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Gabriel Francisco García de la Torre (born 10 February 1979), commonly known as Gabri, is a Spanish retired footballer. Mainly a midfielder who could play in the right or the middle, he could also appear as an attacking right back, tackling and passing skills being his main assets.
He spent seven years of his professional career with FC Barcelona (13 counting youth sides), winning four major titles but appearing almost exclusively as a backup. He also played four years with Ajax.
Gabri represented Spain at Euro 2004.
Born in Sallent de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Gabri started his professional career at FC Barcelona's B-team, where he made his first appearances in the 1997–98 season with the club in Segunda División B. He scored four goals in 28 games en route to promotion.
He was promoted to the main squad for the 1999–2000 campaign and, in the following four years, was a first-team regular but, subsequently and during the team's conquests in 2005–06 (for an eventual total of two La Liga championships, one Spanish Supercup and 2005–06's UEFA Champions League), would feature less significantly; he was also severely injured during the 2004–05 season, after a 4–1 home win against Real Zaragoza.
Gabri's contract at Barcelona was not renewed, and he joined AFC Ajax on a free transfer on 6 June 2006, alongside former teammate Roger García. There, he immediately won the Dutch Supercup in a 3–1 win over PSV Eindhoven in August, and was also a key element in a side that lost the 2007 national championship on the last matchday, to precisely PSV.
In May 2007, Gabri won the Dutch Cup on penalties against AZ Alkmaar, in a match where he received a red card in the 79th minute. In August, Ajax successfully defended their Supercup title by beating PSV again, with him as the only goalscorer in the match.
On 27 May 2010, after a last poor individual season with Ajax – only 13 matches, even though the Amsterdam club finished in second place – 31-year-old Gabri signed with Qatar Stars League side Umm-Salal Sports Club. On 4 July of the following year he moved clubs and countries again, joining FC Sion in Switzerland.
On 25 July 2012, after having taken almost no part in the Super League campaign, Gabri changed teams but stayed in the country, signing a contract with FC Lausanne-Sport. He retired two years later at the age of 35, and immediately returned to Barcelona as assistant to the reserve team.
Gabri was a key element in Spain's squad at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, scoring three goals to become World Champion of the category. He was also a member of the national team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
After making his full debut on 30 April 2003 in a friendly match with Ecuador, Gabri went on to represent the nation during UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal, not leaving the bench in an eventual group stage exit.
- Spain U20
- Spain U23
- ^ Injured Gabri faces six months out; CNN, 24 September 2004
- ^ Gabri bids Barça goodbye; UEFA.com, 29 May 2006
- ^ Gabri joins Ten Cate at Ajax; UEFA.com, 6 June 2006
- ^ Gabri clinches Super Cup for Ajax; UEFA.com, 11 August 2007
- ^ Gabri naar Umm-Salal (Gabri to Umm-Salal); Ajax's official website, 26 May 2010 Invalid language code.
- ^ Transfernews: Gabri offenbar zu Sion (Transfer news: Gabri confirmed in Sion); Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, 4 July 2011 Invalid language code.
- ^ Gabri et Tafer signent à Lausanne (Gabri and Tafer sign with Lausanne); Le Matin, 25 July 2012 Invalid language code.
- ^ Gabri, íntimo de Luis Suárez, regresa al Barça para integrarse en el staff del filial (Gabri, close friend of Luis Suárez, returns to Barça to join reserves' staff); El Mundo Deportivo, 30 June 2014 Invalid language code.