Better Luck This Side of the Pond?By: Mauro | July 23rd, 2008
Last week, Bild, the German National Enquirer for sport voted Juan Pablo Sorin as one of the 20 biggest failures of the recent football transfer market. The Argentine left side, offensive defender transferred to Hamburg of the Bundesliga just after the 2006 World Cup, where he had some solid performances, from Villareal CF for €3 million. His time with the German club was plagued with injury after injury and an inability to break into some regular first team football. He made the news again recently when the club released him and again with this article from Bild.
The rumor now is that the 32 year-old may sign with Cruzeiro again and since there is no transfer fee for the player, I can’t imagine that the club would turn him away. He’s expected to arrive in Belo Horizonte this week to continue rehab on his left ankle at the club’s facilities.
It’s no secret that Sorin won over the Brazilian fans with his dogged and tenacious play up the left side. Still, there is the problem of signing a player that will need three months of treatment to heal his injured ankle and he may only be able to feature for the team’s final 10 matches. Not to mention the uncertainty of the player’s abilities after said treatment.
Sorin made a big impact on most of the sides he’s played for. His style of play is very physically taxing but it was something he seemed to be able to do with great proficiency. He alternates between playing on the defensive line, the midfield line and a danger in the penalty area where he usually ends up on his tireless runs up the left flank. He’s a great header of the ball and is technically gifted with his feet as well.
Also interested in Sorin’s services is his first club, Argentinos Juniors. As soon as Sorin’s layoff was published, the club’s president, Luis Segura, was on the phone to offer the option of coming back to the club where he started his career. Whether or not that’s a possibility remains to be seen.
Argentinos are one of the more modest clubs in Argentina and they have lost quite a few players so looking to Sorin to reinforce their side isn’t something that’s out of the question. Since they are facing competing in the Copa Sudamericana and the upcoming Argentine Apertura, they have lost a few players.
Most notably, Alejandro Delorte signed with Aris Salonica in the greek Super League. With his tall, 6′ 6″ frame in the penalty area, he was a prime target to nod the ball into the net or back towards his open teammates. Also leaving Argentinos are midfielder Roberto Battión (to Aris Salonica too) midfielder Uruguayan Alvaro Pereira (to CFR Cluj, Romania) and defender Pablo Barzola (to Caen, France).
Read up about Copa Sudamericana news, notes and transfers on the CONMEBOL website. And check out the Copa Libertadores 2009 wikipedia page to see which teams have qualified or are going to qualify for the 2009 edition.
Below is a more in depth look at Sorin’s career.
Sorin earned his stripes in the Argentinos Juniors youth teams and made his first division debut with the club. Shortly thereafter, he captained the Argentine U20 side to win the 1995 Youth World Cup in Qatar.
He was then snapped up by Juventus but failed to break into the first team due to his youth and lack of first team appearances in a side that was already pretty solid. Juventus finished second behind champions, AC Milan in the Serie A that season but won the Champions League.
He came back to Argentina and this time landed at the team Juventus faced in the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo that year, River Plate. He reinforced one of the strongest sides that club has fielded in their history. With River, Sorin won three tournaments in a row from the Apertura in 1996 to the Apertura of 1997. Add to that the another Apertura tournament in 1999. He also won the Supercopa Sudamericana in 1997 with the club.
Sorin was a wanted man in 2000 and when his number came up, he went to Cruzeiro of Brazil. He spent a year there and endeared himself to the fans and became captain at one point with his many tireless performances and helping the team secure the Copa do Brasil.
It was only a matter of time before Europe came calling again, this time he headed to SS Lazio of Serie A. At this point, he was called up regularly to the Argentine national team and SS Lazio had quite a few Argentines on their squad including Juan Sebastian Veron. But his time there was plagued with injuries and he failed to get a regular spot on the first team.
Barcelona was the next stop for Sorin where he managed to play 15 matches in only half a season with the Catalans. He had a spell with PSG in France and another spell with Cruzeiro before landing at Villareal in 2004.
With Villareal he reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and had some really influential performances along the way and played along side mercurial midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme.
But that seemed about where his luck dipped. His inability to get along with Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini was his main reason for his need to leave the Spanish side. While there were many clubs interested in his services at that time, he chose to play for Hamburg.