Gabriel Heinze Biography

Tue 09 March 2021 | 12:30

He was considered by many pundits to be among the best Argentinian defenders in recent times. In this article, we will take a look at Gabriel Heinze biography.

Gabriel Heinze born on 19 April 1978, in Crespo, is a former professional Argentinian football player and current head coach. He played as a defender and his last club was

Newell's Old Boys

(the same club where he made his professional debut).

Heinze began his career at the Argentine club Newell's Old Boys in Rosario and then signed for Spanish

Real Valladolid

. After a season without any matches played, he was loaned out to Sporting Lisbon where he played five matches and scored a goal. After getting back from the loan, he got a lot more playing time.

At the end of the 2001 season, Heinze switched to

Paris Saint-Germain

where he impressed

Manchester United

, and in 2004 Red Devils recruited him for 6.9 million pounds. After playing for three seasons at Manchester, he decided to pursue his career at

Real Madrid

, before switching to


in 2009.

On July 22, 2011, he signed for


after Marseille released him as a free agent. In August 2012, Heinze returned to his youth club Newell's Old Boys.

Despite playing as a defender, his goal-scoring was something that distinguished him throughout his career. To the point that Heinze managed to score goals in all the teams, he played for, including the Argentine national team, except for his brief stay at A.S. Roma.

El Gringo had the opportunity to play with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho as well as a host of other stars throughout his career.

All You Need to Know About Gabriel Heinze Biography

He made his debut for Argentina on 30 April 2004 in a 3-1 win against Libya. With Argentina, he played twice at the World Cup (2006 and 2010), twice at the Copa América (2004 and 2007), at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and at the 2005 Confederations Cup.

At the Olympics, he won the gold medal with the national team. At the Copa América, he was twice runner-up in South America. At the Confederations Cup played in Germany, he won the silver medal. He last played for the national team on 17 November 2010 in a 1-0 friendly against Brazil.

Gabriel Heinze Information

Now that you know him better, in this section of

Gabriel Heinze biography

, we will share the same general information about him such as

Gabriel Heinze nationality

to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Gabriel Heinze Bio

  • Full Name: Gabriel Iván Heinze

  • Nickname: El Gringo

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Gabriel Heinze Physical Stats

  • Weight: 72 Kg

  • Height: 1.78 m

  • Eye Color: Amber

  • Hair Color: Blonde

Gabriel Heinze Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 2

  • Professional Debut: 1996

Gabriel Heinze Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 19 April 1978

  • Birth Place: Crespo, Argentina

  • Zodiac Sign: Aries

  • Nationality: Argentinian

Now stay tuned to this section of

Gabriel Heinze biography

as we want to share some info about

Gabriel Heinze childhood


Gabriel Heinze Early Life

Gabriel Heinze was born to an Italian mother and a father of German origin. Therefore, he has Italian, Argentinian and German nationalities.

He began his professional football career in his native country at the age of 18 at Newell's Old Boys in 1996. After one season and only eight appearances, European clubs became interested in the player, and Heinze left for Spain, to join Real Valladolid for 2 million euros.

While still young, he did not play any matches in his first season and was then loaned to Sporting Lisbon, where he would play just five matches, scoring one goal. On his return from loan, Heinze's career really got off to a good start in the 1999-2000 season, when he won a starting place and then a strong second season that attracted the attention of many clubs.

Gabriel Heinze Profile

During his spell at Real Valladolid, he played a total of 54 matches in La Liga and one match in Copa del Rey. He scored his only goal in an away match against Rayo Vallecano which they lost 2-1.

Paris Saint-Germain

In 2001, Luis Fernandez recruited an Argentinean player with a German name. He joined the club for 4.2 million euros, at the same time as the star Ronaldinho or the expensive recruit Hugo Leal had joined the club. Heinze got the opportunity to rub shoulders with Mauricio Pochettino, his youth idol. Alongside him, he formed a pivotal link: to Pochettino's anticipation and experience, Heinze added his energy and his passion for battle.

A regular on the first day of

Ligue 1

against Lille, the Parc des Princes gradually discovered this player who fought in each duel, creating many tackles and spectacular clearances. Heinze occasionally abandoned his position as centre-back to become a left-back: during a match in Nantes, he took advantage of this opportunity to make two assists.

