Gabriel Milito

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Gabriel Milito
Gabriel Milito.jpg
Milito playing for Argentina in 2011
Personal information
Full name Gabriel Alejandro Milito1
Date of birth (1980-09-07) 7 September 1980 (age 33)
Place of birth Bernal, Argentina
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
Independiente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2003 Independiente 123 (3)
2003–2007 Zaragoza 137 (5)
2007–2011 Barcelona 48 (1)
2011–2012 Independiente 31 (0)
Total 339 (9)
National team
1997 Argentina U17 4 (0)
1999 Argentina U20 2 (0)
2000–2011 Argentina 42 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gabriel Alejandro Milito (born 7 September 1980) is an Argentine retired footballer who played as a central defender.

He spent most of his professional career in Spain, representing Zaragoza and Barcelona. Over the course of seven seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 187 games and six goals.

Milito appeared with the Argentine national team in three major tournaments, including the 2006 World Cup.

Club career

Early years / Zaragoza

Born in Bernal, Buenos Aires Province, Milito started playing professionally with first division side Club Atlético Independiente in 1997. During that time, he often faced his older brother Diego, who played for Independiente's arch-rivals Racing Club de Avellaneda.

In July 2003 Milito was due to be transferred to Real Madrid,2 but the Spanish team rejected the player after medical results showed, according to the club, a not-fully-recovered knee injury.3 To many, it was a political move against Madrid's football director Jorge Valdano, who wanted the player on the team – he decided to stay in the country and signed for Real Zaragoza.4

In his four seasons with the Aragonese side, Milito was an automatic first-choice (never played in less than 33 La Liga matches), and rejoined brother Diego in 2005. On 10 July 2007, Zaragoza reached a transfer agreement with FC Barcelona for 18.5million (£13.9 million) and, the following week, he passed his medical and signed a four-year deal with the club, worth €4 million (£2.7 million) a year;5 he was given the number 3 shirt, which was formerly worn by Thiago Motta.

Barcelona

Milito at Barcelona in 2007

Milito made his competitive debut for Barcelona on 2 September 2007 in a game against Athletic Bilbao.6 He scored his first competitive goal for the Catalans on 24 November, in a league match against Recreativo de Huelva.7

On 5 May 2008, it was announced that Milito had damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee;8 this rendered him ineligible for the entire 2008–09 campaign, which ended in a treble.

After being sidelined for almost two years (602 days), Milito finally returned to action when he played in a friendly against Kazma Sporting Club in Kuwait.9 On 5 January 2010, he made his return to competitive football, appearing in the first leg of the season's Copa del Rey, a 1–2 home loss against Sevilla FC; five days later, he reappeared in the domestic league, replacing Carles Puyol for the final seven minutes of the 5–0 win over CD Tenerife.

On 11 November 2010, Milito contributed with one goal to Barcelona's 5–1 home win against AD Ceuta for the domestic cup (7–1 on aggregate), but had to leave the game injured.10 On 30 April 2011, starting in a league match at Real Sociedad, he had a goal wrongfully ruled out for offside with the score at 1–1, as the hosts went on to win it 2–1.11 As a result of his offensive action he also tore a calf muscle, being sidelined for the rest of the season12 and contributing with ten appearances for the eventual champions.

Return to Independiente / Retirement

In early August 2011, 30-year-old Milito was released from the last year of his contract with Barcelona,13 and signed shortly after with former team Independiente. On 12 June 2012, he announced his retirement due to being mentally and physically exhausted.14

International career

With the Argentine national team, Milito participated in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and was part of the squad which qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, performing well in his only appearance, the first-round match against the Netherlands which ended in a 0–0 draw.

On 20 August 2010, national team coach Sergio Batista recalled Milito for a friendly with Spain, the player's first international appearance in more than three years.

International goals

International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 16 October 2007 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 0–1 0–2 2010 World Cup qualification

Honours

Milito waves to fans during Barcelona's 2010–11 victory parade
Independiente
Zaragoza
Barcelona

Statistics

Club

Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Independiente 1997–98 2 0 2 0
1998–99 25 0 2 0 27 0
1999–2000 34 2 8 0 42 2
2000–01 25 1 5 0 30 1
2001–02 3 0 3 0
2002–03 34 0 34 0
Total 123 3 123 3
Zaragoza 2003–04 35 0 0 0 0 0 35 0
2004–05 33 3 0 0 10 0 43 3
2005–06 34 1 0 0 0 0 34 1
2006–07 35 1 4 0 0 0 39 1
Total 137 5 4 0 10 0 151 5
Barcelona 2007–08 27 1 6 0 9 0 42 1
2008–09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10 11 0 1 0 5 0 17 0
2010–11 10 0 4 1 2 0 16 1
Total 48 1 11 1 16 0 75 2
Independiente 2011–12 19 0 1 0 2 0 22 0
Career totals 308 9 15 1 26 0 349 10

International

Argentina
Year Apps Goals
2000 1 0
2001 0 0
2002 0 0
2003 4 0
2004 3 0
2005 6 0
2006 5 0
2007 14 1
2008 0 0
2009 0 0
2010 2 0
2011 7 0
Total 42 1

Personal

Milito's older brother, Diego, is also a footballer. A striker, he played with individual and team success for Inter Milan, and they both represented Real Zaragoza and the national team.1516

References

  1. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 presented by Toyota: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 1 December 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Milito makes for Madrid; UEFA.com, 8 July 2003
  3. ^ Madrid cancel Milito signing; UEFA.com, 22 July 2003
  4. ^ Milito taken on by Zaragoza; UEFA.com, 24 July 2003
  5. ^ Milito honoured to sign for Barça; UEFA.com, 19 July 2007
  6. ^ Barcelona 3–1 Athletic Bilbao; ESPN Soccernet, 2 September 2007
  7. ^ Barcelona 3–0 Recreativo Huelva; ESPN Soccernet, 24 November 2007
  8. ^ Barcelona's Milito faces lengthy lay-off; UEFA.com, 5 May 2008
  9. ^ "Barcelona's Gabriel Milito returns to action...602 days later". Goal.com. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  10. ^ Barcelona 5–1 Ceuta; ESPN Soccernet, 10 November 2010
  11. ^ Sociedad surprise Barca with defeat; ESPN Soccernet, 30 April 2011
  12. ^ Milito, Montoya out for six weeks; FIFA.com, 1 May 2011
  13. ^ Milito allowed to leave; Barcelona's official website, 4 August 2011
  14. ^ Gaby Milito anunció su retiro del fútbol: "Estoy agotado física y mentalmente" (Gaby Milito announced retirement: "I'm worn out physically and mentally"); Play Futbol, 12 June 2012 (Spanish)
  15. ^ "El hermano de Milito tampoco será del Madrid" [Milito's brother will also not be a Madrid player] (in Spanish). Merca Fútbol. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Diego Milito: "Le agradezco a Pep todo lo que ha hecho por mi hermano"" [Diego Milito: "I thank Pep for everything he has done for my brother"] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 

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