Raúl Mario Ruidíaz Misitich (Spanish pronunciation: [raˈul rujˈðiaθ misiˈtitʃ], Croatian: Misitić, born 25 July 1990) is a Peruvian footballer who currently plays for Seattle Sounders FC and the Peru national team, as a striker.
|Full name||Raúl Mario Ruidíaz Misitich|
|Date of birth||25 July 1990|
|Place of birth||Villa María del Triunfo, Peru|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Seattle Sounders FC|
|2008–2009||→ U América (loan)||11||(3)|
|2012||Universidad de Chile||15||(8)|
|2013–2014||→ Universitario (loan)||64||(35)|
|2016–2017||→ Morelia (loan)||34||(20)|
|2018–||Seattle Sounders FC||36||(21)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 October 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 September 2019
He is of maternal Croatian descent and his nickname, "The Flea", stems from his small frame and his ability to get past defenders with great ball control. Ruidíaz began his career at Universitario de Deportes, a powerhouse of a club in Peru, where he became an idol during the 2011 season, at just 21 years old. In January 2012, he joined Primera División club Universidad de Chile.
Ruidíaz grew up in the Lima neighbourhood of Villa María del Triunfo and made his first steps in club football at Primera División club Universitario de Deportes aged eight. In January 2008, the player was promoted to the first adult team and immediately loaned to América Cochahuayco, the club's filial team, directed by the coach Héctor Chumpitaz, an historic football player of the Peruvian national team in the 1982 World Cup. His first professional goal was against Hijos de Acosvinchos. After the arrival of Jorge Gonzáles, he began to play as a striker.
Ruidíaz made his professional debut in the Peruvian First Division on 4 October 2009 against Total Chalaco in the Monumental, at the age of 19. The coach at the time, Juan Reynoso, decided to play him from the start of the match, which finished 2-1 in favor of Universitario. He finished the season by scoring 3 goals in 7 games in the Peruvian 2009 Championship and also won his first National title with Universitario de Deportes. Ruidíaz has often been called pequeño Messi (little Messi) in his home country, mainly because of his ability to charge a player one on one, as well as his unique technical skills. Ruidiaz was listed among the greatest talents of South American football by O Globo Brazilian newspaper in 2010.
Universidad de Chile
On 20 January 2012, Ruidíaz was appointed as new player of the Primera División club Universidad de Chile. Despite some early success with his new club, Raul's lack of match fitness and the emergence of young talented strikers at the club Ruidíaz fell out of favour with the Universidad de Chile manager towards the end of the season. On 15 July 2012, Ruidíaz and club Universidad de Chile had mutually agreed to release him.
After participating in the Copa América Centenario, Ruidíaz signed for Mexican club Monarcas Morelia on a season-long loan deal for a reported fee of €105,000. He was presented to the media in Morelia on 1 July 2016 and was given the number 9 shirt. Ruidíaz made his Liga MX debut on 15 July 2016 replacing Diego Valdés in a 2–0 away loss to Tijuana. The following week, in Morelia's home opener, Ruidíaz scored his first goal in a 2–2 draw against Querétaro. On 1 August 2016, Ruidíaz scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 away win against Santos Laguna. Ruidíaz ended the season with 11 goals which made him the season's top scorer along with Tijuana's Dayro Moreno.
Before Morelia's Clausura 2017 home opener against Tijuana, Ruidíaz was honored with a commemorative plaque at Estadio Morelos for being the club's first Liga MX scoring champion. Ruidíaz later scored the second goal in Morelia's 2–0 opening match victory over Tijuana. Later that night, it was announced Morelia signed Ruidíaz to a permanent three-year transfer. Later in the season Ruidíaz scored his second hat-trick for Morelia in a 4–0 win over UNAM. In the final game of the season, Ruidíaz scored a crucial game-winning goal in a 2–1 away victory over Monterrey. The goal helped Morelia avoid relegation, helped the team qualify to the liguilla and helped Ruidíaz win his second straight Liga MX scoring title.
