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Roque Santa Cruz
R. Santa Cruz Blackburn.jpg
Personal information
Full name Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero
Date of birth 16 August 1981 (1981-08-16) (age 28)
Place of birth Asunción, Paraguay
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Manchester City
Number 14
Youth career
1988–1998 Club Olimpia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Club Olimpia 23 (13[2][3])
1999–2007 Bayern Munich 155 (31)
2007–2009 Blackburn Rovers 58 (23)
2009– Manchester City 17 (2)
National team
1999– Paraguay 66 (20[4])
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 January 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero (born 16 August 1981 in Asunción) is a Paraguayan football striker currently playing for English Premier League club Manchester City and the Paraguay national football team.

Contents

Club career

Olimpia Asunción

Santa Cruz joined the Olimpia Asunción youth division at the age of nine, where he became the top scorer during several seasons until the head coach of Olimpia's first team, Luis Cubilla, invited Santa Cruz to practice with the first team squad at the age of 15. His professional debut on the first team was on 27 July 1998 in the Paraguayan Super Clásicoagainst Cerro Porteño, at the age of 16.[5] Santa Cruz's club performance led Olimpia Asunción to a Paraguayan championship in 1998 and 1999, and the winning of the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year award.

Bayern Munich

Showing his excellence with Olimpia and the Paraguay national football team, Santa Cruz was noticed by German club Bayern Munich who eventually signed him in the second half of 1999. Santa Cruz was unexceptional at Bayern as he only scored five goals in his first season with the club, a series of injuries, and heavy competition between forwards (including Élber Giovane, Roy Makaay and Claudio Pizarro) for the German giants limited his impact.

Nonetheless, he was part of the latest successes for Bayern, winning the German league and cup double, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup.

Blackburn Rovers

Santa Cruz agreed a four-year deal with Blackburn Rovers on 28 July 2007. Blackburn agreed to pay Bayern Munich £3.5 million for the player.[6] He scored his first goal for Rovers after just three touches of the ball when he came on as a substitute for the injured Benni McCarthy against Middlesbrough in the opening game of the 2007–08 Premier League season.[7] Santa Cruz celebrated his 26th birthday and his first full Rovers start when he scored the winner away to MYPA in the UEFA Cup.[8]

Santa Cruz scored his first hat-trick for Blackburn in a 5–3 loss to Wigan Athletic on 15 December 2007,[9] becoming the first player in over ten years in English football to score a hat-trick for the losing side, since Dwight Yorke's hat-trick on 30 September 1996 for Aston Villa in their 4–3 away loss to Newcastle United.[10] On 12 January 2008, he was named Premier League "Player of the Month" for December 2007.

Following a successful 2007–08 campaign, there was much transfer speculation surrounding Santa Cruz at the start of the 2008–09 season. However, Santa Cruz signed a four-year contract with Blackburn in August to end the speculation.[11] He became a target for Manchester City following their takeover by the billionaire Abu Dhabi United Group. In January 2009, they had bids of £12 million and £16 million rejected by Blackburn, with the club stating it would take £25 million for them to even consider selling their star striker. On 2 February 2009, City failed to meet the reported £25 million asking price. On 20 April 2009, there were rumours that Santa Cruz was planning to leave Rovers after the 2008–09 season, less than 12 months after signing a new deal with the Premier League club,[12] although he denied these rumours, saying that they were "lost in translation."

Manchester City

On 21 June 2009, it was reported that Santa Cruz was undergoing a medical at Manchester City ahead of a proposed summer transfer worth £17.5 million.[13] Confirmation that the deal had been completed was released later that same day.[14]

Santa Cruz scored his first City goal on 28 October 2009 against Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup.[15]

Santa Cruz grabbed his first league goals for City against Sunderland, scoring a brace in a thrilling 4-3 win which proved to be Mark Hughes last game at the club. However his progress has been limited due to a succession of injuries which have prevented him from playing many games.

International career

Paraguay U-20

Santa Cruz made a name for himself at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he scored three goals for a surprising Paraguay team. His performance there led to a call-up to the full Paraguay national team for the Copa América at the age of 17.

Paraguay Senior

Santa Cruz made his senior debut at age 17 for Paraguay at Copa América leading his national team in scoring with three goals. He also scored a total of seven goals in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup qualification rounds, and appeared in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he scored one goal while helping his team advance to the elimination rounds.

Santa Cruz was in doubt for the 2006 World Cup as he was recovering from a serious knee injury. However, he recovered in time for the start of the tournament and played all three group stage matches for Paraguay. Santa Cruz was not able to score a goal, but he did assist Nelson Cuevas and had a good game in the 2–0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. Despite the win, Paraguay failed to qualify to the second round of the tournament. Santa Cruz scored a hat trick against Colombia in a 5–0 Paraguayan victory during the Copa América 2007 in Venezuela. Currently, he is one of Paraguay's top scorers (three goals) in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Career statistics

(correct as of 28 September 2009)[16]
Club Season League Cup[17] South America
/ Europe
Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Olimpia Asunción 1998–99 23 13 - - - - 13 5 ? 36 18 ?
Total 23 13 13 5 36 18  ?
Bayern Munich 1999–00 28 5 - 4 2 - - - - 32 7 -
2000–01 19 5 - - - - - - - 19 5 -
2001–02 22 5 - - - - 10 3 - 32 8 -
2002–03 14 5 - - - - - - - 14 5 -
2003–04 29 5 - - - - 8 1 - 37 6 -
2004–05 4 0 - - - - - - - 4 - -
2005–06 13 4 - - - - 2 0 - 15 4 -
2006–07 26 2 - 2 0 - 7 1 - 35 3 -
Total 155 31 - 6 2 - 27 5 - 188 38 ?
Blackburn Rovers 2007–08 37 19 7 3 3 0 3 1 0 43 23 8
2008–09 20 4 2 7 2 0 0 0 0 27 6 2
Total 57 23 9 10 5 0 3 1 0 70 29 10
Manchester City 2009–10 8 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 11 3 0
Total 8 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 11 3 0
Career total 236 67 9 16 7 0 43 11 0 295 85 10

