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Not to be confused with Uruguayan footballer Diego Ribas.


Diego Ribas da Cunha (born 28 February 1985) commonly known as just Diego, is an international Brazilianmarker footballer who plays for Italianmarker Serie A club Juventus and is also member of the Brazilian national team.

Club career

Santos

Diego was first signed by the São Paulo team Santos at the age of 12. Diego developed in the Santos youth system, making his first team debut at the age of 16 in the Rio-São Paulo Championship in 2002 and in the same year he won the domestic Campeonato Brasileiro championship. He, Robinho, Elano and Alex were known as a famous group when they played for Santos.

Porto

Diego was then signed by Portuguesemarker club FC Porto in July 2004 as a replacement for the FC Barcelona-bound Deco. However, in 2005–06, Diego did not maintain a stable place in the Porto team under coach Co Adriaanse and he subsequently left Porto for Werder Bremen.

Werder Bremen

2006–07 season

In May 2006, Diego signed a contract with Werder Bremen until 2010 for a transfer fee of €6 million.

His first match for Werder Bremen came in the DFB-Ligapokal (League Cup). Werder Bremen won the cup beating Bayern Munich in the final on 5 August.

The 2006–07 Bundesliga season began well for Diego. He scored the first goal and set up two more for Bremen in their 4-2 win over Hannover 96, on 13 August. In his second match in the Bundesliga he set up both goals in the 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Thanks to his good performances in August, both in the Bundesliga and in the Premiere Ligapokal, Diego won the August Player of the Month award. As the Bundesliga season went on, Diego made several amazing performances and became one of the most valuable players for Werder Bremen, along with his team-mate Torsten Frings. They are called the "two motors of Bremen's midfield." In October 2006, he won a second Player of the Month award and again in December 2006. He was then named as the Best Player of the first half of the Bundesliga.

Werder Bremen finished in third place in Group A in the Champions League group stages, and they moved to the UEFA Cup, where they reached the semi-finals, beating AZ from the Netherlandsmarker in the quarter-finals, due in part to Diego's creative play.

On 15 April, Diego again played well, scoring in the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. Five days later, on 20 April, Bremen played against Alemannia Aachen. Although Diego's performance was good, he did not score until stoppage time when he scored from 62.5 metres, which later was elected as goal of the year. Bremen won the game 3-1 and topped the table with 60 points.

Following his good performances in the first half of the Bundesliga, Diego got called up to the Brazilian national football team in November.

After the 2006–07 season ended, Diego won the Bundesliga Player of the Season award organised by popular magazine Kicker. He got just over 50 percent of the votes. Unfortunately, his team did not win the Bundesliga after finishing 3rd in the table, behind champions VfB Stuttgart and Schalke 04.

2007–08 season

Diego started his season well, scoring a penalty on the first matchday. Diego gave many outstanding performances. He was crucial as Bremen got through to the Champions League's group phase. They beat Croatianmarker club Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 in Zagrebmarker, with Diego scoring two penalties.

On the first Champions League Group Stage matchday, Bremen lost 2-1 to Real Madrid, but Diego's performance aroused interest in Real Madrid's coach Bernd Schuster. But the stories were put to an end when Diego signed a new contract which would last until 2011.

After the loss to Real Madrid, Bremen faced VfB Stuttgart, the defending German champions, at home. Werder won 4-1, with Diego leading the midfield. Later on in the season, Bremen achieved a historical 8-1 win over Arminia Bielefeld, with Diego assisting three goals and scoring one himself.

Diego was voted Player of the Month in September.

He then scored two goals on the way to the UEFA Cup quarter final with Bremen.

2008-09 season

Diego's last season in Werder Bremen was his most successful. Diego scored 20 goals in total (more than his two first seasons in the club), while although Bremen did finish just 10th in the bundesliga and was knocked out into uefa cup from the Champions League group stage, Diego has kept on a great performance throughout the season.

In Uefa Cup competition that season, Diego scored 6 goals, all in knockout stages (since Bremen dropped out from the Uefa Champions League into Uefa Cup's round of 32).

