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Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela (Male Celebrities)

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Tags: arsenal (2 pics), football (50 pics)

Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido (born 1 Mar. 1989 (30 years ago) in Cancún, Quintana Roo) is a Mexican footballer, currently playing as a striker for Arsenal of the English Premier League. He also plays for the Mexico national football team.

He started his career at Mexican club Guadalajara, and caught the eye after finishing as the top scorer at the 2005 (14 years ago) FIFA U-17 World Championship. After joining Arsenal, he has had loan spells at Spanish clubs Salamanca and Osasuna.

Early career
Carlos Vela's career started with Guadalajara, alongside his brother Alejandro Vela. After winning the 2005 (14 years ago) FIFA U-17 World Championship with Mexico and finishing as the top scorer with five goals, Jorge Vergara, owner and president of Chivas de Guadalajara, offered to sign him. Since Vela's family lived in the then-recently-storm-stricken Cancún, Quintana Roo, he asked that the club help relocate them as a condition of his signing. Vela had previously shown his great affection to his father, whose birthday fell on the day on which Mexico beat Brazil in the final of the U-17 World Cup, by carrying the cup to his father and dedicating his Golden Boot to him.

Arsenal
Vela attracted interest from a number of European clubs, and eventually Arsenal won the race for his signature in Nov. 2005 (14 years ago) on a five-year deal for a £125k fee that will rise to £550k if he plays 50 first-team games. However, since English work permit restrictions for non-EU citizens prevented him from playing in England, Arsenal quickly loaned him out to Celta de Vigo in Feb. 2006 (13 years ago), but was returned right away with no games played.

Spain
At the end of the season, Vela was sent to Salamanca, in the second division, for the 2006–07 season. He would have a very successful stay there, scoring eight goals and creating many of Salamanca's 53 goals.

After his loan spell with Salamanca ended, bigger clubs of La Liga, such as Levante, Osasuna and Almería were all interested in taking him on loan from Arsenal for whom he was still ineligible to play as he still had yet to receive a work permit. Eventually, a one year loan move to Osasuna was agreed, with the option of an extension for another year. However, no permanent option had been contemplated. On 31 Oct. 2007 (12 years ago), he scored his first goal with Osasuna, in a match against Real Betis, a performance that went on to earn several plaudits from the Spanish press.

Return to England
On 22 May 2008 (11 years ago), Vela was granted a work permit that allowed him to play in England. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger confirmed that Vela would be involved with the first team in the coming season and that he predominantly views Vela as a striker in the Eduardo mould.

Vela made his competitive debut for Arsenal on 30 Aug. 2008 (11 years ago) in their Premier League match against Newcastle United, coming on as a substitute for Robin Van Persie in the 63rd minute. Arsenal won the match 3–0. In his full debut on 23 sep. 2008 (11 years ago) against Sheffield United in the League Cup, Vela scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 win, with his second goal recently voted as one of Arsenal's 50 greatest goals. The match was also notable for featuring Arsenal's youngest ever side, with an average age of 19. With this early success, Vela established himself as a fan favorite. To show their affection, Arsenal fans sing a song for him called "Jolly Good Vela," a variation of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."

On 8 Mar. 2009 (10 years ago) in the FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Burnley, Vela scored the first goal in a 3–0 win, chipping the ball over the keeper and into the goal. He scored his first goal in the Premier League for Arsenal away to Portsmouth on 2 May 2009 (10 years ago) making him just the second Mexican player to score a goal in the Premier League.

On 28 Apr. 2009 (10 years ago), he was excluded from Arsenal's training session as a precaution due to the 2009 (10 years ago) swine flu outbreak. Vela had two friends from Mexico visit him over the weekend and Arsenal were asked to keep him away. However, he returned to training the next day after being given the all-clear.

2009–10 season
Vela missed Arsenal's pre-season campaign after suffering an ankle injury which kept him out until September. He returned to action on 22 sep. by coming off the bench in Arsenal's 2–0 win by assisting the first and scoring the second goal against West Bromwich Albion in the Carling Cup. On Nov. 21, 2009 (10 years ago) Vela made his first appearance this season in the Premier League away to Sunderland, playing 21 minutes after coming on as a substitute for Eduardo.

Vela renewed his contract with Arsenal on 10 dec. 2009 (10 years ago).

On May 4, Vela played his 50th game in an Arsenal shirt, against Blackburn Rovers. On May 9, he scored the fourth goal of Arsenal's victory over Fulham. Arsenal fans often sing "for he's a jolly good Vela". Another song for him is "We've got Carlos Vela, ela, ela" to the tune of Umbrella.


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