Do you Remember??? “Alvaro Recoba”

├ülvaro Alexander Recoba Rivero (born March 17, 1976 in Montevideo), nicknamed “El Chino”, is a Uruguayan footballer currently playing for Primera Divisi├│n Uruguaya side Club Nacional de Football. He has played also within European football, most notably during eleven years with Inter Milan of the Italian Serie A.

Recoba can operate as an attacking midfielder[1] and won 69 caps for the Uruguay national team between 1995 and 2007, participating at the 2002 World Cup.

Early career

Recoba started his career with Uruguay’s Danubio. After several years there in the youth teams, he appeared on the first team at just 16 years old and played seasons 1994ÔÇô95 where he captured everyone’s attention with his marvelous left foot. For the 1996ÔÇô97 season he was transferred to Club Nacional de Futbol. The following season, he was sold to Internazionale.


Recoba made his debut for Internazionale on the same day as Ronaldo (August 31, 1997), against Brescia in San Siro, scoring two goals in the last ten minutes of the match: one, a powerful 30-yard shot that flew past the keeper, the next, a free kick into the top corner after a Cristiano Doni foul. The goals allowed Internazionale to come back and win the match 2ÔÇô1. In the same season, he scored a lob from only a short distance into the opponent’s half.

Loan to Venezia

After two seasons with Internazionale, he was eventually loaned out to relegation-battling Venezia.[2] It was there that he proved he could play at the highest level, as he was involved in the majority of the goals that the Venice side scored during his time there; he scored 11 times and made 9 assists in 19 matches. His efforts helped Venezia escape relegation that season.

After his tenure at Venezia, which lasted less than one season, Recoba returned to Inter. In January 2001, he renewed his contract with the club until June 30, 2006. But during the same month he faced problems with a fake passport, losing the Italian nationality he received in 1999. He was punished with a one-year ban, which was later reduced to four months on appeal.[3]

Recoba has had other notable performances for Internazionale, an example being the 2004ÔÇô05 Serie A match against Sampdoria on January 9, 2005 in which he entered the game as a 32nd-minute substitute for Adriano. In the 42nd minute of the second half with Sampdoria leading 2ÔÇô0, he hit the post. He then fed the ball to Obafemi Martins who scored to bring Internazionale back into the game; this was followed three minutes later by an equaliser from Christian Vieri, and in the last minute of stoppage time, Recoba scored Internazionale’s third goal in six minutes to snatch a 3ÔÇô2 win.[4]

On March 16, 2007 Recoba confirmed to SKY Italia that he wanted to leave the team at the end of the 2006ÔÇô07 season citing lack of appearances with the first team. Though he did score 1 goal for the team including a goal direct from a corner [5] He was initially linked with Internazionale’s scudetto rivals A.S. Roma after he claimed that if the opportunity arose and Inter president Massimo Moratti approved he would join the capital club immediately.[6] On August 31, 2007 he was loaned to fellow Serie A club Torino F.C. where he rejoined Walter Novellino, his previous boss at Venezia.[7] He has played for Italian champions Internazionale in the Italian Serie A for ten seasons from 1997.


Recoba scored his first goal for the club in the second match of the season, a 1ÔÇô1 draw with Palermo, after a good combination between himself and Alessandro Rosina.[8] On December 19, 2007 Recoba gave a top-class performance against A.S. Roma in the Coppa Italia, scoring two excellent goals in Torino’s 3ÔÇô1 win.[9] However, his performances have been disappointing due to injuries and lack of playing time; he has not made the expected impact despite a good start and finished the season out of the starting formation.


Recoba signed for Panionios of the Greek Super League on the September 5, 2008, making him one of the clubs biggest signings in recent history. There he joined former Inter team mate and close friend Lampros Choutos as well as Uruguay national team player Fabi├ín Estoyanoff. He made his debut by the p.t. Fabio Martella against Aris on October 18, 2008 in a 2ÔÇô1 win for Panionios F.C. He proved his quality by assisting both goals for his teammates Maniatis and Gonzaga.[11] In his next match, he inspired Panionios to a 5ÔÇô2 away win against Ergotelis where he scored two goals, and dominated as an attacking midfielder with his brilliant passing skills. He finished the season with five goals and seven assists, though had several injury problems.

On June 9, 2009 Recoba agreed to remain at Panionios squad for the following season as well, thus fulfilling the original duration of his contract despite the fact that Lampros Choutos had left the team after having consecutive arguments with his former coach Ewald Lienen.

After being constantly injured and because of his very high wages, Recoba agreed to mutually rescind his contract with Greek club Panionios on Dec. 16, 2009. The club indicated that the meeting was friendly and they were honored by his association with their club despite his injury riddled career at Panionios.[12] On December 16, 2009 upon his request Panionios officials have released the Uruguayan attacking midfielder.