In his second season in Paris, Heinze became increasingly more confident. He scored his first goal in France on 17 November 2002 against Lens before scoring two goals in four days the following month against Lyon and Nantes. Pochettino's performances went into decline and Heinze gradually became the head of the Parisian defence.

At the Parc des Princes, he was one of the real favorites among the fans. His aggression, his challenges against opponents as well as his important goals made him a player who was always praised at the Parc and hated in all the other stadiums. His performances were so good that he became an Argentina international in 2003. This commitment, which sometimes pushed him to the limit, earned "Gabi" the title of the roughest player in Ligue 1 (20 yellow and 2 red cards for his first two seasons).

The off-season was not a good one for Heinze. Luis Fernandez left, and Vahid Halilhodžić took over from him. In addition to the rejection of his transfer to FC Barcelona, Halilhodzic decided to appoint Heinze as his left-back. The Argentinian was in a hectic mood throughout August and then, in September, he came to his senses and was once again impeccable on the pitch.

With Juan Pablo Sorín in front of him, Heinze formed one of the best left flank duos in the French league. PSG had an excellent season and finished in second place. Paris also won the French Cup, but without Heinze in the final, since he had gone to play a match for his country.

Nevertheless, the fans at the Parc des Princes respected a minute's silence following the death of his father, a minute which completed the strengthening of the ties between Heinze and the Parisian fans. As a key player for PSG, appreciated by his teammates, coach Vahid Halilhodžić did not stop him when Manchester United made an offer of 10 million euros for Heinze.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Gabriel Heinze biography

as we want to share some info about his Man United career.

Manchester United

In Manchester, Heinze played in the

Champions League

and played three seasons as a left-back. The first year, he was voted best player in the club by the fans at the end of the season, who awarded him the Matt Busby prize. His second season was damaged by a torn cruciate ligament in his left knee on 14 September 2005, an injury that deprived him of all competitions.

Despite this poor playing time, he was nevertheless selected to play in the 2006

World Cup

where he would play all the games except the third game of the group stage (Argentina having already qualified after 2 games) as a central defender. In his third season, he won the English Premier League.

While he was recovering from the injuries, his position was taken over by Patrice Évra, who became a key player in that position. In the summer of 2007, Gabriel Heinze asked to be transferred to Liverpool, who offered £6.8m, but the Manchester United management refused the deal because of rivalry between the two clubs. Gabriel wanted to play regularly and after this failed move to Liverpool, Heinze returned to Spain where he signed with Real Madrid for €12m in 2007.

Real Madrid

He was signed by Real Madrid on 22 August 2007 for around 12 million euros on a four-season contract, becoming the third Manchester United player to be transferred to Real Madrid (after David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy). He debuted on 2 September after coming on for Raúl on 57 minutes in the 5-0 win over


in the second matchday of

La Liga


On 30 March 2008, he scored his first goal for Real Madrid in a 3-1 win over Sevilla at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. On 4 May he was crowned champion of the Spanish League with three games to go after a 2-1 win over Osasuna, a match in which Heinze played at left-back.

Real Madrid with the German Bernd Schuster as coach finished the season with 85 points, winning the league with 8 points ahead of Villarreal and 18 points ahead of arch-rivals Barcelona, whom they hosted as champions at the Santiago Bernabéu the following day, winning 4-1. Due to various injuries during the season, Heinze played only 20 matches in La Liga and scored one goal.

He started the 2008-09 season by participating in the winning of the Spanish Super Cup on 24 August after beating


6-5 on aggregate. After losing the first leg 3-2, they managed to come back and win the second leg 4-2 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu despite being outnumbered after the sending offs of Rafael van der Vaart and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

On 27 September in a match on the fifth matchday of the 2008-09 Liga BBVA, Heinze opened the scoring in a 1-2 win over Real Betis after a header from Rafael van der Vaart's free-kick. However, the team suffered negative results in La Liga and the Champions League and was eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Real Unión de Irún of the Spanish Segunda División B in the last 32, which caused Bernd Schuster to be sacked and replaced in December by Juande Ramos.

Except for some injuries, his starting place was not affected. On 14 March 2009 he scored the second Real Madrid goal after 34 minutes in a 2-5 win over Athletic Club, a match in which he also scored an own goal two minutes later. Despite the improvement in the team's performance under the Spaniard, Real Madrid remained in second place, 9 points behind Barcelona, who have crowned champions of the 2008-09 Liga BBVA.

