Sergio García (footballer, born 1983)
García playing for Catalonia in 2013
|Full name||Sergio García de la Fuente|
|Date of birth||9 June 1983|
|Place of birth||Barcelona, Spain|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|1997–1999||→ Damm (loan)|
|2004–2005||→ Levante (loan)||31||(7)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 March 2019
Sergio García de la Fuente (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈseɾxjo ɣaɾˈθi.a];[A] born 9 June 1983) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for CF Montañesa and the Catalonia national football team. Mainly a forward, he can also appear as a winger, preferably on the right.
Born in Barcelona, Catalonia, García rose through the ranks of FC Barcelona, finding however opportunities almost non-existent in the senior squad. A frequent goalscorer for the reserves in Segunda División B, he made his first-team debut on 29 October 2002, coming on as a substitute for Geovanni for the final 28 minutes of a 2–0 away win against Club Brugge KV in the season's UEFA Champions League; he made another cameo in that competition the following 19 March, in a 2–0 victory at Newcastle United for the second group phase.
On 3 September 2003, García started in his La Liga debut in his first match at the Camp Nou, a 1–1 draw against Sevilla FC. On 1 March of the following year, he signed a three-year contract extension.
García was loaned to Levante UD on 21 July 2004, ahead of the upcoming top flight campaign. He scored his first goal in the competition on 3 October to complete a 2–0 win over RCD Mallorca at the Estadi Ciutat de València, ranking team top scorer as the Valencians were relegated; his last goal came on 5 May 2004 in a 1–3 away loss to Albacete Balompié, where he was sent off moments later for fighting with Santi.
Garcia played all 38 matches for Real Zaragoza in 2007–08, as they were eventually relegated from the top level. At the beginning of the following season, he was linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Stoke City, along with teammate Diego Milito. Rumours that he would leave Zaragoza had been further fuelled after the club's relegation, as he was thrown out of a side pre-season training session by manager Marcelino García Toral and was then left out of their opening day defeat against Levante.
On 1 September 2008, in the dying seconds of the transfer window, after continuous rumours, García signed for Real Betis, for a fee close to €10 million. He scored his first goal for his new club on 27 September in the team's home game against Real Madrid (1–2 loss), following up on his own saved penalty. On 16 November he netted a brace in at 3–1 home win over Racing de Santander and, on 18 January of the following year, added another in the 3–1 success at Real Valladolid in which he also assisted the other goal.
García was sent off three times in the first half of the season. On 7 February 2009, he helped Betis achieve a landmark victory at neighbouring Sevilla, scoring in a 2–1 win. In form, he was struck with a knee injury after celebrating his goal against CD Numancia, a 3–3 home draw on 4 April, eventually missing a month of competition – with the team struggling during this time – and eventually dropping down a level at the end.
In August 2010, García signed a five-year contract with RCD Espanyol, moving to the club as a replacement to veteran Raúl Tamudo who left after nearly 20 years of service. He did not score in his first 15 games for Mauricio Pochettino's team, ending the drought on 9 January 2011 when as a substitute he concluded a 4–0 home win over former team Zaragoza, assisted by his namesake Luis.
On 24 November 2013, García scored his first hat-trick for the Pericos in a 4–1 win at Rayo Vallecano – two of his three goals came from the penalty spot. The following season, he netted a career-best (in Spain) 14 league goals.
García turned down an offer to join Qatar's Al Sadd SC, who had recently signed Barcelona's Xavi. On 29 June, however, he joined Al-Rayyan SC in the same country. He made his debut on 11 September, starting in a 4–0 Stars League home win against Al-Sailiya SC, and scored his first goal on 2 October when he confirmed a 2–0 victory over Al-Mesaimeer Sports Club at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium; on 22 November, he scored twice and assisted one of Rodrigo Tabata's four goals in a league record 9–0 rout at Qatar SC.
García was part of the Spain under-19 team that won the 2002 UEFA European Championship in Norway, equalising in the 3–1 win over Slovakia in their final group game in Drammen. On 22 October 2003, against the same country but at under-20 level, he netted a hat-trick in a 4–0 win in preparation for the FIFA World Youth Championship. During the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, he scored against Mali in the group and netted the only goal against Paraguay in the last 16, as the nation finished as runners-up.
Without having been previously capped, García made the Spanish final squad-of-23 for UEFA Euro 2008 (which Spain went on to win) as a replacement for Barcelona's Bojan Krkić. He made his debut for the national side on 31 May 2008, coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute for David Silva in a 2–1 friendly win against Peru in Huelva.
On 18 June, García earned his first competitive cap, playing for the full 90 minutes against Greece in Spain's third and final group D game in Euro 2008: in the 88th minute, he delivered a pinpoint left-footed cross for Dani Güiza to head home the 2–1 winner.
García also represented Spain at all youth levels, as well as appearing frequently for the unofficial Catalan national team. On 22 December 2009, he scored the side's first goal in a 4–2 defeat of Argentina and, on 30 December 2013, he netted twice in a 4–1 victory over Cape Verde. In March 2019, he played his 16th game against Venezuela in Girona, and surpassed Sergio González as the most capped player in its history.
