Samuel with Internazionale in October 2011
|Full name||Walter Adrián Luján Samuel|
|Date of birth||23 March 1978|
|Place of birth||Laborde, Argentina|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1996–1997||Newell's Old Boys||42||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 May 2015.
Walter Adrián Luján Samuel (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwalter saˈmwel]; born Walter Adrián Luján; 23 March 1978) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Basel in the Swiss Super League. Samuel has been regarded as one of football's toughest defenders, with teammate and Inter captain Javier Zanetti referring to him as the "hardest player" he has played with.
Gifted with natural power and good defensive skills, Samuel played a key role in Inter's treble success in the 2009–10 season, partnering with Lúcio in defence under José Mourinho, and he has accumulated over 50 caps for the Argentine national team. Samuel was a large, powerful, aggressive centreback who excelled in the air, both defensively, and as a goal threat on set pieces. He also had an excellent positional sense, which, along with his tough, tight marking and hard tackling, made him extremely effective at anticipating opponents. His strong, uncompromising style of play has earnt him the nickname Il Muro ("The Wall").
Early life and personal life
Samuel was born Walter Adrián Luján to a single Jewish mother, who raised him on her own. As a teenager, Luján adopted the family name of his stepfather, Samuel. He has a daughter and two sons with his wife Cecilia.
Samuel started playing professionally in 1996 in Argentina for Newell's Old Boys, and a year later moved to Boca Juniors, where he played 103 matches and scored five goals in all competitions until 2000. In that year, Roma bought his contract for 40.265 billion Italian lire (about €20 million). He gained fame as one of the best defenders in the Italian league and gained a nickname to match. His quality attracted interest from Spanish team Real Madrid.
Real Madrid paid €25 million for his transfer in 2004. Samuel failed to make an impact at Madrid and was not the leader at the back that Real so desperately needed. He was one of the three non-EU players of the team, along with Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos; they all obtained Spanish passports, however, in 2005. In August 2005, he returned to the Serie A with a transfer to Internazionale on a four-year contract for reported €16 million fee.
In the Derby della Madonnina on 23 December 2007, he hurt himself whilst marking the Brazilian international Kaká, and a couple weeks later, he had reconstructive surgery on his medial collateral ligament. He was expected to be out until the end of the 2007–08 season. In actuality, he started training with the first team again in October of the 2008–09 season and promptly earned a first team place back under manager José Mourinho. Under Mourinho Samuel was a fixture in Inter's first team as they won Serie A, the Coppa Italia, and the UEFA Champions League in the 2009-2010 season, completing a historic treble. Samuel was praised for his defensive performances against Barcelona and Bayern Munich on Inter's road to the Champions League title. Samuel suffered a severe knee injury in the 7 November 2010 fixture against Brescia. He was out for five months and made an earlier than expected return to the Inter squad for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final away leg match against Schalke 04. Samuel made his return to the pitch in Inter's away match at Napoli on 15 May 2011.
After 9 seasons with Inter, on July 23, 2014, Samuel signed a one-year contract with Basel in the Swiss Super League. He made his first team league debut on 31 August 2014 in the 3–1 home win against the Young Boys.
Samuel has played 56 matches for Argentina, scoring five goals. He played for his country in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan, but after a series of injuries that affected his play, he lost his place.
Years later, due to the solid performances and after becoming a regular starter in Internazionale, he earned his place back in the national team, with Diego Maradona choosing him to be a starter in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
- As of 25 May 2015.
|Newell's Old Boys|
National team statistics
|Argentina national team|
|1||4 February 1999||Maracaibo, Venezuela||Venezuela||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||28 March 2001||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Venezuela||5–0||5–0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3||8 November 2001||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Peru||1–0||2–0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||20 August 2003||Florence, Italy||Uruguay||2–2||3–2||Friendly|
|5||12 November 2005||Geneva, Switzerland||England||2-3||2-3||Friendly|
- Serie A: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2005–06, 2009–10, 2010–11
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
- Serie A Defender of the Year: 2010
- ESM Team of the Year: 2001-2002, 2003-2004
- South American Team of the Year: 1999
- FIFA FIFPro World XI Nominee: 2005, 2009, 2010
- "Basel secure Samuel signature". TEAMtalk. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Campioni ai Raggi X - Walter Samuel: Il Muro Nerazzurro". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- Skolni, David (25 June 2010). "Mystic Soccer: Lucky number". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Fine, Jeremy (2010-06-08). "Are There Jews in the World Cup?". The Great Rabbino. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- "El juvenil Luján que asombró a Argentina" – Diario AS (Spanish)
- "Congratulations to the Samuel family". Inter.it. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2009.
- "Samuel, Walter Adrián". Historiadeboca.com.ar. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "BILANCIO D’ESERCIZIO E CONSOLIDATO DI GRUPPO AL 30 GIUGNO 2000" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). Borsa Italiana Archive. 28 June 2001. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Samuel a Roma!". AS Roma (in Italian). 4 April 2000. Archived from the original on 13 April 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- PERFEZIONATO IL CONTRATTO DI TRASFERIMENTO DEL CALCIATORE SAMUEL[dead link]
- "Ronaldo e Samuel comunitari come Carlos" (require login). La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 4 July 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Inter complete Samuel signing". uefa.com. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- FC Basel 1893 (2014). "Walter Samuel zum FC Basel" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
- Marti, Caspar (2014). "FCB-YB 3:1: Dank Effizienz zum Sieg gegen die Berner" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- "Wálter Samuel". National Football Teams. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "WALTER ADRIAN SAMUEL – CAREER AND HONOURS". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "INTER TRIUMPH AT AIC 2010 'FOOTBALL OSCARS'". 25 January 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "South American Team of the Year". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Walter Samuel at National-Football-Teams.com
- Samuel's profile at footballdatabase.com
- Guardian statistics