At the age of 32, Gabriel Heinze is one of the most experienced players under the command of Argentina coach Diego Armando Maradona. A national team regular for the last seven years, Heinze has appeared at a host of major championships for his country, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™.
Nicknamed El Gringo, this combative defender is able to play as a central-defensive man-marker or at left-back, while his timing and impressive aerial ability make him a useful asset in either penalty box. Heinze started out at Rosario outfit Newell’s Old Boys, playing just eight games before a 1997 switch to La Liga side Real Valladolid. Following an unproductive loan spell at Sporting Lisbon in 1998/99, he established himself at Valladolid upon his return before earning a 2001 transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
His performances in the French capital and in the blue-and-white of Argentina caught the eye of English giants Manchester United, who swooped for his services in 2004. He stayed at Old Trafford until 2007, when he joined another European heavyweight in the shape of Real Madrid.
Currently back in French football with former club PSG’s fierce rivals Marseille, Heinze has earned the trust of the OM faithful thanks to his fierce commitment and some vital goals. At international level, the versatile defender was one of the Albiceleste’s overage players at Athens 2004, when they won gold at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament for the very first time. He also boasts runners-up medals from the 2004 and 2007 Copa Americas, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005, while he has racked up an impressive 24 appearances in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.