Nicolás Gaitán

Last updated

Nicolás Gaitán
Benf-Zen 2016 (4).jpg
Gaitán playing for Benfica in 2016
Personal information
Full nameOsvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán
Date of birth (1988-02-23) 23 February 1988 (age 33)
Place of birth San Martín, Argentina
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Attacking midfielder, Winger
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
2001–2008 Boca Juniors
Senior career*
2008–2010 Boca Juniors 66 (12)
2010–2016 Benfica 152 (25)
2016–2018 Atlético Madrid 29 (3)
2018–2019 Dalian Yifang 28 (2)
2019 Chicago Fire 27 (4)
2020 Lille 4 (0)
2020– Braga 6 (1)
National team
2009–2016 Argentina 16 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 21 February 2021
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 June 2016

Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián "Nico" Gaitán (Spanish pronunciation:  [ozˈβaldo nikoˈlas faˈβjan ˈniko ɣajˈtan] ; [lower-alpha 1] born 23 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Portuguese club Braga [1] and the Argentina national team, mainly as an attacking midfielder.


A product of Boca Juniors, he joined Benfica in Portugal, where he won three Primeira Liga titles, one Taça de Portugal, five Taça da Liga and one Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in six seasons.

Club career

Boca Juniors

Born in San Martín, Buenos Aires, Gaitán rose from the ranks at Boca Juniors, having entered its youth system at the age of 13 in spite of doubts regarding his future due to his small frame. [2] He made his competitive debut with the club on 1 June 2008 in a 3–1 win against Arsenal de Sarandí, [3] and scored his first two Primera División goals two months later in a 3–0 success at Huracán. [4]

On 23 September 2008 Gaitán netted his first goal in an international tournament, that year's Copa Sudamericana, against Liga de Quito. Two days later he again made the scoresheet, in the 4–2 win over Newell's Old Boys where he also set up Lucas Viatri for his side's final goal. [5]

Gaitán scored seven times in 33 games in his last season with Boca, who only managed to finish 11th in the Apertura and 16th in the Clausura.


On 3 May 2010, Portugal's Benfica confirmed they had reached an agreement to sign Gaitán for €8.4 million, [6] as a replacement for countryman Ángel Di María who had just been sold to Real Madrid. [7] He made his official debut for his new team by starting and playing 66 minutes in a 1–2 away loss to Nacional, opening his scoring account also with a brace, at home against Naval on 14 November (4–0).

Gaitán finished his first year with the Lisbon side with 48 appearances all competitions comprised, scoring nine times as it finished second in the league and won the domestic league cup. For his performances, he was named Portuguese League Breakthrough Player of the Year. [8]

In the 2011–12 campaign Gaitán led the UEFA Champions League assists table, until the knockout stage. [9] In 2013–14 he contributed with eight goals overall as his team conquered the treble, including the game's only goal in the Portuguese Cup's decisive match against Rio Ave on 18 May 2014; [10] His performances were praised throughout the season. [11] [12] On 31 August 2014, Gaitán scored his first goal of the season against Sporting CP, while also being named 'Man of the Match'. [13]

On 11 November 2014, he extended his contract with Benfica until 30 June 2018 and set a release clause of €35 million. [14] On 30 September 2015, Gaitán scored a goal and later assisted the second goal in a win at Atlético Madrid (1–2) in the UEFA Champions League. [15] On 9 December 2015, he signed an improved contract through June 2019, increasing his release clause to €45 million. [16] [17] On 9 March, Gaitán scored his fourth goal of the season in the Champions League, against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the second leg of the round of 16, helping Benfica to reach the quarter-finals of the competition with a 3–1 aggregate score, after a 2–1 win in Russia. [18] [19] On 15 May, he scored twice in a 4–1 home win against Nacional, helping Benfica to secure the league title for the third consecutive season. [20] Five days later, he scored Benfica's fourth goal in a 6–2 win over Marítimo in the Taça da Liga final. A minute later, he was substituted and received a standing ovation while leaving the pitch in tears. After the final whistle, he said it was probably his last match with Benfica. [21] [22]

