Víctor Vázquez Solsona

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Víctor Vázquez
Víctor Vázquez Solsona.jpg
Vázquez warming up for Toronto FC in 2017
Personal information
Full name Víctor Vázquez Solsona
Date of birth (1987-01-20) 20 January 1987 (age 32)
Place of birth Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Al-Arabi
Number 34
Youth career
1993–1996 Martinenc
1996–1998 Damm
1998–2005 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Barcelona C 29 (7)
2006–2011 Barcelona B 118 (12)
2008–2010 Barcelona 1 (0)
2011–2015 Club Brugge 121 (15)
2016 Cruz Azul 19 (1)
2017–2018 Toronto FC 52 (16)
2019– Al-Arabi 6 (2)
National team
2002 Spain U16 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 April 2019

Víctor Vázquez Solsona (born 20 January 1987) is a Spanish footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Qatari club Al-Arabi.

After starting out at Barcelona he went on to spend most of his career with Club Brugge, appearing in 165 competitive games with the latter club and winning the 2015 Belgian Cup. He also competed professionally in Mexico, Canada and Qatar, winning a domestic treble with Toronto FC in 2017.

Football career[edit]

Barcelona[edit]

Born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Vázquez joined the youth system of FC Barcelona at the age of 11. At La Masia, he was part of the iconic class of '87 team, playing alongside future first team players Cesc Fàbregas, Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué.[1] He progressed through the youth ranks,[2] making his debut for the first team on 12 April 2008 after coming on as a substitute for Santiago Ezquerro in the final 15 minutes in a 2–2 La Liga away draw against Recreativo de Huelva;[3] Pep Guardiola called him for the team's pre-season in the following campaign,[4] where he appeared in three official games, but none in the domestic league.

On 9 December 2008, Vázquez started and finished in the 2–3 home loss to FC Shakhtar Donetsk, in the last UEFA Champions League group stage match,[5] but was again mainly registered with the reserves. On 8 February of the following year he suffered a serious knee injury in a game with the latter, going on to miss the remainder of the season in Segunda División B.[6]

Due to the lengthy calendar in 2009–10, many first-team players were given breaks towards the end of the year. Thus, on 29 December 2009, four Barça B players were called by Guardiola: Thiago, Gai Assulin, Jonathan dos Santos and Vázquez.[7] All returned to where they had come from the following month.

On 7 December 2010, after coming from the bench for fellow youth graduate Jeffrén Suárez, who suffered an early injury, Vázquez scored his first goal for Barcelona's first team, contributing to a 2–0 home win against FC Rubin Kazan for the Champions League group stage, as the hosts had already secured the first place in their group.[8]

Club Brugge[edit]

In late April 2011, after 14 years at the Camp Nou (including youth years), Vázquez agreed to join Club Brugge KV,[9] and a three-year contract was signed the following month.[10][11] In March 2013 he extended his link until 2016, being considered a key player and essential to the further development of the squad according to sporting director Arnar Grétarsson.[12]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, after again being first-choice as his team won the regular season in the Belgian Pro League, eventually finishing second, and also capturing the Belgian Cup, Vázquez was voted the Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year.[13] He also helped his side to a quarter-final run in the UEFA Europa League in his last year with the club and, across all competitions, made 173 appearances over five seasons, scored 25 goals and provided 50 assists, including seven goals and four assists in 33 matches in the latter tournament.[14]

Cruz Azul[edit]

On 30 December 2015, Cruz Azul signed Vázquez to a three-year contract for US$1.5 million.[15] His time in Mexico was largely unsuccessful, however,[1] and he only made a limited number of appearances before leaving;[16] he played 23 competitive games during his spell at the Estadio Azul, scoring once and providing one assist.[14]

Toronto FC[edit]

On 20 February 2017, Vázquez transferred to Canadian club Toronto FC.[17] He scored his first goal on 18 March in a 2–0 away win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[18] Throughout his first season in Major League Soccer, he drew praise in the media for adding depth to his new team's attacking play, courtesy of his vision and distribution,[19][20] and formed a notable partnership in midfield with captain Michael Bradley, who was in turn freed from much of the team's creative responsibilities and played more of a defensive role, while still sharing some of the playmaking duties with the Spaniard;[6][21] Vázquez's playmaking ability and link-up play with forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore[6] saw him finish as the second highest assist provider of the regular season (16) while also notching eight goals,[22] as Toronto captured the Canadian Championship[23] followed by the Supporters' Shield for most points in the league, after a 4–2 home win over New York Red Bulls on 30 September in which he scored from an injury time penalty.[24][25]

In Toronto's last match of the regular season on 22 October 2017, a 2–2 away draw to Atlanta United FC, the former club broke the league's point record of 68 points, set by LA Galaxy in 1998, by one point.[26] Eight days later, in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semi-finals in the play-offs, Vázquez scored the opening goal in a 2–1 away win over the New York Red Bulls.[27] On 29 November, in the return leg of the Eastern final against Columbus Crew SC, at BMO Field, he missed a penalty in the 26th minute, but later set up the only goal of the match scored by Altidore, which saw his side emerge conference winners for the second consecutive year and earn a place in the MLS Cup Final;[28][29] on 9 December, in the decisive match played at the same venue, he was involved in Altidore's opener and subsequently scored the final goal in a 2–0 win over the Seattle Sounders FC for an unprecedented domestic treble.[30]

His second season at the club was less successful however, as he struggled with injuries, collecting eight goals and nine assists in 21 MLS appearances and totalling matches 26 across all competitions.[31] Although Toronto defended their Canadian Championship title,[32] and even reached the final of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2018, with him starting in the second leg,[31][33] they missed out on the playoffs for the first time in four years.[34]

Al-Arabi[edit]

On 15 January 2019, Vázquez signed with Al-Arabi SC of the Qatar Stars League.[35][36]

Style of play[edit]

A skilful and creative playmaker, Vázquez is noted for his vision, technique, passing and his composure in possession, which enables him to link-up with other players, distribute the ball quickly and create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates.[19][37] A team player, he has also drawn praise for his intelligence, work-rate, stamina, awareness, selflessness, movement off the ball and positional sense on the pitch, as well as for being a key dressing room personality.[6][38][39][40][41] Although he is primarily known for his ability to create goals he is capable of scoring them himself, and is also an accurate free kick[42] and penalty taker.[43] An experienced and versatile midfielder, he usually plays as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers,[42][44] but is also capable of playing in the centre in a 3–5–2 formation,[45] or on the left wing in a 4–4–2 formation;[46] he has also occasionally been used in a more advanced position, operating in a free, creative role, playing behind or off of another forward as a second striker.[47][48][49]

Personal life[edit]

Vázquez is married to Andrea.[38] Their son Leo (b. 2013) was named in honour of his childhood friend and former Barcelona teammate Messi.[42]

Vázquez had the words "solo el mas fuerte sobrevive" (only the strongest survives) tattooed on his arm as he recovered from his second knee surgery.[42] He also had several other tattoos which reference his wife, son, grandmother and sister, including the text "Life is meaningless without you, forever yours" on his back, dedicated to his wife.[6]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 3 March 2019[50][51][52]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other[53] Total
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona C 2005–06 Tercera División 29 7 29 7
Total 29 7 29 7
Barcelona B 2006–07 Segunda División B 29 1 29 1
2007–08 Tercera División 27 9 27 9
2008–09 Segunda División B 19 0 19 0
2009–10 Segunda División B 18 1 18 1
2010–11 Segunda División B 25 1 25 1
Total 118 12 118 12
Barcelona 2007–08 La Liga 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09 La Liga 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10 La Liga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11 La Liga 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
Total 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 1
Club Brugge 2011–12 Belgian Pro League 35 6 1 0 11 1 47 7
2012–13 Belgian Pro League 28 3 1 0 5 1 34 4
2013–14 Belgian Pro League 20 2 1 0 1 0 22 2
2014–15 Belgian Pro League 24 4 4 2 12 5 37 11
2015–16 Belgian Pro League 14 0 1 0 8 1 23 1
Total 121 15 7 2 37 8 165 25
Cruz Azul 2015–16 Liga MX 14 1 4 0 18 1
2016–17 Liga MX 5 0 0 0 5 0
Total 19 1 0 0 23 1
Toronto FC 2017 Major League Soccer 31 8 3 0 0 0 5 2 39 10
2018 Major League Soccer 21 8 1 0 5 0 0 0 27 8
Total 52 16 4 0 5 0 5 2 66 18
Al-Arabi 2018–19 Qatar Stars League 3 1 3 1
Total 3 1 3 1
Career totals 343 52 15 2 43 9 5 2 407 65

