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Sebastián Abreu
SEBASTIAN ABREU (16821761936) (cropped).jpg
Abreu with Aucas in 2015
Personal information
Full name Washington Sebastián Abreu Gallo
Date of birth 17 October 1976 (1976-10-17) (age 44)
Place of birth Minas, Uruguay
Height 1.93 m
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1993–1995 Defensor
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1996 Defensor 24 (13)
1996–1998 San Lorenzo 43 (26)
1998–2004 Deportivo La Coruña 15 (3)
1998 Grêmio (loan) 7 (1)
1999–2000 → Tecos (loan) 33 (27)
2000–2001 San Lorenzo (loan) 25 (10)
2001 Nacional (loan) 18 (16)
2002–2003 Cruz Azul (loan) 39 (34)
2003 América (loan) 16 (3)
2004 → Tecos (loan) 17 (5)
2004–2005 Nacional 31 (16)
2005–2006 Sinaloa 34 (22)
2006 Monterrey 16 (7)
2007 San Luis 14 (6)
2007–2008 UANL 15 (7)
2008 River Plate (loan) 17 (2)
2008 Beitar Jerusalem 0 (0)
2008–2009 River Plate 0 (0)
2009 Real Sociedad (loan) 18 (11)
2009–2010 Aris 8 (3)
2010–2012 Botafogo 93 (55)
2012 Figueirense (loan) 5 (0)
2013–2015 Nacional 18 (5)
2013–2014 Rosario Central (loan) 38 (8)
2015 → Aucas (loan) 10 (4)
2016 Sol de América 10 (2)
2016 Santa Tecla 21 (13)
2017 Bangu 10 (3)
2017 Central Español 8 (6)
2017 Puerto Montt 13 (11)
2018 Audax Italiano 10 (0)
2018 Magallanes 9 (3)
2019 Rio Branco 8 (6)
2019–2020 Boston River 33 (4)
2021 Athletic Club-MG 4 (0)
2021 Sud América 4 (0)
Total 684 (332)
National team
1996–2012 Uruguay 70 (26)
Teams managed
2019 Santa Tecla (caretaker)
2020 Boston River (player–coach)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Washington Sebastián Abreu Gallo ( born 17 October 1976) is a Uruguayan former professional footballer, best known for his record of appearing for 31 different clubs in 11 countries during his professional career.

Best known by his nickname El Loco (Madman in Spanish), the prolific journeyman goalscorer for club and national team retired in 2021 after a four-month stint with Sud América.

A Uruguayan international for more than 15 years, Abreu represented his country in two World Cups and three Copa América tournaments, winning the latter in 2011.

Playing career

Club

Early career

Born in Minas, Lavalleja Department, Abreu played in numerous clubs throughout the Americas (Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil). He also had an unsuccessful stint with Spain's Deportivo de La Coruña, which loaned him several times for the duration of his contract.

In his sole season in La Liga, which started in January 1998, having been signed from San Lorenzo de Almagro, Abreu scored for the Galicians in a 3–1 home defeat of FC Barcelona on 25 January.

River Plate and Beitar

After having joined Mexico's Tigres UANL in 2007, Abreu was able to rescind his contract with them in order to join Club Atlético River Plate – the Mexican Football Federation stalled on recognising the transfer because of an imposed moratorium between the clubs. He became the only foreigner to score in the Clásico Regiomontano (Tigres vs. C.F. Monterrey, which he represented the previous year) against each team.

In the middle of 2008, after exhausting negotiations, Abreu signed a deal with Israeli League champions Beitar Jerusalem FC. He appeared in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League, but his team was quickly eliminated. Additionally, he could not play in the domestic front due to lack of payment.

Abreu re-signed with River Plate in September 2008 after terminating his link with Beitar, with a deal lasting until June 2009. Due to being a late addition, he was not able to play for the side in the Primera División, only featuring in the Copa Sudamericana. The next year, he was eligible for both the domestic and Copa Libertadores fronts.

Real Sociedad

In early January 2009, Abreu returned to Spain after a ten-year absence, being loaned by River to Segunda División side Real Sociedad, which had lost habitual first choice Iñigo Díaz de Cerio for the season due to a serious leg injury.

On 14 March 2009, he scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 away win against league leaders Xerez CD. His team, however, ultimately failed in returning to the top flight.

