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No.17: Giovani dos Santos Ramírez


Giovani dos Santos Ramírez, or simply Giovani, is a Mexican attacking midfielder born on May 11, 1989 in Monterrey.

His progress through the Barca youth ranks saw him play with Infantil A (2002/03), Cadet B (2003/04), Cadet A (2004/05) and Juvenil A (2005/06). Last season he played with Barça B. Giovani trained with the first team in the summer of 2006,scoring his first goal in his debut in friendly match against Aarhus in Denmark on 28th July 2006,but made the definitive step up to the senior squad a year later,in 2007/08 season. He made his competitive and league debut on September 2, 2007 during a 3-1 home win against Athletic Bilbao, coming on for Thierry Henry in the 62nd minute.


On the international stage, he won the World under-17 championship with Mexico in Peru in 2005. Gio managed to assist on half of the goals of the Mexican team during the tournament, a fact that, combined with his abilities, awarded him the Adidas Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, finishing behind the Brazilian Anderson. He also took part in the World under -20 championship in 2007, where Mexico were eliminated by Argentina in the quarterfinals. This time he was awarded the Adidas BronzeBall, behind the Argentines, Sergio Aguero and Maximiliano Moralez.

Hugo Sánchez, manager of the Mexican national team,called him for the first time for exhibition games against Panama and Brazil in early September. He made his debut against Panama on September 9, 2007.


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