Honours

Olimpia Asunción
FC Bayern Munich

Personal life

Santa Cruz married Giselle Tavarelli, the sister of his former national team and Olimpia teammate Ricardo, in 2003. They have a son named Tobias (born 17 December 2003), and a daughter named Fiorella (born 11 November 2005). Santa Cruz has a younger brother named Julio who plays for Blackburn Rovers in the reserve squad[18] and another brother named Diego who died in 2005; he was also a professional football player.

In a 2006 FIFA World Cup edition of German magazine Kicker magazine, he was voted the sexiest man to be taking part in the tournament.[19] He was also chosen by the German newspaper Die Welt as the sexiest footballer of the 2006 World Cup.[20] He has appeared on the cover of the German version of Pro Evolution Soccer 6.[21]

In 2004 Santa Cruz was the subject of the song "Ich Roque" by the German band Sportfreunde Stiller.

References

  1. ^ "Roque Santa Cruz". Manchester City. http://www.mcfc.co.uk/Players/Strikers/Roque-Santa-Cruz. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Roque Santa Cruz official site statistics". http://www.roque-santa-cruz.de/content/statistiken/statistiken_en.php?PHPSESSID=bv39srma4pkr9duib9salttbo3. Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Statistics at national-football-teams.com
  4. ^ "Paraguay — Record International Players". http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/para-recintlp.html. Retrieved 30 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "Santa Cruz official site" (in Spanish). http://www.roquesantacruz.com.py/principal.aspx?tarea=inicios. Retrieved 30 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "Santa Cruz seals Blackburn move". BBC Sport. 28 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/b/blackburn_rovers/6918910.stm. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Middlesbrough vs Blackburn". Blackburn Rovers Official Website. 11 August 2007. http://www.rovers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/MatchReport/0,,10303~37421,00.html. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "MyPa 0–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 16 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/6941960.stm. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  9. ^ "5–3 Blackburn vs Wigan". Espn Soccernet,. 15 December 2007. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=219895&cc=3436. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 
  10. ^ "Dwight Yorke Biography". Perfect People. http://www.perfectpeople.net/biography/2880/dwight-yorke.htm. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  11. ^ "Roque signs new four year contract". 22 August 2008. http://www.rovers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10303~1373167,00.html. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "Roque betrays Rovers". 20 April 2009. http://msnsport.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12040_5215915,00.html. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "Rovers striker on the move: Santa Cruz having medical at Manchester City". 22 June 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=656507&sec=transfers&campaign=rss&source=soccernet&&cc=5739. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  14. ^ "Santa Cruz seals City switch: Striker completes move from Ewood Park". 22 June 2009. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5396181,00.html. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  15. ^ "Man City 5 - 1 Scunthorpe". BBC. 28 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/league_cup/8323120.stm. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  16. ^ "Roque Santa Cruz". Soccernet. http://soccernet-akamai.espn.go.com/players/stats?id=12663&cc=4716. Retrieved 28 March 2008. 
  17. ^ Includes FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield.
  18. ^ "Santa Cruz Jr signs for Blackburn". BBC Sport News. 6 August 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/low/football/teams/b/blackburn_rovers/7545102.stm. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  19. ^ "You'll never be great". http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2002390000-2006260828,00.html. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  20. ^ "Santa Cruz, el más fachero" (in Spanish). http://www.ole.clarin.com/jsp/v4/pagina.jsp?pagId=1209989&fecha=20060606. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  21. ^ "Pro Evolution Soccer 6" (in German). http://www.4players.de/4players.php/spielinfo/PC-CDROM/8186/Pro_Evolution_Soccer_6.html. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 

External links


Simple English

Roque Santa Cruz
File:R. Santa Cruz
Personal information
Full name Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero
Date of birth 16 August 1981 (1981-08-16) (age 29)
Place of birth    Asunción, Paraguay
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1+12 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Manchester City
Number 14
Youth clubs
1988-1998 Olimpia Asunción
Senior clubs
Years Club
1998-1999
1999-2007
2007-2009
2009-
Olimpia Asunción
Bayern Munich
Blackburn Rovers
Manchester City
National team
1999-2009 Paraguay

Roque Santa Cruz (born 16 August 1981) is a Paraguayan football player. He plays for Manchester City.

Club career statistics

[1]

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
ParaguayLeague Cup League Cup South AmericaTotal
1998Olimpia AsunciónPrimera División93---93
199900---00
GermanyLeague DFB-Pokal Premiere Ligapokal EuropeTotal
1999/00Bayern MunichBundesliga28510-151446
2000/01185--60245
2001/02225--123348
2002/03145--21166
2003/04295--81376
2004/0520---20
2005/06134--20154
2006/07262--71333
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2007/08Blackburn RoversPremier League37190033314323
2008/092044131-276
2009/10Manchester CityPremier League
CountryParaguay 93---93
Germany 1523110-52720538
England 57234164317029
Total 21857516455828470

International career statistics

[2] [3]

Paraguay national team
YearAppsGoals
199984
200092
200141
200272
200351
200440
200553
200630
2007125
200872
200920
Total6620

References








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