Esteban Cambiasso

Leicester City In 100 Players: Esteban Cambiasso

Club Historian John Hutchinson continues his review of the careers of 100 of the most outstanding players to represent Leicester Fosse and Leicester City in the Club’s 140-year history. The series continues with Esteban Cambiasso, whose star performances made him a firm fans’ favourite.
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Cambiasso signed for Leicester City on 28 August, 2014, when Nigel Pearson’s side had just returned to the Premier League. Fans reacted to his arrival with delighted disbelief because his record in the game was so impressive. 

He had won 52 Argentine caps, representing his country in the 2005 Confederations Cup, the 2007 and 2011 Copa America tournaments, and in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany.

His club career began in 1995 with Argentinos Juniors. He moved to Real Madrid’s B side in 1996 before returning to his homeland to play for Independiente and River Plate, where he won the Argentine Primera League. In 2002, he went back to Real Madrid, where he lifted the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup in 2002, and La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in 2003. 

In July 2004, he moved to Inter Milan, staying for the next 10 years during which he won five successive Serie A titles, the Italian Cup four times, the Italian Super Cup four times, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. 

Joining a Leicester City side which spent most of the season fighting relegation was a different experience for Esteban, but he soon demonstrated his abilities. After a debut appearance as a substitute at Stoke City, he quickly made an impact on his first start for the Foxes by scoring the equalising goal in the famous 5-3 victory over Manchester United, who were leading 3-1 with 30 minutes to go.

A left-footed playmaker, he was a very versatile and intelligent player able to adapt to several midfield or defensive positions. A good reader of the game with tactical intelligence, he had the ability to change the shape of a game. He had good vision with a great passing range. He was also very hard working. He was a good game manager. Earlier in his career, at Inter Milan, he had been described as the ‘heartbeat of the side’ and this was also true of his time at Leicester City.

He was an ever-present in the ‘Great Escape’ run which secured safety from relegation by winning 22 points from the last nine games of the season.

He won Leicester City’s Player of the Season award and then, having scored five goals in 33 appearances for the Foxes, he departed for Olympiacos, where he won two Greece Super League titles before retiring from playing in 2017.

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