Roberto Ayala: Wikis


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Roberto Ayala
Roberto Ayala y Javier Zanetti - 07FEB2007 - Francia - presidencia-govar.jpg
Personal information
Full name Roberto Fabián Ayala
Date of birth April 14, 1973 (1973-04-14) (age 36)
Place of birth Paraná, Argentina
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current club Racing Club
Number 2
Youth career
Ferrocarril Oeste
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1994 Ferrocarril Oeste 72 (1)
1994–1995 River Plate 40 (0)
1995–1998 Napoli 87 (1)
1998–2000 Milan 24 (0)
2000–2007 Valencia 183 (9)
2007 Villarreal 0 (0)
2007–2010 Zaragoza 75 (4)
2010– Racing Club 2 (0)
National team
1994–2007 Argentina 115 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 January 2010.
† Appearances (Goals).

Roberto Fabián Ayala (born 14 April 1973 in Paraná, Argentina), nicknamed El Ratón is an Argentine footballer. Regarded as one of the best central defenders, he has been captain of the Argentine national team for more matches than anyone else.[1] He has captained 63 matches and has played in three World Cups. Ayala made 115 international appearances, only Javier Zanetti having more caps for Argentina.

Roberto inherited the nickname of Ratón (Mouse) from Argentine 1974 World Cup player Rubén Ayala, though they are not related.


Football career


Early Career in Argentina

Ayala began his career in his native Argentina, playing for Ferro Carril Oeste. After three seasons, he moved to River Plate where his good form atrracted the attention of clubs in Europe.

Move To Europe

Parma, Napoli & Milan

Italian club Parma FC brought the Argentine defender to Europe. However the club, having already used their quota of three non-EU players, loaned him to Napoli, who bought up half of his contract on a co-ownership deal. Ayala was bought by AC Milan at the end of the 1997-98 season and played there for two seasons until Valencia CF bought him for £6.25 Million.


During his 7 years at Valencia CF, he helped them reach one UEFA Champions League final in 2001. However his team lost to Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw. In the latter of which he was voted the Best Defender of the 2001 UEFA Champions League season. The next year, Valencia won the 2001-02 Spanish La Liga. In 2003-04, Valencia again won the Spanish La Liga and added the UEFA Cup.

In 2004-05 injuries kept Ayala from much of the La Liga campaign and he missed the UEFA Super Cup 2004 victory over Porto.

During his time with Valencia, he was widely regarded as one of the finest central defenders in the world, and with Valencia is where he would spend the majority of his peak playing career.

Villarreal and Real Zaragoza

In August 2006, he was not offered a new contract by sporting director Amedeo Carboni. On February 7, 2007 Ayala announced he would join regional rivals Villarreal CF at the end of 2006/07. However, before having played for Villarreal, he joined Real Zaragoza on a three-year deal on 14 July 2007. The buy-out clause in his contract with Villarreal was €6 million (£4.8 Million) which was paid in full by Real Zaragoza.

On 3 May 2008, Ayala scored his first goal for Real Zaragoza in the 94th minute versus Deportivo La Coruna to lead Zaragoza to a 1-0 victory.[2][3] Zaragoza however were relegated to the Spanish 2nd Division. On Saturday, November 22, 2008, Roberto Ayala scored his second ever goal for Real Zaragoza in the 73rd minute as Real Zaragoza defeated SD Eibar 3-0. On Saturday, February 29, 2009, Ayala scored his third goal for Real Zaragoza in the 54th minute against Real Murcia as Zaragoza won the match 4-1.

In January 2010, Ayala's contract with Real Zaragoza was terminated by mutual consent.

Racing Avellaneda

On 02 February 2010 Racing Club de Avellaneda signed the former Real Zaragoza centre-back on a free transfer[4].

International career

He made his debut for Argentina on 16 November 1994, against Chile under coach Daniel Passarella.

