Abel Xavier
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Abel Xavier

Abel Xavier
Personal information
Full name Abel Luís da Silva Costa Xavier
Date of birth (1972-11-30) 30 November 1972 (age 47)
Place of birth Nampula, Mozambique
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position(s) Full-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990-1993 Estrela da Amadora 85 (5)
1993-1995 Benfica 45 (4)
1995-1996 -> Bari (loan) 8 (0)
1996-1998 Real Oviedo 58 (0)
1998-1999 PSV 19 (2)
1999-2002 Everton 43 (0)
2002-2003 Liverpool 14 (1)
2003 -> Galatasaray (loan) 11 (0)
2003-2004 Hannover 96 5 (0)
2005 Roma 3 (0)
2005-2006 Middlesbrough 4 (0)
2006-2007 Middlesbrough 14 (1)
2007-2008 LA Galaxy 21 (0)
Total 330 (13)
National team
1988-1989 Portugal U16 14 (1)
1989 Portugal U17 6 (0)
1988-1990 Portugal U18 9 (0)
1990-1991 Portugal U20 9 (0)
1991-1994 Portugal U21 21 (1)
1993-2002 Portugal 20 (2)
Teams managed
2013 Olhanense
2014-2015 Farense
2015 Aves
2016-2019 Mozambique
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Abel Luís da Silva Costa Xavier (Portuguese pronunciation: [?'b vi']; born 30 November 1972) is a Portuguese former professional footballer who played as a full back, and is a manager.

Xavier played for clubs in Portugal, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, England, Turkey and Germany before retiring with the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2008. He represented both Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League.

From his debut in 1993, Xavier played 20 games for the Portugal national team, and was selected in their squads for UEFA Euro 2000 and 2002 FIFA World Cup. He later became a manager for several Portuguese clubs and the Mozambique national team.

Club career

Early career

Xavier debuted in the Portuguese top division with Estrela da Amadora. His play there earned him a transfer to Lisbon club Benfica. He helped Benfica win the Portuguese league in 1994, and a season after, he moved to Serie A side Bari. This stint with the Italian club started a series of transfers across Europe: in 1996, Xavier was sent to Real Oviedo, then after two seasons he moved to PSV.

Everton and Liverpool

Xavier joined English Premier League club Everton in September 1999 on a £1.5 million transfer deal. He was sold to Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool on 30 January 2002 for £800,000. He was signed to bolster Liverpool's defence following Markus Babbel's absence through illness.[1] Xavier scored on his Liverpool debut against Ipswich Town.[2] He also scored against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League.[3] Liverpool ended the 2001-02 FA Premier League season as runners-up to Arsenal.

Xavier started the first four league games of the 2002-03 FA Premier League season but later argued with Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier and did not feature in any of the remaining games, though he did play in a League Cup tie against Ipswich in December.[4] On 29 January 2003, he was loaned to Turkish side Galatasaray for the remainder of the season, with an option of a permanent move in the summer.[5] Galatasaray did not take up the option to sign Xavier, who subsequently played for Hannover 96 (2003-04) and Roma in 2004-05.

Middlesbrough

At the start of the 2005-06 season, Xavier was without a club but at the end of August, he signed for Middlesbrough to replace Michael Reiziger after the Dutchman was sold to PSV.[6]

Following the UEFA Cup tie against Skoda Xanthi on 29 September, Xavier was administered a drugs test and failed.[7] On 23 November 2005, he was found guilty of using the anabolic steroid methandrostenolone (also known as dianabol), and banned from professional football for 18 months.[8] He said that the substance came from anti-virus medicine that he had imported from the United States.[8] While other players had failed tests for recreational substances, Xavier became the first Premier League player to be found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.[9] The suspension caused him to miss Middlesbrough's run to the 2006 UEFA Cup final. Xavier remained employed by the club and unsuccessfully appealed the decision; in January 2006 he said that he would take UEFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.[10]

Xavier's ban was shortened to 12 months in June 2006, making him eligible to play again from November 2006.[11] In the summer of 2006, he began training again with Middlesbrough, and on 8 November 2006, was offered a contract with the club for the remainder of the 2006-07 season.[12] He scored his first Boro goal on 20 January 2007 in a 5-1 win against Bolton Wanderers at the Riverside Stadium.[13]

LA Galaxy

On 14 May 2007, it was announced that Xavier was to join the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS). He played in his first game with the Galaxy on 17 June 2007 at home against Real Salt Lake, setting up fellow new signing Edson Buddle in a 3-2 win.[14]

Xavier was waived by Los Angeles on 18 July 2008. Later, in an interview to an online football site, Xavier criticised Galaxy manager Ruud Gullit and the league itself.[15][16][17] In December 2009, Xavier quit professional football.

