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Sergio Germán Romero (born 22 February 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for English club Manchester United and the Argentina national team.

Sergio Romero
Sergio Romero (ManUtd).jpg
Romero playing for Manchester United in 2016
Personal information
Full name Sergio Germán Romero[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-22) 22 February 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth Bernardo de Irigoyen, Argentina
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Manchester United
Number 20
Youth career
1996–1997 Almirante Brown
1997–2003 CAI
2003–2006 Racing Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Racing Club 5 (0)
2007–2011 AZ 90 (0)
2011–2015 Sampdoria 71 (0)
2013–2014 Monaco (loan) 3 (0)
2015– Manchester United 6 (0)
National team
2007–2008 Argentina U20 23 (0)
2009– Argentina 88 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:52, 17 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:01, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

He made his debut with Racing Club in the Argentine Primera División in 2007 and then transferred to Dutch club AZ at the end of the season. He won the Eredivisie in 2009 and two years later joined Italian side Sampdoria. In 2013, he joined Monaco on a season-long loan spell. He joined Manchester United in July 2015.

Romero is the most capped goalkeeper in the history of the Argentine national team,[3] playing over 80 times since his debut in 2009. He has represented Argentina at two World Cups and at three Copa América tournaments, finishing as runner-up in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, as well as in the 2015 and the 2016 Copa América tournaments. He also was part of their team which won gold at the 2008 Olympics.

Contents

Club careerEdit

Racing ClubEdit

Born in Bernardo de Irigoyen, Argentina, Romero began his youth career at Almirante Brown and CAI before joining Racing Club.[4]

Romero passed from the youth to the first team of Racing Club in 2006, making his debut in the Argentine Primera División.[5] Romero appeared in the substitute bench throughout the 2005 season.[4] Throughout the 2006 season, he continued to be in the substitute bench. Despite this, he signed his first professional contract with the club.[4]

In the 2007 season, Romero found himself competing the first choice goalkeeper role with José Luis Martínez Gullotta.[6] Romero made his Racing Club debut of Matchday 1 of orneo Apertura, in a 1–1 draw against Nueva Chicago.[7] However, in the following match, Romero lost his first choice goalkeeper role to Gustavo Campagnuolo and spent two months on the sidelined.[8] Weeks after signing for AZ when he moved in the summer, Romero made his first appearancein two months on 14 April 2007 against CA Colón, in a 1–1 draw; followed up by another appearance on 22 April 2007, in a 3–3 draw against Belgrano.[9][10] After Campagnuolo suffered an injury, Romero made his last appearance for the club on 17 June 2007, in a 4–2 win over Godoy Cruz.[11][12]

AZEdit

It was announced on 24 March 2007 that Romero signed for AZ, managed by Louis van Gaal, when he joined up the club on 1 July.[13] There, Romero was expected to fight for the first choice goalkeeper role with Boy Waterman[14]

Due to an injury to first-choice goalkeeper Waterman, Romero made his Eredivisie debut on 30 September 2007 against Heracles Almelo, but his debut went disastrous when he conceded a penalty, resulting in a 2–1 loss.[15] In his second meeting of the season against Twente on 23 February 2008, he kept his first clean sheet for the side, in a 0–0.[16] From that moment on, Romero eventually becoming a regular as the team came 11th.

In 2008–09, Romero established himself as a first choice goalkeeper at AZ following the departure of Waterman to ADO Den Haag.[17] Romero kept a 950-minute clean sheet for AZ from November 2008 to February 2009.[18][19] While keeping a clean sheet, Romero signed a contract with the club, keeping him until 2012.[20] However, on 5 March 2009, he made a mistake which allowed NAC Breda's Nourdin Boukhari to score for a 2–1 defeat in the quarter-finals of the KNVB Cup; he responded after the match by punching the door and walls of his team's changing room, breaking bones in his hand and ruling himself out at a crucial stage of the season.[21] While on the sidelined, AZ won the Eredivisie in the 2008–09 season.[22] He returned on 26 April 2009 after Joey Didulica got injured in a clash with Luis Suárez and played 16 minutes, in a 1-1 draw.[23] At the end of the 2008–09 season, Romero went on to make 31 appearances in all competitions.

