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Daniel Güiza. The other Míchel. Christian Stuani. And Abu Dhabi? (8th June, 2017)

Today's article is all about players who moved in 2015.

Asunción-based club Cerro Porteño shockingly released legendary Spanish goalscorer Daniel Güiza, who was the Pichichi winner in 2008 playing for seventh place Mallorca – ahead of the likes of Luís Fabiano, Sergio Agüero, Raúl, David Villa, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Diego Forlán, Frédéric Kanouté and Samuel Eto’o. He was instrumental in Spain’s Euro 2008 win too.

In 2015, the then 35-year-old, signed for third-tier Andalusia-based Cádiz. Whose fans were irritated by his origin from fierce rivals Xerez, and by his commitment made ten years ago to never play for – you guessed it – Cádiz.

And yet, less than a year later, it was Güiza who scored the only goal at Hércules in the second leg of the play-off finals (2–0 on aggregate), helping the club return to the second division after six years.



Look at Asturian player Miguel Marcos Madera aka “Míchel”. In January 2010 he was a Sporting Gijón legend, joined Birmingham and was described as “better than Mascherano”.

In 2011, he was at Getafe. In 2014, he was released and joined Maccabi Haifa in Israel. And in 2015 he left again to join Qarabağ Agdam in Azerbaijan – at the age of 29. In hindsight that hasty winter exit to Birmingham proved costly – a player “worse than Míchel” waited six months more and joined Barcelona.



In 2009, a 23-year-old Uruguayan striker who had scored one goal in 18 months at newly relegated club Reggina arrived at Castile–La Mancha club Albacete in the second division, and scored 23 goals in 39 games - the second most in the league.

He would go on to play in La Liga with Levante, Racing Santander and Espanyol - in his final season at the Catalan club, he scored 15 goals despite playing as a backup to Felipe Caicedo.

Born in Tala, Canelones, Christian Stuani started his professional career with Danubio FC. In 2005, he went on loan to C.A. Bella Vista in the Uruguayan Segunda División, performing well enough to be recalled - scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

It was just the kick start his career needed - he went on to score 19 goals in just 14 games with Danubio, a season that earned him a move to Europe. In January 2008, Serie A club Reggina picked him up.

In 2015, Espanyol sold their 12-goal striker Christian Stuani to Middlesbrough for €3 million, but only received €300,000. The club only owned half of the striker’s playing rights, and still owed Italian club Reggina – who owned the other half – €1.2 million from when Los Periquitos made his year-long loan deal permanent in the summer of 2013.

He had joined Espanyol on loan in 2012, but things could have been so different - that summer, Stuani was linked with a move to Deportivo de La Coruña and even passed his medical but he signed with Espanyol. The move was made permanent in the following campaign.



Bani Yas is a cash strapped club in a league where money has never been a problem. For them, making shrewd acquisitions is not a trend but a necessity. In the summer of 2014 they secured the services of the Spanish duo of classy midfielder Joan Verdú from Espanyol and center back Ángel Dealbert from Kuban Krasnodar - all for the grand total of €0.

Just a season later, however, they were released, and brought in Celta Vigo striker Joaquín Larrivey from Celta de Vigo for a ridiculous €2 million.

Joan Verdú, who went on to score 10 goals in 24 games, may have been a baffling decision, but his performances in Italy, Spain and now China haven't lived up to the same standards. Ángel Dealbert was an intergral part of Lugo's campaign last season but is now a bit part player.

And Joaquín Larrivey's 18 goals in 37 games earned him a move to JEF United Chiba in China.



There were others too - Xavi’s saddening departure to Al-Sadd. Sergio García, a player who captained Espanyol through thick and thin, and left for Al-Rayyan aged 32. Who, a few months prior to moving to Qatar, said this:

A captain can’t jump ship. These are my people and this is my home. My heart told me I couldn’t leave and so it has proved, which is why I rejected the offer. I’m very happy here and I hope the fans are with me too.

Sporting Kansas City changed the MLS's reputation of signing ageing stars with the singing of 21-year-old former Barcelona B attacking midfielder Jordi Quintillà from Ajaccio, who was once widely earmarked for a first team spot.

And last, but certainly not least, Cerro Porteño bagged a quality player in Cristian Álvarez, 31-years-old and in his prime. The San Lorenzo goalkeeper, fresh off a successful loan spell at Rayo and with five years of La Liga experience at Espanyol, was widely expected to sign for a mid-table club in a top European League. Instead, he joined the very team he made his professional debut against while playing for boyhood club Rosario Central.




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