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Barcelona[50]

Club Brugge[50]

Toronto FC[50]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kelly, Cathal (1 November 2017). "Victor Vazquez is key to Toronto FC – and his pubis will be fine". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Debe ser el número 23" [Must be number 23] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Recreativo Huelva 2–2 Barcelona". ESPN Soccernet. 12 April 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  4. ^ Vilar, Rut (30 August 2017). "Víctor Vázquez: "Lo mejor para un chaval de 16 años es seguir en el Barcelona"" [Víctor Vázquez: "The best for a 16-year-old kid is to continue in Barcelona"]. Sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Los suplentes del Barça caen ante el Shakhtar en el Camp Nou (2–3)" [Barça substitutes fall against Shakhtar at the Camp Nou (2–3)]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 9 December 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Rutherford, Kristina (9 September 2017). "Big Read: Why Victor Vazquez is like no player in Toronto FC history". Sportsnet. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ San Antonio, Iván (29 December 2009). "El Barça sube a 4 del filial" [Barça promote 4 from reserves]. Sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Rubin blown away by Barcelona young guns". UEFA. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Victor Vazquez in Brugge, maar nog niet voor handtekening" [Victor Vazquez in Bruges, but not yet for signature]. Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 30 April 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Brujas: oficial la llegada de Víctor Vázquez" [Club Brugge: arrival of Víctor Vázquez official] (in Spanish). esFutbol. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  11. ^ "El presidente del Brujas confirma el fichaje de Víctor Vázquez" [Club Brugge president confirms signing of Víctor Vázquez]. Sport (in Spanish). 10 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Victor Vazquez verlengt contract bij Club Brugge" [Victor Vazques extends contract at Club Brugge]. Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 21 March 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Victor Vázquez is the players' Player of the year". De Redactie. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Víctor Vázquez". Toronto FC. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  15. ^ Arredondo, Mónica (30 December 2015). "Víctor Vázquez, exjugador de Barcelona, será contratación de Cruz Azul" [Víctor Vázquez, former Barcelona player, will be a Cruz Azul signing] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  16. ^ Grossi, James (3 March 2017). "In Victor Vazquez, Toronto FC feel like they finally got their man". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Toronto FC announce signing of Victor Vazquez". Toronto FC. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Goals from Vasquez, Altidore lift TFC over 10-man Vancouver 2–0". CP24. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  19. ^ a b Molinaro, John (3 May 2017). "Altidore, Giovinco making magic up front together for TFC". Sportsnet. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  20. ^ Giovinco, Sebastian (5 October 2017). "Sebastian Giovinco on his love for Toronto FC, growing up in Turin and Juventus". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  21. ^ Armstrong, Laura (28 October 2017). "Victor Vazquez and Michael Bradley are in the middle of Toronto FC's success". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Toronto FC ready for potential absences of Drew Moor, Victor Vazquez". Major League Soccer. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Toronto FC repeat as Canadian Champions; earn berth in CONCACAF Champions League". Canada Soccer. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Kings of the League: Toronto FC win first Supporters' Shield". Major League Soccer. 30 September 2017.