He scored against AC Milan the in round of 32, equalizing after 84' minutes, and assisting Claudio Pizarro in the second leg to one goal. He helped his team through the round of 16, And in the quarter final against Udinese, he brilliantly scored four goals out of six in the two meetings, and assisting one.

In the semi finals, after losing 1-0 in their hometown to Hamburgmarker, Diego helped his team back in the second leg with an early equalizer to Ivica Olic's early critical goal. Later on that game, he Assisted a corner to Frank Baumann's 3rd Bremen goal. In that game, Diego received an unfortunate yellow card, preventing him from playing in the final, but still with a 3-2 heroic away win, he ended his Uefa Cup participation, leading Bremen to their first Uefa Cup final ever.

Without Diego in the 2009 Uefa Cup final, Bremen lost the game 2-1 in extra time to Ukranian team Shakhtar Donetsk.

In his last match with Bremen, Diego gave the assist to Mesut Özil's victory goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup final, to win the German Cup for the sixth time.

Juventus

On 26 May 2009, Diego signed a five-year contract to join Juventus at the end of the season. The fee paid to Bremen by Juventus is worth 24.5 million. The price can rise by a further 2.5 million in case of the fulfillment of established sports objectives in the next five years.

Diego made his Juventus debut against the Korean side Seongnam where they won 3-0. In the first half Diego made the pass to Camoranesi whose pass followed up to a goal. Diego then scored in the second half and then subbed out at the 60th minute. On his Serie A debut he assisted Iaquinta's goal from a set-piece. In the second fixture of the campaign, Diego recorded his first Serie A goal, scoring twice in Juventus' 3-1 victory against Roma on August 30, 2009.

International career

Diego with the Brazilian national team.
Diego made his international debut in April 2003 in a friendly match against Mexico. He was later included in Brazil U-23 team that competed in 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup alongside Santos' teammate Robinho. Although Brazil compete as an under-23 team, the international appearances and goals were recorded as FIFAmarker acknowledge the tournament as senior-team matches. He appeared five times and scored two goals as Brazil U-23 lost out to Mexico senior-team in the final.

In 2004, Diego was called up for the Brazil national squad for the Copa América 2004, and he was instrumental in securing the tournament victory for Brazil when he scored in the penalty shootout against Argentina in the final.

However, due to his decline in performance with FC Porto between 2004 and 2006, he was often left out of the Brazil squad. He was also left out of the Brazil squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

After a move to Werder Bremen, he regained his form and subsequently recalled to the Brazil squad for a in November 2006. He was then included in Brazil's squad for Copa América 2007, which Brazil went on to win, once again defeating Argentina in the final.

Diego also participated with Brazil U-23 team for 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Brazil went on to achieve Bronze medal with a third place finish in the tournament.

Honours

Santos


Porto


Werder Bremen


International


Career statistics

Club career

As of 29 August 2009


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201||65||8||3||0||0||45||13||255||82


