At 31 years old, the Argentine forward will play for the first time in his country. His steps through Chile, Real Madrid, Chelsea and the World Cup that was close to playing.
In the middle of a pass market without too much general movement, San Lorenzo It is showing itself as one of the most active Argentine clubs, especially when it comes to forwards. After the arrival of Jonathan Herrera and the sale of Adolfo Gaich, the Cyclone agreed to its second incorporation: Franco Di Santo.
The 31-year-old Mendoza center-forward broke with Atlético Mineiro and signed with the Boedo club, thus having the opportunity to play for the first time in Argentine football, since after three years in Godoy Cruz’s inferiors, he was kicked out and his professional debut occurred on the other side of the mountain range, in Audax Italiano de Chile.
In Chilean soccer, Di Santo stood out early and barely a season and a half was enough to show his full potential: 16 screams in 71 games and a remarkable level that aroused the attention of European giants such as Real Madrid and Chelsea, among others. Finally, the Londoners ended up taking it in exchange for seven million dollars. He scored 12 goals in 8 games with the Blues reserve, until in 2008 he made his debut in both the Premier League and the Champions League. In that 08/09 season, he totaled 16 presences and 1 assist, sharing roster with attackers such as Nicolás Anelka, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.
In mid-2009, he went on loan for a year to Blackburn Rovers, where he had a little more participation (24 PJ, 1 goal and 1 assist) than in Chelsea, although without fully settling down. With no place in London, he was transferred to Wigan, where he spent three seasons in which he garnered 97 games played, 13 goals, 10 assists and a title (the FA Cup).
Di Santo’s career continued in the Bundesliga, with 18 goals and 51 games played in both seasons (13/14 and 14/15) that he was at Werder Bremen; and 12 goals – in 88 games – in the irregular four seasons he played for Schalke 04, where he was runner-up. In the middle of his time in Germany, he had a great opportunity to defend the Argentina shirt. Although he had already played for the U20, Alejandro Sabella summoned him and made his debut in a Major League friendly against Saudi Arabia on November 14, 2012 and included him again for a match against Sweden in early 2013 .
At that time, Albiceleste had an undisputed starter like Gonzalo Higuaín, but the DT gave confidence to the Mendoza and kept him in mind in every call. In February of that same year, Di Santo was in the matches for the South American Qualifiers against Bolivia (entered the final) and Venezuela. And a year later, the moment in which his last name sounded stronger in the whole country: he appeared as the great surprise of the list of 30 shortlisted soccer players for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, although he did not finally make up the final list of 23.
His career continued with a brief step during the first semester of 2019 for Rayo Vallecano, where he played little and nothing. So in August, after 13 years in Europe, he decided to return to South America. He had the chance to join Boca, but “it didn’t happen for different reasons” and “just at that moment the chance came to go to Atlético Mineiro, a big club in South America, and I didn’t hesitate,” he explained to him some time later. to Olé. In Brazil he had continuity (33 games, 7 goals), but his compatriot Jorge Sampaoli informed him that he would not take it into account for the next semester, urging him to make the decision to indulge in playing in Argentine soccer.
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