Franco Damián Vázquez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾaŋko ðaˈmjam ˈbaskes]; born 22 February 1989) is an Argentine footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Spanish club Sevilla and the Argentina national team.
Vázquez with Italy in 2015
|Full name||Franco Damián Vázquez|
|Date of birth||22 February 1989|
|Place of birth||Tanti, Argentina|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2012–2013||→ Rayo Vallecano (loan)||18||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:09, 15 March 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 8 September 2018
Vázquez began his career with Argentine club Belgrano in 2007, before moving to Italian side Palermo in 2011. After a brief loan spell in Spain with Rayo Vallecano during the 2012–13 season, he made his breakthrough with the Sicilian club, earning a transfer to La Liga side Sevilla in 2016.
Vázquez holds both Argentine and Italian nationality as his mother was born in Italy. Internationally, he played for Italy in two friendly matches in 2015, but later declared his intention to represent his birth nation and debuted for Argentina in 2018.
Nicknamed "El Mudo" ("The Mute") due to his introversion in his youth, Vázquez began his career at Argentine club Belgrano, with whom he debuted in 2007 and then became a mainstay at the club, achieving interest from a number of Italian clubs (the first being Parma in 2010) as a consequence.
In August 2011, Vázquez was heavily linked with a move to Italian side Palermo as a replacement for fellow Argentine Javier Pastore. The move, effective from January 2012, was confirmed on 1 September 2011 for a €4.53 million transfer fee. He officially joined the Palermo squad on 29 December 2011, then debuted on 8 January in a match against Napoli. He made a total 14 appearances (mostly as a substitute) and scored no goals.
Rayo Vallecano (loan)Edit
On 24 August 2012, Vázquez moved on loan to La Liga club Rayo Vallecano. He mostly played as a substitute and failed to make a breakthrough in the first team squad, not being signed permanently by the club at the end of the season and therefore returning to Palermo.
Return to PalermoEdit
Vázquez was originally kept out of the squad list by head coach Gennaro Gattuso and therefore ineligible to play in any matches for the first half of the 2013–14 Serie B season. However, he was reincluded into the first team roster by new boss Giuseppe Iachini later in January 2014 as a replacement to on-loan youngster Valerio Verre. Vázquez was then being used also as a second striker in a more regular basis, a role that gave him the opportunity to score goals. In the following 2014–15 Serie A campaign, Vázquez gained notoriety thanks to him forming a successful and effective striking partnership with Paulo Dybala, which saw them both finish the season as two of the top assist providers in the league, with ten assists. On 16 January 2015, he agreed a contract extension with Palermo lasting until 30 June 2019. On 15 May 2016, he scored in a 3–2 home win over Hellas Verona to help save Palermo from relegation at the conclusion of the 2015–16 Serie A season.
On 16 July 2016, Vázquez returned to Spain's top flight, joining Sevilla for a reported €15 million transfer fee. On 9 August, in his first official appearance for his new club, he scored in a 3–2 extra-time defeat to Real Madrid in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup. On 20 August, he scored and assisted on his La Liga debut in a 6–4 home victory over Espanyol.
A dual Argentine Italian citizen, Vázquez had declared he was uncertain about whether to accept the possible upcoming call-up from Italy in 2014. Later in January 2015, he stated he would likely accept a call-up from then-Italy head coach Antonio Conte, in part because of the heavy competition for a spot on the Argentina national team. However, he later accepted the call, and then regretted it, declaring instead his intentions to represent Argentina. Vázquez has appeared in two international matches for Italy, both friendlies and therefore remains eligible to play for La Albiceleste.
On 21 March 2015, Vázquez received his first Italian national team call-up for a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Bulgaria and a friendly match against England. Italy head coach Antonio Conte was criticised for calling up Argentine-born Vázquez as well as Brazilian-born Éder. Speaking at a Serie A meeting on 23 March 2015, Roberto Mancini said, "The Italian national team should be Italian. An Italian player deserves to play for the national team while someone who wasn't born in Italy, even if they have relatives, I don't think they deserve to." Conte's response to the use of foreign-born players was, "If Mauro Camoranesi [who was born in Argentina] was allowed to help Italy win the 2006 World Cup, then why can't Éder and Franco Vázquez lead the Azzurri to glory in next year's European Championship?"
Vázquez made his international debut in Italy's 1–1 friendly draw against England at Juventus Stadium in Turin on 31 March 2015, coming on as a substitute for fellow oriundo Éder. He made his second appearance for Italy later that year, as a substitute in a 1–0 friendly defeat to Portugal, on 16 June.
