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Mauricio Pinilla
Universidad de Chile - Deportes Antofagasta, 2018-03-04 - Mauricio Pinilla - 03.jpg
Pinilla with Universidad de Chile in 2018
Personal information
Full name Mauricio Ricardo Pinilla Ferrera
Date of birth 4 February 1984 (1984-02-04) (age 37)
Place of birth Santiago, Chile
Height 1.87 m
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Universidad de Chile
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Universidad de Chile 39 (20)
2003–2004 Inter Milan 0 (0)
2003–2004 Chievo (loan) 6 (0)
2004 Celta (loan) 6 (0)
2004–2007 Sporting CP 20 (5)
2006 Racing Santander (loan) 13 (1)
2006–2007 Hearts (loan) 3 (2)
2007 Universidad de Chile (loan) 4 (2)
2007–2008 Hearts 2 (0)
2008 Vasco da Gama 3 (0)
2009 Apollon Limassol 5 (2)
2009–2010 Grosseto 23 (24)
2010–2012 Palermo 35 (10)
2012 Cagliari (loan) 14 (8)
2012–2014 Cagliari 49 (14)
2014–2015 Genoa 12 (3)
2015 Atalanta (loan) 14 (6)
2015–2016 Atalanta 24 (6)
2017 Genoa 12 (0)
2017–2018 Universidad de Chile 21 (14)
2019–2021 Coquimbo Unido 26 (8)
Total 332 (125)
National team
2001 Chile U17 3 (5)
2003 Chile U20 3 (1)
2003–2016 Chile 45 (8)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 February 2021.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2016

Mauricio Ricardo Pinilla Ferrera (born 4 February 1984) is a Chilean former professional footballer who played as a striker.

After beginning his career at Universidad de Chile, he signed for Inter Milan at the age of 19, but never appeared for the club in four years. He went on to play in five countries, mainly Italy.

A Chilean international since 2003, Pinilla represented the country at the 2014 World Cup and two Copa América, winning the 2015 and 2016 editions of the latter tournament.

Club career

Early career

Born in Santiago, Pinilla started his career with Club Universidad de Chile, leaving for European football and Italian giants Inter Milan in 2003 after signing a five-year contract.

However, he was immediately sold to fellow Serie A club A.C. ChievoVerona (which acquired 50% of the player's rights), and finished the 2003–04 season on loan again, to La Liga side RC Celta de Vigo, not managing to score in a total of 12 league appearances.

Journeyman

In July 2004, Sporting CP bought 50% of his playing rights and Pinilla, having spent much of the season on a low note, finished it with five goals, notably a hat-trick in a 3–0 win at S.C. Braga on 1 May 2005.

However, he was also unable to settle at Sporting and, in January 2006, would move on loan, finishing the 2005–06 campaign at Racing de Santander. On 26 February 2006 he netted his only goal for the Cantabria team, a penalty kick in a 2–2 away draw against Deportivo Alavés.

In 2006–07, Pinilla was once again loaned, now to Heart of Midlothian. His time with the Edinburgh club was beset by injuries, resulting in him only playing a handful of times for the first team; in February 2007, he returned to Universidad de Chile.

Pinilla returned to Hearts for pre-season training ahead of the 2007–08 season, with Hearts buying out Sporting's half of his rights. However, his return to playing football with Hearts had a major setback when it was revealed the player had a fractured scaphoid wrist bone, a hidden injury sustained while still in Chile; this put him out of action for a six further weeks.

On 9 January 2008, it was reported that Pinilla had sustained another injury in training that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign. On 6 May, his agent stated that he had signed a deal which would keep him at Tynecastle Park until 2011, after his contract with Inter expired the following month. However, on 1 July, Hearts announced that they had released the forward.

Pinilla joined Brazil's CR Vasco da Gama in early September 2008, signing a contract until the end of the season. He played his first match with new club in a 0–1 home loss against Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, in a derby.

After Vasco was relegated to the second division, Pinilla left the club and moved to Cyprus' Apollon Limassol as a free agent.

Back to Italy and Serie A

Pinilla returned to Italy in August 2009, joining Serie B's F.C. Grosseto S.S.D. on a free transfer. At the Tuscan club, his once promising career got back on track, as he scored 24 goals in 24 games – including a series of 12 consecutive matches netting, a competition record– and finished the season as the second best scorer despite missing more than a third of the fixtures through different injuries.

In June 2010, U.S. Città di Palermo announced the signing of Pinilla. He scored five league goals in his first 12 games, being an important attacking unit in a side that also comprised forwards Abel Hernández, Massimo Maccarone and Fabrizio Miccoli.