Heinze made 24 appearances (all starts) in the Liga BBVA and scored two goals, demonstrating his versatility in defence, both on the left flank and in the heart of the defence. In two seasons with Real Madrid, he played 44 games, scored 3 goals and won the hearts of many of the Real Madrid fans.


On 30 July 2009, he signed a two-year contract with Olympique Marseille. Heinze took part in his first match under his new team on 8 August 2009 as a starting player in the league against Grenoble (OM won 0-2). On the following 15 September, he scored his first goal with OM against AC Milan in the Champions League. However, the Marseille side lost by two goals to one, with Filippo Inzaghi scoring a double for the Milanese.

The following 22 October, he scored a decisive goal enabling OM to beat Zurich (1-0) in the Champions League. He scored the only goal of the match in the Classico against his former club, Paris Saint-Germain (1-0) on 20 November. Throughout the season, Gabriel Heinze was one of the team's leaders, with six goals scored in all competitions (four in the league and two in the Champions League), including a 25-metre free kick on 5 May against Stade Rennais on the 36th matchday. This 3-1 win gave OM the Ligue 1 title and was the third major national title for Gabriel Heinze. He also won the 2010 League Cup.

After a good 2010-2011 season which saw OM finish second in Ligue 1 and win the League Cup for the second year running, he announced at a press conference on 27 May 2011 that he was leaving the Marseille club at the end of the season, one year before the end of his contract.


He was signed on 22 July 2011 by Roma on a free transfer, who had beaten off competition from Bologna. The player would receive €0.6 million per season until 30 June 2012. His contract also stated that should the player reach 25 appearances in Roma jersey, the contract would be automatically renewed for another year.

He debuted with the Roma shirt on 11 September 2011 in the home game against Cagliari, lost 1-2. He terminated his contract with the club on 10 August 2012.

Newell's Old Boys

In mid-2012, the team where he was born as a player began negotiations for his return and, after several rounds of talks, he was released from his contract with Roma and returned to the club of his love, under the orders of coach Gerardo Martino, alongside teammates such as Maxi Rodríguez, Ignacio Scocco, Milton Casco, Santiago Vergini, Nahuel Guzmán, and Lucas Bernardi, among others. After an excellent campaign in the 2012 Torneo Inicial, he was crowned champion of the 2013 Torneo Final, winning his first title in his home country.

Over the years, Heinze always spoke of his passion for Newell's from abroad. The return of Tata Gerardo Martino was key to the return of Heinze, who at another point in his career seemed unreachable. After not only saving the team from relegation in 2012 but also taking them to the highest level of South American football, he established himself as an idol of the club.

The dream of the Newell's Old Boys fans to see Gringo Heinze defending their shirt a little more, was fulfilled and this title was enough to put a happy ending to the love story between Heinze and the club where he was born.

Gabriel Heinze announced his retirement on 9 May, and on 10 May 2014, he played his last game for Newell's. He said goodbye in front of 42,000 fans who gave him a standing ovation, in what was considered a well-deserved farewell. Now stay tuned to this section of Gabriel Heinze biography as we want to share some info about his Argentina national team career.

Argentina National Team

His debut in the senior national team took place on 30 April 2003 in a match against the Libyan national football team, in which


won 3-1. After that, Heinze was called up by Marcelo Bielsa for the following friendly matches and for the start of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers in


. The following year, Heinze was confirmed as a starter for the national team.

In July of the same year, he was called up for the 2004

Copa América

in Peru. Heinze was a starter in all 6 matches played by his national team, where Argentina was runner-up after losing 2-4 on penalties to Brazil after a 2-2 draw in normal time. Heinze was the second Argentinian to take the penalty, only to miss his shot.

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he was part of the gold medal winning squad and was called up for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he reached the quarter-finals.

He played in the 2005 Confederations Cup in Germany, where Argentina was runner-up. He played in all the matches. He was also called up for the 2007 Copa America, in Venezuela, where Argentina was again runner-ups.

