Garay playing for Zenit in 2015
|Full name||Ezequiel Marcelo Garay González|
|Date of birth||10 October 1986|
|Place of birth||Rosario, Argentina|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|Newell's Old Boys|
|2004–2005||Newell's Old Boys||14||(1)|
|2008–2009||→ Racing Santander (loan)||24||(2)|
|2014–2016||Zenit Saint Petersburg||50||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 November 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 05:53, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
He started his career with Newell's Old Boys but moved to Spain at the age of 19, going on to amass La Liga totals of 184 games and 21 goals over nine seasons with Racing de Santander, Real Madrid and Valencia. In 2011 he signed with Benfica, winning four major titles, most notably the domestic treble in 2013–14.
Garay was born in Rosario, Santa Fe. At the early age of 18, he made his professional debut for hometown's Newell's Old Boys, in the Primera División. His first match was against Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, as the local team eventually won the Apertura championship in the 2004–05 season.
Garay joined La Liga club Racing de Santander in December 2005, helping with seven complete matches as the Cantabria side barely avoided relegation. His first full season was nothing short of spectacular as he netted nine league goals in 31 games, being the second top scorer in his position in Europe's major leagues only behind Inter Milan's Marco Materazzi (ten); against Real Madrid only, he scored three times – 2–1 home win (both through penalties, as well as five other goals) and 1–3 away loss – as Racing eventually finished tenth, the club's best since returning to the top flight in 2002.
On 19 March 2008, in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey against Getafe CF, Garay suffered a serious leg injury which put him out of action for the remainder of the campaign. He still scored three goals in 22 contests with his team finishing in a best-ever sixth position, qualifying for the first time to the UEFA Cup– one of those came on 30 September 2007 in a 1–0 win at UD Almería.
On 18 May 2008, Racing sold Garay to Real Madrid, but received the player again on a season-long loan. Returned in July 2009, he made his league debut for the latter on 29 August, in the opening game of the season against Deportivo de La Coruña, a 3–2 home win; on 12 December, after coming on as a substitute for severely injured Pepe, he scored his first goal for the club, heading in a free kick from Xabi Alonso to make it 3–2 at Valencia CF with six minutes to go.
Garay was only fourth-choice stopper in 2010–11 under new manager José Mourinho, only appearing in five league matches, adding two in the Spanish Cup (including one minute in the final against FC Barcelona, a 1–0 extra-time win).
On 5 July 2011, Garay transferred to S.L. Benfica for a fee of €5.5 million, signing a four-year contract - initially part of the deal that sent Fábio Coentrão to Real Madrid, Garay eventually signed a separate deal. Real Madrid also remained eligible for 50% of any transfer fee Benfica would receive, and the latter also sold part of his rights to Benfica Stars Fund for €1.175 million, making the club owner of 40%.
During his spell in Lisbon, Garay shared teams with a host of compatriots, and often partnered with Luisão in central defence. On 24 April 2014, he scored his eighth official goal of the season, netting his team's first in a 2–1 home win over Juventus F.C. for the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.
Garay earned his first cap for the senior team cap in a friendly against Norway, a 1–2 loss on 22 August 2007. He had previously been called in May by coach Alfio Basile to a series of friendlies prior to the 2007 Copa América, but injury prevented him from appearing in those matches and the official competition.
Garay was selected by new national team manager Sergio Batista to the 2011 Copa América. He was also picked by the following coach, Alejandro Sabella, for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, making his debut in the competition on 15 June by featuring the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 group stage win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was first-choice in all the remaining games and, on 9 July, converted his penalty shootout attempt against the Netherlands (0–0 after 120 minutes) to send his country to the final for the first time in 24 years.
|Newell's Old Boys||2004–05||Argentine Primera División||2||0||—||—||2||0|
|Racing Santander||2005–06||La Liga||7||0||0||0||—||7||0|
|Real Madrid||2009–10||La Liga||20||1||0||0||3||0||23||1|
|Zenit||2014–15||Russian Premier League||26||1||1||0||15||0||42||1|
Newell's Old Boys
Zenit Saint Petersburg
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