Matías Almeyda
Matías Almeyda
Personal information
Full name Matías Jesús Almeyda
Date of birth 21 December 1973 (1973-12-21) (age 37)
Place of birth Azul, Argentina
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current club River Plate (coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 River Plate 69 (3)
1996–1997 Sevilla 28 (0)
1997–2000 Lazio 63 (2)
2000–2002 Parma 34 (0)
2002–2004 Inter 47 (1)
2004–2005 Brescia 5 (0)
2005 Quilmes 0 (0)
2007 Lyn 2 (0)
2009 Fénix 4 (0)
2009–2011 River Plate 64 (0)
National team
1996–2005 Argentina 35 (1)
Teams managed
2011– River Plate
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Matías Jesús Almeyda (born 21 December 1973) is a retired Argentine footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and the current manager of Club Atlético River Plate.

Ironically nicknamed El Pelado ("bald one", "shaven") in spite of his long hair,[1] he played most of his professional career at River Plate and in Italy, representing four different teams in the latter country.

Having represented Argentina during nearly one full decade, Almeyda appeared with the national team in two World Cups.

Contents

Club career

Born in Azul, Buenos Aires Province, Almeyda started playing professionally for local and national powerhouse Club Atlético River Plate, first as understudy to Leonardo Astrada, then as a starter, helping the team to the 1996 first division title after his insertion in the starting XI. Shortly after, he moved to Sevilla FC in Spain, for a then-record fee for a player in the country of $9 million. Almeyda appeared regularly in his first and only season with the Andalusians, but suffered La Liga relegation.

In the following seven years, Almeyda would play in Serie A of Italy, successively representing S.S. Lazio, Parma F.C. and F.C. Internazionale Milano, always partnered by compatriots, especially at the latter club: he spent three seasons in Rome with Lazio, becoming a firm fan favourite, especially after scoring a 35-yard goal against Parma's Gianluigi Buffon,[2] his only of the 1999–2000 season, which ended with league and cup conquest; additionally, he was voted the competition's best player in 1998–99, and also won - as a starter - the last UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, against RCD Mallorca.[3]

In the summer of 2002, Almeyda was exchanged with Vratislav Greško and moved to Inter, where he was again partnered by compatriots as in his previous clubs. Two years later, he joined his final club in Italy, lowly Brescia Calcio, on a free transfer.[4] The following year, after the team's relegation, as second from bottom, he returned to Argentina and agreed to play for Quilmes Atlético Club, which appeared at the Libertadores Cup, announcing his retirement after the team's elimination from that tournament.

After one 1/2-years away from football, in which he represented Argentina in a Showball tour around the world alongside Diego Maradona and participated in the Indoor Football World Cup in Spain, Almeyda joined Norwegian Premier League outfit of FK Lyn, in Oslo, in which he was accompanied by compatriot José Oscar Flores.[5] The midfielder made his debut on 13 May 2007, but only played regularly in the reserves and in the domestic Cup, being released (as the striker) shortly after, and again retiring from football.

On 16 January 2009, at almost 36, Almeyda, after nearly agreeing on a return to River, signed with modest Club Atlético Fénix, in the fourth division.[6] During his brief spell with the team, he managed to be sent off on two occasions.[7]

On 19 August 2009, veteran Almeyda finally re-joined his main club River Plate, teaming up with former club teammates Marcelo Gallardo and Ariel Ortega.[1] In June 2011, the team was relegated to the second level for the first time in its history, and the 37-year old retired from football, being appointed the side's manager the following month.

International career

Almeyda won a total of 35 caps for the Argentine national football team, his debut coming in April 1996 against Bolivia. Shortly after his debut, he helped the Olympic side win silver at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Subsequently, Almeyda was selected for two FIFA World Cups: 1998 (playing all five matches - as a starter - as Argentina reached the quarterfinals) and 2002 (one group stage appearance, the 1–1 against Sweden, as the national team exited after the first three contests).

Honours

Club

Country

Individual

References

External links


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