Sergio Bernardo Almirón
|Full name||Sergio Bernardo Almirón|
|Date of birth||7 November 1980|
|Place of birth||Rosario, Argentina|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Central midfielder|
|Akragas (technical area coordinator)|
|Newell's Old Boys|
|1998–2001||Newell's Old Boys||16||(1)|
|2003–2004||→ Verona (loan)||16||(1)|
|2008||→ Monaco (loan)||11||(2)|
|2008–2009||→ Fiorentina (loan)||11||(0)|
|2009–2010||→ Bari (loan)||27||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Newell's Old Boys
Almirón began his professional career with Argentine club Newell's Old Boys. After making his debut for the club at the age of 18, Almirón managed 16 further league appearances for the club, before being sold to Italian side, Udinese, in 2001.
Following his official transfer to Udinese in the summer of 2001, Almirón was instantly inserted into the club's first team, however, was limited to just 12 league appearances. Due to his young age and lack of first team experience, Udinese opted to loan the young midfielder to Serie B outfit, Hellas Verona F.C. in 2003. Almirón went on to make 16 league appearances for the club, also scoring a single goal. Following a successful loan spell, Almirón returned to Udinese at the conclusion of the season.
In the summer of 2004, Empoli bought 50 percent of the player's rights from Udinese, following the loan spell in Verona, Almirón instantly became an integral part of the Empoli setup and played a vital role in their bid for Serie A promotion and survival in top-flight. Following two impressive seasons with the Tuscan club, Empoli finally bought his contract outright from Udinese in June 2006. Almirón retained his place within the Empoli first team during the 2006–07 Serie A season, and following a highly impressive campaign, the midfielder was scouted by and sold to Serie A giants Juventus F.C., who had recently returned to Serie A after being demoted due to the Calciopoli scandal.
Almirón transferred to Juventus in June 2007 for €9 million. Juventus were rebuilding the squad after spending a season in Serie B and he and new signing Portuguese midfielder Tiago Mendes were expected to be the main central midfield pairing. He was unable to maintain a place in the starting eleven in favour of the likes of Cristiano Zanetti and Antonio Nocerino. After making just 9 Serie A appearances in 5 months, Almirón was sent out on loan. In January 2008, he was loaned out to Ligue 1 side AS Monaco for the remainder of the campaign. At Monaco, Almirón made 11 appearances and scored 2 goals in the second half of the 2007–08 Ligue 1 season, before returning to Juventus on 30 June 2008. Upon his return, Almirón found himself even further down the pecking order following the arrivals of Mali international, Mohamed Sissoko and also Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen. Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri again deemed the player a surplus to requirements, and again opted to send the midfielder out on loan. Fiorentina signed him in July 2008, and obtained the option to buy his contract outright at the end of the season. Following yet another dismal campaign, in which Almirón made just 11 appearances, however, Fiorentina declined the option to make his stay permanent and he again returned to Turin.
The emergence of youngster Claudio Marchisio during the 2008-09 season and the arrival of Brazilian duo Diego and Felipe Melo during the summer ended any new possibilities of a second chance of becoming a regular at the club. On 20 August 2009, he signed for newly promoted Serie A outfit Bari on loan.
Almirón officially transferred to Bari on 20 August 2009, on a season long loan agreement. He instantly gained a first team place, where he appeared in 27 league matches and notched 5 league goals, his best tally since departing from Empoli in 2007. In June 2010, Bari signed him in co-ownership agreement, with Juventus, as part of the deal the saw Leonardo Bonucci transfer in the opposite direction, to Juventus. On 14 July 2010, Juventus confirmed the fee which was announced at €2.5 million. Juventus also announced in its financial report that the accounting value of the remain 50% rights in hand worth €1.699 million, half of un-amortized transfer fee of €3.399 million on 30 June 2010. (around 2/5 of €8.497million original transfer fee in accounting)
In his second season with the club, Almirón and his midfield partner Massimo Donati failed to produce the same spark that led the club to a 10th place finish in the previous season. This was in part due to a series of injuries which limited Almirón to just 25 league appearances with no goals. Bari's season ended in relegation, with a 20th place finish.
In July 2011, the player officially returned to Juventus after the bianconeri paid a peppercorn fee to purchase back the remaining 50% of the player's contract. However, he was not listed in the club's first team plans under new coach Antonio Conte, and hence was left out of the first team squad and was not assigned a squad number.
On 27 August 2011, Almirón officially transferred to Catania for €400,000 (€391,000 in accounting) in a three-year deal. Juventus also write-down €1.308 million as part of the remain value of his contract, from €1.699 million to €391,000, backdated to 2010–11 financial year, made no cost nor profit registered in 2011–12 season. Almirón is one of 12 new squad members for ahead of the 2011-12 Serie A season, 9 of which were purchases. He has since returned to the heights of his playing form and has been a regular in the Catania line-up, scoring 4 goals in 32 league appearances in his first season with the club.
In 2015, Almirón accepted an offer from newly-promoted Lega Pro club Akragas to play under new head coach Nicola Legrottaglie, a former teammate of his at Juventus. His playing stint at the Sicilian club however lasted only a few months. On 15 December 2015, Akragas announced Almirón's immediate retirement from active football with him joining the non-playing staff as a technical area coordinator.
- "Udinese sign Empoli trio". UEFA.com. 31 August 2004.
- "Tiago and Almirón join Juve". UEFA.com. 22 June 2007.
- "Sergio Bernardo Almiron off to AS Monaco". juventus.com. 24 January 2008.
- "Almiron joins Fiorentina on loan". SportsYa.com. SportsYa. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
- "Ufficiale: Arriva Almiron" (in Italian). AS Bari. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
- "Almiron loaned to Bari". juventus.com. 20 August 2009.
- "Bonucci riscattato dal Bari". AS Bari (in Italian). 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- "Agreement with A.S. Bari for the disposal of the player Sergio Bernardo Almiron" (PDF). Juventus FC. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Relazione finanziaria annuale al 30 giugno 2011" (PDF). Juventus FC. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "Prolungamento contrattuale fino al 30 giugno 2015 per Sergio Almiron" (in Italian). Calcio Catania. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Calcio Catania and Sergio Almiron mutually terminate their contract". Calcio Catania. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "UFFICIALE: Akragas, Almirón rescinde ma resta come coordinatore area tecnica" (in Italian). Tutto Lega Pro. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2016.