Paco Alcácer

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 September 2016.

Francisco „Paco“ Alcácer García (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpako alˈkaθer]; born 30 August 1993) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team.

Having come through the Valencia youth ranks, he started playing with the first team in 2010, and became a regular following a loan at Getafe, totalling 43 goals in 118 games. In 2016, he signed for Barcelona for €30 million.

Alcácer won the European Championship twice with Spain’s under-19 side, and made his senior international debut in 2014.

Born in Torrent, Valencian Community, Alcácer is a product of Valencia CF’s youth system. He made his senior debut in the 2009–10 season aged only 16, scoring three goals in 15 games with the reserve side and suffering relegation from Segunda División B. On 11 November 2010 he appeared in his first match with the first team, playing the full 90 minutes in a 4–1 home win against UD Logroñés (7–1 on aggregate) in the Copa del Rey.

On 12 August 2011, after Alcácer had netted the third and final goal in a 3–0 friendly win over A.S. Roma and was leaving the Mestalla Stadium accompanied by his parents, his father fell to the ground after suffering a heart attack. Despite 30 minutes of efforts by medics to revive him, the 44-year-old died, and the player returned to training less than one week after, for „therapy purposes“. On 14 January 2012 he made his La Liga debut, coming on as a substitute for Sofiane Feghouli for the last 20 minutes of a 0–1 away loss against Real Sociedad.

For 2012–13 Alcácer went on loan to Getafe CF, his first official game being against Deportivo de La Coruña where he played 20 minutes in an eventual 1–1 away draw. He scored his first goal in the top division on 7 January 2013 at Rayo Vallecano, in a 1–3 loss. After returning to Valencia, he scored first goal for his parent club on 3 October, during an away game against FC Kuban Krasnodar in the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League campaign.

Alcácer scored his first league goal for Los Che on 25 January 2014, in a 2–2 home draw against RCD Espanyol. He grabbed another the following matchday, scoring the 3–2 winner at the Camp Nou against FC Barcelona.

On 10 April 2014, Alcácer scored the first hat-trick of his professional career, helping Valencia overturn a 0–3 first-leg deficit to beat FC Basel 5–0 at home and qualify for the semifinals of the Europa League. It was his 14th competitive goal of the season, and his seventh in continental competition; this European haul made him the edition’s second-highest scorer after compatriot Jonathan Soriano, who netted eight for FC Red Bull Salzburg.

On 17 August 2014, Alcácer scored the first goal in a 2–1 home win over A.C. Milan for the Orange Trophy, through a long-range shot. He was assigned the number ′9′ jersey for 2014–15, previously worn by Hélder Postiga. On 9 December, near the end of a 1–1 draw at Granada CF, he was given a straight red card for striking Juan Carlos; on 27 January 2015, it was revealed that he extended his contract until 2020 and his buy-out clause had been raised to €80 million.

On 7 November 2015, Alcácer and Daniel Parejo scored twice each in a 5–1 win away to third-place Celta de Vigo. The following 21 January, the former was stripped of his captaincy in favour of the latter by manager Gary Neville, after a poor run of results.

After three months without a goal, Alcácer broke his barren spell with a hat-trick in a 4–0 home win over SD Eibar on 20 April 2016. He finished the campaign with 15 across all competitions, in an eventual 12th-place finish.

On 30 August 2016, Alcácer signed for Barcelona for €30 million on a five-year deal. On the same day, Munir El Haddadi went in the other direction on loan, to be replaced by Alcácer as the team’s fourth-choice forward behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar. He made his debut on 10 September in a 1–2 home loss to Deportivo Alavés, making only eight passes in 66 minutes before being substituted for Suárez.

Alcácer represented Spain at all youth levels. With the under-17 side, he reached the final at the 2010 UEFA European Championship, playing alongside Valencia teammate Juan Bernat and being crowned the competition’s top scorer with six goals, his 14 including qualifiers setting a new record; additionally, he won the European Under-19 Championship twice, in 2011 and 2012.

On 29 August 2014, Alcácer was named by full side manager Vicente del Bosque in a 23-man squad for matches against France and Macedonia in September, making his debut on 4 September after replacing Diego Costa midway through the second half of an eventual 0–1 friendly loss to the former. Profiting from Costa’s injury, four days later he made his first start, against Macedonia at the Estadi Ciutat de València, scoring his team’s second goal in a 5–1 victory for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers and also providing the assist for Sergio Busquets‘ third; in their next qualifier, away to Slovakia on 9 October, the substitute scored an 82nd-minute equaliser, although Spain went on to lose 1–2.

A year to the day, as a first-half replacement for the injured Álvaro Morata, Alcácer scored twice in a 4–0 win over Luxembourg which sealed qualification, and he finished the qualification campaign with five goals, the most by a Spanish player. However, he was not selected for the final tournament in France.