In the 2009–10 season, marked the departure of Van Gaal to Bayern Munich and Romero was linked a move away from AZ, with Juventus and Bayern Munich keen on signing him, but stayed at the club throughout the summer.[24][25] In the Johan Cruyff Shield, Romero started the season well when he helped AZ win 5–1 against Heerenveen to win the title.[26] As he continued to be a first choice goalkeeper, Romero made his UEFA Champions League on Matchday 1 of the Group Stage, in a 1–0 loss against Olympiacos.[27] However, a week later, he suffered a knee injury that sidelined for a week.[28] A week later, he returned to the first team from injury on 3 October 2009, in a 1–0 win over NAC Breda.[29] However, in a 1–0 win over Sparta Rotterdam on 21 March 2010, Romero suffered an injury in the first half and was substituted as a result.[30] Following this, it was announced that he would be out of the season, putting his place in the World Cup in doubt.[31] At the end of the 2009–10 season, Romero went on to make 36 appearances in all competitions despite injuries.

In the 2010–11 season, Romero missed the start of the season, due to international commitment and injury.[32][33] It wasn't until on 19 September 2010 when he made his first appearance of the season, in a 1–0 win over NEC.[34] Eleven days later, on 30 September 2010, Romero made his UEFA Europa League debut, in a 4–1 loss against BATE Borisov in the Group Stage.[35] However, by February, Romero was out of the first team for the second time this season, due to international commitment[36] and ankle injury.[37] After spending a month on the sidelined, Romero returned to the first team from injury on 2 April 2011, in a 1–0 win over Feyenoord.[38] At the end of the 2010–11 season, Romero went on to make 31 appearances in all competitions.

In the 2011–12 season, Romero was criticised by manager Gertjan Verbeek for his unprofessional attitude after failing to return to the club following the conclusion of Copa América.[39] As a result, Romero was dropped from the squad at AZ until the transfer window finished.[40]

SampdoriaEdit

 
Romero pictured during his time at Sampdoria in 2012.

On 22 August 2011, Romero was signed by Sampdoria for €2.1 million on a 4-year contract,[41][42] who had been relegated the previous season to Serie B. Upon joining the club, Romero said his aim is to help the club reach promotion to Serie A.[43]

Romero made his debut four days later at home against Padova in the opening match of the season, in a 2–2 draw.[44] Despite being a first team regular, Romero missed several matches by the first half of the season, due to international commitment,[45][46][47] as well as, injury and suspension.[48][49] Romero managed to regain his first choice goalkeeper role until he suffered injuries around April.[50][51] The season ended with Sampdoria in sixth place, and after victories over Sassuolo and Varese 1910 in the playoffs, which he played once, due to his own international commitment, they earned promotion to Serie A.[52][53] In his first season at Sampdoria, Romero finished his first season, making 30 appearances in all competitions.

In his second season at Sampdoria, Romero continued to remain a first choice goalkeeper this season following the injury of second choice goalkeeper, Angelo da Costa Júnior.[54] Romero then made his Serie A debut, in the opening match of the season, where he kept a clean sheet, in a 1–0 win over A.C. Milan.[55] But in a match against Parma on 21 October 2012, Romero was sent-off in the 34th minute for conceding a penalty, in a 2–1 loss.[56] At the end of the 2012–13 season, Romero went on to make 33 appearances in all competitions despite appearing on the substitute for the last three remaining league matches amid to rumors of leaving the club.[57] However, this was denied by Romero, who stated that he is committed to stay at the club.[58][59]

For the 2013–14 season, Romero was loaned to Monaco of Ligue 1.[60][61] Romero later reflected his move to Monaco, stating that he doesn't make regret his choices.[62] Romero made his AS Monaco debut, in the third round of Coupe da La League, in a 1–0 loss against Stade de Reims on 30 October 2013.[63] It wasn't until on 12 April 2014 when he made his league debut, in a 1–0 win over Rennes.[64] Second choice behind Danijel Subašić, he played three league matches as the team finished as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain, but was first choice in the cup competitions, playing six times.[65]

 
Romero pictured before the meeting of Serie A, Siena-Sampdoria on 20 January 2013.

