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Luciano Becchio
Luciano Becchio York City v. Leeds United 1.png
Personal information
Full name Luciano Héctor Becchio
Date of birth December 28, 1983 (1983-12-28) (age 26)
Place of birth Córdoba, Argentina
Height 6 ft 1.5 in (1.87 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Leeds United
Number 10
Youth career
2002–2003 Boca Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Boca Juniors 0 (0)
2003–2005 Mallorca B 29 (5)
2004–2005 Granada 74 (loan) 16 (3)
2005–2006 Terrassa 24 (2)
2006–2007 Barcelona B 10 (0)
2006–2008 Mérida 50 (28)
2008– Leeds United 73 (25)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:26, 9 March 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Luciano Becchio (born 28 December 1983 in Córdoba) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Leeds United in League One. He previously played for Boca Juniors, FC Barcelona Atlètic, RCD Mallorca B and Mérida UD. He is renowned for his work rate and passionate displays, his dogged style makes him a nuisance to opposition defenders. Whilst at Leeds he has formed a formidable strike partnership with Jermaine Beckford.

Contents

Football career

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Early career

Becchio started his career at Boca Juniors in Argentina, playing in youth teams with players such as Carlos Tévez. But after failing to make a first team appearance for Boca, Becchio tried his luck in Spain. Known simply as Luciano in Spain which included spells at F.C. Barcelona and Real Mallorca - he became renowned as a lower-league talisman, scoring 28 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions[1], with 22 of his goals scored in the league, for Mérida UD during the 2007–08 season. Luciano finished the season as Spain's Segunda División B top scorer, with six goals coming in the last four games, including a hat-trick on the final day against CD Baza.

Leeds United

In July 2008, he joined League One side Leeds United on trial aiming to impress manager Gary McAllister in pre-season friendlies against Shelbourne and Barnet. He was recommended to Leeds United Scout Gwyn Williams by former Spanish Newcastle defender Marcelino Elena.

On July 31, Becchio signed for Leeds on a three-year deal, and was given the number 10 shirt the next day. He made his first start for Leeds in their 5–2 win over Chester City in the first round of the Football League Cup. He was given his first league start against Yeovil Town in a 1–1 draw; in which it took him just 25 seconds to score his first professional Leeds goal. Becchio scored his second goal for the club in his first start at Elland Road in a 4–0 victory over Crystal Palace in the League Cup. The following week, he came off the bench to head home his third Leeds goal in the 2–1 win over local rivals Bradford City in the Football League Trophy.

His Leeds career has been promising, during the 08/09 season Becchio only missed one match in all competitions, this was due to suspension, in a sequence of appearances which saw him start 24 consecutive matches - including the entire busy Christmas period, and while deputising for the injured Jermaine Beckford - he scored 9 goals in the process. With the on-loan signing of Lee Trundle from Bristol City, and the January transfer window signing of Mike Grella, manager Simon Grayson publicly stated that Becchio would be given a short resting period so that he would be ready for the vital last few months of the season[2], however that never materialised as Becchio was insistent on retaining his place in the team. The manager Simon Grayson frequently referred to Becchio as Lazarus due to various points in the season where Becchio would be injured but would make a remarkable recovery to be fit and ready for the next match.

Becchio scored his 15th goal of the season against Crewe Alexandra. His 16th was a magnificent effort away at Colchester United. His 17th of the season came at home against Tranmere Rovers and in the final game of the 08/09 season, he scored his 18th of the season in all competitions, which in turn contributed to the relegation of Northampton Town.

His 19th of the season came against Millwall in the League One Playoff Semi Final, in which he rounded off a fine team move started by Ben Parker, with Jermaine Beckford and Andy Robinson also playing vital roles. The goal lifted the roof off Elland Road. Overall 19 goals marked a very successful personal goal haul in his debut season in English football at Leeds United.

Becchio scored his first goal of the 2009-10 season with a screamer in the 1-0 league win against Wycombe Wanderers. His second goal of the season came in the 3-0 win over Tranmere Rovers after an Andy Robinson shot had hit the bar. Becchio had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside in the Carling Cup tie against Liverpool. Replays showed conclusively that he was onside as Jermaine Beckford flicked on Michalik's headed pass.

Becchio missed the game against MK Dons as his wife was due to give birth. Becchio and his wife welcomed their first daughter named Bianca who was born on the 27th September 2009 at the Leeds general Infirmary (LGI). Becchio picked up a serious ankle injury in the game against Charlton Athletic, when he stepped on the ball whilst controlling it from a high pass, and had to be substituted. Radio Leeds believed Becchio might of broken his ankle, although the club were waiting to have a second scan on his ankle after the swelling went down. The scan showed that he had suffered ligament damage to his ankle, according to Leeds assistant manager Ian Miller. Becchio did not play for the Leeds first team again until late November. In his absence Leeds signed Welsh International striker Sam Vokes on loan from Wolves until January 2 2010 as cover.

On 25 November 2009, Becchio returned from injury and played in Leeds' reserve game against Lincoln, to help boost his match fitness. Becchio scored a goal in a 2-1 victory and also managed to get a full 90 minutes under his belt. Becchio returned for the first team as a substitute in the F.A Cup Second Round draw with Kettering Town. Two days later, Becchio came on as a substitute against Oldham Athletic and scored his first goal since his long layoff, this his 3rd of the season. Becchio scored his 4th of the season against Kettering Town in the Second Round replay. Becchio returned to Leeds' starting lineup in the league at the expense of Sam Vokes against Brentford. His 5th goal of the season was a header against Hartlepool United on boxing day, which took a heavy deflection.

Becchio put in a heroic performance against Manchester United when Leeds won 1-0 away at Old Trafford on January 3rd in the FA Cup Third Round, but he picked up an injury and was substituted in injury time. Becchio has struggled somewhat for goals for Leeds since returning from injury, with him being asked to play in more of a deeper strikers role to hold the ball up for the midfield. Against Tottenham Hotspur Becchio was dropped to the bench and replaced up front by Robert Snodgrass, he later came on in the second half replacing midfielder Michael Doyle as Leeds earned a replay against the Premiership side.

Becchio's 6th goal of the season for Leeds came in the FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, Jermaine Beckford's shot was parried by Heurelho Gomes and it fell into the path of Becchio who slotted it into the back of the net. Goals number seven and eight for Becchio came in the following game against Hartlepool United. This was the first double Luciano scored in a competitive match for Leeds.

Becchio disputably scored his 9th goal of the season in dramatic fashion with an injury time equaliser coming against Leyton Orient when his goalbound shot was deflected in by Orient defender Charlie Daniels, the goal in the end was credited to Daniels but Becchio said he feels the goal should be his as his shot was goalbound. Becchio scored another brace against Oldham Athletic taking his tally to 10 goals (officially) for the season.

Becchio continued his fine goal scoring form when he scored his 11th goal of the season in the Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town, with the game finishing 2-2. Goal number 12 of the season came against Tranmere Rovers, with Becchio scoring a flying diving header.

Career Statistics

England
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Football League Trophy Play-Offs Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2008–09 Leeds United League One 45 15 3 0 4 2 2 1 2 1 56 19
2009–10 League One 28 10 5 2 3 0 2 0 0 0 37 12
Total 72 25 8 2 7 2 4 1 2 1 94 31

References

External links

Luciano Becchio career stats at Soccerbase


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