013 he moved to Toulon where he won a Heineken Cup, before finishing his career with Racing 92 in Paris.
He played for Ghial Calvisano, with whom he won the Italian championship in 2005. He signed a contract with Leicester Tigers, and after a successful 2006/07 season with them, was named Guinness Premiership player of the season. He wears the name "Castro" on his shirt rather than "Castrogiovanni" A native of Paraná, Argentina, Castrogiovanni made his international debut for the Italian national team on June 8, 2002, during the tour against the All Blacks, and since, has become a regular in the national side. He played every game of Italy's 2004 Six Nations campaign and was a reliable member of their forward pack, being selected man of the match in the victory against Scotland. One of his most famous moments came in 2004, when, during the summer tour against Japan, he scored a hat-trick - a rarity for a prop forward. He led the national team for the game against Scotland during the 2012 Six Nations Championship, which Italy won 13-6, leading him to Tweet "Only unbeaten 6 Nations Captain".
Castrogiovanni and Marcos Ayerza signed three-year contract extensions with the Premiership champions in January 2008. In 2011, after much speculation about a move to France, he declared "money isn't everything" and renewed his contract with Leicester Tigers, much to the relief of the Leicester, where the chant of "Castro" is heard often as he is a firm favourite of the fans. During his time at Leicester Castrogiovanni played in two victorious Premiership finals in 2010 and 2013 (the latter as a replacement).
During the 2008 Six Nations Championship, Castrogiovanni was Italy's top try scorer.
While he helped lead Racing to their first-ever European club final in 2016, he would be suspended by Racing for that particular match. He did not play in Racing's European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final against Leicester Tigers, telling the club that he was in Argentina attending to family matters. However, he was instead spotted in Las Vegas partying with players from Parisian football club Paris Saint-Germain, including superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović, with photos of the group appearing in multiple French publications. The club indicated that it would take legal action against Castrogiovanni.
Castrogiovanni is co-owner of an Italian restaurant in Leicester, Timo He speaks four languages: his native Spanish, Italian, English and French.
- "Aviva Premiership Rugby - Gloucester Rugby". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- Guinness Premiership player of the season[permanent dead link]
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- "Toulon confirm Castro move". Leicester Tigers. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Racing 92 sign veteran Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni". Planet Rugby. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Racing 92 suspend Martin Castrogiovanni after Las Vegas trip". ESPN (UK). 26 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Ackford, Paul (16 October 2010). "Martin Castrogiovanni stays true to his calling as one of the world's best tight-head props". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 October 2020.