Matías Almeyda

Matías Jesús Almeyda (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈ xeˈsus alˈmeiða]; born 21 December 1973) is an Argentine former footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and is the manager of Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes.

Matías Almeyda
Almeyda in 2016
Personal information
Full name Matías Jesús Almeyda
Date of birth (1973-12-21) 21 December 1973
Place of birth Azul, Argentina
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
San Jose Earthquakes (coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 River Plate 68 (3)
1996–1997 Sevilla 28 (0)
1997–2000 Lazio 63 (2)
2000–2002 Parma 34 (0)
2002–2004 Internazionale 47 (1)
2004–2005 Brescia 5 (0)
2005 Quilmes 0 (0)
2007 Lyn 2 (0)
2009 Fénix 4 (0)
2009–2011 River Plate 64 (0)
Total 314 (6)
National team
1995–1996 Argentina U23 13 (0)
1996–2003 Argentina 40 (1)
Teams managed
2011–2012 River Plate
2013–2015 Banfield
2015–2018 Guadalajara
2019– San Jose Earthquakes
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nicknamed El Pelado ("bald one") despite his long hair,[2] he played most of his professional career at River Plate and in Italy, representing four teams in the latter country.

Almeyda represented Argentina, appearing with the national team in two World Cups. Since his retirement in 2011, he has managed River Plate, Banfield and Guadalajara.

Playing career


Born in Azul, Buenos Aires Province, Almeyda started playing professionally for local and national powerhouse Club Atlético River Plate, first as understudy to Leonardo Astrada then as a starter, helping the side to the 1996 Primera División title after his insertion in the starting XI, as well as that year's Copa Libertadores. Shortly after, he moved to Sevilla FC in Spain for a record fee for a player in the country of $9 million;[3] he appeared regularly in his first and only season with the Andalusians, but suffered La Liga relegation.[4]

In the following eight years, Almeyda would play in the Italian Serie A, successively representing S.S. Lazio, A.C. Parma and Inter Milan. He spent three seasons in Rome with Lazio, becoming a firm fan favourite especially after scoring a 35-yard goal against Parma's Gianluigi Buffon, his only of the 1999–2000 campaign, which ended with league and Coppa Italia conquest;[5] additionally, he was voted the competition's best player in 1998–99, and also won – as a starter – the last UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, against RCD Mallorca,[6] and was often partnered with compatriot Juan Sebastián Verón in the heart of midfield by manager Sven-Göran Eriksson in his 4–4–2 formation, with Verón providing the creativity and Almeyda the strength.[7][8]

In the summer of 2002, Almeyda was exchanged with Vratislav Greško and moved to Inter, where he was again partnered by compatriots as in his previous clubs. Two years later he joined his final team in Italy, lowly Brescia Calcio, on a free transfer;[9] the following year, after the team's relegation, as second from bottom, he returned to Argentina and agreed to play for Quilmes Atlético Club, which appeared at the Libertadores, announcing his retirement after their elimination from that tournament.[10]

After one-and-a-half years away from football, in which he represented Argentina in a Showball tour around the world alongside Diego Maradona and participated in the Indoor Football World Cup in Spain, Almeyda joined Norwegian Premier League side FK Lyn in Oslo, in which he was accompanied by compatriot José Oscar Flores. Their friend Terje Liverod was central in these transfers.[11] The midfielder made his debut on 13 May 2007, but only played regularly in the reserves and in the domestic Cup, being released as the striker shortly after and again retiring from football.

On 16 January 2009, at almost 36, Almeyda, after nearly agreeing on a return to River, signed with modest Club Atlético Fénix in the fourth division.[12] During his brief spell, he managed to be sent off on two occasions.[13]

On 19 August 2009, veteran Almeyda finally re-joined his main club River Plate, teaming up with former teammates Marcelo Gallardo and Ariel Ortega.[2] In June 2011, the team was relegated to the second level for the first time in their history and he retired from football, being appointed team manager the following month.[14]


Almeyda won 35 caps for Argentina over the course of seven years, his debut coming in April 1996 against Bolivia.[15] Shortly after, he helped the Olympic side to the silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[16]

Subsequently, Almeyda was picked in the squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. He started in all five games during the tournament, as the country reached the quarter–finals.[17]

After Marcelo Bielsa became Argentina's manager, Almeyda did not get as much playing time.[18][19] He was, however, selected for the 2002 World Cup which was held in South Korea and Japan, and played in the 1–1 group stage draw against Sweden.[16]

Coaching career

River Plate

Almeyda spent 18 months in charge at River Plate, winning the Primera B Nacional and earning promotion back to the top division at the end of the 2011–12 season. He left the club in November 2012.[20]


In early April 2013, Almeyda signed with Club Atlético Banfield in the Argentine second level.[21] During his spell, he won the league title once again to be subsequently promoted.