- As of 18 May 2019
|Levante (loan)||2004–05||La Liga||31||7||1||0||—||32||7|
|Al-Rayyan||2015–16||Qatar Stars League||24||16||0||0||—||24||16|
- In isolation, García is pronounced [ɡaɾˈθi.a].
- "Debe ser el número 23" [Must be number 23] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "Barcelona dent Brugge hopes". UEFA. 29 October 2002. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- Glendenning, Barry (19 March 2003). "Newcastle 0–2 Barcelona". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Ronaldinho da sentido a la 'madrugá' catalana" [Ronaldinho gives meaning to the Catalan 'early getup']. El Mundo (in Spanish). 3 September 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Sergio García signs new deal". UEFA. 1 March 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Sergio Garcia jugará en el Levante UD esta temporada" [Sergio García will play for Levante UD this season] (in Spanish). Levante UD. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "El Levante cumple ante su afición tras vencer al Mallorca" [Levante get job done in front of their fans by beating Mallorca]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 3 October 2004. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "El Albacete condena al Levante a sufrir hasta el final" [Albacete condemn Levante to suffer until the end]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 8 May 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Marcelino echa del entrenamiento a Sergio García" [Marcelino throws Sergio García out of training session] (in Spanish). Periodista Digital. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Betis build with Sergio García". UEFA. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Sergio García: "Poco a poco se puede estar más arriba"" [García: "Little by little we can move up in the ranks"]. Marca (in Spanish). 3 September 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Real Betis 1–2 Real Madrid". ESPN Soccernet. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Real Betis 3–1 Racing Santander". ESPN Soccernet. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Valladolid 1–3 Real Betis". ESPN Soccernet. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Madrid sting Betis with late Ruud strike". Goal. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Depor shock Betis for first away win". Goal. 2 November 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Sevilla FC 1–2 Real Betis". ESPN Soccernet. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Real Betis 3–3 Numancia". ESPN Soccernet. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Sergio García se lesiona celebrando un gol" [Sergio García injures himself celebrating a goal]. Marca (in Spanish). 5 April 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- Rincón, Jaime (31 May 2009). "La montaña rusa del descenso acaba con el Betis" [The relegation roller coaster finishes Betis]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- Arbide, Juan (27 October 2017). "Pasado, presente y futuro en el gol del Betis" [Past, present and future in Betis' goal]. ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Quixano, Jordi (10 January 2011). "El Espanyol baila al Zaragoza" [Espanyol dance against Zaragoza]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "El Espanyol golea al Rayo con un triplete de Sergio García" [Espanyol thrash Rayo with a hat-trick from Sergio García]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 24 November 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- Torres, Mari Carmen (10 May 2015). "Sergio García, de leyenda" [Sergio García, like a legend]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- Juárez, María Carmen (27 May 2015). "Sergio García da marcha atrás y dice 'no' al fútbol qatarí" [Sergio García makes a U-turn and says 'no' to Qatari football]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Sergio García marxarà al Qatar" [Sergio García will go to Qatar] (in Catalan). RCD Espanyol. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "Al Rayyan thrash Qatar SC 9–0 to register record win". Gulf Times. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Al Rayyan crowned QSL champions, end 21 years wait". Qatar Football Association. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "¡Vuelve Sergio García!" [Sergio García returns!] (in Spanish). RCD Espanyol. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- Brennan, Feargal (16 June 2019). "Sergio Garcia leaves Espanyol". Football España. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "La Montañesa firma a los expericos Joan Verdú y Sergio García" [Montañesa sign the former Pericos Joan Verdú and Sergio García]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 6 November 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
- "España se mete en la final de la mano de Fernando Torres" [Spain advance to the finals at the hand of Fernando Torres]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 26 July 2002. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Sergio García da el triunfo" [Sergio García gives triumph]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 22 October 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "España se clasifica al vencer 1–0 a Paraguay" [Spain qualify by beating Paraguay 1–0]. El Universo (in Spanish). 9 December 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Spain denied at final hurdle". UEFA. 19 December 2003. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- Macdonald, Ewan (17 May 2008). "Raúl out, Sergio García in Spain Euro 2008 squad". Goal. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "España-Perú (2–1): Un ensayo poco convincente" [Spain-Peru (2–1): A hardly convincing trial] (in Spanish). Huelva Información. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- McKenzie, Andrew (18 June 2008). "Russia 2–0 Sweden & Greece 1–2 Spain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Catalonia – Cape Verde: Catalonia claim victory with eight FC Barcelona players (4–1)". FC Barcelona. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Melgar, Blai (25 March 2019). "Sergio García fa història amb la selecció catalana" [Sergio García makes history with the Catalan national team]. El Món (in Catalan). Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- "Sergio García: Sergio García de la Fuente". BDFutbol. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Sergio García". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "España vence a Alemania y se proclama campeona de Europa Sub-19" [Spain beat Germany and are crowned Under-19 European champions]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 28 July 2002. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
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