Gaitán playing for Benfica in 2016
|Full name||Osvaldo Nicolás Fabián Gaitán|
|Date of birth||23 February 1988|
|Place of birth||San Martín, Argentina|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Position(s)||Attacking midfielder, Winger|
| * 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] ; born 23 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Portuguese club Braga 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.
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.He made his competitive debut with the club on 1 June 2008 in a 3–1 win against Arsenal de Sarandí, and scored his first two Primera División goals two months later in a 3–0 success at Huracán.
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.
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,as a replacement for countryman Ángel Di María who had just been sold to Real Madrid. 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.
In the 2011–12 campaign Gaitán led the UEFA Champions League assists table, until the knockout stage.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; His performances were praised throughout the season. On 31 August 2014, Gaitán scored his first goal of the season against Sporting CP, while also being named 'Man of the Match'.
On 11 November 2014, he extended his contract with Benfica until 30 June 2018 and set a release clause of €35 million.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. On 9 December 2015, he signed an improved contract through June 2019, increasing his release clause to €45 million. 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. 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. 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.
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.His official presentation for the Spanish side was held on 19 July at the Vicente Calderón stadium.
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.On 3 March, he made his Chinese league debut in an 8–0 away loss to Shanghai SIPG. 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. 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.
On 14 March 2019, Gaitán signed for MLS side Chicago Fire on a free transfer for one season, with a club option until 2020.
On 31 January 2020, Gaitán joined Lille in France on a six-month contract until the end of the season.Gaitán left the Lille in June, having played only four games before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On 11 August 2020, Gaitán signed for Portuguese club Braga on a one-year deal with an option for a further year.
Gaitán made his international debut for Argentina on 13 October 2009, as a substitute in a 2–0 friendly win over Ghana,and he made his first start in a 3–2 success against Costa Rica on 26 January of the following year. During Sergio Batista term, he made three appearances, playing against Costa Rica, Nigeria and Poland. 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.
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.
|Boca Juniors||2007–08||Argentine Primera División||1||0||—||—||0||0||—||1||0|
|2008–09||Argentine Primera División||32||5||—||—||11||1||—||43||6|
|2009–10||Argentine Primera División||33||7||—||—||2||0||—||35||7|
|Atlético Madrid||2016–17||La Liga||23||3||4||1||—||5||0||—||32||4|
|Dalian Yifang||2018||Chinese Super League||28||2||2||0||—||—||—||30||2|
|1.||14 October 2014||Hong Kong Stadium, Wanchai, Hong Kong||Hong Kong||3–0||7–0||Friendly|
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