On 6 June 2018 it was reported that Ruidíaz would be signing a contract with MLS side Seattle Sounders F.C. The signing was made official on June 29, as the club announced Ruidiaz as a Designated Player. He set club records for being the fastest to 10 goals in MLS play (in 14 games), and scoring in the most consecutive appearances (8 games).
Ruidíaz made his international debut on 7 June 2011 in a 0–0 draw against Japan in Niigata in the Kirin Cup. In the same month, Ruidíaz was called up by coach Sergio Markarián to represent Peru in the Copa América held in Argentina, Ruidíaz was a member of the Peruvian squad that finished 3rd, after a 4–1 victory over Venezuela, Ruidíaz made only one appearance in the tournament in a match against Chile in which Peru lost 1-0.
Ruidíaz was named as a member of Peru's 23-man squad for the Copa América Centenario in 2016. In Peru's third group match against Brazil on 12 June 2016, Ruidíaz scored a controversial goal, a winner in the 75th minute. The goal put Peru up 1–0, and that result held, sending Peru through to the knockout stage as winners of Group B.
|U América FC||2009||11||3||—||—||—||11||3|
|Universidad de Chile||2012||15||8||—||—||9||0||24||8|
|Seattle Sounders FC||2018||14||10||—||2||3||—||16||13|
|Peru national team|
- As of match played 28 March 2018. Peru score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ruidíaz goal.
|1||24 March 2016||Estadio Nacional de Lima, Lima, Peru||11||2–2||2–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||28 May 2016||Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington D.C., United States||13||1–0||3–1||Friendly|
|3||12 June 2016||Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, United States||15||1–0||1–0||Copa América Centenario|
|4||27 March 2018||Red Bull Arena, Harrison, United States||29||2–1||3–1||Friendly|
- Universitario de Deportes
- Club Universidad de Chile
- Seattle Sounders
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the MLS Cup playoffs.
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- Raúl Ruidíaz: Monarcas Morelia podría esperar al jugador hasta agosto‚ americatv.com.pe, 27 June 2016
- "Raúl Ruidíaz: "No me digan 'La Pulga'"". El Comercio. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- "La U presentó sus nuevas caras para el 2012 con peruano Ruidíaz como novedad". Emol.com. 20 January 2012.
- "Raúl Ruidíaz afirma que se va muy triste de la Universidad de Chile". Rpp.com.pe. 15 July 2012.
- "Universitario acepta fichaje de Raúl Ruidíaz por Monarcas Morelia, pero..." Rpp.com.pe. 28 June 2016.
- "Morelia presenta refuerzos". eluniversal.com.mx. 1 July 2016.
- "Raúl Ruidíaz debutó en la Liga MX con derrota del Morelia ante Tijuana". peru.com. 16 July 2016.
- "Raúl Ruidíaz anotó en el empate 2-2 entre Morelia y Querétaro". peru.com. 23 July 2016.
- "Con 'hat-trick' de Ruidíaz, Monarcas Morelia venció 4-2 a Santos Laguna por la Liga MX". larepublica.pe. 1 August 2016.
- "Dayro Moreno y Raúl Ruidíaz, Reyes del Gol". LigaMX.net. 20 November 2016.
- "Con gol de Ruidíaz, Morelia venció 2-1 Monterrey y salvó la categoría en la Liga MX" (in Spanish). 7 May 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- "Ruidíaz es el monarca del gol en México" (in Spanish). ESPN Mexico. 7 May 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- Marshall, Tom (8 May 2017). "Raul Ruidiaz's goal saves Morelia in crazy final Liga MX weekend". ESPN FC. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- Bogert, Tom (29 October 2018). "Raul Ruidiaz off to fastest goal scoring start in Sounders' history". mlssoccer.com.
- Quillen, Ian (16 March 2019). "Chicago Fire 2, Seattle Sounders 4 | 2019 MLS Match Recap". mlssoccer.com.
- Dure, Beau (10 November 2019). "MLS Cup final: Seattle Sounders 3-1 Toronto FC – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "Raúl Ruidíaz". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Raúl Ruidíaz at Soccerway