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Agustín Javier Delgado Chala (nicknamed "Tin") was born on 23 December 1974 in Piquiucho, a small village in the Chota Rivermarker valley in Imbabura), and is an Ecuadorianmarker football player. He plays center forward for Club Sport Emelec based in Guayaquilmarker, Ecuadormarker and has retired from the national football team, having overtaken Eduardo Hurtado as top scorer for his country in 2002.

Club career

Southampton

Delgado spent four years from 2001-2004 with Southampton in the Englishmarker FA Premier League. Unfortunately, Tin - as he is affectionately known to his legion of fans - was dogged by injuries which restricted him to only a few games during his time with "The Saints". Southampton F.C. tried to get him back to fitness after the injury he picked in Necaxa prior to the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers, but to no avail.

It might have been a different story had the striker refused to play while injured during the 2002 World Cup. The pressure on him to play was enormous, as Ecuadorians believed that with 9 goals during the 2002 World cup qualifying campaign, he was indispensable and naturally, Delgado dreamed of playing in a FIFA World Cup. All that led to his decision to play despite injury while heavily medicated on painkillers. Upon return to England, it was found that his injury had become chronic, effectively destroying his future in Europe. He also alienated manager Gordon Strachan by refusing to learn English, and Strachan felt the player had been forced on the club and was very high maintenance. When pressed for his plans for the Ecuadorian, Strachan replied "I've got more important things to think about. I've got a yoghurt to finish by today, the expiry date is today. That can be my priority rather than Agustin Delgado."

However, Delgado scored the winning goal for Southampton in a 3-2 home victory over the then Premiership champions Arsenal, leaving a remarkable memory to the Southampton fans. On leaving the club, he said he would be 'dancing in the streets' with the club's fans the day Southampton won the Premiership.

Later career

After the unhappy spell at Southampton, he was released and returned to Ecuador to play for a Quitomarker based club Aucas, which was topping the Ecuador Serie A with the likes of Rene Higuita and Gustavo Figueroa leading the way. He played an impressive half season and his return to form led to his joining Mexican club UNAM Pumas, where he helped the team win the league championship.

Delgado was then transferred to Barcelona SC from UNAM Pumas on 1 January 2005 for an undisclosed fee. While at Barcelona de Guayaquil, he teamed up with his preferred Ecuador strike partner Iván Kaviedes. With these two formidable strikers leading the attack, the Guayaquilmarker based club were expected to not only win championships, but to dominate the league. This did not happen. Delgado started strongly, but ended the season with only 7 goals. He was subsequently accused by the club president, Isidro Romero Carbo, of not taking the club seriously despite earning top wages. Following reports that Tin was partying late at wild clubs with teammates Edwin Villafuerte and Walter Ayovi, prompting their exits from the prestigious club.

Delgado then joined Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, a team regularly featuring in the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores. With his new club, Tin again returned to scoring form and with his goal exploits, he helped Liga surprisingly reach the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores 2006. In 2008, he was part of the squad that won the Copa Libertadores, although he did not play in the final decisive game.

On 6 March 2009, the forward signed for Emelec until December 2009.

International career

Delgado's first goal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup was also the first goal for the Ecuadorian team in a World Cup, against Mexico. Delgado was joint top scorer (with Hernán Crespo) in the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the tournament with 9 goals.

Delgado is known for being a strong player and an excellent finisher with either foot, but especially for his aerial prowess towering over opposing defences. He has a superb sense of positioning in the box and excellent field awareness. All this has given Tin an iconic status in Ecuador, and he obtained a reputation as one of the most feared South American strikers.

He helped Ecuador qualify once again for the World Cup, contributing 5 goals in 10 games but stated that Germany 06 would be his last. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Delgado scored in the 80th minute in Ecuador's shock 2-0 win in their opening match against Poland. In the following game, he scored in the 55th minute goal in their 3-0 victory over Costa Rica, enabling Ecuador to qualify alongside hosts Germany for the last 16.

The 2006 World Cup, a historic achievement for Ecuador, was the last international tournament for Delgado, regarded as one of Ecuador's greatest footballers of all time.

Post World Cup

Delgado was one of eleven players banned for between 2 and 12 months for taking part in a vicious brawl at the end of LDU's 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona on 17 December 2006. Four Barcelona players were injured in the incident on the last day of the season which shocked the country and overshadowed the title won by El Nacional. The Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) said on its web site that the incident started with a clash between Delgado and his marker, Víctor Montoya. Montoya later denied that he had deliberately kicked Delgado's injured knee and received no sanction from the FEF. Delgado later said in the National Congress of Ecuador that he had been persecuted by the FEF.

Delgado was then involved in a scandal at a night club on New Year's Eve and left the country to try to continue his career in Major League Soccer. However, FIFAmarker later blocked this by extending the playing ban internationally.

The suspension was subsequently changed at an Extraordinary Congress of the FEF, and Delgado was allowed to resume his playing career after 6 months' suspension.

Honours

Titles

Season Club Title
1995 Barcelona Serie A
1996 El Nacional Serie A
1997 Barcelona Serie A
2004 UNAM Primera División
2007 LDU Quito Serie A
2008 LDU Quito Copa Libertadores


Other

  • First Place at the 1999 Canada Cup in Edmonton, Albertamarker (Ecuador)
  • Second Place in the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup (LDU Quito)
  • Third Place in the Clubs World Cup 2000 (Necaxa)
  • Top Scorer in Verano 2000 of Mexico 1st Division (Necaxa)
  • Top Scorer on the qualifyng for the Korea-Japan 2002 World Cup 2002 (Ecuador)


References



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