Claudio Bravo

Claudio Andrés Bravo Munoz  born 13 April 1983 is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester City and the Chile national team.

He started playing with Colo-Colo and moved to Real Sociedad in 2006, appearing in 237 official games with the latter club. Barcelona signed him for €12 million in 2014, and he won the treble and the Zamora Trophy in his first season. In the summer of 2016, he moved to Manchester City.

Bravo is Chile’s second most capped player of all time, after Alexis Sánchez, with over 115 appearances since his debut in 2004, and has represented the nation in two World Cups, a FIFA Confederations Cup and five Copa América tournaments. He captained his side to victory at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the latter competition.

Bravo was born in Viluco, Maipo Province. His father recognized his son’s emerging talent and took him to Colo-Colo’s youth academy, and he eventually made his professional debut in 2002. There, he was given the nickname Cóndor Chico, after former club goalkeeper Roberto Rojas.

After an injury to Eduardo Lobos, manager Jaime Pizarro gave Bravo his first chance, which would be however short-lived, as he too was injured, which prompted the subsequent signing of Jonny Walker. He recovered in mid-2003, and with Lobos still in the sidelines he took over the starting role which he would never lose again, with his competitor eventually being sold.

In 2006, Bravo won his first title, making an acrobatic save in the Apertura’s penalty shootout final win against arch-rival C.F. Universidad de Chile.

For the 2006–07 season, Bravo signed a five-year contract with Real Sociedad in Spain,[6] in a reported €1.2 million deal  he and Asier Riesgo formed the youngest pair of goalkeepers that year in La Liga. He started on the bench, but eventually gained the battle for first-choice (29 games to nine) as the Basque side was relegated (despite this, he finished in fifth place for the Ricardo Zamora Trophy with a goal-against average of 1.00); his league debut came on 22 October 2006, in a 0–0 away draw against RCD Mallorca.

The following season, Riesgo reclaimed his starting position. For 2008–09, however, after a loan to the former to Recreativo de Huelva, Bravo was again the starter, but Real remained in Segunda División. He was the joint-recipient of the campaign’s Zamora, alongside David Cobeño of Rayo Vallecano.

On 24 January 2010, Bravo was sent off for the first time in a loss to Elche CF at Anoeta Stadium, fouling Óscar Trejo in the ninth minute, from which Jorge Molina scored a penalty for the only goal of the game. Three weeks later, he scored the first goal of his career, from a direct free kick against Gimnàstic de Tarragona, the game’s only in a home triumph; however, shortly after, he suffered a severe knee injury during Real Sociedad’s 0–2 loss at Córdoba CF, which rendered him unavailable for the remainder of the season. He still featured in 25 matches to help his team finish champions and return to the top division, after three years.

Bravo joined FC Barcelona on 25 June 2014, with the four-year deal being made effective on 1 July for a reported €12 million (£9.7 million) fee, the fourth most expensive player ever sold by Real Sociedad after Darko Kovačević, Xabi Alonso and Asier Illarramendi, becoming the second Chilean to ever play for the club after Alexis Sánchez and succeeding Víctor Valdés as the first-choice. After joining, he set a Spanish League record for the club of not conceding from the start of season for 754 minutes, previously held by Pedro María Artola with 560 minutes; the streak was broken when he conceded his first goal of the season from the penalty spot to Cristiano Ronaldo in a 1–3 defeat to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.

After playing 37 straight league games, Bravo was rested for the last game of the campaign against Deportivo de La Coruña, with Jordi Masip starting instead. The former was named as the goalkeeper in the La Liga Team of the Season as one of six Barcelona players, including three of his defenders. He won the Zamora for the best goals against average in the competition, conceding 19 times for an average of 0.51, 0.04 off the all-time record by Francisco Liaño of Deportivo in 1994.

After Marc-André ter Stegen was preferred for Barcelona’s wins in the year’s Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup, Bravo made his cup debut for the team as they won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup, keeping clean sheets in their 3–0 wins over Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C. and Club Atlético River Plate in Japan. Interviewed by Esport3 on the subject of the rotation, he said “If I were to say that I’m taking it well, I would be lying, but I accept it”.

An authoritative presence in goal, Bravo is known for his leadership, agility, composure and shot-stopping ability, as well as his control, distribution and skill with the ball at his feet. Due to his speed when rushing off his line to anticipate opponents who have beaten the offside trap, he has been described as a sweeper keeper; he has also been labelled as a playmaking goalkeeper, due to his ability to play the ball out from the back or launch attacks from goal-kicks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *