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Jorge Luis Valdivia Toro (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxoɾxe ˈlwjs βalˈdjβja], born 19 October 1983) is a Chilean footballer who plays for Colo-Colo as a midfielder.

Jorge Valdivia
San Luis - Colo-Colo, 2018-04-08 - Jorge Valdivia - 01.jpg
Valdivia with Colo-Colo in 2018
Personal information
Full name Jorge Luis Valdivia Toro
Date of birth (1983-10-19) 19 October 1983 (age 35)
Place of birth Maracay, Venezuela[1]
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
1993–2002 Colo-Colo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Colo-Colo 40 (14)
2003U. de Concepción (loan) 30 (7)
2004Rayo Vallecano (loan) 5 (0)
2004Servette (loan) 9 (2)
2006–2008 Palmeiras 53 (11)
2008–2010 Al Ain 49 (18)
2010–2015 Palmeiras 82 (7)
2015–2017 Al Wahda 34 (8)
2017– Colo-Colo 31 (3)
National team
2003 Chile U20 2 (0)
2004 Chile U23 7 (0)
2004–2017 Chile 79 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 October 2018

Product of Colo-Colo youth ranks, Valdivia had an impressing loan spell at Universidad de Concepción during his debut season in 2003.[3] Then after another two loan spells in Europe,[4] he definitely joined Colo-Colo in 2005 winning one year later the Torneo Apertura title, before moving to Palmeiras.[5] Since joining Brazilian club, he spent seven years playing for Verdão — interrupted by his spell at Al Ain — and has appeared in more than 100 games, winning one Paulistão in 2008, a Copa do Brasil in 2012 and a Série B title in 2013.[6]

A Chilean international since the age of 20, he was an integral member of the 2015 Copa América winning squad (the first ever achieved by his national team in its history), having previously appeared in two past editions (2007 and 2011) and in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. During his years active, Valdivia has reached 7 goals in 73 caps.

He is considered one of the greatest playmakers in the Chilean football history[7] and has been praised by football legends like Pelé or Carlos Valderrama.[8][9] His figure is very prominent at Palmeiras recent history, where he is mostly a divisive figure, but more often considered to be an idol. He also enjoys great fame at Al Ain.

He is nicknamed "El Mago" due to his passing ability and skills.


Family and Early lifeEdit

He was born in Maracay, Venezuela, to Chilean parents Luis Valdivia and Elizabeth Toro. His father worked as a corresponsal at LAN airlines since 1974, reason which Jorge was born there in 1983.[10] In 1985, Valdivia family returned his homeland and moved to capital city Santiago. There they settled in the commune of La Florida.[1] Noteworthy, he was interested on baseball during his few years at Venezuela, and once in Chile, Valdivia began to develop a taste for football.

In 1993, Valdivia joined Colo-Colo’s football academy. He was promoted to first-adult team when he was nineteen. Nevertheless, he was demotivated by his teammates, like captain Marcelo Espina, complemented by the misbehavior outside the field, so he was loaned to Universidad de Concepción.[11]

Club careerEdit

In his first season at Concepción-based side, he impressed for his skills. There, Valdivia scored seven goals in 30 games. That allowed him to go on loan again, this time to La Liga side Rayo Vallecano,[12] where he only played five matches and failed to score a goal.

After another loan spell at Switzerland's Servette, Valdivia could have played for Boca Juniors, club that was willing to pay US$1.5 million dollars for him, but nevertheless the talks about the transfer didn't have success and, finally, he definitely returned to Colo-Colo.[13][14] Then, in 2006, he helped his club to achieve the Torneo Apertura, where once again he reached an impressive performance, which was polished by the coach in the age, Claudio Borghi.[15][16] Noteworthy, he highlighted in a team which had players like Chilean internationals Claudio Bravo, Matías Fernández and Humberto Suazo.

On 5 August 2006, Valdivia completed his move to Brazilian club Palmeiras for a US$3.5 million transfer fee. His signing was the club's most expensive transfer – in the age – for a foreign player.[17][18] After an unsuccessful season, he had a revitalizing 2007 where he reached four honours for his performances: Campeonato Paulista Most Valuable Player, Prêmio Craque do Brasileirão, Bola de Ouro and Troféu Mesa Redonda, that put him as the season's best playmaker of Brazilian football. His further consecration at the Verdão was the obtention of 2008 Campeonato Paulista title, where for his performances he came to cost US$40 dollars.

Valdivia with Al-Ain in 2008.

In mid-2008, it was reported that Valdivia joined United Arab Emirates' Al Ain in a 8 million deal for a two-year contract. At the Emirati club, he won the Etisalat Emirates Cup, President Cup and the Super Cup. There, he became a top idol in the history of the club, so much so that Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the club, offered him a lifetime contract (which Valdivia didn't sign).

During and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, there were persistent rumours about his possible return to Palmeiras, which finally occurred on 26 July following the agree between Al-Ain and São Paulo-based side for a €16 million deal.[19] In his presentation on 14 August, Valdivia was received by 15.000 fans at Estádio do Pacaembu. However, he was heavily criticized for his bad performances and for being out of shape; a topic that was recurrent during all his spell at the club.

On 25 June 2015, it was reported that Valdivia would return to United Arab Emirates to sign for Al-Wahda, after rejecting an offer from China’s Guangzhou Evergrande.[20][21] The player and the club reached a two-season contract and a US$2.8 million salary per year.[22]

International careerEdit

Born in Venezuela, Valdivia was eligible to play for the national team of either country.[23] However, he appeared with Chile's U20 in the 2003 South American Youth Championship, only making two appearances in a tournament which Chile finished last in the group stage.

