Nicolás Otamendi

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Nicolás Otamendi
Argentina team in St. Petersburg (cropped) Otamendi.jpg
Otamendi with Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Nicolás Hernán Gonzalo Otamendi[1]
Date of birth (1988-02-12) 12 February 1988 (age 33)[2]
Place of birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[2][3]
Position(s) Centre back
Club information
Current team
Benfica
Number 30
Youth career
1995–2007 Vélez Sarsfield
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2010 Vélez Sarsfield 40 (1)
2010–2013 Porto 77 (7)
2014–2015 Valencia 35 (6)
2014Atlético Mineiro (loan) 5 (0)
2015–2020 Manchester City 136 (8)
2020– Benfica 43 (1)
National team
2009– Argentina 87 (4)
Honours
Men's football
Representing  Argentina
Copa América
Winner 2021 Brazil
Runner-up 2015 Chile
Runner-up 2016 United States
Bronze medal – third place 2019 Brazil
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 07:54, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 03:52, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Nicolás Hernán Gonzalo Otamendi (born 12 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Portuguese Primeira Liga club Benfica and the Argentina national team.

Otamendi played for Vélez Sarsfield and Porto in his early career, winning eight major titles with Porto, including three Primeira Liga championships and the 2011 Europa League. He signed for Valencia in 2014 and spent four months on loan to Atlético Mineiro of Brazil. In 2015 he moved to Manchester City and won the Premier League in 2017–18 and 2018–19, as well as four League Cups and an FA Cup.

An Argentina international since 2009, Otamendi represented his country at two World Cups and four Copas América, in which he contributed to consecutive runner-up finishes before winning the latter honour at the fourth attempt in 2021.

Club career[edit]

Vélez[edit]

Born in Buenos Aires, Otamendi made his Primera División debut for Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield on 10 May 2008, in a 2–1 home win against Rosario Central for the Clausura tournament.[4] During manager Hugo Tocalli's spell he was only fifth-choice stopper, behind Waldo Ponce, Fernando Tobio, Marco Torsiglieri and Mariano Uglessich. However, his role in the first team changed during Ricardo Gareca's first season as head coach, the 2009 Clausura: he replaced Ponce for the third game after the Chilean was injured while playing for his national team,[4] and eventually won a starting position alongside Sebastián Domínguez,[4] playing 17 of the 19 games in Vélez's winning campaign.[5]

Otamendi scored his first professional goal during the 2009 Apertura, in a 3–1 victory over Arsenal de Sarandí. During that season he also made his debuts in an international club competition, appearing in the Copa Sudamericana; in recognition of his performances throughout the year he was chosen for the South American Team of the Year, in a traditional continent-wide journalists' poll conducted by the newspaper El País.[6]

Porto[edit]

Otamendi playing for Porto in 2010

On 23 August 2010, Otamendi was transferred to Portuguese side FC Porto on a €4 million fee, signing a five-year contract.[7] Vélez also retained 50% of his registration rights, with the player having a pre-set price of another €4 million to be met by Porto prior to September 2011.[8] He netted in his first match, a 2–0 home victory over S.C. Olhanense,[9] finishing his first season with 15 appearances and five goals (notably both in a 2–0 away win against S.C. Braga)[10] as the northerners won the Primeira Liga championship.

On 6 September 2011, Porto exercised the rights to sign the remainder of Otamendi's playing rights.[11][12] He played 30 official games during the season to help the club to another two major titles, notably the back-to-back domestic league.

