Raúl García (footballer)
García playing with Atlético Madrid in 2013
|Full name||Raúl García Escudero|
|Date of birth||11 July 1986|
|Place of birth||Pamplona, Spain|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2011–2012||→ Osasuna (loan)||33||(11)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 September 2016.
Raúl García Escudero (born 11 July 1986) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao mainly as an attacking midfielder but also as a central midfielder, known for scoring from the bench and having good aerial ability.
Formed at Osasuna, he spent most of his career at Atlético Madrid, scoring 45 goals in 326 games across all competitions in eight seasons and winning six major titles, including the 2014 national championship and the 2010 Europa League.
Born in Pamplona, García played for hometown's CA Osasuna during his first years as a professional. On 24 October 2004 he made his debut for the first team in a 0–3 away defeat against FC Barcelona, with his first chance being offered by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre.
García scored five league goals (the first on 26 October 2005 in a 3–2 home win over Athletic Bilbao) in his first full season as the Navarrese finished in fourth place in La Liga, starting in 28 of his 33 appearances at the age of just 19.
In July 2007, after helping Osasuna to the semifinals of the UEFA Cup, with one goal in 12 games, García signed a five-year contract with Atlético Madrid, reuniting with former boss Aguirre upon the €13 million deal.
In January 2010, García lost his starting position to newly signed Tiago Mendes, arrived on loan from Juventus FC. However, he started the UEFA Europa League final against Fulham, as the Portuguese was cup-tied, playing the full 90 minutes and extra time in the 2–1 win for the first honour of his career; additionally, he appeared in the second half of the season's Copa del Rey decisive game against Sevilla FC, in a 0–2 loss.
On 27 August 2010, García played the entire match in the UEFA Super Cup against Inter Milan, giving away a penalty kick in the last minute, for a foul on Goran Pandev; the shot was however saved by David de Gea, and the Colchoneros won it 2–0. Again, he played in significantly less minutes than Tiago, but still managed to collect 29 league appearances as Atlético finally qualified to the Europa League, and netted his only goal of the season in a 1–2 home loss against eventual champions Barcelona, heading in from a corner kick.
After renewing his contract with Atlético for a further three years, García was loaned to former team Osasuna for 2011–12, where he began to feature more prominently as an attacking midfielder. He scored a career-best eleven goals during the season, including twice against RCD Mallorca – both through headers from corners by Álvaro Cejudo (2–2) – and one in a triumph over Barcelona (3–2), finishing the campaign as club top scorer, with four more goals than teammate Ibrahima Baldé.
On 9 April 2014, after playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 UEFA Champions League home win against Barcelona that qualified Atlético Madrid to the semifinals for the first time in 40 years, García became the club's most capped player in the competition with 22 appearances, surpassing Luis Aragonés. On 19 August he scored a 88th-minute 1–1 equalizer against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu for the Supercopa de España, as his team went on to win the trophy 2–1 on aggregate and conquer it for the second time in its history.
On 31 August 2015, after a transfer request, García signed a four-year contract with Athletic Bilbao which included a release clause of €40 million. He scored in his first appearance, helping to a 3–1 home win over Getafe CF where he featured 79 minutes.
From 2006 to 2009, García played with Spain under-21s, earning a total of 20 caps in the category and representing the nation at the 2009 UEFA European Championship, in a group stage exit. He also appeared for the under-19 team.
On 29 August 2014, aged 28, García was named by full side manager Vicente del Bosque in a 23-man squad for matches against France and Macedonia in September. He made his debut on 4 September, starting and playing 58 minutes in a 0–1 friendly loss to the former.
|Atlético Madrid totals||216||27||42||9||71||10||329||46|
- Atlético Madrid
- La Liga: 2013–14
- Copa del Rey: 2012–13; Runner-up 2009–10
- Supercopa de España: 2014; Runner-up 2013
- UEFA Europa League: 2009–10
- UEFA Super Cup: 2010, 2012
- UEFA Champions League: Runner-up 2013–14
- "Raul Garcia – the silent assassin". Football España. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "Osasuna 2–2 Athletic Bilbao". ESPN Soccernet. 26 October 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Aguirre gets thumbs up from Atlético". UEFA.com. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Rafa's reign off to slow start". ESPN Soccernet. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "Messi injury mars win". ESPN Soccernet. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "Raul García vuelve cedido a Osasuna" [Raul García returns to Osasuna on loan] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Garcia and Hemed to the fore". ESPN Soccernet. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Barca stunned by Osasuna". ESPN Soccernet. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Koke takes Atlético through at Barcelona's expense". UEFA.com. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Raúl García se hace un hueco en la historia del Atlético" [Raúl García carves niche in Atlético's history] (in Spanish). Marca. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "Atletico Madrid 1 Real Madrid 0; agg 2–1: Mario Mandzukic's goal wins the Spanish Super Cup". The Daily Telegraph. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- McVitie, Peter (31 August 2015). "Official: Raul Garcia joins Athletic Bilbao from Atletico Madrid". Goal.com. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- "Raúl García, debut y gol" [Raúl García, debut and goal] (in Spanish). Marca. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "These are the players called up for the matches against France and Macedonia". Royal Spanish Football Federation. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "France 1–0 Spain". BBC Sport. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "Raúl García". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Raúl García at ESPN FC
- "Atletico Madrid win La Liga". Sport 24. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Real Madrid – At. Madrid" (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Barcelona 0–0 Atletico Madrid: Catalans win Spanish Super Cup". BBC Sport. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Falcao at double as Atlético march to title". UEFA.com. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Chelsea 1–4 Atletico Madrid". BBC Sport. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Madrid finally fulfil Décima dream". UEFA.com. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
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