He also represented his country in the 2004 Pre-Olympic Tournament — alongside players like Claudio Bravo, Jean Beausejour, Luis Pedro Figueroa or Mark González — where he had an impressive performance.[24] In June of that year, he earned his first senior cap for Chilean national team against Mexico.[25] Also that year he became part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying nominees under Juvenal Olmos as head coach, who choose him to play the Pre-Olympic. Nevertheless, Chile failed to qualify the World Cup.

Valdivia scored his first international goal for Chile in an exhibition match against Paraguay in Vina del Mar on 16 November 2006 during a 3–2 victory.[26]

In June 2007, Valdivia was chosen in Chile's Copa América squad, which they were eliminated in quarterfinals after a 6–1 thrash of Brazil.[27] However, before the game against Brazil, he alongside five players went on a spree and once leaked the press they received a 20-game ban from the federation (ANFP).[28] Then Nelson Acosta resigned as national team coach.[29]

A year and half later, he was re-considered by Marcelo Bielsa after calling-up him to a friendly game with Turkey on 5 August 2008.[30] One month later, on 7 September, Valdivia made his debut for the 2010 World Cup qualifying in a 3–0 loss with Brazil, which he was sent off for double-yellow card.[31] On 10 October 2009, he scored the last goal of the 4–2 win over Colombia at Medellín that finished Chile’s 12-year World Cup absence since 1998.[32]

Being a key player during qualification, he was selected in the 23-man World Cup roster and participated in the most of the preparatory games, scoring a goal even in a 3–0 win over Zambia in Calama.[33] However at the World Cup, he performed well despite of play as Second striker, highlighting his 35-yard though pass that broke Switzerland's defensive and allowed Esteban Paredes cross for Mark González header goal.[34] Then Chile was eliminated after losing again to Brazil.[35]


Valdivia in the match against Australia Australia for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

In January 2011, Bielsa left abruptly stepped down as coach following differences with the federation,[36] but Valdivia continued being considered in La Roja by Claudio Borghi, his former coach when he played in Colo-Colo. In June, he was included in the 23-man list to face the Copa América.[37] He made three starts of Chile's four games in the competition, which they were eliminated in quarterfinals by Venezuela (where Valdivia had a crossbar),[38] rival which only one-time Chile lost in its history.[39] However, Valdivia was included in the team of the tournament.[40] Months later in December 2011 before a 2014 World Cup qualifying game with Uruguay in Montevideo, he was involved in another scandal alongside Jean Beausejour, Gonzalo Jara, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Carmona after arriving 45-minutes later and intoxicated to the team's concentration at Juan Pinto Durán.[41] Then they received a 10-game ban and Valdivia once finished the punishment it wasn't be considered by Borghi during the qualifiers and friendlies.[42]

On 8 March 2013, after 16-months of the incident he was re-called by Jorge Sampaoli, including him in the call-up for the qualifying games against Peru and Uruguay.[43] His official re-debut was on 7 September against Venezuela in a 3–0 victory at Estadio Nacional.[44] On 15 October, following a 2–1 win over Ecuador, Chile reached its eight qualification to a World Cup and its first consecutively.[45] On 1 June 2014, Valdivia was selected in Chile squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[46] On 13 June, Valdivia scored his first World Cup goal during Chile's opening group match against Australia, netting the team's second goal in a 3–1 victory.[47] The following two group games he come as substitute against Spain and the Netherlands, didn't entering the field in the quarterfinals game against Brazil, which eliminated Chile on the penalties after 1–1 at Estádio Mineirão. The last fact motivated Valdivia to announce his international retirement, communicated via Twitter on 17 July 2014.[48][49][50] However, in November he backtracked his decision later on, and was called for friendly matches against Venezuela and Uruguay,[51] selling his re-debut with a goal and a brilliant performance in 5–0 win over the Venezuelans at Talcahuano.[52]

2015 Copa AméricaEdit

Participating in the most preparatory games prior the 2015 Copa América held in his country, he scored a goal against El Salvador (the game’s only one score at Rancagua)[53] and was included in the 23 man list to face the cup.[54] On 12 June, he was a starter in the Copa América opening game with Ecuador: a 2–0 victory for Chile.[55] The following group match with México, Valdivia was praised by the press for play the full 90 minutes, be trasendental in all Chile goals and for have scored a badly canceled goal during that 3–3 draw.[56][57][58] After another highlighting match in a 5–0 win over Bolivia where assisted Alexis Sánchez in Chile's second goal,[59] he was a key player in the 1–0 victory against Uruguay (defending champions)[60][61] for the quarterfinals, match remembered by the incident between Gonzalo Jara and the striker Edinson Cavani.[62] Following the semifinal’s triumph over Perú (2–1) that put Chile in a Copa América final after 28 years since 1987,[63] Valdivia was starter in the final with Argentina at the Estadio Nacional. However, he was replaced by Matías Fernández on 78th minute in a substitution before the extratime and the penalties, which infuriated him when he left the field.[64] Finally, Chile won 4–1 on the penalties and reached its history's first ever continental title.[65]

International matchesEdit

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Chilean model Daniela Aránguiz, with whom he has two children.



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  2. ^ Jorge Luís Valdivia Toro -
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External linksEdit