Geovanni brings wealth of experience to SJ

Former Barcelona, Benfica star has played in world's top leagues

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Let the era of Geovanni begin in San Jose. The Brazilian midfielder became the Earthquakes' first-ever Designated Player on Monday after agreeing to terms with San Jose.

The 30-year-old Geovanni comes to the Earthquakes after two seasons with English Premier League side Hull City, for whom he scored 13 goals in 65 appearances and provided a number of memorable moments.

During his run at Hull City, Geovanni became known as a player who could provide the clutch scoring chance. The Brazilian showed fans his worth by scoring the club’s first EPL goal against Fulham on Aug. 16, 2008. He tallied an equalizer against Arsenal with a 30-yard strike on Sept. 27, 2008, and had another crucial goal one week later—a 30-yard free kick to send the Tigers past Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

In 2009, Geovanni started the Premiership season with four goals in seven matches and ended with a team-high eight on the season.

Prior to joining Hull, Geovanni played with Manchester City in 2007-08. He made 23 appearances and scored three goals for the Blues. Geovanni also earned praise from fans after netting the lone goal in a derby win over Manchester United in August of 2007.

Before Manchester City came a four-season stint with Benfica of the Portuguese Liga. His stay with Benfica began as a loan from FC Barcelona in 2003. Benfica liked what they saw and signed Geovanni to a contract, one that would produce 94 appearances and 17 goals. Geovanni played a key role in the club’s Portuguese Cup win in 2004 and the Portuguese Liga title in 2005. He was named Benfica Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Geovanni got his first taste of European soccer with made FC Barcelona in 2001. Geovanni made 26 appearances and scored twice for the Spanish side between 2001-2003.

The midfielder's career began in his native Brazil with Cruzeiro in 1997. From 1997-2001, Geovanni scored 12 goals in 46 appearances for the Belo Horizonte-based outfit, and was a teammate in 1999 of current Quakes midfielder Andre Luiz. Geovanni returned to to his original club for one season in 2006 following his time with Benfica and appeared in 14 matches.

In 1998 Geovanni was loaned to América in Brazil where he netted one goal in 15 appearances.

Geovanni was a member of the Brazilian National Team at the 2000 Olympics and the 2001 Copa América. His lone international goal came against Bolivia in a friendly in 2003.