Valencia[edit]

Otamendi with Valencia in 2015

On 5 February 2014, Otamendi was sold to Valencia CF in La Liga for €12 million, on a five-year contract starting on 1 July.[13] He was immediately loaned to Clube Atlético Mineiro in Brazil,[14] and played 19 times for the team from Belo Horizonte, scoring once to open a 4–1 win at city rivals América Futebol Clube (MG) on 23 March in the first leg of the semi-finals of the state championship.[15][16]

Otamendi made his debut in the Spanish top level on 23 August 2014, starting in a 1–1 away draw against Sevilla FC.[17] He scored his first goal for his new club on 4 October, helping to a 3–1 home success over Atlético Madrid.[18]

On 4 January 2015, Otamendi headed Valencia's winner in a 2–1 home win over Real Madrid, ending their opponents' club record 22-match winning streak as a result.[19] After helping Los Che qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in four years, becoming the first club stopper to score six goals in the league in the process,[20] he was the only player from his team to be named in the La Liga Team of the Year.[citation needed]

Manchester City[edit]

Late into the 2015 pre-season, Otamendi refused to train or play with Valencia to avoid thwarting his chances of signing with another club.[21] On 20 August, he joined Manchester City on a five-year deal for a fee of £32 million.[22][23] He made his debut on 15 September, coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Vincent Kompany in a 1–2 home loss against Juventus for the Champions League group phase;[24] his Premier League debut came four days later, in a 1–2 defeat to West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium.[25]

On 31 October 2015, Otamendi scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 home win over Norwich City.[26] He played the full 120 minutes as they won the Football League Cup on 28 February 2016, defeating Liverpool on a penalty shootout in the final.[27]

On 10 December 2017, Otamendi scored the winning goal in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, helping City stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points.[28] City would go on to lift the Premier League title that season with a record-breaking 100 points, this was Otamendi's first league title in England.[29] On 18 April 2018, Otamendi was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Manchester City teammates Kyle Walker, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero.[30]

In the 2018-19 season, Otamendi helped Manchester City become the first English side to win a domestic men's treble, consisting of the League Cup, Premier League title and FA Cup.[31]

In his final season at Manchester City, Otamendi made 39 appearances in total. He also helped his side retain the League Cup for the third season in a row in March 2020, his final trophy with City.[32]

Benfica[edit]

On 29 September 2020, Otamendi joined Benfica on a three-year contract, for a €15 million fee, with Benfica defender Ruben Dias moving to Manchester City for a larger fee as part of the deal.[33] He made his league debut in a 3–2 win against Farense on 4 October. Otamendi was at fault for both of Farense's goals and conceded a penalty during the match.[34] In Benfica's UEFA Europa League group stage clash with Rangers on 5 November, Otamendi received a straight red card in the 19th minute for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity; Benfica would fall 1–3 down but eventually earn a 3–3 draw.[35]

International career[edit]

Otamendi playing for Argentina in 2009

In April 2009, Otamendi was called up by Argentine national team coach Diego Maradona for a friendly with Panama.[36] At the time of his selection he had only played 11 professional games,[4] and eventually started the match on 20 May, in a 3–1 win.[37]

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Otamendi played as a centre back alongside Martín Demichelis against Ecuador (0–2 away loss), partnered former Vélez teammate Domínguez against Brazil in a 1–3 home defeat and appeared as a right back in a 1–0 win in Uruguay which sealed the country's qualification to South Africa.[38] On 19 May 2010 he was confirmed as part of the 23-men squad for the final stages,[39] featuring in the starting eleven for the final group stage game against Greece; on the press conference after the match, Maradona said that, in his opinion, he was the best player on the field.[40]

Otamendi also played the 90 minutes of the round-of-16 game against Mexico, which Argentina won by 3–1. His final appearance in the tournament was the 0–4 quarter-final loss to Germany: this time his performance received criticism by the football press, as did his manager's decision to improvise him on the right-back position;[41] however, the player subsequently stated his desire to always play for his national team, even if not in his natural position.[42]

Otamendi scored his first goal for Argentina on 2 September 2011, in a 1–0 friendly win over Venezuela in Kolkata, after heading a corner taken by Lionel Messi.[43] After being cut from the squad that later appeared at the 2014 World Cup,[44] he was selected by coach Gerardo Martino for the 2015 Copa América,[45] playing the entirety of all but one match as they lost to hosts Chile on a penalty shootout in the final; he was named in the Team of the Tournament.[46]

