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Pablo Colombini (born 23 November 1995) is an Argentinian professional footballer who plays for Arsenal as a centre back.

Club career

San Lorenzo

Colombini began his career at a young age, playing with academy of his hometown team San Lorenzo. He broke into the first team in 2014 at the age of 19. He made 32 first-team appearances for San Lorenzo during the 2014-15 season.

Villareal

In the summer of 2015 it was announced that Colombini had signed with Spanish LIGA BBVA club Villareal, for a transfer fee in the region of £1.9 million. While he was only at Villareal for a short time, he made 65 first-team appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals. It was also in this period that he earned his first senior national team cap for Argentina.

Paris Saint-Germain

During the January 2017 transfer window, it was announced that Colombini had transferred to French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, for a reported fee of £24 million. He finished the season with 17 first-team appearances as PSG defended their Ligue 1 champion title. Over the next four years he was ever-present in the PSG lineup, making a total of 157 appearances in all competitions with PSG and scoring five goals, including a winning penalty against rivals AS Monaco FC in 2019.

Arsenal

In the winter transfer window of 2020, it was announced that Colombini would sign with English Premier League club Arsenal, for a club then-record fee of £55 million (surpassing the £44.5 million previously set by the purchase of goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Leverkusen in 2016, and later broken by the £57 million transfer of forward Raul Cervantes from Juventus in 2030). In the remainder of the 2019-2020 Premier League season, Colombini made 24 first-team appearances, scoring three goals.

Since his transfer to Arsenal, Colombini has become nothing less than a legend at the club. In the twelve years since he joined Arsenal, he has made 527 appearances in all competitions, scoring 39 goals. In 2022 he was named squad vice-captain by head coach Dinsdale Piranha, replacing of out-of-favour midfielder Jack Wilshere. In 2024 Colombini was announced as the new Arsenal team captain, as long-time captain Mateo Kovacic agreed to step down due to a decline in form and game time.

Colombini was one of several Arsenal players who become disgruntled following the 2026-27 season. Manager Dinsdale Piranha had left the club after eleven years to take the head coach position at Arsenal's cross-town rivals, Chelsea. Laurent Blanc was hired to manage the team, but only managed a fifth-place finish in the Premier League, and the club was slapped with Financial Fair Play penalties that meant it was ineligible to play in the UEFA Champions League the next season. A number of players expressed their discontent and requested a transfer, Colombini included. The club lost several key players during the 2027-28 season, including winger Dominic Bantleman to Chelsea, forward Roy van Dijk to Monaco, and goalkeeper Rene Carlos to Atletico Madrid. Chelsea launched several bids in an attempt to capture Colombini, which would have given him the opportunity to work alongside Piranha again, but all the bids were rejected. Blanc was sacked after the 2027-28 season and replaced by fellow Frenchman Jocelynn Gourvennec, and eventually the remaining Arsenal players were able to settle down under their new manager.

International career

Colombini made his senior-level international debut in a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw against Uruguay on 11 November 2016. He has gone on to earn 166 caps for Argentina, scoring nine goals. In 2023 he was named as the captain of the Argentina national team.

Honours

Clubs

San Lorenzo

Recopa Sudamericana winners: 2016

Paris Saint-Germain

Ligue 1 champions: 2017, 2019

Coupe de France winners: 2018 (Runners-up 2019)

Coupe de la Ligue winners: 2018

Arsenal

English Premier League champions: 2020, 2024, 2025 (Runners-up 2021, 2022, 2023, 2029, 2030, 3rd place 2026, 2028)

English FA Cup winners: 2020, 2022, 2024, 2025 (Runners-up 2028)

English Capital One Cup winners: 2021, 2023, 2025, 2028, 2029 (Runners-up 2020, 2027)

English Community Shield winners: 2022, 2024, 2025 (Runners-up 2020)

UEFA Champions League champions: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026

UEFA Super Cup winners: 2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 (Runners-up 2022)

FIFA Club World Cup champions: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2026 (Runners-up 2025)

International

FIFA World Cup champions: 2018

FIFA Confederationa Cup winners: 2021

Olympic Games: 2016, 2020

Copa America: 2027

Individual

Ballon d'Or: 2022

Best Player in Europe: 2022-23 (Runner-up 2021-22)

English Players' Player of the Year: 2024-25

Spanish Young Player of the Year: Runner-up 2015-16

Champions League Best Player: 2021, 2023

Club World Cup Best Player: 2021 (3rd place 2022, 2024)

Confederations Cup Best Player: 2021


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