Birthdate: 24 June 1978
Birthplace: Badalona, Spain
Other clubs: Barcelona (1994-99), Real Valladolid (1999-2002), Toledo (loan 2000-01), Tenerife (loan 2001-02), Atletico Madrid (2002-03), Barcelona (2 / 2003-04), Atletico Madrid (2 / 2007-09), Racing Santander (2009-10), Panathinaikos (2010-11), Puebla (2011-12), Pumas de la UNAM (2012-13), Atlético Kolkata (2014-)
Bought from: Barcelona
Signed for LFC: £6m, 20.08.2004
International debut: 26.03.2005 vs. China
International caps: 18/4 - 11.10.2006
Liverpool debut: 29.08.2004
Last appearance: 09.01.2007
Debut goal: 11.09.2004
Last goal: 30.12.2006
Contract expiry: 03.07.2007
Win ratio: 60.33% W: 73 D: 18 L: 30
Games/goals ratio: 4.03
Honours: Champions League 2005
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 77 / 18
Total LFC games/goals: 121 / 30
Benítez was in charge of Tenerife in 2000/01 when Garcia starred for the club who got promoted to La Liga, scoring 16 league goals in 40 matches. However, Garcia was only on loan from Valladolid and returned there in 2001/02, playing 29 games, scoring ten goals. He moved to Atletico Madrid in a €3.6 million deal in 2002/03 where he was in sensational form, making 32 appearances and scoring nine. Barcelona activated an option in the player's contract allowing them to re-sign him at a cost of €5 million before the 2003/04 season. He had been raised in Barca's B-side from the age of 16 until he was 21. He played 38 games and scored eight goals in his only season in his second spell at Barcelona, coming into his own in the second half of the season. Garcia couldn't resist joining his former boss, Benítez, at Liverpool, along with his compatriot Xabi Alonso. Both became quite a hit in their first year in English football. Five vital goals by Garcia in the knock-out stages of the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea helped to ensure Liverpool's passage to the glorious final in Istanbul. "Was it or wasn't it?" is the eternal question about the Chelsea goal in the Champions League semi-final at Anfield, but the scoreboard said 1-0 in Liverpool's favour. Garcia was rather inconsistent in his second season, making 28 starts and coming on as a substitute in 22 games. He was brilliant one game and then wasteful in possession and seemingly careless in the next, frustrating his admirers. Garcia still added 11 goals to his tally of 13 from his debut season, the most important one being Liverpool's second in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea. Unfortunately for Garcia he was sent off only two minutes after coming on a substitute in the eightieth minute in a League game at Upton Park and he missed the last three games of the season through suspension including the FA Cup final victory against West Ham.
Garcia missed the second half of his third and last season at Liverpool after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the 6-3 loss to Arsenal on 9 January 2007. He returned to Spain in the summer of 2007 after rumours that his family was unsettled in Liverpool. Garcia failed to hold down a regular place with Atletico Madrid in his second season in the Spanish capital and lost his place in the national side. In August 2009 Garcia agreed a deal with Racing de Santander at the age of 31 after making close to half a century of league appearances for Atletico. He only featured in 15 games scoring no goals as Santander battled relegation. On deadline day, 31 August 2010, Garcia moved to Panathinaikos on a free transfer. His career was not revitalised in Greece as much as he probably hoped as he played in less than half of the defending champions' Süper Lig matches. The popular Spaniard flew back to England so that he could appear in Jamie Carragher's testimonial match in September where he scored a cracking goal to remind everyone of his mercurial talent. Garcia has been playing in Mexico for the last couple of years with Puebla and Pumas de la UNAM.
In the 2012/13 season Garcia played in twenty matches in four different competitions for Pumas de la UNAM, scoring four times.
In the middle of January 2014 the Spaniard announced his retirement as a player at the age of thirty-five having played in fifteen matches (scoring twice) in the first part (the apertura, July to December 2013) of Mexico's Liga MX tournament.
The little Spaniard's planned retirement as a player did not last long. In July 2014 Garcia announced that he would be joining Atlético de Kolkata to play in the newly-formed Indian Super League.
Benítez summed up Luis Garcia perfectly: "You have to accept Luis for what he is. When he played for me at Tenerife, I tried to change him, but you have to say OK, he does what he does and provides different things. I have kept trying to remind him - many times - that when he takes the risks he does, he should do it closer to the opposition box. He can give possession away and that can anger the fans. But he also does different things that excite them and he scores goals. I tried to change him in Spain, and he scored 16 goals for me, so you have to accept what he does." Garcia is still immensely popular on Merseyside as his song that so many Liverpool supporters have sung at the top of their voices.
He drinks Sangria
He came from Barca to Liverpool!
He's five foot seven
He's football heaven
So please don't take our Luis away!