Christian Rogelio Benitez Betancourt , also known as "Chucho", is an Ecuadorian footballer who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Birmingham City. He began his career with El Nacional in Ecuador and then joined Santos Laguna of Mexico, with whom he won the award for Best Player of the Clausura 2008. He has been a member of the Ecuador national football team since 2006.
Regarded as one of the best players ever to compete in the Ecuadorian top flight, Benitez was scouted by top clubs such as Villarreal CF of Spain due to his outstanding performances for El Nacional, though the club denied any knowledge of Villarreal's interest. He was also linked with a move to Red Star Belgrade of the Serbian Superliga.
In July 2007, he made an unexpected move to Santos Laguna of the Primera Division de Mexico. With his arrival and that of Vicente Matias Vuoso, Santos had an impressive season with wins over several top Mexican clubs. He was considered one of the best foreign strikers in the Mexican league alongside Giancarlo Maldonado, Humberto Suazo, Salvador Cabanas, and Hector Mancilla. In 2007, Benitez received an award as the best Ecuadorian footballer playing outside Ecuador, succeeding PSV Eindhoven's Edison Mendez.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cristian Benitez