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No.3: Gabriel Alejandro Milito

Gabriel Milito
Gabriel Alejandro Milito is an Argentine defender born on September 7,1980 in Buenos Aires.
He came up through the youth ranks at Independiente,making his top flight debut aged 17.He led his side defence despite his young age,but his promising future was almost cut short by a serious injury.He tore cruciate ligaments in his right knee 2001 and was out for nine months.Shortly after his return,he was injured for another four months,this time with broken meniscus in his right foot.
Once he was back to full fitness,Milito was one of the main reasons for Independiente’s Opening Championship victory in 2002.He was named Argentinian Player of the Year and in the summer of 2004 made his move to Spain.
In 2003,he was due to be transferred to Real Madrid,but the Spanish team rejected the player after some medical results that showed a not-fully-recovered knee injury.To many,it was a political move against Madrid’s football director Jorge Valdano,who wanted the player in the team.It was also suggested that he was rejected because he was not a very famous player internationally,and therefore would not fit the galactico team which Real Madrid presented at the time.Milito decided to stay in Spain.He signed for Real Zaragoza and that season won the Copa del Rey,ironically beating Real Madrid.Later that year,Zaragoza also won the Spanish Super Cup and Milito was heralded as one of the finest defenders in the league.
In the 2005/2006 season, ‘el Mariscal’, as he is known,was joined by his older brother Diego.the Milito brothers were stars of a side that won back to back UEFA Cups.
On July 10,2007,Real Zaragoza reached a transfer agreement with FC Barcelona for €20,5 million and on July 19,Milito passed his medical at Barcelona and signed a four-year deal with the club worth €4 million a year.
He made his competitive debut for Barcelona on September 2,2007 in a game against Athletic Bilbao.He scored his first competitive goal for Barcelona on November 24,2007 in a league against Recreativo Huelva.
Milito has also found his way into the Argentina national team.He made his international debut 2000 and played in the Confederations Cup 2005,at the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and in the 2007 Copa America,where he was a regular feature in Alfio Basile’s side,which reached the final.

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