Giovanny Espinoza

Giovanny Patricio Espinoza Pabón (born 12 April 1977) is a retired Ecuadorian footballer who played as a defender.

Giovanny Espinoza
Personal information
Full name Giovanny Patricio Espinoza Pabón
Date of birth (1977-04-12) 12 April 1977 (age 44)
Place of birth Ibarra, Ecuador
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s) Central defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Aucas 137 (3)
2001–2002 Monterrey 6 (0)
2002 Aucas 24 (3)
2003–2006 LDU Quito 144 (9)
2007–2008 Vitesse Arnhem 27 (0)
2008–2009 Cruzeiro 25 (1)
2009 Barcelona SC 15 (0)
2009–2010 Birmingham City 0 (0)
2010–2012 Unión Española 32 (0)
2012–2013 Deportivo Quito 42 (0)
Total 452 (16)
National team
2000–2009 Ecuador 90 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

His strong physique and speed helped his old club side LDU Quito win two league championships in 2001 and 2004. His nickname is La Sombra, which translates as "the shadow", because of his size, he creates large shadows.

In the 2006 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Espinoza was nominated for a place in FIFA's ideal 11, which rewards the top players in each position.

On 25 January 2007, Giovanny Espinoza was transferred from LDU Quito to Vitesse. There he has to replace Ruud Knol. He signed for one-a-half-year until June 2008. On 10 February 2007, he made his Eredivisie debut for Vitesse against SC Heerenveen.[1] The following match, he made his first appearance at home in a 0–0 draw against Roda JC, coming on as a substitute in the 66th minute for Colin van Mourik.[2] The following season, he became a regular starter.

On 14 January 2008, Espinoza was signed by Brazilian club Cruzeiro. He captained of the side and showed some very impressive displays and leadership on the field.[3] There were many rumors swirling around in late 2008, some had Espinoza signing with Argentinian struggling giants, River Plate and that unspecified English teams were also on the hunt for La Sombra. On 15 January 2009, it was confirmed that Espinoza would be playing for Barcelona Sporting Club and that his presence was asked by the head coach Benito Floro. His final club was Deportivo Quito.[4]

Birmingham CityEdit

In June 2009, Espinoza's agent claimed that a fee had been agreed for the player to move to English Premier League club Birmingham City, and the parties were only awaiting final paperwork for the deal to be completed.[5] The two-year deal was confirmed on 24 June 2009,[6][7] where he will play alongside compatriot Christian Benítez. Espinoza was an unused substitute in the league game against Stoke City on 22 August 2009,[8] and made his Birmingham debut three days later, playing the whole of the 2–1 second round League Cup win away against Southampton.[9] On 12 January 2010 his contract with Birmingham was cancelled by mutual consent, having only made two League Cup appearances for the club.[10]

Unión EspañolaEdit

In 2010, Giovanny Espinoza signed for Unión Española for a contract of three years.

Deportivo QuitoEdit

In January 2012, he signed a contract with Deportivo Quito for the 2012 season.

International careerEdit

He was named in the Ecuador national side for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. He currently is the seventh highest capped player for his country behind Luis Capurro with 100 caps. He made his international debut in 1996 just a week after his 19th birthday in a World Cup qualification match where Ecuador beat Peru 4–1.

Espinoza and Hurtado together hold the international record for the longest unbroken pairing in the position of centre half – they have played the last 65 games together, dating back to 1999. This is partly due to South American nations playing more international qualification matches than any other region. In the 2006 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Espinoza was nominated for a place in FIFA's ideal 11, which rewards the top players in each position. He was also included in Ecuador's squad for the 2001, 2004, and 2007 Copas America.


  1. ^ "Tactical Formation". Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  2. ^ "Compact Roda JC houdt Vitesse op 0-0". BN De Stem (in Dutch). 17 February 2007.
  3. ^ .::. Todo sobre el fútbol ecuatoriano :: Noticias
  4. ^ "Giovanny Espinoza". 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  5. ^ Walker, Andy (9 June 2009). "Birmingham City agree to sign defender". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Blues land Espinoza". Birmingham City F.C. 24 June 2009. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Birmingham sign Hart and Espinoza". BBC Sport. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  8. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (22 August 2009). "Birmingham 0–0 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  9. ^ Tattum, Colin (26 August 2009). "Alex McLeish has praised the performance of Christian Benitez at Southampton". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Espinoza Leaves Blues". Birmingham City F.C. 12 January 2010. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.

External linksEdit