On 11 September 2011, in the season's opener, Pinilla was brought from the bench to score the 4–2 for Palermo against former team Inter, in an eventual 4–3 home win. On 25 January of the following year he was loaned to Cagliari Calcio in the same league, with the Sardinians having the option of making the move permanent in June.

Pinilla joined Cagliari on a permanent basis on 2 July 2012. Two years later, after an average of seven league goals per season, he moved to Genoa C.F.C. on a 2+1 years deal.

Whilst at the service of Atalanta BC, on loan, Pinilla scored arguably one of the best goals of the season in Italy on 4 April 2015, after netting through a bicycle kick in a 1–2 home loss to Torino FC. He added a further five during his five-month tenure, being crucial as his team narrowly avoided relegation as 17th.

On 5 January 2017, Pinilla returned to Genoa on a loan with an obligation to buy, replacing Leonardo Pavoletti who left for S.S.C. Napoli.

Return to Universidad de Chile

On 21 July 2017, aged 33 and ten years after last leaving the club, Pinilla terminated his contract with Genoa and returned to Universidad de Chile. He retired from playing on 23 February 2021

International career

Pinilla made his debut for Chile in 2003, and led his country's scoring during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with three goals. However, on 27 February 2007, whilst on loan to Universidad de Chile, he was caught in a hotel with María José López, the model wife of national team captain Luis Antonio Jiménez.

Subsequently, Pinilla announced his decision to retire from the international scene. In August 2010 he returned to the team, being recalled by manager Marcelo Bielsa for a friendly with Ukraine. He was also picked for a game against Uruguay later in November of the following year, only to be called off due to injury.

Pinilla was selected to the squad of 23 for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He made his debut in the tournament on 14 June, playing two minutes in a 3–1 group stage win against Australia and being involved in Jean Beausejour's goal. Again from the bench, he appeared in the round-of-16 against the hosts: his 119th minute shot hit the bar with the score at 1–1, and he later missed his penalty shootout attempt in an eventual elimination.

Pinilla was a member of the squad which won the 2015 Copa América on home soil for their first continental honour, making brief appearances in two games. On 29 March 2016, he and Arturo Vidal scored twice each in a 4–1 away win over Venezuela in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Career statistics

Club

Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Universidad de Chile 2002 25 10 25 10
2003 14 10 14 10
Total 39 20 39 20
Inter Milan 2003–04 0 0 0 0
Chievo (loan) 2003–04 6 0 2 0 8 0
Celta (loan) 2003–04 6 0 2 2 2 0 10 2
Sporting 2004–05 16 5 1 0 4 1 21 6
2005–06 4 0 0 0 3 1 7 1
Total 20 5 1 0 7 2 28 7
Racing Santander (loan) 2005–06 13 1 13 1
Hearts (loan) 2006–07 3 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 6 2
Universidad de Chile (loan) 2007 Apertura 4 2 4 2
Hearts 2007–08 2 0 0 0 2 0
Vasco da Gama 2008 3 0 3 0
Apollon Limassol 2008–09 5 2 5 2
Grosseto 2009–10 23 24 1 0 24 24
Palermo 2010–11 22 8 3 0 6 1 31 9
2011–12 13 2 0 0 1 0 14 2
Total 35 10 3 0 7 1 45 11
Cagliari (loan) 2011–12 14 8 14 8
Cagliari 2012–13 23 7 3 2 26 9
2013–14 26 7 1 1 27 8
Total 49 14 4 3 54 17
Genoa 2014–15 12 3 2 1 14 4
Atalanta (loan) 2014–15 14 6 14 6
Atalanta 2015–16 20 5 1 1 21 6
2016–17 4 1 0 0 4 1
Total 24 6 1 1 25 6
Genoa 2016–17 12 0 1 1 13 1
Universidad de Chile 2017 11 7 4 2 15 9
Career Total 295 110 22 10 0 0 19 3 336 123

International

Chile
Year Apps Goals
2003 7 2
2004 6 1
2005 5 2
2006 3 0
2011 1 0
2012 1 0
2013 1 0
2014 9 1
2015 4 0
2016 8 2
Total 45 8

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 30 March 2003 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Peru 2–0 2–0 Friendly
2 9 September 2003 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Peru 1–0 2–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 1 June 2004 Polideportivo Pueblo Nuevo, San Cristóbal, Venezuela  Venezuela 1–0 1–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 9 February 2005 Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile  Ecuador 3–0 3–0 Friendly
5 30 March 2005 Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Paraguay 1–2 1–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 4 June 2014 Elías Figueroa Brander, Valparaíso, Chile  Northern Ireland 2–0 2–0 Friendly
7. 29 March 2016 Agustín Tovar, Barinas, Venezuela  Venezuela
1–1
1–4
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
8.
1–2

Honours

International

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