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Roberto Fabian Ayala

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Roberto Fabian Ayala
Personal info
  • Sport: Soccer
  • Position: defender
  • Nationality: Argentina Argentina
  • Birth date: 1973-04-14 (41 years)
  • Nickname: El Raton
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Roberto Fabian Ayala, nicknamed as El Raton, is a former Argentine footballer who currently features for the Spanish football club Real Zaragoza. He is a central defender and is one of the greatest centre-backs to have ever played the game.

Roberto Fabian Ayala commenced his footballing career at modest Argentine club Ferrocarril Oeste in 1991 and after three seasons was signed by Argentine powerhouse River Plate in 2994. He played for one season at River and then moved to the Italian side Napoli in 1995. He played for three seasons there and was then signed by AC Milan in 1998 and he suffered two unsuccessful seasons at the San Siro.

In January 2000, he was signed by Valencia and quickly settled into the first team at the Metalla and reached the UEFA Champions League final for two successive years in 2000 and 2001. He was a huge success in his tenure at the club and in the summer of 2007 after contract wrangling with the club decided to move to Villarreal and signed a contract.

But he soon paid his own buy-out clause before playing a single match for the Yellow Submarine and joined Real Zaragoza on a three-year contract.

Roberto Fabian Ayala made his debut for the Argentine national team on November 16,1994 against Chile under coach Daniel Passarella. He went onto make 115 international appearances and played at the World Cup finals in 1998,2002 and 2006. He retired from international football in 2007, having made the second most appearances for his nation and has been the captain of the Argentine national team for more matches than anyone else.

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