On 15 September 2015, Almeyda was appointed manager at Mexican Liga MX club C.D. Guadalajara,[22] proclaiming he wanted to 'awaken the giant'.[23] He won his first four matches in charge, including one against rivals Club América on 26 September by a score of 2–1 at the Estadio Azteca.[24]

On 4 November 2015, after nine years of a title hiatus, Almeyda's team won the Copa MX after defeating Club León by a score of 1–0.[25] On 10 July 2016, they played their first ever Supercopa MX and won their second trophy in under a year by defeating Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz 2–0, and as a result qualified to the Libertadores for the first time since 2012.

On 19 April 2017, Almeyda led Chivas to their fourth Copa MX title, defeating Monarcas Morelia in a penalty shootout after a 0–0 draw.[26] On 28 May 2017, the domestic league's final second leg was played at the Estadio Akron and the hosts won their 12th title in the competition after besting Tigres UANL by an aggregate of 4–3; thus, they became the first team in Mexican history to win the double in a single season on two different occasions.[26]

Almeyda won the 2018 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League with the club,[27] and as a result qualified for that year's FIFA Club World Cup.[28] On 11 June 2018, however, he left.[23]

San Jose Earthquakes

On 8 October 2018, Almeyda was appointed as the new head coach of Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes, starting with the 2019 season.[29]

Style of play

A tenacious, dynamic and physically strong player in spite of his diminutive stature, Almeyda excelled in a midfield holding role due to his stamina, tactical awareness, reactions, anticipation and work rate, as well as his ability to press opponents and break down opposition plays which allowed him to protect his team's back-line. Although he earned a reputation in the media as a hard tackler, he was gifted with good feet and passing ability, which enabled him to start attacking plays after winning back possession; he also stood out for his leadership throughout his career.[15][30][31][32][33][34][35]

Career statistics


As of 20 November 2019[36][37][38][39]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
River Plate 1991–92 Primera División 200020
1992–93 20001[lower-alpha 1]030
1993–94 14010150
1994–95 2510012[lower-alpha 1]1372
1995–96 2420016[lower-alpha 1]1403
1996–97 100000
Subtotal 68310292985
Sevilla 1996–97 La Liga 28020300
Lazio 1997–98 Serie A 190207[lower-alpha 2]0280
1998–99 251506[lower-alpha 3]0361
1999–2000 191208[lower-alpha 4]01[lower-alpha 5]0301
Subtotal 6329021010942
Parma 2000–01 Serie A 160304[lower-alpha 2]0230
2001–02 180405[lower-alpha 6]0270
Subtotal 3407090500
Internazionale 2002–03 Serie A 1600010[lower-alpha 4]1261
2003–04 110307[lower-alpha 7]0210
Subtotal 27030171471
Brescia 2004–05 Serie A 500050
Quilmes 2005–06 Primera División 100005[lower-alpha 1]0150
Lyn 2007 Tippeligaen 202343
Fénix 2008–09 Primera C Metropolitana 4040
River Plate 2009–10 Primera División 32000320
2010–11 30000300
Subtotal 62000620
Total 30452338131040911
  1. Appearance(s) in Copa Libertadores
  2. Appearance(s) in UEFA Cup
  3. Appearance(s) in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  4. Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  5. Appearance(s) in UEFA Super Cup
  6. Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, three appearances in UEFA Cup
  7. Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Cup


As of 20 November 2019[37]

International goals

Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first.[37]
1.26 July 2000Estádio do Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil Brazil1–21–32002 FIFA World Cup qualification

Managerial statistics

As of 5 July 2017
Team Nat From To Record
River Plate July 2011 27 November 2012 60 29 22 9 98 44 +54 048.33
Banfield April 2013 3 August 2015 87 39 24 24 133 92 +41 044.83
Guadalajara[n 1] 15 September 2015 11 July 2018 97 44 31 22 118 92 +26 045.36
Total 241 112 75 54 349 229 +120 046.47




River Plate[40]







River Plate[42]