International career

Xavier was a part of the Portugal squad which came third at the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship in Scotland.

Xavier's full international debut for senior team came on 31 March 1993, away in Switzerland in qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.[18] He played three more matches in the unsuccessful qualification campaign that year and did not play for Portugal again until 1998.[19]

Xavier was selected for UEFA Euro 2000 and became one of the key figures in the competition, not only due to playing some of his best football but also due to a distinctly bleached-blonde hairstyle with a matching beard. In the semi-final against France, he went from close to hero, as France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez blocked what looked a sure goal, to a villain, when he deflected a shot by Sylvain Wiltord near the post in the dying seconds of golden goal extra time with his hand. Zinedine Zidane scored the penalty and put France in the final. Xavier was initially given a nine-month ban from football for his vociferous protests against referee Günter Benkö's decision to award the penalty,[20] but it was eventually reduced to six months.[21] In the 2002 World Cup, he was part of the squad but played only as a substitute in the final group stage match against South Korea in his final of 20 international appearances.

Managerial career

In July 2013, Xavier signed to be manager of Portuguese top division club Olhanense for the upcoming 2013-14 Primeira Liga season.[22] He was sacked by the club on 28 October 2013, despite beating Arouca in his last match to reach 11th in the table.[23][24]

In December 2014, Xavier signed for another team from the Algarve, Farense of the Segunda Liga.[24] He left his position on 28 May, after leading his team to the 11th position.[25]

In July 2015, Xavier signed a one-year deal with another team in the second division, Desportivo das Aves.[26] He was fired in early September after a series of poor results.[27]

On 26 January 2016, he signed a two-year contract as coach of the Mozambique national team, starting work on 1 February.[28] In December 2017, with his contract due to expire, he had it extended until the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.[29] After conceding an added-time goal to Guinea, the Black Mambas missed out on the tournament in Egypt but he was assured of a new deal by the Mozambican Football Federation; this offer was rescinded after a poor performance at the 2019 COSAFA Cup in South Africa.[30]

Personal life

Xavier was born in Mozambique, which was then a Portuguese colony, and moved to Portugal as a child.[28] He settled in Jamor in the western suburbs of Lisbon, where he lived in poverty.[31] He grew up in a strict Catholic background.[32] On retiring from his playing career, Xavier converted to Islam and changed his first name to Faisal.[33]

From 2011 to 2014, Xavier was in a relationship with actress Oceana Basílio.[34] In February 2017, with debts of EUR1.5 million, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against him.[35]

Career statistics

Club

[36]

Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental[a] Other[b] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Estrela Amadora 1989-90 1 0 0 0 -- -- -- 1 0
1990-91 22 0 -- 3 0 0 0 25 0
1991-92 29 0 -- -- -- 29 0
1992-93 34 5 -- -- -- 34 5
Total 86 5 -- 3 0 0 0 89 5
Benfica 1993-94 24 1 0 0 -- 8 1 1 0 33 2
1994-95 22 3 2 0 -- 5 0 3 0 32 3
Total 46 4 2 0 -- 13 1 4 0 65 5
Bari 1995-96 8 0 -- -- -- 8 0
Real Oviedo 1996-97 27 0 4 0 -- -- -- 31 0
1997-98 32 0 1 0 -- -- - 33 0
Total 59 0 5 0 -- -- -- 64 0
PSV 1998-99 19 2 -- 7 0 1 0 27 2
Everton 1999-00 20 0 2 0 1 0 -- -- 23 0
2000-01 11 0 1 0 0 0 -- -- 12 0
2001-02 12 0 1 0 1 0 -- -- 14 0
Total 43 0 4 0 2 0 -- -- 49 0
Liverpool 2001-02 10 1 -- -- 5 1 -- 15 2
2002-03 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Total 14 1 0 0 1 0 5 1 1 0 21 2
Galatasaray 2002-03 11 0 1 0 -- -- -- 12 0
Hannover 2003-04 5 0 0 0 -- -- -- 5 0
Roma 2004-05 3 0 1 0 -- 0 0 -- 4 0
Middlesbrough 2005-06 4 0 -- -- 2 0 -- 6 0
2006-07 14 1 6 0 0 0 -- -- 20 1
Total 18 1 6 0 0 0 2 0 -- 26 1
LA Galaxy 2007 10 0 1 0 -- 5 0 -- 16 0
2008 10 0 -- -- -- -- 10 0
Total 20 0 1 0 -- 5 0 -- 26 0
Career total 332 13 20 0 3 0 35 2 6 0 396 15

