Giovani Dos Santos Ramirez

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Giovani Dos Santos Ramirez: A Versatile Mexican Pro Footballer

Technically skilled, sharp and versatile are the words that could very well be synonyms for Giovani dos Santos Ramirez, a Mexican professional footballer who currently plays for Major League Soccer Club, LA Galaxy (USA) and the Mexico national team as well. The physically strong footballer can shoot both with his right and his left foot. With his powerful legs, unstoppable speed and incredible dribbling skills, this phenomenon footballer has scored some spectacular goals over the years.

Although Giovani is a versatile forward, but he can play anywhere on the field. He served his club and country in various positions apart from the forward, including an attacking midfielder, winger (both left and right) and secondary striker. Born on May 11, 1989 in Monterrey, Mexico to a Brazilian father and Mexican mother, Giovani began his football career at a very young age of 11 at Barcelona's academy of La Masia. He played for the Spanish club’s B team until age 18. He showed rapid progress and joined Barcelona's senior squad for the 2007-08 season. Giovani comes from a footballing family- his father Zizinho was a former Brazilian footballer who played for the Mexican football clubs América and León in the late 1980s. His brother, Jonathan dos Santos Ramírez, has been with FC Barcelona (Barça), and also plays as a midfielder for LA Galaxy and the country’s national team.

The Risiing Mexicon Football Star

His another brother, Eder dos Santos, was also a professional footballer who used to play for Mexico City-based FC América as a defensive midfielder. The Mexican’s career didn’t seem to really take off in his first four club career years, and he found himself bounced from one club to another between 2008 and 2015. Giovani had stints with clubs Ipswich, Galatasaray, Racing Santander, Villarreal CF, and RCD Mallorca. Since 2015, Giovani has been with LA Galaxy and his contract with the club would end in December 2019. Giovani Dos Santos scored his debut goal during a friendly match with Danish club AGF Aarhus in Denmark on 28th July 2006. Barcelona’s youth academy graduate made his debut La Liga appearance on 2 September 2007, substituting French professional footballer Thierry Henry in a 3-1 win against Spanish FC Athletic Bilbao. In 2008, Gio moved to Tottenham, but soon was loaned to Ipswich Town, where he remained in the squad till the end of the season. In January 2010, Gio was sent on loan to Galatasaray and in summer he returned to Spurs.

In January 2011 Gio joined Racing de Santander on loan until the end of the season. In 2012, the player signed a four-year deal with Spanish football team RCD Mallorca, and scored his debut goal for the team against Espanyol on 18 January 2013. He made at least 32 appearances and finished as the Spanish outfit’s top goalscorer with six goals and seven assists. In July 2013, Giovani switched to Villarreal for a reported fee of €6 million. During his stint with the team in the season 2013–14, the Mexican racked up 11 goals and 8 assists. In July 2015, Dos Santos signed a whopping US$7 million deal with the Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy as a Designated Player. He first appeared and scored his debut competitive goal for the Galaxy on 6 August in a CONCACAF Champions League match against Central FC. Mere a couple of days later, the talented player made his MLS debut appearance, scored a goal and provided an assist in the 3–1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. Gio was included in the roster for the 2016 and 2017 MLS All-Star Game. In June 2018, Giovani was named, alongside his brother Jonathan dos Santos, by Juan Carlos Osorio in Mexico’s 23-man final roster for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. “It’s a dream come true. I’m proud and happy for this call-up,” the 29-year-old Galaxy forward said. “It’s an honor for any footballer in the world to be in the World Cup, and I feel grateful.” It is Giovani’s third World Cup. He was a part of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup. Having grown from Under-12 Mexican player to one of the best prolific players of his generation, Giovani has appeared six times in the current Major League Soccer (MLS) season, scoring two goals, and is all set to help lead his club and country to glory in Russia.

With his sharp, skillful and creative play, Giovani has become a fan favorite over the years. Popularly dubbed a "clever" playmaker, the Mexico international has scored some outstanding goals and apart from scoring goals he is capable of creating chances for his teammates. The technically gifted footballer is often deployed as a left winger or right winger or as an attacking midfielder, but he is capable of playing in a number of other offensive positions including a supporting striker. The young forward possesses a mix of speed, accuracy, flair and dribbling skills which altogether earn him reputation of a valuable footballer. He is widely regarded as the deadly passer who drives the ball out of the reach of the defenders and runs all the way to the goal line. The skilful naturally left footed player’s history at FIFA tournaments includes 55 appearances (30 Wins 12 Draws 13 Losses) and 9 Goals. He has earned 107 caps and scored 19 goals for his country. In his childhood playing days, Giovani helped Mexico excel to the top five while playing in the Under-12 Danone Nations Cup in 2001. During his teens, he helped his country earn victory in the Under-17 World Championship in 2005, and then helped Mexico reserve a seat in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2007.

The Mexican footballer represented his home country at U17, U20, U23 levels in early 2000s and since 2007 Giovani is a mainstay at the national senior squad. He has made more than 100 appearances for Mexico, and has scored 19 goals and recorded 23 assists for the National Team. The ravishing striker gave a stellar performance in the 2005 U-17 World Championship in Peru, which earned him the Silver Ball. Giovani had a great performance with seven assists, which is more than any other player. He was also awarded the second best player of the tournament. The Mexico striker also took part in the 2007 Under -20 World championship. However, his team was eliminated by Argentina in the quarterfinals. But he was still awarded the Adidas Bronze Ball and was chosen as the third best player.

The footballer helped Mexico to record victory in the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups and in 2012 he was included in the Mexico under-23 squad, winning the 2012 London Olympic Games. In 2010 Giovani was named by the Spanish weekly sports magazine Don Balon as one the world’s 100 best young players born after 1989. Giovani played in two previous FIFA World Cups-  2010 World Cup in South Africa and 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He is featured on the custom downloadable cover of the MLS custom editions of EA Sports’ hit games, FIFA 16 and FIFA 17. After making his international debut over a decade ago, Giovani today is one of the most experienced players in Mexico’s roster as well as in LA Galaxy football club.