Atlético Madrid

On 16 June 2016, Benfica and Atlético Madrid agreed on the transfer of Gaitán for €25 million, with the contract to be signed after medical exams in July. [23] [24] [25] His official presentation for the Spanish side was held on 19 July at the Vicente Calderón stadium. [26]

Dalian Yifang

On 26 February 2018, along with teammate Yannick Carrasco, Gaitán joined Chinese Super League newcomers Dalian Yifang, which was also hold by Atlético Madrid's partial owner Wanda Group. [27] On 3 March, he made his Chinese league debut in an 8–0 away loss to Shanghai SIPG. [28] [29] He temporarily lost consciousness and was taken to hospital following an elbowing from Li Lei during a league match against Beijing Guoan on 16 March 2018. [30] On 7 April 2018, he scored his first goal in China as well as assisted Wang Jinxian's goal in a 2–2 home draw with Chongqing Dangdai Lifan. [31]

Later career

On 14 March 2019, Gaitán signed for MLS side Chicago Fire on a free transfer for one season, with a club option until 2020. [32]

On 31 January 2020, Gaitán joined Lille in France on a six-month contract until the end of the season. [33] Gaitán left the Lille in June, having played only four games before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. [34]

On 11 August 2020, Gaitán signed for Portuguese club Braga on a one-year deal with an option for a further year. [34]

International career

Gaitán made his international debut for Argentina on 13 October 2009, as a substitute in a 2–0 friendly win over Ghana, [35] and he made his first start in a 3–2 success against Costa Rica on 26 January of the following year. [36] During Sergio Batista term, he made three appearances, playing against Costa Rica, [37] Nigeria [38] and Poland. [39] With Sabella, Gaitán did not make an appearance but with the appointment of Gerardo Martino, he returned after a two-year absence, playing the final minutes, after replacing Sergio Agüero on 3 September 2014 in an away win against Germany. [40]

Style of play

Gaitán began playing as a midfielder, sometimes leaning to the left. After moving to Benfica he assumed a more advanced role, where he seemed more comfortable.

A left-footer who is also able to play on the right, with good dribbling skills and close control, Gaitán's main asset is ball distribution as he is able to cross from either flank, and while on the right he possesses the vision to pick holes when cutting inside. [41] [42]

Career statistics


As of match played 21 February 2021 [43] [44]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Boca Juniors 2007–08 Argentine Primera División 100010
2008–09 Argentine Primera División325111436
2009–10 Argentine Primera División33720357
Benfica 2010–11 Primeira Liga 267513013 [lower-alpha 2] 11 [lower-alpha 3] 0489
2011–12 Primeira Liga253104014 [lower-alpha 4] 1444
2012–13 Primeira Liga233612013 [lower-alpha 5] 1445
2013–14 Primeira Liga264512110 [lower-alpha 6] 2438
2014–15 Primeira Liga27420205 [lower-alpha 4] 01 [lower-alpha 3] 0374
2015–16 Primeira Liga25410238 [lower-alpha 4] 41 [lower-alpha 3] 03711
Atlético Madrid 2016–17 La Liga 233415 [lower-alpha 4] 0324
2017–18 La Liga60205 [lower-alpha 7] 0130
Dalian Yifang 2018 Chinese Super League 28220302
Chicago Fire 2019 MLS 27410284
Lille 2019–20 Ligue 1 4040
Braga 2020–21 Primeira Liga6110003 [lower-alpha 8] 1102
Career total3124730415488113044866
  1. In isolation, Gaitán is pronounced [ɡajˈtan] .
  2. Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, eight appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  3. 1 2 3 Appearance in Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
  4. 1 2 3 4 Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  5. Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, nine appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  6. Five appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, five appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  7. Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  8. Appearances in UEFA Europa League


As of match played 18 June 2016 [45]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Argentina 200910

International goals

Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first. [45]
1.14 October 2014 Hong Kong Stadium, Wanchai, Hong KongFlag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 3–07–0 Friendly



Boca Juniors






    Related Research Articles

    Simão Sabrosa Portuguese footballer

    Simão Pedro Fonseca SabrosaOIH, known mononymously as Simão, is a Portuguese former footballer who played mainly as a left winger, with dribbling and set piece skills as primary attributes.

