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Jorge Valdivia
Jorge Valdivia
Date of birth:

October 19, 1983

Nationality:

Flag of Chile Chilean

Position:

Midfielder

Team:

Colo-Colo

Jorge Luis Valdivia Toro (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxorxe ˈlwjs βalˈdjβja], born 19 October 1983) is a Chilean footballer who plays for Colo-Colo as an midfielder. Product of Colo-Colo youth ranks, Valdivia had an impressing loan spell at Universidad de Concepción during his debut season in 2003.Then after another two loan spells in Europe,he definitely joined Colo-Colo in 2005 winning one year later the Torneo Apertura title, before moving to Palmeiras.Since joining Brazilian club, he spent seven years playing for Verdão — interrupted by his spell at Al Ain — and has appeared in more than 100 games, winning one Paulistão in 2008, a Copa do Brasil in 2012 and a Série B title in 2013. A Chilean international since the age of 20, he was an integral member of the 2015 Copa América winning squad (the first ever achieved by his national team in its history), having previously appeared in two past editions (2007 and 2011) and in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. During his years active, Valdivia has reached 7 goals in 73 caps. He is considered one of the greatest playmakers in the Chilean football history,even he has been praised by football legends like Pelé or Carlos Valderrama.His figure is very prominent at Palmeiras history where is considered one of the best idols in the club as well as in Al Ain. He is nicknamed El Mago due to his passing ability and skills.

AppearancesEdit

Family and Early lifeEdit

He was born in Maracay, Venezuela, to Chilean parents Luis Valdivia and Elizabeth Toro. His father worked as a corresponsal at LAN airlines since 1974, the reason which Jorge was born at the Caribbean country in 1983.In 1985, the Valdivia family returned his homeland and moved to the capital Santiago, settling in the commune of La Florida.Noteworthy, it was revealed that he was interested on baseball during his few years at Venezuela, once in Chile, Valdivia began to develop a taste for football. In 1993, Valdivia joined the football academy of Colo-Colo. He was promoted to first-adult team aged nineteen, but he didn’t play during his promotion because he decided to left the club after being demotivated by starting lineup players like captain Marcelo Espina due to his misbehavior, so was loaned to Universidad de Concepción.

Club careerEdit

In his first season at Concepción-based side, he impressed for his skills where scored seven goals in 30 games. That allowed him to go on loan again, this time to La Liga side Rayo Vallecano,where he only played five matches and failed to score a goal. After another loan spell at Switzerland's Servette (2003-04 season), Valdivia could have played for Boca Juniors, club that was willing to pay US$1.5 million dollars for him, but nevertheless the talks about the transfer didn't have success and, finally, he returned of definitive way to Colo-Colo.Then, in 2006, he helped his club to achieve the Torneo Apertura, where once again he reached an impressive performance, which was polished by Claudio Borghi, who was the coach in the age.Noteworthy, he highlighted in a team which had players like Chilean internationals Claudio Bravo, Matías Fernández and Humberto Suazo. On 5 August 2006, Valdivia completed his move to Brazilian club Palmeiras in a US$3.5 million transfer fee. His signing was the club's most expensive transfer for a foreign player.After an unsuccessful season, he had a revitalizing 2007 where he reached four honours for his performances: Campeonato Paulista Most Valuable Player, Prêmio Craque do Brasileirão, Bola de Ouro and the Troféu Mesa Redonda that put him as the season's best playmaker of Brazilian football. His further consecration at the Verdão was the obtention of 2008 Campeonato Paulista title, where for his performances he came to cost US$40 dollars. In mid-2008, it was reported that Valdivia joined United Arab Emirates' Al Ain in a €8 million deal for a two-year contract. At the Emirati club, he won the Etisalat Emirates Cup, President Cup and the Super Cup. There, he became a top idol in the history of the club, so much so that Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the club, offered him a lifetime contract (which Valdivia didn't sign). During and after the FIFA World Cup 2010, there were persistent reports about his possible return to Palmeiras, which finally occurred on 26 July following the agree between Al-Ain and São Paulo-based side for a €16 million deal.In his presentation on 14 August, Valdivia was received by 15.000 fans at Estádio do Pacaembu. However he was heavily criticized for his bad performances and be out of shape, topic that was recurrent during all his spell at the club. On 25 June 2015, it was reported that Valdivia would return to United Arab Emirates to sign for Al-Wahda, after rejecting an offer from Chinese Guangzhou Evergrande.The player and the club reached a two-season contract and a US$2.8 million salary per year.

