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Miguel Ángel Almirón Rejala (born 10 February 1994) is a Paraguayan footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Newcastle United and the Paraguay national team.

Miguel Almirón
2018-08-19 - Atlanta United - Miguel Almirón.jpg
Almirón with Atlanta United in 2018
Personal information
Full name Miguel Ángel Almirón Rejala
Date of birth (1994-02-10) 10 February 1994 (age 25)
Place of birth Asunción, Paraguay
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Newcastle United
Number 24
Youth career
2008–2012 Cerro Porteño
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2015 Cerro Porteño 39 (6)
2015–2016 Lanús 35 (3)
2017–2019 Atlanta United 62 (21)
2019– Newcastle United 12 (0)
National team
2010 Paraguay U17 10 (1)
2012–2013 Paraguay U20 16 (2)
2015– Paraguay 19 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:27, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 June 2019

He began his career at Cerro Porteño and transferred to Lanús in 2015. After winning the 2016 Argentine Primera División, he signed for Atlanta United FC for $8 million. He was named in the MLS Best XI for both of his seasons in Major League Soccer, as well as MLS Newcomer of the Year for 2017. After helping Atlanta to the MLS Cup 2018 he signed for Newcastle for £21 million, a club record and the highest fee for an MLS player.

Almirón made his international debut for Paraguay in 2015 and represented the country at the Copa América in 2016 and 2019.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Almirón grew up in an impoverished family where his father worked 18-hour shifts as a security guard and his mother worked in a supermarket. The seven members of his household slept in three bedrooms, and he had to share a bed with his mother until he was 18.[1]

Club careerEdit

Almirón began his career with Cerro Porteño.

LanúsEdit

In August 2015, Almirón signed for Club Atlético Lanús in the Argentine Primera División.[2] Introduced slowly in his first season by Lanús manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Almirón came to the forefront the next season in the shortened 2016 Argentine Primera División under Jorge Almirón. Playing as an advanced central midfielder, Almirón was pivotal in Lanús' 2016 Argentine Primera División title win, scoring key goals against local rivals Banfield in the Clásico del Sur,[3] and later in the final against San Lorenzo.[4] A few months later, in August 2016, Almirón set-up the only goal in Lanús' Copa Bicentenario victory over Racing.[5]

Atlanta UnitedEdit

 
Almirón celebrating a goal with Atlanta United on 2 June 2018

On 5 December 2016, Almirón signed with the new Major League Soccer expansion team Atlanta United.[6] He joined as a "Young Designated Player"[7] and Atlanta paid a transfer fee of around $8 million to Lanús.[8]

Almirón was an important figure in Atlanta United's first season, described as the "heartbeat" of the team by veteran teammate Jeff Larentowicz.[9] On 12 March, Almirón scored his first goals for the club, notching a brace in the club's second game, a 6–1 victory over fellow MLS newcomers Minnesota United.[10] He scored the second hat-trick in club history on 20 May against the Houston Dynamo, and scored two goals a week later against New York City FC.[11] Almirón joined teammates Greg Garza and Michael Parkhurst in the MLS All-Star Game on 2 August,[12] and topped the league's list of 24 players under the age of 24, released on 28 September.[13] During the regular season, Almirón was named to seven Teams of the Week by Major League Soccer, and was named Player of the Week twice.[14][15][16] At the end of the season, he was named to the league's Best XI[17] and was named Newcomer of the Year.[18]

In April 2018, Almirón was named MLS Player of the Month for his five goals and two assists as Atlanta went unbeaten with three wins and a draw.[19] With 12 goals and 14 assists, he was again named in the MLS Best XI, alongside teammate Josef Martínez.[20] Atlanta won MLS Cup 2018 against the Portland Timbers in only their second season of existence, and Almirón was named in the Team of the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.[21]

Newcastle UnitedEdit

On 31 January 2019, Almirón joined Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee on a five-and-a-half year deal.[22] The transfer fee is believed to be around £21 million, a club record fee,[23] and a record for an MLS player.

He made his Premier League debut on 11 February in a 1–1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, playing the final 18 minutes in place of Christian Atsu.[24] Fans and media likened Almirón to Santiago Muñez, a fictional Newcastle player from the film Goal! who also originated from Latin America and moved to St James' Park via the United States.[25][26][1]

During a match against Southampton on 20 April, he was tackled by James Ward-Prowse and suffered a hamstring injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.[27]

International careerEdit

Almirón played for the Paraguay under-20 national team in the 2013 South American Youth Football Championship in Argentina, and was highly involved as his team finished second to Colombia.[28][29] Later that year, he was called up for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, where Paraguay reached the last 16.[30]

On 5 September 2015, Almirón made his senior international debut in a 3–2 friendly loss away to Chile, playing the final nine minutes in place of Jonathan Fabbro.[31] Manager Ramón Díaz called him up the following May for the Copa América Centenario in the United States, where he started two matches in a group-stage exit.[32]