  1. Includes matches from Liga MX, Copa MX, Supercopa MX and Copa Libertadores


  1. Matías Almeyda at BDFutbol. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. Calegari, Rodrigo (19 August 2009). ""Tenía muchas ganas"" ["I wanted this very badly"]. Olé (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  3. Ares, Carlos (31 August 1996). "El Sevilla paga 1. 160 millones por Almeyda, fichaje récord del fútbol argentino" [Sevilla pay 1. 160 million for Almeyda, Argentine football record signing]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  4. "Almeyda: "Cuando salía a la cancha oía cómo la gente decía que dónde estaba el verdadero Almeyda"" [Almeyda: «When I took the pitch I heard people wondering where the real Almeyda was»]. ABC (in Spanish). 9 July 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  5. "Ricordi e gol di Parma Lazio" [Memories and goals of Parma Lazio]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 12 February 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  6. "Matias Almeyda". BBC Sport. 22 May 2002. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  7. Condò, Paolo (17 October 1999). "Una Lazio mostruosa" [Monster Lazio]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. Newman, Blair (30 March 2015). "How Sven-Goran Eriksson's Lazio won the great Serie A title race of 1999–2000". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  9. "Brescia boosted by Almeyda". UEFA. 24 August 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  10. Torres, Fabián (29 May 2017). "10 cosas que tal vez no sabías de 'El Pelado' Almeyda" [10 things you maybe did not know about 'El Pelado' Almeyda]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  11. "Almeyda y el 'Turu' Flores regresan al fútbol en la Liga noruega" [Almeyda and Turu Flores return to football in the Norwegian League]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 26 March 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  12. "Almeyda: de refuerzo de River a la Primera C" [Almeyda: from River signing to Primera C] (in Spanish). DERF. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  13. "Fine form and favoured targets". FIFA. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  14. "Matías Almeyda pasa de jugador a entrenador en River" [Matías Almeyda goes from player to manager in River]. Marca (in Spanish). 28 June 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  15. Dotto, Matteo. "ALMEYDA, Matías Jesus" (in Italian). Treccani. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  16. Gowar, Rex; Chakraborty, Amlan (19 September 2015). "Soccer-Almeyda takes charge of relegation-haunted Guadalajara". Reuters. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  17. "WORLD CUP: Croatia takes out mighty Germany". Kitsap Sun. 5 July 1998. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  18. "En el nombre de Bielsa" [In the name of Bielsa]. Clarín (in Spanish). 7 November 2002. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  19. Iucht, Román (2012). La vida por el fútbol: Marcelo Bielsa, el último romántico [Life for football: Marcelo Bielsa, the last romantic] (in Spanish). Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial Argentina. pp. 206–. ISBN 978-950-07-3749-4.
  20. Gowar, Rex (29 November 2012). "River coach Almeyda quits citing lack of support". Reuters. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  21. "Almeyda, el nuevo DT de Banfield" [Almeyda, Banfield's new HC] (in Spanish). Todo Noticias. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  22. "Matías Almeyda es el nuevo pastor del Rebaño Sagrado" [Matías Almeyda is the new shepherd of the Holy Herd]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 15 September 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  23. Bourgeois, Blaise (June 2018). "Matias Almeyda stepping down as Chivas manager". One Football. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  24. "Calendario (Apertura 2015)" [Schedule (Apertura 2015)] (in Spanish). C.D. Guadalajara. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  25. Giaccardi, José Fernando (4 November 2015). "Chivas campeón de la Copa MX Apertura 2015!" [Chivas 2015 Apertura Copa MX champions!] (in Spanish). C.D. Guadalajara. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  26. "Los 12 campeonatos de Chivas" [Chivas' 12 championships]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 May 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  27. Quezada, Javier (25 April 2018). "¡Campeones de CONCACAF!" [CONCACAF champions!] (in Spanish). C.D. Guadalajara. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  28. "2018 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League final set" (Press release). CONCACAF. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  29. "Earthquakes hire Matias Almeyda as head coach". San Jose Earthquakes. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  30. Ghio, Nicola (28 January 2014). "Il lìder massimo: i 18 anni del Petroliere #8 (2002/03)" [Top leader: the 18th anniversary of Petroliere #8 (2002/03)] (in Italian). Sport Main. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  31. Chioffi, Stefano (29 March 2013). "Erbes, corsa e pressing: ecco un altro Almeyda" [Erbes, stamina and pressing: here is another Almeyda]. Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  32. Mazur, Martin (26 September 2012). "La vita dell'Indio Almeyda tra alcol e depressione" [The life of Almeyda the Indian among alcohol and depression]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  33. Bertoncini, Antonio (4 May 2009). "Alfabeto gialloblù" [Yellow and blue alphabet]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  34. Piccioni, Valerio; Imparato, Gaetano (29 March 2000). "Almeyda è rimasto a Roma: è tornato capitan Uncino" [Almeyda has stayed in Rome: captain Hook has returned]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  35. Galdi, Andrea (20 September 1997). "Almeyda, 'Trattorino' di Baires" [Almeyda, the "Little Tractor" from Baires]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  36. "Almeyda Matías Jesus" (in Italian). Tutto Calciatori. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  37. "Matías Almeyda". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  38. Matías Almeyda at BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  39. Matías Almeyda at BDFA (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  40. "Matías Almeyda". Eurosport. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  41. "Italy – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  42. "M. Almeyda". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  43. "Chivas' SCCL conquest paves way for Almeyda honor". CONCACAF. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
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