International careerEdit

Born in Venezuela, Valdivia was eligible to play for the national team of either country. However, he appeared with Chile's U20 in the 2003 South American Youth Championship, only making two appearances in a tournament which Chile finished last in the group stage. He also represented his country in the 2004 Pre-Olympic Tournament — algonside players like Claudio Bravo, Jean Beausejour, Luis Pedro Figueroa or Mark González — where had impressive performances.In June of that year, he earned his first senior cap for Chilean national team against Mexico.Also that year he became part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying nominees under Juvenal Olmos as head coach, who choose him to play the Pre-Olympic. Nevertheless, Chile failed to qualify the World Cup. Valdivia scored his first international goal for Chile in an exhibition match against Paraguay in Vina del Mar on 16 November 2006 during a 3–2 victory. In June 2007, Valdivia was chosen in Chile's Copa América squad, which they were eliminated in quarterfinals after a 6–1 thrash of Brazil.However, before the game against Brazil, he alongside five players went on a spree and once leaked the press they received a 20-game ban from the federation (ANFP).Then Nelson Acosta resigned as national team coach. A year and half later, he was re-considered by Marcelo Bielsa after calling-up him to a friendly game with Turkey on 5 August 2008.One month later, on 7 September, Valdivia made his debut for the 2010 World Cup qualifying in a 3–0 loss with Brazil, which he was sent off for double-yellow card.On 10 October 2009, he scored the last goal of the 4–2 win over Colombia at Medellín that finished Chile’s 12-year World Cup absence since 1998. Being a key player during qualification, he was selected in the 23-man World Cup roster and participated in the most of the preparatory games, scoring a goal even in a 3–0 win over Zambia in Calama.However at the World Cup, he performed well despite of play as Second striker, highlighting his 35-yard though pass that broke Switzerland's defensive and allowed Esteban Paredes cross for Mark González header goal.Then Chile was eliminated after losing again to Brazil.

2011–2014Edit

In January 2011, Bielsa left abruptly stepped down as coach following differences with the federation, but Valdivia continued being considered in La Roja by Claudio Borghi, his former coach when he played in Colo-Colo. In June, he was included in the 23-man list to face the Copa América.He made three starts of Chile's four games in the competition, which they were eliminated in quarterfinals by Venezuela (where Valdivia had a crossbar),rival which only one-time Chile lost in its history.However, Valdivia was included in the team of the tournament. Months later in December 2011 before a 2014 World Cup qualifying game with Uruguay in Montevideo, he was involved in another scandal alongside Jean Beausejour, Gonzalo Jara, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Carmona after arriving 45-minutes later and intoxicated to the team's concentration at Juan Pinto Durán.Then they received a 10-game ban and Valdivia once finished the punishment it wasn't be considered by Borghi during the qualifiers and friendlies. On 8 March 2013, after 16-months of the incident he was re-called by Jorge Sampaoli, including him in the call-up for the qualifying games against Peru and Uruguay.His official re-debut was on 7 September against Venezuela in a 3–0 victory at Estadio Nacional. On 15 October, following a 2–1 win over Ecuador, Chile reached its eight qualification to a World Cup and its first consecutively. On 1 June 2014, Valdivia was selected in Chile squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. On 13 June, Valdivia scored his first World Cup during Chile's opening group match against Australia, netting the team's second goal in a 3–1 victory.The following two group games he come as substitute against Spain and the Netherlands, didn't entering the field in the quarterfinals game against Brazil, which eliminated Chile on the penalties after 1–1 at Estádio Mineirão. The last fact motivated Valdivia to announce his international retirement, communicated via Twitter on 17 July 2014. However, in November he backtracked his decision later on, and was called for friendly matches against Venezuela and Uruguay,selling his re-debut with a goal and a brilliant performance in 5–0 win over the Venezuelans at Talcahuano.

2015 Copa AméricaEdit

Participating in the most preparatory games prior the 2015 Copa América held in his country, he scored a goal against El Salvador (the game only one score at Rancagua) and was included in the 23 man list to face it.On 12 June, he was a starter in the debut against Ecuador that was 2–0 victory, in which he highlighted again with his performances. The following group match with México, Valdivia was praised by the press for play the full 90 minutes, be trasendental in all Chile goals and even have scored a goal bad disallowed during the 3–3 draw. After another highlighting match in a 5–0 win over Bolivia where assisted Alexis Sánchez in Chile's second goal,he was a key player in the 1–0 victory against the defending champions Uruguay for the tournament quarterfinals, which is remembered by the incident between Gonzalo Jara and the striker Edinson Cavani, Valdivia's nutmeg to left-back Jorge Fucile and Mauricio Isla's goal on 81st minute, who received an assistance from Valdivia. Following the semifinal won 2–1 over Perú that settled Chile in a Copa América final after 28 years since 1987, Valdivia was a starter in the match against Argentina at the Estadio Nacional, but was replaced by Matías Fernández on 78th minute in a substitution towards the extratime and the penalties, which infuriated him when left the field. However, after all the extra-time equalized 0–0, Chile won 4–1 on the penalties and reached its history's first ever senior title.

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

Colo-ColoEdit

  • Torneo Apertura: 2006

PalmeirasEdit

  • Campeonato Paulista: 2008
  • Copa do Brasil: 2012
  • Série B: 2013

Al AinEdit

  • Etisalat Emirates Cup: 2008
  • UAE President Cup: 2008–09
  • UAE Super Cup: 2009

InternationalEdit

ChileEdit

Copa América: 2015

IndividualEdit

  • Prêmio Craque do Brasileirão: 2007
  • Bola de Ouro: 2007
  • Troféu Mesa Redonda: 2007
  • Campeonato Paulista Most Valuable Player (2): 2007, 2008
  • UFL Most Valuable Player: 2009
  • UFL Most Valuable Foreign Player: 2009
  • Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2011