    Tiago Mendes Portuguese footballer

    Tiago Cardoso MendesOIH, known simply as Tiago, is a Portuguese football manager and former player who played as a midfielder.

    Ezequiel Garay Argentine association football player

    Ezequiel Marcelo Garay González is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a central defender.

    Guilherme Siqueira Brazilian footballer

    Guilherme Madalena Siqueira is a Brazilian retired footballer who played as a left back.

    Enzo Pérez

    Enzo Nicolás Pérez is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for CA River Plate and the Argentina national team.

    Maxi Pereira Uruguayan footballer

    Victorio Maximiliano "Maxi" Pereira Páez is an Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a right back for Peñarol.

    Jackson Martínez Colombian footballer

    Jackson Arley Martínez Valencia is a Colombian former professional footballer who played as a striker.

    Eduardo Salvio Argentine footballer

    Eduardo Antonio Salvio is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Boca Juniors and the Argentina national team as a right winger.

    Nicolás Otamendi Argentine association football player

    Nicolás Hernán Gonzalo Otamendi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Primeira Liga club Benfica and the Argentina national team.

    Jan Oblak Slovenian footballer

    Jan Oblak is a Slovenian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Slovenia national team. He is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

    Sílvio (footballer, born 1987) Portuguese footballer

    Sílvio Manuel de Azevedo Ferreira Sá Pereira, known simply as Sílvio, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Vitória de Guimarães. A defender, he is equally at ease as a right or left back.

    Pizzi (Portuguese footballer)

    Luís Miguel Afonso Fernandes, known as Pizzi, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Benfica and the Portugal national team as a central midfielder.

    Jardel (footballer, born 1986) Brazilian footballer

    Jardel Nivaldo Vieira, simply known as Jardel, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for and captains Portuguese club Benfica as a central defender.

    Álex Grimaldo Spanish footballer

    Alejandro "Álex" Grimaldo García is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Portuguese club Benfica as a left-back.

    André Gomes Portuguese footballer

    André Filipe Tavares GomesComM is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Everton and the Portugal national team.

    The 2012–13 season was Sport Lisboa e Benfica's 109th season in existence and the club's 79th consecutive season in the top flight of Portuguese football. It involved Benfica competing in the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, Taça da Liga and the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Benfica qualified for the Champions League by coming second in the previous Primeira Liga.

    2014 Taça de Portugal Final

    The 2014 Taça de Portugal Final was the final match of the 2013–14 Taça de Portugal, the 74th season of the Taça de Portugal, the premier Portuguese football cup competition organized by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF).

    2014–15 S.L. Benfica season Benfica 2014–15 football season

    The 2014–15 season was Sport Lisboa e Benfica's 111th season in existence and the club's 81st consecutive season in the top flight of Portuguese football.

    João Félix Portuguese association football player

    João Félix Sequeira is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish La Liga club Atlético Madrid and the Portugal national team. Widely regarded as one of the best young players of his generation, he is known for his speed, finishing, creativity, technique, and dribbling, and can also play as a winger or an attacking midfielder. He is also often referred to as Menino de Ouro by the Portuguese and Spanish sports media.


