Sebastián Saja

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Sebastián Saja
Chino Saja (cropped).jpg
Sebastián Saja in 2014
Personal information
Full name Diego Sebástian Saja
Date of birth (1979-06-05) 5 June 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth La Plata, Argentina
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Number 13
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2008 San Lorenzo 145 (11)
2003 Brescia (loan) 4 (0)
2004 Rayo Vallecano (loan) 20 (0)
2004 Club América (loan) 4 (0)
2005 Córdoba (loan) 23 (0)
2007 Grêmio (loan) 30 (1)
2008–2011 AEK Athens 89 (0)
2011–2016 Racing Club 169 (7)
2016 Gimnàstic 10 (0)
2017– Zaragoza 0 (0)
National team
1997–1999 Argentina U20 24 (0)
2002–2003 Argentina 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 January 2017.

Diego Sebastián Saja (born 5 June 1979) is an Argentine footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Real Zaragoza.

He spent most of his professional career with San Lorenzo, Racing Club and AEK Athens, being one of the most prolific goalscoring goalkeepers in history.

Club career[edit]

San Lorenzo[edit]

Born in La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Saja had nearly 200 overall appearances for San Lorenzo de Almagro, being voted South America's best goalkeeper in 2002. In 2001, he helped the team win the Clausura and the Copa Mercosur, adding the following year's Copa Sudamericana.

Saja split the 2003–04 season with Brescia Calcio and Rayo Vallecano, being first-choice and dropping down a level with the latter. Moving to another club in Spain and in the second division for the following campaign, he would also be relegated with Córdoba CF.

After a brief spell in Mexico with Club América, Saja returned to San Lorenzo for 2005–06: he made 33 appearances and scored five goals in the Primera División, but was eventually sent out on loan for the fifth time, this time to Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense after falling out of favour with new manager Ramón Díaz.


Released in 2008, Saja signed a three-year contract with AEK Athens FC, earning approximately 400.000. He appeared in 29 games in his first year to help his team finish fourth in the Superleague, but it was also quickly eliminated from UEFA Cup contention.[1]

On 31 May 2009, Saja agreed to a new three-year deal with the Greek side,[2] continuing to be first-choice and winning the 2011 edition of the Greek Cup.

Return to Argentina[edit]

On 29 June 2011, Saja and AEK agreed to terminate his contract one year before it expired.[3] Shortly after, the 32-year-old returned to his homeland and joined Racing Club de Avellaneda,[4] netting his first goal for his new team on 29 September of the following year, through a penalty against former club San Lorenzo in a 4–0 win; he was also the goalkeeper with the least goals conceded in the 2011 Apertura, breaking a club record for a short tournament held by Carlos Roa since 1992.[5]

On 10 June 2013, again from the penalty spot, Saja scored against Boca Juniors (2–0 home triumph).

Gimnàstic / Zaragoza[edit]

On 16 August 2016, free agent Saja signed a one-year deal with Gimnàstic de Tarragona, returning to Spain and its second tier after 11 years.[6] Due to the injury of Manolo Reina, he was made a starter during the first matches of the season.

On 21 December 2016, after being overtaken by another new signing, Stole Dimitrievski, Saja left Nàstic by mutual consent.[7] The following 24 January, he joined fellow league team Real Zaragoza until the end of the campaign.[8]

International career[edit]

Saja gained four caps for Argentina, making his debut against Wales on 13 February 2002 (1–1 in Cardiff).[9]

In the following year he appeared in a further three friendlies, with Honduras (3–1), Mexico (1–0) and the United States (1–0).[10]



San Lorenzo
Racing Club



External links[edit]