International career





References

External links



2002 Santos Série A 22 8 30 10
2003 33 9 33 9
2004 9 4 9 4
2004-05 Porto Portuguese Liga 30 3 6 1 36 4
2005-06 19 1 4 1 23 2
2006–07 Werder Bremen Bundesliga 33 13 1 0 14 2 48 15
2007–08 30 13 3 1 8 2 42 16
2008–09 21 12 4 2 13 7 38 22
2009–10 Juventus Serie A 11 3 0 0 3 0 14 3
National team Season Apps Goals
Brazil
2003 7 2
2004 5 0
2004–2005 0 0
2005–2006 0 0
2006–2007 10 1
2007–2008 9 1
2008–2009 2 0
Total 33 4
International appearances and goals
# Date Venue Opponent Result Goal Competition
2003
1. April 30, 2003 Guadalajaramarker, Mexicomarker 0–0 0 Friendly
2. July 13, 2003 Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker 0–1 0 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Brazil U-23)
3. July 16, 2003 Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker 2–1 1 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Brazil U-23)
4. July 19, 2003 Miamimarker, United Statesmarker 2–0 0 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Brazil U-23)
5. July 23, 2003 Miamimarker, United Statesmarker 2–1 1 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Brazil U-23)
6. July 27, 2003 Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker 0–1 0 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (Brazil U-23)
7. September 7, 2003 Barranquillamarker, Colombiamarker 2–1 0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2004
January 7, 2004 Concepciónmarker, Chilemarker 4–0 1 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 9, 2004 Concepciónmarker, Chilemarker 3–0 1 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 11, 2004 Concepciónmarker, Chilemarker 1–1 0 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 15, 2004 Concepciónmarker, Chilemarker 1–1 0 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 21, 2004 Valparaísomarker, Chilemarker 0–1 0 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 23, 2004 Viña del Marmarker, Chilemarker 3–1 1 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
January 25, 2004 Viña del Marmarker, Chilemarker 0–2 0 2004 Olympic Games qualification (Brazil U-23)
8. July 8, 2004 Arequipamarker, Perumarker 1–0 0 Copa América 2004
9. July 11, 2004 Arequipamarker, Perumarker 4–1 0 Copa América 2004
10. July 14, 2004 Arequipamarker, Perumarker 1–2 0 Copa América 2004
11. July 21, 2004 Limamarker, Perumarker 1–1 0 Copa América 2004
12. July 25, 2004 Limamarker, Perumarker 2–2 0 Copa América 2004
2006–2007
13. November 15, 2006 Baselmarker, Switzerlandmarker 2–1 0 Friendly
14. February 6, 2007 Londonmarker, Englandmarker 0–2 0 Friendly
15. March 24, 2007 Gothenburgmarker, Swedenmarker 4–0 0 Friendly
16. March 27, 2007 Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker 1–0 0 Friendly
17. June 1, 2007 Londonmarker, Englandmarker 1–1 1 Friendly
18. June 5, 2007 Dortmundmarker, Germanymarker 0–0 0 Friendly
19. June 26, 2007 Puerto Ordazmarker, Venezuelamarker 0–2 0 Copa América 2007
20. July 4, 2007 Puerto la Cruz, Venezuelamarker 1–0 0 Copa América 2007
21. July 10, 2007 Maracaibomarker, Venezuelamarker 2–2 0 Copa América 2007
22. July 15, 2007 Maracaibomarker, Venezuelamarker 3–0 0 Copa América 2007
2007–2008
23. August 22, 2007 Montpelliermarker, Francemarker 2–0 0 Friendly
24. September 9, 2007 Chicagomarker, United Statesmarker 4–2 0 Friendly
25. October 17, 2007 Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker 5–0 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
26. February 6, 2008 Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker 1–0 0 Friendly
27. March 26, 2008 Londonmarker, Englandmarker 1–0 0 Friendly
28. May 31, 2008 Seattlemarker, United Statesmarker 3–2 1 Friendly
29. June 6, 2008 Bostonmarker, United Statesmarker 0–2 0 Friendly
30. June 15, 2008 Asunciónmarker, Paraguaymarker 0–2 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
31. June 18, 2008 Belo Horizontemarker, Brazilmarker 0–0 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
June 22, 2008 Volta Redondamarker, Brazilmarker Rio de Janeiro State Selectionmarker 1–0 0 Unofficial friendly (Brazil U-23)
2008–2009
July 28, 2008 Singaporemarker 3–0 1 Friendly (Brazil U-23)
August 1, 2008 Hanoimarker, Vietnammarker 3–0 0 Friendly (Brazil U-23)
August 7, 2008 Shenyangmarker, China PRmarker 1–0 0 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
August 10, 2008 Shenyangmarker, China PRmarker 5–0 0 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
August 13, 2008 Qinhuangdaomarker, China PRmarker 3–0 1 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
August 16, 2008 Shenyangmarker, China PRmarker 2–0 0 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
August 19, 2008 Beijing, China PRmarker 0–3 0 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
August 22, 2008 Shanghai, China PRmarker 3–0 1 2008 Olympic Games (Brazil U-23)
32. September 7, 2008 Santiagomarker, Chilemarker 3–0 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
33. September 10, 2008 Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker 0–0 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

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