In August 2016, Vázquez declared his wish to represent his country of birth, Argentina, at international level, instead of Italy. In August 2018, Vázquez was called up by Argentina for their September friendlies. On 7 September 2018, Vázquez made his debut with Argentina in a 3–0 win over Guatemala, as he came on as a 56th minute substitute.
Style of playEdit
Vázquez is a quick, talented and mobile left-footed player, who, despite not being particularly fast, possesses good vision and passing ability, as well as excellent dribbling skills and technique, which makes him an effective assist provider. During the 2014–15 Serie A season, he was one of the top assist providers in the league with ten assists. In addition to his creative abilities, he is also capable of contributing with goals, due to his accurate striking ability from distance. A versatile and hard-working player, he is usually deployed as an attacking midfielder, although he has been deployed in several positions: he has been used as a winger, as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield, as a false 9, and as a second forward. His playing style has drawn comparisons with Javier Pastore, Alessandro Del Piero, and Roberto Baggio.
- As of 14 March 2019
|Rayo Vallecano (loan)||La Liga||2012–13||18||3||1||0||–||–||19||3|
- "Franco Vázquez : 1989 - Argentina" (in Italian). Generazione di Talenti. August 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- "Palermo, Vazquez apre alla Nazionale: "Mia mamma è di Padova..."". Gazzetta (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
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- "Vazquez da record, solo Cristiano Ronaldo meglio del Mudo" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Vincenzo D'Angelo (5 February 2015). "Palermo, "Vazquez era sempre 'mudo', la svolta dopo due anni, come in Sicilia"" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Un Palermo Che Investe" [A Pakernib That Invests] (in Italian). ilpalermocalcio.it. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
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- "Sevilla sign Franco Vazquez from Palermo". Eurosport. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
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- "Serie A Palermo, Vazquez: "Giocare per l'Italia? Decisione difficile"" [Serie A Palermo, Vázquez: "Playing for Italy? Tough decision"] (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Le promesse di Franco Vazquez: "Rimango a Palermo e accetto di giocare per l'Italia"" [The promises of Franco Vázquez: "I'm staying at Palermo and I accept playing for Italy"] (in Italian). Giornale di Sicilia. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "Nazionale, Conte chiama Eder, Vazquez e Valdifiori per Bulgaria e Inghilterra" [National team, Conte calls up Éder, Vázquez and Valdifiori for Bulgaria and England] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Italy 1-1 England". BBC Sport. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Portugal hand Antonio Conte first defeat as Italy coach in friendly". ESPN FC. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Vazquez closes to Italy". Football Italia. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Lista de convocados de Lionel Scaloni". AFA (in Spanish). 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "Live International Footy – Argentina vs Guatemala – Live Score: Latest updates and commentary from international friendly fixture". thesun.co.uk. 8 September 2018.
- "Belotti: "Vazquez ha una tecnica sopraffina. Dybala? Ha trovato la giusta serenità"" (in Italian). Media Gol. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Fabio Riva (17 February 2015). "Calciomercato, Juventus, sotto osservazione Franco Vazquez del Palermo" (in Italian). Tutto Sport. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Andrea Tabacco (19 September 2015). "Vazquez a San Siro con il Palermo: ecco il trequartista che servirebbe al Milan" (in Italian). Eurosport. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Zamparini: 'Vazquez like Baggio'". Football Italia. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Palermo – Torino è anche Vazquez contro El Kaddouri: al Barbera è di casa la fantasia" (in Italian). Toro News. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Live, Rigoni: "Franco Vazquez, che assist hai fatto?! Palermo, continuiamo così e portiamo via i tre punti all'Udinese"" (in Italian). Media Gol. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Roberto Pinna (17 February 2015). "Fantacalcio, da Vazquez a Pogba e Vidal. Gli specialisti da fuori area" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Marco Gori (12 December 2010). "Sampdoria, occhi su Vazquez" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Vazquez: 'I enjoy False 9 role'". Football Italia. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Simone Negri (13 February 2014). "Vazquez, il jolly del Palermo: "Il nuovo ruolo mi piace"" (in Italian). Palermo Calcio. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Francesco Cammuca (28 September 2011). "Vazquez, dove inserirlo?" (in Italian). Palermo 24. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Genoa e Napoli: Lotta per Franco Vazquez" (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Iachini: 'Tra Tevez e Dybala scelgo il secondo. Vazquez come Baggio e Del Piero'" (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- "F. Vázquez". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Vazquez, Franco Damian" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Palermo's Smiling Assassin Pablo Dybala Smiling All The Way To Superstardom". beINSports.tv. Retrieved 16 February 2015.