Otamendi started all the games in the Copa América Centenario in the United States, in which Argentina again both faced Chile in the tournament final and lost in a penalty shootout, 2–4.[47] In the second group match against Panama, on 10 June 2016, he scored the opening goal in a 5–0 win.[48]

Otamendi was included in the squad for the 2018 World Cup.[49]

In June 2021, he was included in Lionel Scaloni's final Argentina 28-man squad for the 2021 Copa América.[50]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 7 November 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[a] League Cup[b] Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Vélez Sarsfield 2007–08[51] Argentine Primera División 1 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09[52] 18 0 18 0
2009–10[52] 19 1 14[c] 0 33 1
2010–11[52] 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 40 1 14 0 54 1
Porto 2010–11[52] Primeira Liga 15 5 1 0 2 0 13[d] 1 31 6
2011–12[52] 20 2 1 0 2 0 6[e] 0 1[f] 0 30 2
2012–13[52] 29 0 2 0 3 1 8[g] 0 1[h] 0 43 1
2013–14[52] 13 0 2 1 0 0 4[g] 0 1[h] 0 20 1
Total 77 7 6 1 7 1 31 1 3 0 124 10
Atlético Mineiro (loan) 2014[52] Série A 5 0 0 0 7[i] 0 7[j] 1 19 1
Valencia 2014–15[52] La Liga 35 6 3 0 38 6
Manchester City 2015–16[53] Premier League 30 1 2 0 5 0 12[g] 0 49 1
2016–17[54] 30 1 5 0 1 0 7[g] 0 43 1
2017–18[55] 34 4 2 0 2 0 8[g] 1 46 5
2018–19[56] 18 0 5 1 4 0 5[g] 0 1[k] 0 33 1
2019–20[57] 24 2 3 0 3 1 8[g] 0 1[k] 0 39 3
Total 136 8 17 1 15 1 40 1 2 0 210 11
Benfica 2020–21[58] Primeira Liga 27 1 4 0 0 0 6[d] 0 1[h] 0 38 1
2021–22[59] 9 0 0 0 1 0 7[g] 0 17 0
Total 36 1 4 0 1 0 13 0 1 0 55 1
Career total 326 23 30 2 23 2 105 2 13 1 497 30
  1. ^ Includes Taça de Portugal, Copa del Rey and FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes Taça da Liga and EFL Cup
  3. ^ Eight appearances in Copa Libertadores, six appearances in Copa Sudamericana
  4. ^ a b Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  6. ^ Appearance in UEFA Super Cup
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  8. ^ a b c Appearance in Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
  9. ^ Appearance(s) in Copa Libertadores
  10. ^ Appearance(s) in Campeonato Mineiro
  11. ^ a b Appearance in FA Community Shield

International[edit]

As of match played 16 November 2021[60]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2009 5 0
2010 5 0
2011 5 1
2012 0 0
2013 1 0
2014 2 0
2015 12 0
2016 13 2
2017 8 0
2018 8 1
2019 11 0
2020 4 0
2021 13 0
Total 87 4
As of match played 16 November 2021.[60]
Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Otamendi goal.
List of international goals scored by Nicolás Otamendi
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 2 September 2011 Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India 12  Venezuela 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2 10 June 2016 Soldier Field, Chicago, United States 34  Panama 1–0 5–0 Copa América Centenario
3 6 September 2016 Metropolitano de Mérida, Mérida, Venezuela 40  Venezuela 2–2 2–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 27 March 2018 Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain 53  Spain 2–1 6–1 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Vélez

Porto

Manchester City

Benfica

Argentina

Individual

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c "Nicolás Otamendi: Overview". Premier League. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. ^ "European Champions League: Man City: Nicolás Otamendi". UEFA. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
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  6. ^ a b "Verón fue elegido como el mejor jugador de América" [Verón chosen best player in America] (in Spanish). 24CON. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
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  39. ^ "¡Acá están, estos son!" [These are the guys!]. Olé (in Spanish). 19 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
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External links[edit]