After his return to Sampdoria, he was most often the backup to Emiliano Viviano.[66] But following Viviano's injury, Romero had an opportunity when he made his first appearance on 19 October 2014, in a 2–2 draw against Cagliari Calcio.[67][68] Romero had a handful of first team opportunities playing throughout 2014 until Viviano return in early-2015.[69] In the January transfer window, Romero's lack of first team opportunities, prompted him to leave the club in January, but this never happened.[70] From that moment on, Romero returned as a second choice goalkeeper and never played again, as he appeared on the substitute bench, as well as, injury.[71] At the end of the 2014–15 season, Romero went on to make eleven appearances in all competitions.

Following this, Romero was released by the club at the end of the 2014–15 season when his contract came to an end, which he confirmed his release on 6 June 2015.[72] It came after when the club allowed Romero to leave the club at the end of the season.[73]

Manchester UnitedEdit

 
Romero and Paul Pogba ahead of the match against Feyenoord ahead of a UEFA Europa League on 24 November 2016.

On 27 July 2015, Manchester United completed the signing of Romero on a free transfer. He penned a three-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year, and reunited with his former AZ manager Louis van Gaal.[74] Upon joining the club, Romero was given a number 20 shirt, quoting about the shirt: "There was a misunderstanding between myself and the manager, Van Gaal. He asked me what squad number I wanted, and I said 22. But he must have thought I'd said 21 because he told me if I wanted that number, I would have to go and speak with Ander Herrera. Anyway, it turned out Nick Powell had recently changed to 22, so I just said that no.20 would do fine."[75]

With David de Gea withdrawn from the squad amidst transfer speculation, and Víctor Valdés out of favour with manager Van Gaal, Romero made his Premier League debut on 8 August 2015 as the season opened with a 1–0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.[76] His distribution was described as "nervy" but produced two crucial saves that helped United win the match.[77] He did not concede in his first three league matches for United.[78] After de Gea failed to leave the club in the summer he returned to the first team, which resulted in Romero becoming the second choice goalkeeper. Despite this, Romero was first choice in cup competitions.[79]

In his second season at Manchester United, Romero continued to be the first choice goalkeeper in cup competitions, including the club's Europa League campaign, which new manager José Mourinho explained that he deserved to play in.[80] Romero kept his first clean sheet of the season on 29 September 2016, in a 1–0 win over Zorya Luhansk.[81] Romero's performance in a 4–0 win over Feyenoord was praised by pundits.[82] Following this, Romero kept three more clean sheets in the UEFA Europa League matches, in which he kept two in both legs against Saint-Étienne.[83][84] In the second leg of a match against Rostov, Romero made a crucial save from Christian Noboa’s free-kick , which helped Manchester United progress to the next round.[85] Romero rejected a move back to his homeland with Boca Juniors in the January transfer window.[86] Romero played in the 2017 Europa League final in which he kept a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory over Ajax.

International careerEdit

Youth careerEdit

Romero represented Argentina at the 2007 South American Youth Championship in Paraguay and at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada where on 8 August 2007 Romero was first included in the Argentine selection for a friendly match against Norway and against Australia, which Argentina also went on to win.[87][88][89]

After being called up Sergio Batista for the Olympics, He replaced injured Oscar Ustari at the 2008 Summer Olympics football tournament.[90][91] Prior to that, Romero played in the 2006 Toulon Tournament, where they were eliminated in the Group Stage.[92]

 
Mario Götze scoring the winning goal for Germany as defenders Ezequiel Garay (left), Martín Demichelis (centre) and Romero look on during the 2014 World Cup Final.

