- 6'2" (1.88m)
- 172 lbs (78 kg)
- February 14, 1987
Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has become one of the most feared forwards in European football in recent seasons, so much so that not too many people balked when the French club paid Napoli a reported 55 million pounds for his services in 2013.
The Salto-born striker began his a career with Montevideo side Danubio FC in 2006 and made an instant impact, scoring nine goals in his debut season as the Uruguayan club won the Primera Division Apertura. His exploits in the domestic game earned him a call-up to the Uruguay Under-20 side for the 2007 South American Youth Championship in Paraguay, where he was scouted by a number of European clubs, including Juventus and AC Milan.
However, it was Palermo who moved quickest to snap up the youngster. The deal was officially completed in January 2007, but El Matador -- as he is nicknamed -- had to wait until March to make a memorable debut against Fiorentina as he hit a volleyed equaliser that was reminiscent of Marco van Basten's legendary strike against Soviet Union in the final of Euro '88.
Following the departure of Amauri to Juventus in June 2008, Cavani quickly established himself as a regular at Palermo, scoring 35 goals in 114 appearances, but was forced to play in a wide role rather than in his preferred position as a central striker. In April 2010, he penned a new contract with Palermo that ran until June 2014, but the prospect of playing a more central role in Walter Mazzarri's Napoli proved too difficult to resist and Cavani swapped Scilly for the Italian mainland in a move that established his credentials as a top quality goalscorer.
He started life at the Stadio San Paolo in emphatic fashion and ended the season with 26 goals in a league campaign that culminated with qualification for the Champions League. Cavani was just two goals behind Udinese's Antonio Di Natale and would have been the first Napoli player to top the scoring charts since Diego Maradona in 1988, although the Argentine did it with just 15 goals.
Cavani's star continued to rise as he won the 2011 Copa America with Uruguay and despite being linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid, he stayed with Napoli, helping the Partenopei reach the Champions League last-16 and claim their first piece of silverware in more than two decades -- scoring in both the semifinal and final as the 2012 Coppa Italia was won. Again there was interest and again he stayed, this time helping Napoli to a second-place finish in Serie A as the competition's top scorer with 29 goals; this time PSG opened up their chequebook and it was impossible for all parties to resist.
Cavani joined compatriot and former teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi at the Parc des Princes and enjoyed a memorable first season, winning a Ligue 1 and Coupe de la Ligue. In the final of the latter, he scored a match-winning brace against Lyon; in the league, he grabbed an admirable return of 16 goals in 30 games. The next level for Cavani and PSG is further progress in the Champions League after a quarterfinal exit -- he fell to Chelsea for the second time in three years -- but before that comes the World Cup and a shot at glory with Argentina.
Strengths: Powerful and strong, he is a commanding presence up front who can hold onto the ball and is not afraid to get his head on a cross, but most importantly he is a natural finsher when in front of goal.
Weaknesses: His eagerness to work defensively for the team can draw him too deep and his passing is not on a par with his finishing.
Career high: Winning the 2011 Copa America to make Uruguay the most successful team in the competition's history, with 15 triumphs, one ahead of Argentina.
Career low: It's a tough to call for a player who has experienced a meteroic rise. Perhaps the fact he only scored two goals in his first six months at Palermo.
Style: Agile, powerful, a real handful in the box who loves to play on the counter-attack.
Quotes: "He's an important player for us. He fights hard, he tries to play and when he doesn't manage to do so, he still fights and that's important." Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, November 2011
Trivia: Cavani comes from a footballing family and his older brother Walter Guglielmone plays as a forward for Brazilian Serie D side Pelotas.
|Uruguay||A - Colombia||Jun 28, 2014||WC||L 2-0||Started||0||0||4||2||3||2||0||0|
|Uruguay||A - Italy||Jun 24, 2014||WC||W 0-1||Started||0||0||2||1||2||1||0||0|
|Uruguay||H - England||Jun 19, 2014||WC||W 2-1||Started||0||1||2||0||1||0||0||0|
|Uruguay||H - Costa Rica||Jun 14, 2014||WC||L 1-3||Started||1||0||4||2||2||0||0||0|