Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez is undoubtedly a key man in Argentina coach Diego Armando Maradona’s plans, thanks to his power, stamina, dynamism, ability to play on either flank and knack of making late runs in goalscoring positions.
The tall and long-legged Gutierrez made his senior debut for the Albiceleste back in June 2008 under then boss Alfio Basile, who handed him the uneviable task of occupying a wide-left berth away to Brazil in 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying. His fine display in that 0-0 draw earned him both the trust of his coach and the admiration of the Argentina faithful.
El Galgo (The Greyhound) kept his place in the national team set-up upon Maradona’s appointment as coach, starting El Diez’s early encounters at the helm and weighing in with a goal in a 2-0 friendly victory over France. “My team is [Javier] Mascherano, [Lionel] Messi, Jonas [Gutierrez] and eight others,” said El Pelusa following that encounter in February 2009.
Gutierrez, who has been known to celebrate his goals by donning a Spiderman mask, came through the ranks and made his Argentinian top-flight debut with Velez Sarsfield, where he stayed until a 2005 switch to La Liga outfit Mallorca. There he spent a further three seasons before a big-money move to Newcastle, who he has helped win promotion back to the English Premier League at the first attempt.