Walter Samuel is the retired professional footballer from Argentina. He is also known for his brilliant performances back in some of the greatest football clubs such as Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Keep reading to learn some of the top facts about Walter Samuel.
Samuel is described by Javier Zanetti, Inter Milan’s former captain as one of the "hardest player" he has ever played with. Walter is also regarded as one of the best defenders of his own generation.
Walter Samuel is known to be an aggressive center-back whose strength and speed is uncontrollable. He is graced with reading the game as well as player’s mind so as to make the next proper move.
During his professional career, Walter Samuel won several trophies which proves he is worthy of all the compliments he has ever received.
The main reason that somehow made Walter Samuel to announce his retirement were the multiple injuries he suffered during different matches. Actually some of those injuries were so severe that caused his fitness serious problems.
Walter Samuel was born on 23 March 1978 in an Argentine family. He comes from a town called Laborde located in the southeast of Córdoba, Argentina.
Walter’s mother is called Gladys Luján and his stepfather is named Oscar Samuel. He also has two sisters whose names have never been mentioned anywhere up to now.
fact about Walter Samuel
that you need to know is that he was actually born with the name Walter Adrián Luján, but then decided to adopt the surname of his stepfather, ‘Samuel’ as a teenager.
Stories about Walter Samuel’s childhood are kept as a secret and there is no available information to tell us how he used to spend his time as a child.
Although Walter Samule’s youth career has never been discussed before, his professional career started with the Argentine club,Newell's Old Boys
in 1996. During his one-season career in the team, Walter made 42 appearances without scoring a goal.
A year later in 1997, Samuel joinedBoca Juniors
. He stayed in this team until 2000, appeared 103 times and scored 5 goals. But in the same year, he moved to Italy where a signed a €20 million contract withRoma
Playing in Roma was perhaps one of the best work-related decisions he had ever made. It was a great opportunity for him to finally show off his terrific potentials and the fabulous skills he had developed over the years.
Another fact about Walter Samuel which supports the previous statement about him is that he was named as one of the best defenders in the Italian league. It also happened to be a reason for the fans to give Walter Samuel the nickname “Il Muro” which means “The Wall”.
Still playing vigorously for Roma, this Argentine footballer went further to win the Serie A title in 2001. These were enough reasons to attract Real Madrid’s attention. As a matter of fact, this Spanish club bought Samuel for €25 million in 2004.
But he couldn’t even satisfyReal Madrid
with his performance or in other words, he failed to live up their expectations.
As a result, after only one season of playing for Real Madrid, Walter Samuel returned to Italy to join the Serie A club,Internazionale
on a four-year deal. Reportedly, his transfer fee was worth €16 million.
In the early days of his career in the new club, Walter won the 2005 Supercoppa Italiana in a match againstJuventus
. He also made his league debut for Inter Milan in 21 September 2005, in a 1-0 away win versusChievo
On 23 December 2007, Walter Samuel got injured in the Derby della Madonnina. The injury was so serious that required surgeries and he had to stay out of the field of play until the end of season 2007-2008. But he started afresh by training with the first team in October season 2008-2009 and then shortly, regained his spot on the first team.
Finally after nine months, Walter played for the first time on 9 November in a 1-0 home win againstUdinese
Another fact about Walter Samuel is that he was one of the most important players during 2009-2010 seasons.
Having two rough consecutive seasons, this specific one brought a giant victory as the club won a treble, including the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia as well as the UEFA Champions League.
On 20 October, Walter scored his first goal of the season in the third Champions League group stage match overDynamo Kyiv
that turned out a 2-2 draw.
3 months later on 9 January, Walter Samuel scored another decisive goal in a match overSiena
. He scored in the last minutes of the game, changing the numbers to a 4-3 win for Inter Milan. Later, the same goal resulted in Inter winning the title with only two point away from Roma.
Also on 24 April, Walter played his 100th Serie A match for the club, a 3-1 victory atAtlanta
. During his 42 appearances in that season, he managed to score four goals.
Also regarding the effort he put into his work, Samuel later received a lot of compliments and was praised for his stunning performances againstBarcelona
which led to Inter Milan winning the Champions League title.
fact about Walter Samuel
is that he suffered another injury on 7 November 2010 during the match over Brescia. It was actually a severe knee injury which caused him to miss the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup triumph in United Arab Emirates.
He made his next appearance 6 months later on 15 May 2011. He came on the field in the last minutes of the fixture againstNapoli
that ended with a 1-1 draw. Later at the end of the game, he talked about the feeling of playing again after months of recovery:
“I'm feeling good and I'm delighted at having been able to play the last few minutes of this match. I would like to thank the medical staff for the work they did after my injury, my family who has always stood by me, and all the fans.”
Samuel played his 500th match as a pro player on 5 February 2012 in a 4-0 defeat at his previous club, Roma. At the end of the season, he extended his contract with Inter Milan for another year.
In a fixture overMilan
, Samuel scored a winning goal which became the 10th derby he has ever won. For the last time, in June 2013 Walter decided to extend his contract with Inter Milan for another season.
