Nickname: "Ratón" ("Mouse")
Club: Valencia CF
Roberto Fabián Ayala nicknamed El Ratón is an Argentine footballer. Regarded as one of the best central defenders of his generation, he has been captain of the Argentine national team for more matches than anyone else. He has captained 63 matches and has played in three World Cups. Ayala made 115 international appearances, only Javier Zanetti having more caps for Argentina.
During his 7 years at Valencia CF, he helped them reach one UEFA Champions League final in 2001. However his team lost to Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw. In the latter of which he was voted the Best Defender of the 2001 UEFA Champions League season. The next year, Valencia won the 2001-02 Spanish La Liga. In 2003-04, Valencia again won the Spanish La Liga and added the UEFA Cup.
In 2004-05 injuries kept Ayala from much of the La Liga campaign and he missed the UEFA Super Cup 2004 victory over Porto.
During his time with Valencia, he was widely regarded as one of the finest central defenders in the world, and with Valencia is where he would spend the majority of his peak playing career.
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