Ayala played for Argentina at the 1996 Summer Olympics, winning the silver medal. He played for Argentina in the 1998 World Cup and was a non-playing squad member in the 2002 competition due a last minute injury moments before their first match against Nigeria. He was then selected as an over-age player as Argentina won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Ayala played an integral part in the Argentine squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He played brilliantly throughout the tournament, and was picked as a member of the All Star Team. In the quarterfinal against Germany he scored a header that gave Argentina the 1-0 lead. Argentina lost the penalty shootout after the 1-1 tie, with Ayala's spot kick being saved by Jens Lehmann.

On 30 May 2006, In a friendly match against Angola, Ayala completed 100 caps for Argentina.[5]

One of the best defenders in Argentina history, on 7 February 2007, Ayala became the most capped player of the National team (most of the times as captain), beating his friend Diego Simeone, in a friendly victory 1-0 against France played in Stade de France, Paris.

On 5 June 2007, in a friendly against Algeria, Roberto Ayala captained Argentina for a record 58th international, having equalled Diego Maradona's mark of 57 in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Basel on Saturday 2 June.[6]

On 17 July 2007, after playing in the Copa América 2007 final against Brazil, during which he scored an own goal, Ayala announced his retirement from international football.[7] Ayala stated, "it has nothing to do with what happened in the final of the Copa America."[8] Javier Zanetti took over from him as captain.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1991-92 Ferro Carril Oeste Primera División 18 0
1992-93 36 0
1993-94 18 1
1993-94 River Plate Primera División 16 0
1994-95 24 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1995-96 Napoli Serie A 29 0
1996-97 30 1
1997-98 28 0
1998-99 Milan Serie A 11 0
1999-00 13 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2000-01 Valencia La Liga 28 1
2001-02 30 2
2002-03 31 1
2003-04 30 1
2004-05 17 0
2005-06 23 2
2006-07 29 2
2007-08 Real Zaragoza La Liga 33 1
2008-09 Segunda División 26 3
2009-10 La Liga 13 0
Total Argentina 112 1
Italy 111 1
Spain 260 13
Career Total 468 15

Correct as of 14 June, 2009

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1 February 19, 1998 Mendoza, Argentina  Romania 2 – 1 Friendly
2 September 7, 1999 Porto Alegre, Brazil  Brazil 2 – 4 Friendly
3 April 26, 2000 Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 4 – 0 World Cup 2002 Qualifying
4 July 13, 2004 Piura, Peru  Uruguay 4 – 2 Copa América 2004
5 November 12, 2005 Geneva, Switzerland  England 2 – 3 Friendly
6 November 16, 2005 Doha, Qatar  Qatar 3 – 0 Friendly
7 June 30, 2006 Berlin, Germany  Germany 1 – 1 (2-4 PS) 2006 FIFA World Cup


Medal record
Competitor for  Argentina
Men's Football
Olympic Games
Silver 1996 Atlanta Team Competition
Gold 2004 Athens Team Competition
Pan American Games
Gold 1995 Mar del Plata Team Competition

International honours


Club honours

Argentina River Plate


Italy Milan


Spain Valencia CF



Preceded by
Jaap Stam
UEFA Champions League Best Defender
Succeeded by
Roberto Carlos da Silva

Simple English

Roberto Ayala
Personal information
Full name Roberto Fabián Ayala
Date of birth 14 April 1973 (1973-04-14) (age 37)
Place of birth    Paraná, Argentina
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Racing
Number 2
Senior clubs
Years Club
Ferro Carril Oeste
River Plate
Real Zaragoza
National team
1994-2007 Argentina

Roberto Ayala (born 14 April 1973) is an Argentine football player. He plays for Racing.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1991/92Ferro Carril OestePrimera División190
1993/94River PlatePrimera División160
1995/96NapoliSerie A290
1998/99MilanSerie A110
2000/01ValenciaLa Liga280
2007/08Real ZaragozaLa Liga331
2008/09Segunda División283
2009/10La Liga130
2009/10RacingPrimera División
CountryArgentina 1141
Italy 1111
Spain 26112
Total 48614

International career statistics


Argentina national team



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