Juan Arango is rated as the best player the Venezuelan game has produced
Juan Arango is rated as the best player the Venezuelan game has produced

Gladbach's midfield maestro

Juan Fernando Arango Saenz, better known as Juan Arango, is widely considered to be the best player Venezuela has ever produced.

Pinpoint passer

Born on 16 May 1980 in the city of Maracay, Arango signed his first professional contract at the age of 16 with second division outfit Nueva Cádiz (later Zulianos) and helped them up to the Venezuelan top flight. He moved to Mexican first division side Monterrey in 2000 and followed his coach to Spain four years later with RCD Mallorca.

It was in La Liga that his two nicknames were coined: 'Arangol' (gol being Spanish for goal) and 'The Caribbean hurricane'. The attacking midfielder has more than lived up to both since his transfer to Borussia Mönchengladbach in July 2009, his exquisite left boot providing many a memorable moment for Foals fans by way of a pinpoint pass, a deadly free-kick or a searing shot.

Arango featured in 31 of Gladbach's league games in 2012/13 and had the club's supporters - and indeed Bundesliga fantatics everywhere - in raptures with his five outrageous goals, all of which came courtesy of his magic wand of a left foot. Furthermore, his seven assists helped the Foals to an eighth-placed finish, narrowly missing out on Europa League qualification.

Dynamite in a boot

The legendary winger almost single-handedly kept the Foals' UEFA Europa League dream alive in 2012/13, but despite his sparkling performances it wasn't enough as Gladbach crashed out in the Round of 32. The Venezuelan remained a mainstay of the Foals' starting line-up during the 2013/14 campaign, scoring his first goal without the use of his left foot at the 25th time of asking when he headed home a last-minute equaliser against Stuttgart on Matchday 30.

Since making his international debut for Venezuela January 1999, Arango has gone on to rack up more than 100 appearances for his country, turning out for them in five Copa America tournaments.