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Javi García
Personal information
Full name Francisco Javier García Fernández
Date of birth February 8, 1987 (1987-02-08) (age 22)
Place of birth    Mula, Spain
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current club Benfica
Number 6
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
2004–2007
2004
2007–2008
2008–2009
2009–
Real Madrid B
Real Madrid
Osasuna
Real Madrid
Benfica
85 (9)
03 (0)
25 (2)
15 (0)
13 (3)   
National team2
2003–2005
2005–2006
2007
2008–2009
Spain U17
Spain U19
Spain U20
Spain U21
21 (4)
09 (2)
05 (1)
09 (0)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 24 December 2009.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 18 June 2009.
* Appearances (Goals)

Francisco Javier "Javi" García Fernández (born 8 February 1987 in Mula, Murcia) is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for S.L. Benfica of the Portuguese first division.

A defensive midfielder by nature, he can also appear as a central defender.

Contents

Football career

A product of Real Madrid's youth system, García played three league contests with the first team, making his debut at the age of 17 in a 5–0 home rout of Levante UD, on 28 November 2004. After that, he would spend the entire 2005–06 with Real Madrid Castilla, the team's B-side.

The summer of 2006 was a very busy one for García. First, he won the European Championship with the under-19s,[1] impressing then-first team head coach Fabio Capello, who recalled him to training sessions.

He played in most of Real Madrid's pre-season games, including a starting lineup spot in both Ramón de Carranza Trophy games, playing in central midfield alongside new purchase Émerson. He would not appear for Real's first team in 2006–07, nonetheless.

In August 2007, in the season of his supposed definitive promotion to the first team, coach Bernd Schuster would eventually prevent that golden opportunity (as fellow cantera players Rubén de la Red and Esteban Granero also left the club) and offers began to appear from clubs in the Premiership including Liverpool, and domestic teams, including Atlético Madrid and Deportivo de La Coruña. He would finally settle for CA Osasuna on 31 August, signing for four seasons for a fee of 2.5 million as the Navarre side was keen to replace injury-struck midfielder Javad Nekounam (out of action for six months at least). Having first appeared in a 1–1 home draw with Sevilla FC (one minute played), García scored twice in his first six games, in wins against Levante (4–1) and Villarreal CF (3–2).

García's contract included a buy-back clause that could see him return to Real Madrid for €4 million. Osasuna officially reported, on 29 April 2008, that Real Madrid had exercised their purchase option, meaning his return to the Bernabéu for 2008–09.[2] He made his first league appearance for Real since his return during his side's 7–1 thrashing of Sporting de Gijón on 24 September 2008, coming on as a second-half substitute for Mahamadou Diarra.

Deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, García signed for S.L. Benfica in Portugal on 21 July 2009, for five years and a fee of €7 million.[3] An undisputed starter throughout his first season, he also found the net on occasion, most notably a header in the last minute for the game's only goal (at home), against Naval 1º de Maio, as the club clinged onto the leadership (November 9, 2009).

Honours

Personal

García is a cousin of another footballer, Luis García.[4] The latter represented, among others, FC Barcelona, Liverpool and Atlético Madrid.

References

External links

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