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Luis Javier García Sanz (born 24 June 1978 in Badalonamarker, Barcelonamarker, Cataloniamarker) is a Spanishmarker footballer who currently plays Racing de Santander in the Spanish first division, mainly as a left winger.

Although naturally left-footed, he has ability to kick with both feet and has a good aerial game, despite a small frame.

Club career

FC Barcelona

García was a product of FC Barcelona's prolific youth ranks but, after two successful seasons with its B team, he left on loan for Real Valladolid, where he made his La Liga debut, on 22 August 1999, in a 0-1 loss at CD Numancia, and finished the season at second division's CD Toledo, also on loan.

Subsequently, García played another loan season in the second level, being instrumental in CD Tenerife's promotion, netting 16 league goals under the guidance of manager Rafael Benítez. He returned to Valladolid for 2001-02, scoring seven goals in 25 contests, including two in a 5-1 success at Tenerife.

Atlético Madrid

In 2002-03, García was sold to Atlético Madrid for 3.6 million but, after a highly successful individual season (nine league goals), Barça activated a clause which allowed the player's return for an additional €1.4 million. At Camp Noumarker, he had another good season, helping the Catalanmarker outfit to second place in the league.

Liverpool

García was signed by former coach Rafa Benítez's Liverpool in August 2004, for a fee of £6 million. He was bought essentially as a replacement for El Hadji Diouf, but proved much more than a stand-in, and became a key component of Liverpool's attacking unit. He made his Premiership debut against Bolton Wanderers on 29 August, a 1–0 loss, although García had an apparently legitimate goal ruled out for offside. His first goal in a Liverpool shirt came against West Bromwich Albion at Anfieldmarker in September. He went on to score seven more league goals that season, including the winner in the Merseyside derby on 20 March 2005.

He was also a key player in Liverpool's successful 2005 Champions League campaign, netting winning goals against Juventus and Chelsea (a controversial goal in the fourth minute, dubbed a "ghost goal" by Chelsea manager José Mourinho), in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively. He took part in the Champions league final victory over A.C. Milan on 25 May 2005, finishing with 13 goals in all competitions in his first season in English football.

García did not make so much of an impact in the 2005-06 season, although he weighed in with some vital goals, including a lofted finish against Chelsea to put them out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals. García was suspended for the final victory against West Ham United, having been sent off in a league game just days after his semi-final winner, ironically against West Ham. He also scored Liverpool's third goal in their 2005 UEFA Super Cup final win.

On 10 January 2007, following the 3-6 loss to Arsenal in the Carling Cup, which was his final game for Liverpool, it was confirmed by the club that García had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during the game; he would be out for at least six months.

García's positive relationship with club 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 honor, 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!"

Garcia ranked 24th in the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop online poll, with Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard being the only current squad players ranked higher.

On 21 August 2007, liverpoolfc.tv published a letter from García to the fans in which he expressed his appreciation. He later revealed he wanted to return to Spain at some point and play for Atlético Madrid. Previously, on 2 July, his agent revealed that a deal was being put in place for a permanent transfer.

Atlético return

García signed 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.

After a first season, where he played mainly as backup to Portugalmarker's Simão, though still managing 30 league appearances, with García playing both matches against former side Liverpool in the following season's UEFA Champions League group stage. On 4 November 2008, he came on as a late substitute at Anfieldmarker, to appreciative applause. During 2008-09's league, however, he fell out of favour, appearing mainly as a late substitute and sometimes not even making the list of 18.

Racing Santander

On 11 August 2009, it was confirmed García had reached an agreement with Racing de Santander.

International career

After a productive first season with Liverpool, García made his debut for the national team on 26 March 2005, appearing in a 3-0 friendly win against China in Salamancamarker, Spain.

García was then chosen as part of the nation's squad-of-23 for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He started in wins against Ukraine and Tunisia, being a used replacement in the round of 16 loss against France.

Personal life

García is married to Raquel and has a son named Joel. The couple now have a second child. He often celebrated goals by sucking his thumb in dedication to Joel. Benfica defensive midfielder Javi García is his cousin.

García has advertised H&M men's suits and Umbro football boots.

Club statistics

correct as of October 21, 2008



Honours

Club

1997-98 FC Barcelona B Segunda División B 36 15 0 0 - 0 0 36 15
1998-99 Segunda División 36 10 0 0 - 0 0 36 10
1999-00 Real Valladolid La Liga 6 0 0 0 - 0 0 6 0
1999-00 Toledo Segunda División 17 4 0 0 - 0 0 17 4
2000-01 Tenerife Segunda División 40 16 1 0 - 0 0 41 16
2001-02 Real Valladolid La Liga 25 7 4 3 - 0 0 29 10
2002-03 Atlético Madrid La Liga 30 9 2 0 - 0 0 32 9
2003-04 FC Barcelona La Liga 25 4 6 1 - 7 3 38 8

2004-05 Liverpool Premier League 29 8 0 0 3 0 12 5 44 13
2005-06 31 7 3 1 1 0 13 3 48 11
2006-07 17 3 1 0 1 0 7 3 26 6

2007-08 Atlético Madrid La Liga 30 2 5 1 35 3
2008-09 18 0 2 0 20 0
252||67||13||4||colspan="2"|-||14||3||279||75
77||18||4||1||5||0||32||11||118||30
329||85||17||5||5||0||39||14||397||105


Individual



References

  1. Barça buy back Luis García; UEFA.com, 1 July 2003
  2. Luis García returns to Atlético; UEFA.com, 3 July 2007
  3. El Racing llega a un principio de acuerdo con el internacional Luis García (Racing reaches early agreement with international Luís García)
  4. Javi García se lo piensa: el Atlético de Madrid más cerca (Javi García thinks about it: Atlético Madrid getting closer); Liga Fútbol, retrieved on 2008-12-21.
  5. Garcia missed the 2006 FA Cup final due to suspension. However, additional medals are awarded by the FA.


External links




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