Back to Uruguay

After nine days without a club it was announced on December 24, 2009 that he would sign with Danubio F.C.[14] The former Uruguayan international has already played for Danubio from 1993 to 1995.

He signed for Nacional in July 2011. He appeared many games coming from the bench, but still proved to be a key player for the team winning the Torneo Apertura, both assisting and scoring. Most notably, he scored the second goal in the cl├ísico against Pe├▒arol (the game ended 2-1) by taking a penalty kick during stoppage time, thus allowing Nacional to pass Pe├▒arol in the tournament’s table, and he also scored the only goal in the last match against Liverpool.

During the Torneo Clausura he was able to start more games, and proved as important as in the Apertura, scoring the third and definitive goal of that tournament’s cl├ísico (ending 3-2).

He scored the only goal in the final game of 2011-12 Campeonato Uruguayo against Defensor Sporting Club on 16 June 2012.

International career

Recoba played for Uruguay at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and has earned over 50 caps for his country. His only goal at the tournament came against Senegal in Uruguay’s final group game, but it was not enough as the match finished in a 3ÔÇô3 draw and eliminated Uruguay in the first round.

In September 2005, he scored the winning goal against Argentina in a World Cup qualifier. This helped Uruguay qualify as South America’s fifth placed team and put them in position to play for the intercontinental playoff against Oceania champions Australia. However, Uruguay was unsuccessful in its bid for World Cup 2006; losing 4ÔÇô2 in a penalty shootout after a draw in aggregate score.

Despite the lack of appearances for Internazionale, he was again picked for the Uruguayan national team. This allowed Recoba to play in most of the Uruguay matches for which he was healthy. He scored his 12th goal with the Uruguayan national team in a 2ÔÇô1 victory on June 2, 2007 in a friendly match against Australia.

Recoba also played for Uruguay in Copa Am├®rica 2007. He made his debut on January 18, 1995 in a friendly match against Spain (2ÔÇô2) in the Estadio Riazor in La Coru├▒a, substituting Enzo Francescoli in the 65th minute.

Playing style

Recoba’s strengths are his dribbling, technique, pace and a strong, accurate left-foot shot. He is a free-kick specialist, and has scored goals of great quality, examples of which were his two goals on his debut with Inter. Recoba is known for being a player who could have been one of the world’s greatest, but always seemed to fall short because of his constant injuries. He was also for a period the highest paid football player in the world.[16]

He was perhaps summed up best in a 2003 Guardian article. The reporter commented that few, if any, have been born with Recoba’s ability; however, his mentality continues to fail him at the most crucial moments ÔÇô he continued by comparing Recoba with Real Madrid’s Raul, whom he stated has only half or even a quarter of Recoba’s ability and technique, but the mentality of a true champion. In a situation where Recoba loses his heart for the match, Raul’s mentality serves only to heighten his workrate and focus his skills.

UEFA Cup (1): 1997ÔÇô98
Coppa Italia (2): 2004ÔÇô05, 2005ÔÇô06
Supercoppa Italiana (2): 2005, 2006
Serie A (2): 2005ÔÇô06, 2006ÔÇô07
Uruguayan Primera Divisi├│n (1): 2011ÔÇô12


^ Contessa, Michele (January 13, 1999). “Recoba a Venezia: “Finalmente potro’ giocare”” (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
^ “Inter get Recoba back from ban”. World Soccer News. October 12, 2001. Retrieved April 11, 2004.
^ “Match centre”. F.C. Internazionale Milano. January 9, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
^ “I Would Move To Roma Immediately ÔÇô Recoba”. May 21, 2007. Archived from the original on March 28, 2008.
^ “Recoba bids farewell to Inter”. Football Italia. Channel 4. March 16, 2007. Archived from the original on March 19, 2007.
^ “Toro crowds hail Recoba”. Football Italia (Channel 4). September 1, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2008.[dead link]
^ “Palermo 1 ÔÇô 1 Torino”. Football Italia. Channel 4. September 16, 2007. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
^ “Coppa: Recoba breaks Roma”. Football Italia. Channel 4. December 19, 2007. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
^ “Novellino defends El Chino”. Football Italia. Channel 4. December 3, 2007. Archived from the original on February 4, 2008. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
^ “Recoba’s debute for Panionios FC”.
^ ╬æ╬¢╬▒╬║╬┐╬»╬¢¤ë¤â╬À
^ Recoba regresa a Danubio
^ “Don’t get discouraged”. Sports Illustrated. February 20, 2001. Retrieved June 13, 2008.

Culled from Wikipedia