  25. ^ Molinaro, John (30 September 2017). "Supporters' Shield a symbol of how far TFC has come". Sportsnet. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  26. ^ "TFC breaks MLS record for points in a season with draw against Atlanta". Sportsnet. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  27. ^ Parker, Graham (30 October 2017). "Giovinco magic proves to be the difference as Toronto beats Red Bulls". ESPN FC. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Toronto FC 1, Columbus Crew SC 0". Major League Soccer. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  29. ^ Kelly, Cathal (29 November 2017). "Jozy Altidore goes from good to legendary with Toronto FC". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Toronto FC 2, Seattle Sounders 0 | 2017 MLS Cup Final recap". Major League Soccer. 9 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  31. ^ a b Nightingale, Tom (15 January 2019). "Report: Toronto FC's Vazquez making Qatar move". The Score. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  32. ^ Davidson, Neil (15 August 2018). "Altidore hits hat trick as TFC thump Vancouver to win Canadian Championship". CTV News Channel. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  33. ^ "CD Guadalajara 1, Toronto FC 2 | 2018 Concacaf Champions League Recap". Major League Soccer. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  34. ^ Molinaro, John (7 October 2018). "No excuses for Toronto FC's failure to make MLS playoffs". Sportsnet. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  35. ^ Nightingale, Tom (15 January 2019). "Vazquez departs TFC as one of MLS' great unheralded talents". The Score. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  36. ^ "العربي يتعاقد مع مهاجم برشلونة السابق لمدة موسم ونصف" [Al Arabi hire former Barcelona forward for one and a half seasons]. Al Arab (in Arabic). 21 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  37. ^ Molinaro, John (26 August 2017). "TFC's Vazquez vs. Impact's Piatti a battle of MLS's finest". Sportsnet. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  38. ^ a b Molinaro, John (2 June 2017). "'Selfless and humble' Victor Vazquez thriving with Toronto FC". Sportsnet. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  39. ^ Grossi, James (20 July 2017). "On Barca, tapas bars and being unselfish: 10 things about Victor Vazquez". Toronto FC. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  40. ^ Grossi, James (9 September 2017). "Supporters' Shield leaders Toronto FC dominate again, clinch playoff berth". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  41. ^ Rueter, Jeff (18 November 2017). "Toronto's Vazquez left to pick up slack left by suspended Altidore, Giovinco". ESPN FC. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  42. ^ a b c d "Toronto FC adds Spanish attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  43. ^ Davidson, Neil (7 December 2017). "Toronto FC players ready if needed for penalties in MLS Cup final rematch". National Post. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  44. ^ Molinaro, John (20 February 2017). "Toronto FC signs Spanish midfielder Victor Vazquez". Sportsnet. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  45. ^ Davidson, Neil (5 July 2017). "Toronto FC heads to Orlando hoping to shake off tough loss to Dallas". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  46. ^ "Atlanta United FC 2–2 Toronto FC". Sky Sports. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  47. ^ Straus, Brian (21 November 2017). "Shorthanded, composed Toronto FC resists in Columbus, heads into second leg confident". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  48. ^ Davidson, Neil (21 November 2017). "TFC in driver's seat after salvaging draw in Columbus". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  49. ^ Molinaro, John (21 November 2017). "TFC earns hard-fought clean sheet in first-leg draw with Crew". Sportsnet. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  50. ^ a b c d "Víctor Vázquez". Soccerway. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  51. ^ "Team statistics". Toronto FC. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  52. ^ Víctor Vázquez at Major League Soccer
  53. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and MLS Cup playoffs.
  54. ^ "Victor Vazquez is Football Player of the Year". Club Brugge. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  55. ^ "2017 MLS Best XI revealed: Who was the best in 2017?". Major League Soccer. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  56. ^ "RFB Toronto FC "Man of the Year" Award". Red Patch Boys. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

External links[edit]