Juan Pablo Sorin
An Argentine footballer, Juan Pablo Sorin is an experienced player, having played in many countries, such as, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Italy and Argentina. Known in particular for his eccentric and creative style of playing, Sorin is popularly known as Juampi by his Argentine fans.
Starting out in the lower levels of the Argentine football league, Sorin began playing professionally with Argentinos Juniors, where he managed a place in the first team in 1994. His skill was so evident, that in the 1995-96 season, he was named captain of the Argentina Under-20 team, which went on to win the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship, held in Qatar. Following this brilliant victory, Sorin was bought by Italian club, Juventus, but could not find his form with the club, and subsequently returned to Argentina.
Sorin joined River Plate in the second half of the 1996-97 season, and soon found his best form. He won three Torneos Apertura championship titles, in 1996, 1997 and 1999. He also won the 1997 Clausura championship with the club. Two international titles that Sorin bagged during this tenure with River Plate are 1996 Copa Libertadores de America and the 1997 Supercopa Sudamericana.
In 2000, Sorin transferred to Cruzeiro, a top division club in the Brazilian football league. After two and a half seasons with the club, Sorin had the Copa do Brasil in the bag, and was soon one of the most popular players in the country. On joining Lazio in 2002, Sorin was plagued by injuries for almost his entire tenure with the club, and soon transferred to FC Barcelona. He made his debut with the club in February, 2003, against Athletic Club de Bilbao, which ended in a draw.
But he only spent half a season with the club and soon joined up with French club, Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he went on to win the Coupe de France. But he spent only one season with the club, and moved to Brazil in 2004, to join Cruzeiro, though he was soon transferred to Spanish club, Villarreal. There he had one of his most successful terms, and was responsible for the teams entry into the semi-finals in the Champions League, though they lost out to Arsenal.
During the summer of 2006, Sorin was much sought after, with clubs like Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Portsmount, expressing interest. But Sorin chose Hamburger SV instead, and spent two years with the club. This was not his best term, and after only 24 appearances, caused mostly due to a spate of injuries, Sorin returned to Cruzeiro in 2008.
Sorin is also the author of a book, Grandes Chicos, which he wrote to raise funds for building a school and a children’s hospital in Argentina. Winner of several medals, including the gold for the 1995 Mar del Plata, Sorin has had several opportunities to play for his country. He was a part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with Argentine national team, and played in matches against Sweden, England and Nigeria. Even though the team performed poorly, Sorin soon returned to the national team, this time as captain.
As captain of the Argentine squad, Sorin participated with full vigor in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, held in Germany, and managed to take the team up to the quarter-finals, where they lost out to the hosts in a penalty shoot-out.
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