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‘Loco’ Abreu retires after world record football club career

Uruguay striker Sebastian ‘Loco’ Abreu, who holds the Guinness World Record as the professional to have played for the most clubs — 31 — was playing his last game Friday at the age of 44.

“The day has come, the curtain is coming down,” Abreu had announced on Thursday after a career of 27 years in more than a dozen countries.

He was to play his final match on Friday with his latest club, Sud America, or IASA, against another Montevideo team, Liverpool, in Uruguay’s Apertura tournament. 

“This Friday, Loco Washington Sebastian Abreu retires from professional football, and the IASA is proud to accompany him in the final chapter of this great story. A huge THANK YOU to him, on behalf of all Uruguayan football,” his club tweeted.

The nickname ‘Loco’ translates as ‘Madman’.

Abreu may be hanging up his boots, but will continue his coaching career. He has coached Santa Tecla in El Salvador and Uruguay’s Boston River.

Abreu, who made 70 international appearances between 1996 and 2012, has held the Guinness record since 2017, when he joined his 26th club, Chile’s Audax Italiano.

He had equaled German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel’s record of 25 clubs, set in 2009, when he signed for Puerto Montt, also in Chile, a few months earlier.

Abreu has also played for Deportivo La Coruna and Real Sociedad in Spain, several clubs in his home country Uruguay, Mexico and Chile, three in Argentina and six in Brazil, including Rio Branco and Athletic Club.

He has also played in Israel and Greece.

His best-known moment came when he scored Uruguay’s winning penalty in their 2010 World Cup quarter-final shoot-out victory over Ghana with an audacious ‘Panenka’ spot-kick.

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