He also played 14 matches of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, where Argentina qualified with difficulty in the last two matches. He was one of the 23 representatives of the Argentine national team in the World Cup where he scored the winning goal in the first match of the group stage against Nigeria and played the second match against the Republic of Korea in a 4-1 result for the Albiceleste. He also played in the round of 16 against Mexico, in which Argentina won 3-1 and the quarter-finals against Germany, where Argentina was defeated 4-0.

Coaching Career

Heinze is considered a "modern" coach as he relies heavily on technology. He manages with two computers and several pen drives, which he takes with him everywhere he goes. He watches the last eight matches of his opponents on video. First, the complete matches, to edit them and see the remaining edition of each one of them.

Although he was expected to join the staff of Marcelo Bielsa, then coach of the Olympique de Marseille in 2014, Gabriel Heinze finally had his first experience on the bench the following season when he became coach of Godoy Cruz on 14 June 2015. His first experience on the bench was short-lived as he only stayed at the club for six months.

For the next season, he was back on the bench in June 2016 when he signed for Argentinos Juniors, then in the second division. Despite being promoted to the top flight four days before the end of the league, he left his post at the beginning of August 2017.

On 11 December 2017, he was signed by Velez Sarsfield, then 19th in the standings. He left his post in March 2020 when the club was in third place in the league.

Seven months later, in October 2020 it was announced that Gabriel Heinze has been named the coach of Atlanta United in the MLS for two seasons. Now stay tuned to this section of Gabriel Heinze biography as we want to share some info about his playing style.

Style of Play

Regarding his style of play on the pitch, Heinze says: "I've never been a strong player, but I've always tried my best: my job was to run and work hard, and then other people had to win games by making a play. It's the concept of the team: you don't have to feel diminished if your job is harder and less flashy, you simply have to try to be the best at it."


Many football fans, critics and fellow professional footballers consider Gabriel Heinze to be one of the best Argentinian defenders in recent years and he has proved this with his great performances both on the club and international level.

Goal Celebration

Despite playing as a defender during his career, Gabriel Heinze has scored some good goals during his career. However, he didn’t have any signature goal celebration to his name and each time he celebrated his goals in a different manner.

Gabriel Heinze outside Football

Gabriel Heinze is known as a family guy in football and whenever he’s not involved in football he spends time with his family. However, when he took over as manager of Argentinos Juniors, he moved to Nordelta and his family stayed in Rosario.

He is known for being a straightforward player, for speaking out and for being "politically incorrect". These are qualities for which he was and is both loved and hated.

Gabriel Heinze Personal Life

In this section of Gabriel Heinze biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info like

Gabriel Heinze religion


Gabriel Heinze life story

with you.

Family, Children and Relationships

He has German origin through his father, who was a native of the Volga Germans. His mother of Italian origin was a teacher by profession. He has three brothers. Due to his roots, he has German nationality, which meant that he did not need a work permit to play in the European Union.

He is married to Maria Fiorentina and the couple has two children named Augustin and Paula.


At the time of writing this article, there were no reports on media regarding any charity and philanthropy activities of Gabriel Heinze.

Legal Issues

He was named in the media amidst the Panama Papers scandal. In 2005, he signed a sponsorship deal with the German company Puma, with the money going to the British Virgin Islands, which is a tax haven, to an entity registered under his mother.

Gabriel Heinze Career Statistics

In this section of Gabriel Heinze biography stay tuned as we want to take a look into his career stats on international and club level.


Since the start of his career in Argentina until the day he hung up his boots in the very same club he started his football in, Gabriel Heinze has played a total of 507 matches in all competitions, scoring 29 goals. He played the biggest part of his career at PSG.


Gabriel Heinze has represented his country 73 times between 2003 and 2010 and participated in many major competitions with Argentina national team. During his international career, Heinze has scored 3 times for his country.


As a manager, he has played a total of 127 matches where his team has won 58, drawn 38 and lost 31 matches. His win ratio is 45.67 percent.

Gabriel Heinze Honors

On club level, he has won many titles including UEFA Intertoto Cup, English Premier League, La Liga, Supercopa de España, Ligue 1, Coupe de la Ligue and Argentine Primera División.

With Argentina national team, he has won the Gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and were runner-ups in 2004 and 2007 Copa America and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.

His only title won as a manager is Primera B Nacional which he won with Argentinos Juniors during the 2016-17 season.

He has also won Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year when he was playing with Man United.

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source: SportMob