Senior careerEdit

 
Romero in action against Portugal on 9 February 2011.

Romero was called up to the full senior side by then coach Diego Maradona debuting on 9 September 2009 in a 1–0 FIFA World Cup qualifying loss against Paraguay[93][94] and playing in the win against Uruguay in Montevideo that saw Argentina qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[95] He played in all five of Argentina's World Cup matches which ended at the quarter-final stage. During in which, Romero found himself competing the first choice goalkeeper role with Juan Pablo Carrizo.[96]

Prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Romero's place in the World Cup was in doubt as result of suffering an injury, whilst at AZ.[31] But Romero managed recover from injury and was included in the squad.[97] Romero played his first World Cup match in the Group Stage against Nigeria, where he kept a clean sheet, in a 1–0 victory.[98] Romero continued to remain the first choice goalkeeper throughout the World Cup campaign until their elimination in a 4–0 loss against Germany.[99]

Romero was part of Sergio Batista's Copa América squad in which Argentina the hosts lost to Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-finals.[100] During the tournament, Romero kept two clean sheets against Colombia[101] and Costa Rica.[102] He retained his position as number one choice under new coach Alejandro Sabella for the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Romero was Argentina's starting goalkeeper at the 2014 FIFA World Cup despite lack of first team opportunities whilst at Monaco.[103][104] In the semi-final, he earned himself Man of the Match[105] by saving kicks from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder as Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4–2 in a penalty shoot-out to reach the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final.[106] On 11 July 2014, Romero was named on the three-man shortlist for FIFA's Golden Glove award for the tournament's best goalkeeper due to his performances that led his team to the final.[107]

At the 2015 Copa América, Romero saved from Juan Camilo Zúñiga in the penalty shoot-out at the end of Argentina's goalless quarter-final against Colombia in Viña del Mar; although three takers did not score their penalties, this was the only save.[108]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 24 May 2017[109]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Racing Club 2005–06 Primera División 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Primera División 5 0 5 0
Total 5 0 5 0
AZ 2007–08 Eredivisie 12 0 0 0 2[a] 0 14 0
2008–09 Eredivisie 28 0 1 0 29 0
2009–10 Eredivisie 27 0 1 0 6[b] 0 1[c] 0 35 0
2010–11 Eredivisie 23 0 3 0 5[d] 0 31 0
Total 90 0 5 0 13 0 1 0 109 0
Sampdoria 2011–12 Serie B 29 0 0 0 1[e] 0 30 0
2012–13 Serie A 32 0 1 0 33 0
2013–14 Serie A 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014–15 Serie A 10 0 1 0 11 0
Total 71 0 2 0 1 0 74 0
Monaco (loan) 2013–14 Ligue 1 3 0 5 0 1 0 9 0
Manchester United 2015–16 Premier League 4 0 1 0 1 0 4[f] 0 10 0
2016–17 Premier League 2 0 3 0 1 0 12[d] 0 0 0 18 0
Total 6 0 4 0 2 0 16 0 0 0 28 0
Career total 175 0 16 0 3 0 29 0 2 0 225 0
  1. ^ Appearances in UEFA Cup
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ Appearance in Johan Cruijff Shield
  4. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Appearance in Serie B Promotion Play-off
  6. ^ Two appearances in UEFA Champions League and two appearances in UEFA Europa League

InternationalEdit

As of match played 9 June 2017[110]
Argentina national team
Year Apps
2009 4
2010 11
2011 10
2012 9
2013 10
2014 13
2015 13
2016 15
2017 3
Total 88

Personal lifeEdit

Despite being 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall, Romero is nicknamed "Chiquito" as he is relatively short compared to his brothers, in particular his professional basketball-playing brother Diego.[111]

He is married to fellow Argentine Eliana Guercio, with whom he has a daughter.[112] In September 2012, Romero became a father for the second time when his wife gave birth to a second child, which caused him to miss a match.[113][114]

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

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