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Ten things you didn't know about Nicolas Otamendi

In the third edition of our summer signing mini-series, we discover ten lesser-known facts about Nicolas Otamendi…

  • Fighting talk: Born in El Talar, a small neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the multi-talented Otamendi split his time between football and boxing in his youth. He built up his strength sparring with a cousin in a local gym, before deciding to devote all his energies to the beautiful game.
  • Home boy: City’s summer signing began life at his local club, Velez Sarsfield, and he spent 12 years wearing their colours in the youth and senior teams. Clearly comfortable in his childhood home, even when he’d nailed down a regular place in the first team he still lived at home with his Mum.
  • Military Style: One of Otamendi’s nicknames is the General, a homage to his goal celebration in which he salutes the fans. He’s also known as El Mohicano – for more hair raising reasons.
  • Argentina Reigns Supreme: Otamendi’s addition to the City team means that Argentina is now the best represented nation in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. The centre-back became the sixth Argentine to take his place in the Etihad dressing room, and he revealed that compatriot Sergio Aguero was one of the key factors in his decision to swap Valencia for Manchester. He revealed: "Since the time I spoke with Aguero during the Copa America, the interest from City was always an attractive proposition.”
  • History boys: Our newest Argentine was born on 12 February 1988, and shares his birthday with some illustrious figures from the past, including Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. More recently, actors Jesse Spencer and Josh Brolin also blow out their candles on the same day as Nicolas.
  • Ice Cold: During his time at Valencia, Otamendi participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Nicolas won’t need a bucket of ice to cool off anymore now that he has a Manchester winter to look forward to, but always good to see our boys supporting a good cause!
  • Record-spoiler: While City hope to extend the current club record of ten consecutive wins for as long as possible, Otamendi has already experienced the other side of the coin. In January this year, Real Madrid were enjoying their own record, which stood at 22 wins in a row, until the La Liga giants came up against one Nicolas Otamendi. Los Blancos looked set for no.23 when Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, but Valencia held firm to equalise, and not long after half time the 6ft centre back leapt high into the air to power home his header and end a proud run that had lasted nigh on four months.
  • Like for like: When he made Argentina’s World Cup squad in 2010, Otamendi first began to garner comparisons with compatriot Roberto Ayala, who made over a century of appearances for La Albiceleste. The defender spent seven years at Valencia between 2000 and 2007, and helped persuade his young disciple to join the club in 2014.
  • Number games: A statistician’s dream, the 27-year-old was no slouch in his numbers during his final season in La Liga. He was second in the number of clearances per game in 2014/15, and sixth in the league for the number of blocks. He also clocked up the fifth most minutes of any defender in Spain’s top division. Not bad, Nicolas…
  • Scrambling around: Otamendi is an anagram of dominate… an omen for his time at the Etihad? 

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