Luis García (footballer, born 1978)

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Luis García
García playing for Liverpool in 2005
Personal information
Full name Luis Javier García Sanz[1]
Date of birth (1978-06-24) 24 June 1978 (age 45)[1]
Place of birth Badalona, Spain[1]
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Winger, attacking midfielder
Youth career
1984–1988 Badalona
1988–1990 Sant Gabriel
1990–1997 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2002 Barcelona B 73 (25)
1998–2002 Barcelona 0 (0)
1999–2000Valladolid (loan) 6 (0)
2000Toledo (loan) 17 (4)
2000–2001Tenerife (loan) 40 (16)
2001–2002Valladolid (loan) 25 (7)
2002–2003 Atlético Madrid 30 (9)
2003–2004 Barcelona 25 (4)
2004–2007 Liverpool 77 (18)
2007–2009 Atlético Madrid 49 (2)
2009–2010 Racing Santander 15 (0)
2010–2011 Panathinaikos 18 (2)
2011–2012 Puebla 33 (14)
2012–2013 UNAM 35 (4)
2014 Atlético Kolkata 13 (2)
2016 Central Coast Mariners 10 (2)
Total 466 (109)
International career
2005–2008 Spain 18 (4)
2001–2008 Catalonia 5 (3)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Luis Javier García Sanz (born 24 June 1978) is a Spanish former professional footballer who played as a winger.

He played professionally for Barcelona and Atlético Madrid in his homeland, amongst others – being brought up in the former's youth ranks – appearing abroad for Liverpool, with whom he won the 2005 Champions League and the 2006 FA Cup. Over the course of eight seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 150 games and 22 goals.

A Spain international for three years, García earned 18 caps and represented the nation at the 2006 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Barcelona[edit]

Born in Badalona, Barcelona, Catalonia, García began playing football with local CF Badalona at the age of 6, arriving at FC Barcelona's academy six years later from neighbours CE Sant Gabriel.[3] After two successful seasons with their reserves, he left on loan for Real Valladolid,[4] where he made his La Liga debut on 22 August 1999 in a 1–0 away loss against CD Numancia.[5] He finished the campaign at Segunda División's CD Toledo also on loan, his four goals not being enough to prevent relegation for the Castilla–La Mancha side;[6] on 18 August 1998, he had made his first competitive appearance for the Blaugrana, coming on as 78th-minute substitute for Boudewijn Zenden in a 2–1 defeat at RCD Mallorca in the Supercopa de España.[7]

Subsequently, García played another year in the second tier, being instrumental in CD Tenerife's promotion by scoring 16 league goals under the guidance of manager Rafael Benítez.[8] Loaned for the fourth time by Barcelona, he returned to Valladolid for 2001–02, netting seven top-division goals in 25 matches, including two in a 5–1 away victory over Tenerife.[9]

Atlético Madrid[edit]

In the 2002–03 season, García was sold to Atlético Madrid for 3.6 million but, after a highly successful individual campaign (nine league goals), Barcelona activated a clause which allowed the player's return for an additional €1.4 million.[10] He had another good year at the Camp Nou, helping the team to the second place in the league, five points behind champions Valencia CF.[11]

Liverpool[edit]

García was signed by former Tenerife coach Benítez for Liverpool on 20 August 2004, on a five-year contract for a fee of £6 million. He was the fourth Spaniard the club acquired that summer[12] and, nine days after arriving, made his Premier League debut in a 1–0 away loss to Bolton Wanderers, where he had an apparently legitimate goal ruled out for offside.[13] His first goal with his new club concluded a 3–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on 11 September,[14] and he went on to net seven more times in the league that season, including the headed winner in the Merseyside derby against Everton on 20 March 2005.[15]

García was also a key player in Liverpool's successful campaign in the UEFA Champions League, scoring winning goals against Juventus F.C. and Chelsea (a controversial one in the fourth minute, dubbed a "ghost goal" by Chelsea manager José Mourinho),[16] in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively. Having appeared in the final against A.C. Milan, he finished his first season in English football with 13 goals in all competitions.[17]

García during Jamie Carragher's testimonial match (2010)

García did not make so much of an impact in the 2005–06 campaign, although he weighed in with some vital goals, including one against Chelsea to put them out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals.[18] He was suspended for the final victory over West Ham United, having been sent off in a league game just days after his semi-final winner, against the same opposition.[19] Early into the season, he also scored the third goal in the Reds' 2005 UEFA Super Cup 3–1 final defeat of PFC CSKA Moscow.[20]

On 10 January 2007, following the 6–3 defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup which was his final game for Liverpool, it was announced that García had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the game. He would be out for at least six months.[21]