    2. "Nicolás Gaitán". The Elastico. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
    3. "Ficha Tecnica Nicolas Gaitan". Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    4. "Todo fue muy sencillo" [It was all very easy] (in Spanish). ESPN FC. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
    5. "Newells 2 Boca 4 – Apertura 2008" (in Spanish). Taringa. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
    6. "Comunicado" [Announcement](PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
    7. "Why Benfica's Nicolas Gaitan is more complete than Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, but still too expensive for Manchester United". 22 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
    8. 1 2 "Prémios Oficiais: a lista dos premiados" [Official Awards: the list of winners]. LPFP (in Portuguese). 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
    9. "Gaitán é rei das assistências na Champions" [Gaitán is king of assists in Champions] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
    10. "Benfica complete treble". PortuGOAL. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
    11. "In-demand Gaitan content with life at Benfica". FourFourTwo. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
    12. "Benfica vence com mais uma "obra de arte" de Gaitán" [Benfica wins with yet another "work of art" by Gaitán] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
    13. "Nico Gaitán eleito "Man of the Match" do Benfica – Sporting". SL Benfica (in Portuguese). 31 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    14. "Nico Gaitán renewed contract with SL Benfica until 2018".
    15. Walker, Joseph (30 September 2015). "How Benfica beat Atlético Madrid". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
    16. "Nicolas Gaitan signs new Benfica deal to end Man United transfer speculation". ESPN FC. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
    17. ""Estou num dos melhores Clubes da Europa"".
    18. "Zenit St Petersburg 1-2 Benfica (1-3 agg)". BBC Sport. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
    19. van Poortvliet, Richard (9 March 2016). "Benfica's Zenit late show wins quarter-final spot". UEFA. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
    20. Piedade, Luís (15 May 2016). "Benfica secure 35th Portuguese crown". UEFA. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
    21. Myson, Chris (20 May 2016). "Gaitan set to leave Benfica after emotional Taca da Liga final". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
    22. Pritchett, David (22 May 2016). "Departing Gaitán bares his soul in candid interview". Departing Gaitán bares his soul in candid interview. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
    23. "Gaitán transferido" [Gaitán transferred]. S.L. Benfica (in Portuguese). 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
    24. "Agreement with Benfica for the transfer of Gaitán". Club Atlético de Madrid. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
    25. "Nicolas Gaitan set to join Atletico Madrid from Benfica". ESPN FC. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
    26. "Gaitán, presentado como rojiblanco" [Gaitán presented as rojiblanco]. Atlético Madrid (in Spanish). 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
    27. "Nico Gaitán to join Dalian Yifang". Atlético Madrid. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
    28. "Chinese Super League | Oscar awards hat trick as Gaitán and Carrasco feel 8-0 drubbing on CSL debut". AS. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
    29. Shread, Joe (3 March 2018). "Jose Fonte, Yannick Carrasco and Nico Gaitain beaten 8-0 on Dalian Yifang debut". Sky Sports. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
    30. "盖坦被撞失忆患轻微脑震荡 被送至医院接受治疗". Tencent Sports. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
    31. "中超-盖坦传射双摩托追平 10人一方2-2斯威失好局". Sina Sports. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
    32. "Chicago Fire Soccer Club acquires Argentina national team midfielder Nicolás Gaitán". Chicago Fire Communications. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
    33. "L'international argentin Nicolás Gaitán est Lillois !". (in French). Lille OSC. 1 February 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
    34. 1 2 "Nicolas Gaitan joins Portuguese side Braga". AA. 11 August 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
    35. "Con goles de Palermo, y el debut de Pulguita, Argentina "Ghanó" 2 a 0". 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    36. "Na volta de Maradona, Argentina sofre para vencer juvenis da Costa Rica". 27 January 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    37. "Sem Messi mas com Gaitán, Argentina empata na Costa Rica (0-0)". 30 March 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    38. "Argentina goleada (4-1) pela Nigéria com Belluschi e Gaitán no onze inicial". Jornal Noticias. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    39. "Argentina, com Belluschi e Gaitán, volta a perder". MaisFutebol. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    40. "DFB-Team kann di Maria nicht bremsen". (in German). 3 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
    41. "Talent scout: Nicolás Gaitán, Benfica". The Independent. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
    42. "Manchester United transfers: Scouting report for Nicolas Gaitan". Bleacher Report. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
    43. Nicolás Gaitán at Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
    44. "Nicolás Gaitán". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
    45. 1 2 "Nicolás Gaitán". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
    46. Cunha, Pedro Jorge (17 May 2015). "Benfica bicampeão: 28 com as faixas e dois à espera" [Benfica back-to-back champion: 28 with the sashes and two await] (in Portuguese). Maisfutebol. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
    47. "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
    48. "UEFA Champions League 2011/12 - History - Statistics –". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
    49. "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
    50. "Galardões Cosme Damião: Gaitán e Jesus entre os premiados" [Galardões Cosme Damião: Gaitán and Jesus among the awarded]. Maisgutebol (in Portuguese). 1 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
    51. "Final Taça CTT: tecnologia e momentos inesquecíveis" [Taça CTT Final: technology and unforgettable moments]. Liga Portugal (in Portuguese). 21 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. Nico Gaitan foi o «Man of The Match» e recebeu o prémio em pleno relvado.