Botafogo

On 13 June 2009, Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in Greece signed Abreu from River Plate. However, in January of the following year, the 33-year-old changed clubs and countries again, agreeing on a two-year contract with Brazil's Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas.

Abreu scored the second goal in the 2–1 victory over Clube de Regatas do Flamengo on 18 April 2010, which gave the team the Campeonato Carioca title. In July, he had his link extended until 31 December 2012 with a release clause of US$11.3 million, with the player declaring he had previously held talks with Club Universidad de Chile and Trabzonspor of Turkey.

On 6 February 2011, Abreu was involved in a dramatic match against Fluminense FC: his team won a penalty kick as they were losing 2–1, and he shot it in Panenka-style, with Diego Cavalieri saving the shot by simply standing still. Another penalty was awarded just five minutes later, and he shot it in the same fashion, this time into the right-hand corner of the goal, as the goalkeeper dived the other way; a few minutes later, Botafogo scored again and won the game.

Abreu was loaned to fellow Série A side Figueirense FC on 5 July 2012. However, as the season went on to end in relegation, his contract was ended via Twitter on 24 November, one day before the last game against Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense.

Sol de América

From January 2013 to December 2015, Abreu was under contract to Club Nacional de Football, also being loaned to Rosario Central and S.D. Aucas during this timeframe. On 28 December 2015, Paraguayan newspaper D10 reported that he had met in Uruguay with Club Sol de América chairman Miguel Figueredo. He had already received a more lucrative offer from Mexico, but declined in order to be closer to his country, and was officially confirmed on 6 January 2016.

Bangu

On 12 November 2016, 40-year-old Abreu joined Brazil's Bangu Atlético Clube from Santa Tecla FC, with the deal being made effective the following January. After ten appearances in the Rio de Janeiro State League, he left.

Later years

On 4 April 2017, Abreu signed with Montevideo-based team Central Español of the Uruguayan Segunda División. In late December of the same year, he joined Chilean Primera División's Audax Italiano from Deportes Puerto Montt, in the same country but one level below; this transfer broke a world record, as it marked him as the first player to have played for 26 professional clubs.

Abreu returned to Brazil in December 2018 at age 42, agreeing to a contract at Série D's Rio Branco Atlético Clube. He returned to his homeland the following July, signing with Boston River and making his Primera División debut in a 0–0 draw against Club Atlético River Plate (Montevideo) where he donned jersey number 113.

On 8 February 2021, Abreu signed for Athletic Club in Brazil. After four matches in the Campeonato Mineiro, he terminated his contract on 21 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 30 March 2021, Abreu joined newly promoted Uruguayan top-tier club Sud América. On 10 June, he announced his decision to retire from professional football, and it was reported on news the game against Liverpool F.C. (Montevideo) the following day would be his last.

International

Sebastian Abreu 2011
Abreu training with Uruguay in 2011

Abreu played for Uruguay at the 2002 FIFA World Cup – three matches – and the 1997, 2007 and 2011 Copa América editions, netting twice in the latter. He made his debut for the national side on 17 July 1996 in a friendly with China, going on to earn 70 caps.

On 27 May 2010, Abreu stood only five goals short of Uruguayan all-time goalscoring record, held by Héctor Scarone for 79 years. He was selected for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he appeared three times as a substitute; in the quarter-finals against Ghana he scored the decisive penalty shootout attempt (1–1 after 120 minutes), sending his team to the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years.

Coaching career

On 26 April 2019, Abreu was announced as the interim manager of Santa Tecla on an initial one-and-a-half month spell, with the parties holding the option open of keeping him as a player-coach or just as a player afterwards. He won the Copa El Salvador four days later, defeating C.D. Audaz 1–0 in the final.

In December 2019, Abreu was appointed player-coach at Boston River ahead of the upcoming campaign in the Uruguayan Primera División. He resigned from the last-placed club the following 9 November.

Personal life

Abreu's son, Diego, played for Mexico at under-16 level.

Honours

Player

Club

San Lorenzo

Nacional

  • Uruguayan Primera División: 2001, 2003 Apertura, 2004 Apertura, 2005

River Plate

  • Argentine Primera División: 2008 Clausura

Botafogo

  • Campeonato Carioca: 2010
  • Taça Guanabara: 2010
  • Taça Rio: 2010, 2012

Santa Tecla

  • Salvadoran Primera División: 2016 Apertura

International

Uruguay

Manager

Club

Santa Tecla

  • Copa El Salvador: 2018–19
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