His positive relationship with the fans was in great measure due to the fact of his decisive goals against Chelsea. It was further underlined by the song frequently sung in his honour, to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine": "Luis García, he drinks Sangria/he came from Barça to bring us joy!/He's five-foot seven, he's football heaven/So please don't take our Luis away!" In the 2013 poll of the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop, García ranked 34th.[22] He totalled 30 goals in 122 competitive appearances during his tenure, with ten coming in the Champions League, five in the knockout stages of the 2005 triumph.[23]

Return to Spain[edit]

In early July 2007, García joined his former team Atlético Madrid for around £4 million, with his transfer being negotiated between the two clubs around the same time that they were arranging a deal for Fernando Torres in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, these deals were conducted separately.[24]

García managed 30 appearances in his first season, acting mainly as backup to Portugal's Simão Sabrosa.[25] He played both matches against his former side Liverpool in the following campaign's Champions League group stage; on 4 November 2008, he came on as a late substitute at Anfield to appreciative applause.[26] During the league, however, he fell out of favour, sometimes not even making the list of 18.[27]

On 11 August 2009, García reached an agreement with Racing de Santander.[28] His season was quite unassuming, as he took part in just 18 games without scoring and the Cantabrians narrowly avoided relegation.[29]

Later years[edit]

García signed a one-year contract with Greek club Panathinaikos F.C. on 28 August 2010.[30] On 4 September, he flew back to Anfield to take part in Carragher's testimonial match, scoring a goal in the second minute.[31] He returned to the Camp Nou ten days later, playing the last 20 minutes of a 5–1 loss in the Champions League group phase.[32][33]

García playing for Puebla in 2011

On 1 July 2011, the 33-year-old García moved to Mexican team Puebla FC.[34] He scored his first goal for La Franja on the 24th, through a penalty kick away to Atlas FC (1–0).[35]

In early June 2012, García signed for another side in the Liga MX, Club Universidad Nacional, joining alongside Martín Romagnoli for an undisclosed fee.[36] He made his official debut against Atlas, playing 34 minutes from the bench.[37]

García announced his retirement from football on 14 January 2014, aged 35. He made the announcement on his official website, saying, "Today I've decided to retire as a professional footballer, thanks for the interest from the teams that spoke with me in recent weeks, but I think the time has come to end this important chapter in my life and move to the next page."[38]

García came out of retirement in July 2014, joining newly formed Indian Super League franchise Atlético de Kolkata as their marquee player ahead of the league's inaugural season, the first of such players to join the league.[39] He started in the league's opening match, as his new team won 3–0 at home against Mumbai City FC.[40] On 21 November he had a wrongly disallowed goal in an eventual 2–1 loss at Kerala Blasters FC[41] but, despite finishing the regular season in third, Kolkata won the league final against the same adversary, although he was an unused substitute;[42] he also won the league's Manyavar Most Exciting Player award.[43]

Due to concerns over his injury record, García was not retained for the 2015 campaign.[44] On 16 January 2016, he signed for Central Coast Mariners FC initially until the end of the campaign.[45] He made his A-League debut one week later, coming off the bench and playing a role in his team's goal in a 2–1 home defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers FC.[46] In the next match, against Wellington Phoenix FC, he was again brought in as a replacement, scoring once and setting up two more in the 3–1 win.[47]

García served as a pundit for beIN Sports during their coverage of the UEFA Euro 2016.[48]

International career[edit]

After a productive first season with Liverpool, García made his debut for the Spain national team on 26 March 2005, appearing in a 3–0 friendly defeat of China in Salamanca.[49] On 12 November that year, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 home win over Slovakia for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs.[50]

García was then chosen as part of the nation's squad-of-23 for the finals in Germany. He started in victories against Ukraine[51] and Tunisia,[52] and was used as a substitute in the round-of-16 3–1 loss to France.[53]

Style of play[edit]

Although naturally left-footed, García was skilled with both feet and had a good aerial game despite a small frame. He was also often deployed as a second striker.[54]

Post-retirement[edit]

After retiring, García worked as a La Liga pundit for ESPN.[55]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

[56][57]

Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona B 1997–98 Segunda División B 36 15 6[a] 3 42 18
1998–99 Segunda División 37 10 37 10
Total 73 25 0 0 0 0 6 3 79 28
Barcelona 1998–99 La Liga 0 0 0 0 0 0 1[b] 0 1 0
Valladolid (loan) 1999–2000 La Liga 6 0 2 0 8 0
Toledo (loan) 1999–2000 Segunda División 17 4 0 0 17 4
Tenerife (loan) 2000–01 Segunda División 40 16 1 0 41 16
Valladolid (loan) 2001–02 La Liga 25 7 4 3 29 10
Atlético Madrid 2002–03 La Liga 30 9 2 0 32 9
Barcelona 2003–04 La Liga 25 4 6 1 7[c] 3 38 8
Liverpool 2004–05 Premier League 29 8 3 0 12[d] 5 44 13
2005–06 Premier League 31 7 4 1 13[d] 2 3[e] 1 51 11
2006–07 Premier League 17 3 2 0 7[d] 3 1[f] 0 27 6
Total 77 18 9 1 32 10 4 1 122 30
Atlético Madrid 2007–08 La Liga 30 2 6 0 9[c] 4 45 6
2008–09 La Liga 19 0 3 0 7[d] 1 29 1
Total 49 2 9 0 16 5 0 0 74 7
Racing Santander 2009–10 La Liga 15 0 3 0 18 0
Panathinaikos 2010–11 Super League Greece 18 2 1 0 6[d] 0 25 2
Puebla 2011–12 Liga MX 33 14 0 0 33 14
UNAM 2012–13 Liga MX 20 2 7 4 27 6
2013–14 Liga MX 15 2 5 0 20 2
Total 35 4 12 4 0 0 0 0 47 8
Atlético Kolkata 2014 Indian Super League 13 2 13 2
Central Coast Mariners 2015–16 A-League 10 2 10 2
Career total 466 109 49 9 61 18 11 4 587 140
  1. ^ Appearances in Promotion play-offs
  2. ^ Appearances in Supercopa de Espana
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Cup
  4. ^ a b c d e Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  5. ^ Appearances in UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup
  6. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield

International[edit]

Spain[58]
Year Apps Goals
2005 6 3
2006 12 1
Total 18 4

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 November 2005 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain  Slovakia 1–0 5–1 2006 World Cup qualification[50]
2. 2–0
3. 4–1
4. 2 September 2006 Nuevo Vivero, Badajoz, Spain  Liechtenstein 4–0 4–0 Euro 2008 qualifying[59]

Honours[edit]

Liverpool

Atlético Kolkata

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Luis García at WorldFootball.net
  2. ^ "FIFA Club World Championship Japan 2005 – Official Rosters". FIFA. 4 December 2005. Archived from the original on 19 December 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Luis García Sanz anuncia retirada: "Llegó un momento inevitable para todos"" [Luis García Sanz announces retirement: "A moment that everyone must face has come"]. La Información (in Spanish). 14 January 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  4. ^ Hidalgo Chacel, Santiago (29 May 2016). "Luis García: De Pucela al mundo" [Luis García: From Pucela to the world]. El Norte de Castilla (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  5. ^ Tomeo, Carlos (23 August 1999). "El Numancia sigue haciendo historia y se estrena con un triunfo" [Numancia continue to make history and have winning debut]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  6. ^ Picos, Sergio (26 March 2018). "¿Qué fue de Luis García?: uno de los héroes del 'Spanish' Liverpool" [What happened to Luis García?: one of the heroes of Spanish Liverpool]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  7. ^ López, José Luis (19 August 1998). "Sólo Xavi aprueba el primer examen" [Only Xavi passes first test]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. ^ "La ambición de Benítez tuvo justa recompensa" [Benítez's ambition had its just reward]. Marca (in Spanish). 28 October 2000. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  9. ^ Castañeda, Álvaro (29 April 2002). "El Tenerife, patético" [Tenerife, pathetic]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Barça buy back Luis García". UEFA. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  11. ^ Ortiz, Fabián (5 June 2006). "11. Luis García: El extremo al que Rijkaard pidió para nada" [11. Luis García: The winger Rijkaard requested for nothing]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Liverpool grab Garcia". BBC Sport. 20 August 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Bolton 1–0 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Liverpool 3–0 West Brom". BBC Sport. 11 September 2004. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Liverpool 2–1 Everton". BBC Sport. 20 March 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  16. ^ Harris, Nick (5 May 2005). "Motion expert says Garcia's shot did cross the line". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  17. ^ "Liverpool transfers: When the Reds signed Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia". Talksport. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Chelsea 1–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 22 April 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  19. ^ "Red-card duo face anxious wait". ESPN Soccernet. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Liverpool 3–1 CSKA Moscow". ESPN Soccernet. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  21. ^ Mole, Giles (10 January 2007). "Liverpool hit by Garcia injury blow". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  22. ^ "100PWSTK: The full 2013 list". Liverpool F.C. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  23. ^ Baldi, Ryan (11 November 2019). "An ode to Luis Garcia, the man who added flair to Liverpool's mainstays and misfits". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  24. ^ "Luis García returns to Atlético". UEFA. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  25. ^ "Aguirre apuesta por los suplentes para medirse al Valladolid" [Aguirre bets on reserves to take on Valladolid] (in Spanish). La Voz Digital. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  26. ^ Glendenning, Barry (5 November 2008). "Champions League: Liverpool v Atlético Madrid – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Luis García, fuera por decisión técnica" [Luis García, out due to technical decision]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 January 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  28. ^ "Mercado: El Racing de Santander ficha a Luis García" [Market: Racing de Santander sign Luis García] (in Spanish). Goal. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  29. ^ "Luis García rescinde su contracto con el Racing de Santander" [Luis García rescinds his contract with Racing de Santander] (in Spanish). Fichajes. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  30. ^ "Luis Garcia set to complete Panathinaikos switch". Yahoo!. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  31. ^ "Jamie Carragher scores for both teams in Liverpool testimonial". The Guardian. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  32. ^ Hunter, Graham (14 September 2010). "Messi makes merry in Barça stroll". UEFA. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  33. ^ "Barcelona 5 Panathinaikos 1". Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 September 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  34. ^ "El internacional jugador español Luis García Saenz [sic] llega al Puebla de la Franja" [Spain international player Luis García Sanz arrives at Puebla de la Franja] (in Spanish). Medio Tiempo. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  35. ^ "Radiografía de la jornada uno del Apertura 2011 mexicano" [X-ray of the 2011 Mexican Apertura's matchday one] (in Spanish). Info 7. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  36. ^ Morales, Héctor Alfonso (4 June 2012). "Pumas entrenó completo" [Pumas trained in full] (in Spanish). Central Deportiva. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  37. ^ "Primera jornada de la Liga MX" [Liga MX matchday one] (in Spanish). MVS Radio. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Former Liverpool star and hero of Istanbul Luis Garcia retires". Irish Independent. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  39. ^ Bera, Kaustav (7 July 2014). "Luis Garcia embarks on an Indian adventure". Goal. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  40. ^ "ISL: ATK vs MUM: Atletico de Kolkata overpower Mumbai City FC in opener". Deccan Chronicle. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  41. ^ Netto, Brendon (21 November 2014). "Atletico de Kolkata denied late equaliser by controversial goal-line decision". Goal. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  42. ^ a b Bali, Rahul (20 December 2014). "Kerala Blasters FC 0–1 Atletico de Kolkata: Rafique wins the ISL for Ganguly's outfit". Goal. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  43. ^ "Manyavar Most Exciting Player of the League goes to none other than our captain, Luis Garcia!!!". Facebook. 20 December 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  44. ^ Bhattacharya, Nilesh (30 July 2015). "In big coup, Atletico de Kolkata rope in Portugal World Cupper Helder Postiga". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  45. ^ "Breaking news: Mariners land marquee man – Luis Garcia". Central Coast Mariners. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  46. ^ "Western Sydney Wanderers beat Central Coast Mariners 2–1 in Gosford to go top of A-League ladder". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  47. ^ "Central Coast Mariners beat Wellington Phoenix 3–1 thanks to Luis Garcia's excellent display in A-League". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  48. ^ "Preview: #GraciasGarcia & #F3Derby". Central Coast Mariners. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  49. ^ Segura, Manuel (27 March 2005). "Aperitivo oriental" [Oriental hors d'oeuvre]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  50. ^ a b "Spain 5–1 Slovakia". BBC Sport. 12 November 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  51. ^ "Spain 4–0 Ukraine". BBC Sport. 14 June 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  52. ^ "Spain 3–1 Tunisia". BBC Sport. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  53. ^ "Spain 1–3 France". BBC Sport. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  54. ^ "Luis García". Anfield Online. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  55. ^ Brito, Santa (9 August 2021). "ESPN assembles an All-Star roster of hosts, commentators, analysts and reporters for LaLiga Santander coverage". ESPN. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  56. ^ "Luis García: Luis Javier García Sanz". BDFutbol. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  57. ^ "Luis García". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  58. ^ "Luis García". European Football. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  59. ^ Astruells, Andrés (3 September 2006). "A las puertas del mil" [Nearing the 1000th]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  60. ^ "Liverpool 3–3 West Ham United". LFC History. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  61. ^ García missed the 2006 FA Cup final due to suspension. However, additional medals were awarded by The Football Association.
  62. ^ "Liverpool 2–1 Chelsea". LFC History. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  63. ^ "AC Milan 3–3 Liverpool". LFC History. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  64. ^ "AC Milan 2–1 Liverpool". LFC History. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  65. ^ "Liverpool 3–1 CSKA Moscow". LFC History. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  66. ^ "Liverpool 2–3 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 27 February 2005. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  67. ^ "Sao Paulo 1–0 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 18 December 2005. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  68. ^ "Liverpool duo named in UEFA Team of 2005". RTÉ. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2023.

External links[edit]