In March 2019, in a friendly against Mexico at Levi's Stadium, Almirón came on as a substitute. Seven minutes later, he received a straight red card for a foul on José Juan Vázquez in which he dragged his studs down the back of the opponent's leg.[33]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 4 March 2019[34][35]
Club Season League Domestic Cup [a] League Cup [b] International [c] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cerro Porteño 2013 Primera División 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
2014 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 15 0
2015 19 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 20 5
Total 39 6 0 0 0 0 2 0 41 6
Lanús 2015 Primera División 10 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 14 1
2016 13 3 2 0 0 0 2 0 17 3
2016–17 12 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
Total 35 3 5 0 0 0 5 1 45 4
Atlanta United 2017 MLS 30 9 1 0 1 0 0 0 32 9
2018 32 12 1 0 5 1 0 0 38 13
Total 62 21 2 0 6 1 0 0 70 22
Newcastle United 2018–19 Premier League 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Total 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Career total 146 30 7 0 6 1 7 1 166 32

InternationalEdit

As of 9 June 2019[36]
Paraguay
Year Apps Goals
2015 1 0
2016 6 0
2017 5 0
2018 2 0
2019 3 0
Total 17 0

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Cole, Jackson (8 February 2019). "Miguel Almiron says he dreams of 'achieving something big' with Newcastle United". Talksport. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Lanús acordó la incorporación del volante Miguel Almirón" (in Spanish). ESPN. 31 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Con personalidad". Olé (in Spanish). 29 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Campeón de punta a punta: Lanús goleó a San Lorenzo 4-0 y desató la fiesta en el Monumental". La Nación (in Spanish). 29 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Racing Club vs. Lanús 0 - 1". Soccerway. 14 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Almiron signs with Atlanta United". Atlanta United FC (Twitter).
  7. ^ Volcano, Carlos. "Atlanta United sign Paraguay international Miguel Almiron - Tribal Football". Tribal Football.
  8. ^ "Atlanta United completes signing of Paraguay star Miguel Almiron". ESPN FC.
  9. ^ Schwin, Payson (24 September 2017). "Atlanta United brace for bad injury news about "heartbeat" Miguel Almiron". MLS Soccer.
  10. ^ Roberson, Doug (13 March 2017). "Atlanta United 6, Minnesota United 1: 5 observations". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  11. ^ Schwin, Payson (21 May 2017). "Miguel Almiron obliges coach's request to shoot more, nets a hat trick". MLS Soccer.
  12. ^ Schwin, Payson (30 July 2017). "Atlanta United celebrates first year with three All-Star picks". MLS Soccer.
  13. ^ "Miguel Almirón ranked #1 in MLS 24 Under 24 List". Atlanta United. 28 September 2017.
  14. ^ Boehm, Charles (22 May 2017). "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 12): Superstars, and Men in Red, shine". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  15. ^ Stejskal, Sam (23 May 2017). "Miguel Almiron wins Alcatel MLS Player of the Week for Week 12". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  16. ^ Stejskal, Sam (30 May 2017). "Miguel Almiron wins second straight Alcatel MLS Player of the Week". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  17. ^ a b "2017 MLS Best XI revealed: Who was the best in 2017?". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b Boehm, Charles (20 November 2017). "Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron named 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron wins April MLS Player of the Month". Major League Soccer. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  20. ^ a b "2018 MLS Best XI". Major League Soccer. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  21. ^ Boehm, Charles (11 December 2018). "Team of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs: Who made the postseason Best XI?". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  22. ^ Easterby, Tom (31 January 2019). "Magpies complete Almirón signing". Newcastle United Football Club. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Newcastle break their transfer record to sign playmaker Miguel Almiron". 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  24. ^ Waugh, Chris (12 February 2019). "Miguel Almiron debut watch: How playmaker's pace, flair and workrate whet appetite of Newcastle fans". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  25. ^ Edwards, Luke (31 January 2019). "Miguel Almiron's Newcastle move is like a film plot but he will have to write his own scripts". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  26. ^ Musgroves, Andrew (25 February 2019). "As Newcastle fans compare Miguel Almiron to Santiago Munez - here's how the Magpies won the race to film Goal". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Miguel Almiron: Newcastle midfielder out for season with hamstring injury". BBC Sport. 24 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Convocados para el Suda" (in Spanish). D10. 2 January 2013.
  29. ^ "Paraguay es subcampeón" (in Spanish). D10. 4 February 2013.
  30. ^ "Sub 20: Convocados de Paraguay" (in Spanish). ESPN. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Chile con tanto de Alexis Sánchez venció 3-2 a Paraguay en Santiago" (in Spanish). RPP. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Paraguay reveals Copa America Centenario final roster". Sports Illustrated. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  33. ^ McCormick, Sean (27 March 2019). "Newcastle United star Miguel Almiron sent off for Paraguay after horror challenge against Mexico". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  34. ^ https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/miguel-almiron
  35. ^ "Miguel Almiron Soccer Stats - Season & Career Statistics". www.foxsports.com. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Almirón, Miguel". National Football Teams. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  37. ^ a b "Almirón y Roque, los mejores del 2018". ABC Color (in Spanish). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  38. ^ "Bradley, Giovinco to represent TFC at MLS All-Star game - Sportsnet.ca". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  39. ^ "2018 MLS All-Star Roster". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 31 July 2018.

External linksEdit