Nicolás Gaitán

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Nicolás Gaitán
Benf-Zen 2016 (4).jpg
Gaitán playing for Benfica in 2016
Personal information
Full name Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán
Date of birth (1988-02-23) 23 February 1988 (age 28)
Place of birth San Martín, Argentina
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Winger
Club information
Current team
Atlético Madrid
Number 23
Youth career
2001–2008 Boca Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Boca Juniors 66 (12)
2010–2016 Benfica 152 (25)
2016– Atlético Madrid 4 (0)
National team
2009– Argentina 16 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 September 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 June 2016

Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián "Nico" Gaitán (born 23 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Argentina national team, mainly as an attacking midfielder.

A product of Boca Juniors, he joined Benfica in Portugal, where he won three Primeira Liga titles, one Taça de Portugal, five Taça da Liga and one Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in six seasons.

Club career[edit]

Boca Juniors[edit]

Born in San Martín, Buenos Aires, Gaitán rose from the ranks at Boca Juniors, having entered its youth system at the age of 13 in spite of doubts regarding his future due to his small frame.[1] He made his competitive debut with the club on 1 June 2008 in a 3–1 win against Arsenal de Sarandí,[2] and scored his first two Primera División goals two months later in a 3–0 success at Huracán.[3]

On 23 September 2008 Gaitán netted his first goal in an international tournament, that year's Copa Sudamericana, against Liga de Quito. Two days later he again made the scoresheet, in the 4–2 win over Newell's Old Boys where he also set up Lucas Viatri for his side's final goal.[4]

Gaitán scored seven times in 33 games in his last season with Boca, who only managed to finish 11th in the Apertura and 16th in the Clausura.

Benfica[edit]

On 3 May 2010, Portugal's Benfica confirmed they had reached an agreement to sign Gaitán for €8.4 million,[5] as a replacement for countryman Ángel Di María who had just been sold to Real Madrid[6] – his move, after the transfer of Óscar Cardozo for €11.6 million, was the second most expensive purchase in the club's history. He made his official debut for his new team by starting and playing 66 minutes in a 1–2 away loss to Nacional, opening his scoring account also with a brace, at home against Naval on 14 November (4–0).

Gaitán finished his first year with the Lisbon side with 48 appearances all competitions comprised, scoring nine times as it finished second in the league and won the domestic league cup. For his performances, he was named Portuguese League Breakthrough Player of the Year.[7]

In the 2011–12 campaign Gaitán led the UEFA Champions League assists table, until the knockout stage.[8] In 2013–14 he contributed with eight goals overall as his team conquered the treble, including the game's only goal in the Portuguese Cup's decisive match against Rio Ave on 18 May 2014;[9] His performances were praised throughout the season.[10][11] On 31 August 2014, Gaitán scored his first goal of the season against Sporting CP, while also being named 'Man of the Match'.[12]

On 11 November 2014, he extended his contract with Benfica until 30 June 2018 and set a release clause of €35 million.[13] On 30 September 2015, Gaitán scored a goal and later assisted the second goal in a win at Atlético Madrid (1–2) in the UEFA Champions League.[14] On 9 December 2015, he signed an improved contract through June 2019, increasing his release clause to €45 million.[15][16] On 9 March, Gaitán scored his fourth goal of the season in the Champions League, against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the second leg of the round of 16, helping Benfica to reach the quarter-finals of the competition with a 3–1 aggregate score, after a 2–1 win in Russia.[17][18] On 15 May, he scored twice in a 4–1 home win against Nacional, helping Benfica to secure the league title for the third consecutive season.[19] Five days later, he scored Benfica's fourth goal in a 6–2 win over Marítimo in the Taça da Liga final. A minute later, he was substituted and received a standing ovation while leaving the pitch in tears. After the final whistle, he said it was probably his last match with the Eagles.[20][21]

Atlético Madrid[edit]

On 16 June 2016, Benfica and Atlético Madrid agreed on the transfer of Gaitán for €25 million, with the contract to be signed after medical exams in July.[22][23][24] His official presentation for the Spanish side was held on 19 July at the Vicente Calderón stadium.[25]

International career[edit]

Gaitán made his international debut for Argentina on 30 September 2009, as a substitute in a 2–0 friendly win with Ghana,[26] and he made his first start in a 3–2 success against Costa Rica on 26 January of the following year.[27] During Sergio Batista term, he made three appearances, playing against Costa Rica,[28] Nigeria[29] and Poland.[30] With Sabella, Gaitán did not make an appearance but with the appointment of Gerardo Martino, he returned after a 2-year absence, playing the final minutes, after replacing Sergio Agüero on 3 September 2014 in an away win against Germany.[31]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 20 May 2016[32][33]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Boca Juniors 2007–08 1 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09 32 5 11 1 43 6
2009–10 33 7 2 0 35 7
Total 66 12 13 1 79 13
Benfica 2010–11 26 7 5 1 3 0 13 1 1 0 48 9
2011–12 25 3 1 0 4 0 14 1 44 4
2012–13 23 3 6 1 2 0 13 1 44 5
2013–14 26 4 5 1 2 1 10 2 43 8
2014–15 27 4 2 0 2 0 5 0 1 0 37 4
2015–16 25 4 1 0 2 3 8 4 1 0 37 11
Total 152 25 20 3 15 4 63 9 3 0 253 41
Atlético Madrid 2016–17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 218 37 20 3 15 4 76 10 3 0 332 54

International[edit]

As of match played 18 June 2016[34]
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2009 1 0
2010 2 0
2011 3 0
2014 3 2
2015 3 0
2016 4 0
Total 16 2

Style of play[edit]

Gaitán began playing as a midfielder, sometimes leaning to the left. After moving to Benfica he assumed a more advanced role, where he seemed more comfortable.