On 9 February 2014, he went on to score his first goal of his last season in Inter, in the match overSassuolo
. Eleven days later for the first time, he wore the captain armband in the 2-1 victory againstFiorentina
In April 2014, Walter Samuel scored his final goal of the season in a fixture over Sampdoria which ended with a 4-0 win for Inter Milan. He also made his last appearance in a 4-1 home win atLazio
on 10 May 2014, which assured the team of having a spot in the 2014-2015 UEFA Europa League.
In the period of nine years, Samuel made 236 appearances, scored 14 goals and won 13 trophies overall. Another fact about Walter Samuel is that he had the most appearances in his entire career, playing for Inter Milan.
Finally it was time for Walter Samuel to say goodbye to Inter Milan after 9 glorious seasons. Subsequently, he joined the Swiss Super League,Basel
on a one-year deal on 23 July 2014.
On 31 August 2014, Walter made his league debut in the fixture versus Young Boys that resulted in a 3-1 home win for Basel.
The club also became the champion of the 2014-2015 Super League for the sixth time in a row. They even made it to the 2014-2015 Swiss Cup finals but lost the game over FC Sion with the result of 0-3.
Walter Samuel signed another contract with Basel in June 2015 which means he would’ve played for another year; however, in October he publicly announced that he wants to retire from playing as a professional footballer by the end of season 2015-2016 due to physical difficulties.
Before getting retired, on 10 December 2015 he took part in the closing match of the 2015-2016 UEFA Europa League group stage in a 1-0 away win at Lech Poznan.
Even on his last days in Basel, he never stopped putting 100% of himself and therefore, won the Swiss Super League championship at the end of the 2015-2016 Super League season for the second time.
He finally played his last game on 25 May 2016 in a 1-0 home defeat at Grasshoppers, back then he was 38 years old.
In 1997, Walter Samuel represented Argentina at under-20 youth level. He also took part in 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup which happened to be a giant victory for Argentina at the end.
In addition to the top
facts about Walter Samuel
, it should be mentioned that he actually made his debut in the same tournament. More specifically, it was a match againstHungary
in the opening Group E, which ended with a 3-0 win for Argentina.
Two years later in 1999, Walter Samuel was officially playing forArgentina
national team at the senior level. Throughout his entire international career, Samuel featured in various tournaments such as the 1999 Copa América, 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Walter also played in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup which Argentina managed to win the runners-up medal.
On the whole, Walter Samuel made 56 appearances for his country’s national team between the years 1999 up to 2010 and scored only 5 goals.
Walter Samuel met the love of his life, Cecilia Verhagen more than 20 years ago. In 2001, the couple decided to make it official and as a result, they tied the knot.
In actuality, Cecilia Verhagen’s biography stays off the record; however, thanks to herInstagram
account, she celebrates her birthday on 17 April each year.
Although details about his personal life is highly limited, by taking a look at Walter’s Instagram page we figured out he has three children. Two sons named Mirko and Francisco and a daughter called Valentina.
It seems like Francisco is the youngest among his siblings, his birth date is on 26 November. Valentina on the other hand, looks like the older sister and in point of fact, she was born in 2002.
Regarding how he spends his time with family, Walter Samuel once said in an interview:
“At home I never discuss football with my family. I don’t even stop to watch it on television. That helps me to give my all on the field.” and this proves that without a doubt, family is a priority to him.
Unlike most people including the professional footballers, Walter Samuel is not really involved in the chaotic world of social media. As a matter of fact, the only platform he is currently using is Instagram.
This former Argentine player has 134k followers on his Instagram page (@cabeza_6
) but he is not really active and also isn’t the type of person who constantly posts selfies or videos on his personal account.
Nonetheless, if you take a look at his Instagram account, you will realize that family is everything that truly matters to him.
Most of the contents he shares with his followers are a selection of the moments he has spent with his wife and children, the trips he has taken to various countries and the people he has met through the adventurous journey he had back on the field of play.
Walter Adrián Samuel
23 March 1978
Il Muro (The Wall)
If you are wondering about
Walter Samuel’s religion
, it is believed that he has Jewish roots which come from his mother. Although this claim has never been accepted or denied by himself.
As previously stated, Walter’s father’s last name is Luján which is a Spanish name; this fact tells us that he might have Spanish ancestry from his paternal family. Also there might be a possibility that he comes from Italian descent too.
Despite the fact about Walter Samuel that tells us he used to be an aggressive defender, he describes himself as a rather shy person:
“I’m shy – I don’t speak much. Even doing an interview with a journalist for a newspaper gets my anxiety going. As for appearing on TV, let’s not even go there...”
It is also noteworthy to mention that in August 2019, Samuel signed up in the UEFA Pro License courses at Coverciano. So there is a high chance that Walter might come back in the stadium but this time, maybe as a coach!
Walter Samuel’s main source of income is football and he is also not linked with any kind of endorsement or company. His former career as a professional footballer has an absolutely rich history.
Being named as one of the best defenders of his own generation, his mind-blowing talents and abilities have brought him the best of fortunes.
To support this statement, it needs to be mentioned that
Walter Samuel’s net worth
is estimated to be a number between $1 million up to $5 million.
Although such information regarding
Walter Samuel’s income
, personal properties or even his market value are off the record, we can somehow certainly say that along with his beloved family, he is living a rather luxurious life in Milan, Italy.