International

Portugal national team
Year Apps Goals
1993 4 0
1998 5 0
1999 2 1
2000 4 1
2001 2 0
2002 3 0
Total 20 2

International goals

Abel Xavier: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 14 October 1998 Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0-3 0-3 Euro 2000 qualifying
2 9 October 1999 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal  Hungary 3-0 3-0 Euro 2000 qualifying

Managerial

As of 15 November 2016
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Olhanense 7 July 2013 28 October 2013 10 3 2 5 030.00
Farense 1 December 2014 28 May 2015 27 11 6 10 040.74
Desportivo Aves 9 July 2015 4 September 2015 6 0 2 4 000.00
Mozambique 26 January 2016 Present 9 2 2 5 022.22
Total 52 16 12 24 030.77 --

Honours

Club

Estrela da Amadora
Benfica
PSV
Liverpool

International

Portugal Youth

See also

References

  1. ^ "Xavier completes Mersey move". BBC Sport. 30 January 2002. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Liverpool six-hitters stun Ipswich". BBC. 9 February 2002. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ "Liverpool suffer Euro woe". BBC. 9 April 2002. Retrieved 2009.
  4. ^ "Liverpool spot-on to foil Ipswich". The Guardian. 5 December 2002. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "- Football - Eng Prem - Xavier moves to Galatasaray". BBC Sport. 29 January 2003. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "Boro race to complete Xavier deal". BBC Sport. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Xavier case on 23 November". UEFA. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b Walker, Michael (24 November 2005). "Eighteen-month drug ban for Xavier may end Boro player's career". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Xavier appeals against drugs ban". BBC Sport. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Xavier vows to contest drugs ban". BBC Sport. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Xavier suspension reduced". UEFA. 11 July 2006. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 2008.
  12. ^ Livie, Alex (8 November 2006). "Abel back in Boro fold". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ Fletcher, Paul (20 January 2007). "Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton". BBC. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ "RSL finds offense but loses to LA, 3-2". KSL. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "Dominguez added to Galaxy roster". la.galaxy.mlsnet.com. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2008.[dead link]
  16. ^ McCarthy, Kyle (22 July 2008). "McCarthy's Musings: Xavier Speaks Out Against Gullit". goal.com. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ McCarthy, Kyle (23 July 2008). "McCarthy's Musings: More from Xavier and Welcome to Toronto". goal.com. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "Football MATCH: 31.03.1993 Switzerland v Portugal". eu-football.info. 31 March 1993. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ "Football PLAYER: Abel Xavier". eu-football.info. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "Portuguese players suspended, federation fined". CNN Sports Illustrated. 2 July 2000. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ "Referees under attack". BBC Sport. 18 November 2000. Retrieved 2010.
  22. ^ "Abel Xavier é o novo treinador do Olhanense" (in Portuguese). publico.pt. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "Olhanense despede Abel Xavier". O Publico. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ a b Gonçalves, Álvaro (2 December 2014). "Abel Xavier apresentado como treinador do Farense" [Abel Xavier presented as Farense coach]. ZeroZero (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ "Abel Xavier deixa Farense" [Abel Xavier leaves Farense]. ZeroZero (in Portuguese). 28 May 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "Abel Xavier é o novo treinador do Aves" [Abel Xavier is Aves' new coach]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ "Abel Xavier despedido" [Abel Xavier fired]. Record (in Portuguese). 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Mozambique appoint Abel Xavier as new national coach". BBC Sport. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ Gleeson, Mark (19 December 2017). "Abel Xavier to continue as coach of Mozambique and develop football". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Gleeson, Mark (22 July 2019). "Matine takes over from Xavier as new Mozambique coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ Simões de Abreu, Alexandra (20 January 2019). "Vivi na pobreza no Jamor, convivi com o Beckham, jantei com o Cruise e o De Niro em LA, mas guardo roupa suja do pó vermelho de Moçambique" [I lived in poverty in Jamor, I lived alongside Beckham, I dined with Cruise and De Niro in LA, but I keep clothes dirty with the red dust of Mozambique]. Tribuna Expresso (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019.
  32. ^ Anthony Vickers (15 December 2016). "On Reflection: Abel Xavier - a colourful character who was no stranger to controversy". Teesside Gazette. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ "Abel Xavier Quits Football And Converts To Islam". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  34. ^ "Abel Xavier confirma fim da relação com Oceana Basílio" [Abel Xavier confirms end of relationship with Oceana Basílio] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ "Abel Xavier enfrenta processo de insolvência" [Abel Xavier faces bankruptcy proceedings]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 17 February 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  36. ^ "Abel Xavier". ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 2017.

External links


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