A left-footer who is also able to play on the right, with good dribbling skills and close control, Gaitán's main asset is ball distribution as he is able to cross from either flank, and while on the right he possesses the vision to pick holes when cutting inside.[35][36]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Boca Juniors
Benfica

International[edit]

Argentina

Copa América: Runner-up 2016

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nicolás Gaitán". The Elastico. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ficha Tecnica Nicolas Gaitan". Taringa.net. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Todo fue muy sencillo" [It was all very easy] (in Spanish). ESPN FC. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Newells 2 Boca 4 – Apertura 2008" (in Spanish). Taringa. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Why Benfica's Nicolas Gaitan is more complete than Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, but still too expensive for Manchester United". Goal.com. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Gaitan – I Liga 2010/2011 breakthrough player" [Gaitan – Jogador revelação da I Liga 2010/2011]. Ser Benfiquista. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Gaitán é rei das assistências na Champions" [Gaitán is king of assists in Champions] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Benfica complete treble". PortuGOAL. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "In-demand Gaitan content with life at Benfica". FourFourTwo. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Benfica vence com mais uma "obra de arte" de Gaitán" [Benfica wins with yet another "work of art" by Gaitán] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Nico Gaitán eleito "Man of the Match" do Benfica – Sporting". SL Benfica (in Portuguese). 31 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Nico Gaitán renewed contract with SL Benfica until 2018
  14. ^ Walker, Joseph (30 September 2015). "How Benfica beat Atlético Madrid". UEFA.com. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Nicolas Gaitan signs new Benfica deal to end Man United transfer speculation". ESPN FC. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  16. ^ http://www.slbenfica.pt/noticias/detalhedenoticia/tabid/2788/ArticleId/43987/language/pt-PT/.aspx
  17. ^ "Zenit St Petersburg 1-2 Benfica (1-3 agg)". BBC Sport. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  18. ^ van Poortvliet, Richard (9 March 2016). "Benfica's Zenit late show wins quarter-final spot". UEFA. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  19. ^ Piedade, Luís (15 May 2016). "Benfica secure 35th Portuguese crown". UEFA. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  20. ^ Myson, Chris (20 May 2016). "Gaitan set to leave Benfica after emotional Taca da Liga final". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  21. ^ Pritchett, David (22 May 2016). "Departing Gaitán bares his soul in candid interview". Departing Gaitán bares his soul in candid interview. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "Gaitán transferido" [Gaitán transferred]. S.L. Benfica (in Portuguese). 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "Agreement with Benfica for the transfer of Gaitán". Club Atlético de Madrid. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "Nicolas Gaitan set to join Atletico Madrid from Benfica". ESPN FC. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "Gaitán, presentado como rojiblanco" [Gaitán presented as rojiblanco]. Atlético Madrid (in Spanish). 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Con goles de Palermo, y el debut de Pulguita, Argentina "Ghanó" 2 a 0". tucumanalas7.com.ar. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "Na volta de Maradona, Argentina sofre para vencer juvenis da Costa Rica". copadomundo.uol.com.br. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "Sem Messi mas com Gaitán, Argentina empata na Costa Rica (0-0)". MaisFutebol.com. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Argentina goleada (4-1) pela Nigéria com Belluschi e Gaitán no onze inicial". Jornal Noticias. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Argentina, com Belluschi e Gaitán, volta a perder". MaisFutebol. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  31. ^ "DFB-Team kann di Maria nicht bremsen". kicker.de (in German). 3 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  32. ^ "N. Gaitán". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Nicolás Gaitán". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  34. ^ Nicolás Gaitán at National-Football-Teams.com
  35. ^ "Talent scout: Nicolás Gaitán, Benfica". The Independent. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "Manchester United transfers: Scouting report for Nicolas Gaitan". Bleacher Report. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  37. ^ Cunha, Pedro Jorge (17 May 2015). "Benfica bicampeão: 28 com as faixas e dois à espera" [Benfica back-to-back champion: 28 with the sashes and two await] (in Portuguese). Maisfutebol. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  38. ^ "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Prémios Oficiais: a lista dos premiados" [Official Awards: the list of winners]. LPFP (in Portuguese). 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  40. ^ "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "Galardões Cosme Damião: Gaitán e Jesus entre os premiados" [Galardões Cosme Damião: Gaitán and Jesus among the awarded]. Maisgutebol (in Portuguese). 1 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  42. ^ "Final Taça CTT: tecnologia e momentos inesquecíveis" [Taça CTT Final: technology and unforgettable moments]. Liga Portugal (in Portuguese). 21 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. Nico Gaitan foi o «Man of The Match» e recebeu o prémio em pleno relvado. 

External links[edit]