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Carlos Cuéllar
Personal information
Full name Carlos Javier Cuéllar Jiménez
Date of birth 23 August 1981 (1981-08-23) (age 28)
Place of birth Madrid, Spain
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current club Aston Villa
Number 24
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2001 Calahorra 19 (0)
2001–2003 Numancia 62 (4)
2003–2007 Osasuna 70 (2)
2007–2008 Rangers 36 (4)
2008– Aston Villa 55 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:06, 17 March 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Carlos Javier Cuéllar Jiménez (born 23 August 1981 in Madrid) is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Premier League club Aston Villa. He is primarily a central defender, however under Martin O'Neill he has been known to operate as a right-back.

Contents

Club career

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Early career

Cuéllar began his career in Madrid, playing at regional teams like C.D.Pegaso and San Federico, to sign below for fourth level side CD Calahorra, upgrading two levels in 2001, as he joined CD Numancia.

He spent two seasons at Soria and, after a solid second year, moved to CA Osasuna in the top level. He became an important part of the Javier Aguirre side that reached the Copa del Rey final in 2005 and finished fourth in the league in the following season, thus qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

As Osasuna "dropped" to the UEFA Cup Cuéllar, by then not an automatic first-choice in the league, played seven times in European competition, as the Navarrese reached the semifinals. He scored twice, namely in the 3-0 win at the BayArena against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in April 2007, which was the fastest goal of the tournament that season.[1]

Rangers

Scottish club Rangers made two offers for Cuéllar in June 2007 that were rejected by Osasuna, but the eventual transfer was completed on 5 July, for a fee of £2.37 million.[2]He signed a four-year contract, worth a reported £15,000 per week, and made his competitive Rangers debut against FK Zeta on 31 July 2007, in a 2–0 victory.[3]After impressing early in the season, Cuéllar was awarded the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Player of the Month award for August 2007. He scored his first Rangers goal on September 1, 2007, during a 4–0 defeat of Gretna FC.[4]

Cuéllar continued to play well for Rangers, but he was sent off during a critical Old Firm match for handling a goal-bound Shunsuke Nakamura shot. The resultant penalty kick was saved by Allan McGregor. As personal reward for what was an outstanding season, Cuéllar collected the Clydesdale Bank SPL Player of the Year award[5] and was named the Scottish Football Writers Associations Player of the Year.[6]At the event, he was quoted as saying "I want to stay at Rangers for life."[7]Following the departure of Belgian Thomas Buffel to Cercle Brugge, Cuéllar was handed the number 4 shirt for the 2008-09 season, but never wore it as he was injured for the first game of the season and was transferred to Aston Villa FC just days later. He made a total of 65 appearances for Rangers, a club record for a single season, and scored five goals.

Aston Villa

On 12 August 2008, Aston Villa signed Cuéllar in a deal worth £7.8 million on a four-year contract. Villa's offer had triggered a release-clause in Cuéllar's contract with Rangers.[8]He was given the squad number 24, which he also wore at his previous club.[9] Cuéllar made his official first team début on 18 September in the 3-1 UEFA Cup first round victory against PFC Litex Lovech in Bulgaria. His first Premier League appearance for Aston Villa was in the West Midlands Derby match against West Bromwich Albion on 21 September. Cuéllar came on as a late substitute in a match which Villa won 2-1. His first league start came against Portsmouth on 19 October 2008, where he however operated as a right-back. Most of Cuéllar's league appearances during his first season were in that position, due to the good form in the central partnership of Curtis Davies and Martin Laursen.

Cuéllar performed for Villa at the 2009 Peace Cup in his homeland. He went on to score the winning penalty in the final where Juventus went down 4-3 in a shootout to Aston Villa.[10]

He scored his first goal for Villa against Bolton Wanderers on 7 November 2009.[11] His second goal for the Villa came against Manchester United on 10 February 2010, opening the scoring with a header.

Honours

Rangers

Aston Villa

Individual

References

External links


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