Meet El Loco, The Uruguayan Striker Who's Played For 22 Different Clubs

Sebastian ‘El Loco’ Abreu, a former member of the Uruguay national team, just signed a contract to play with Santa Tecla FC — the 22nd club of his professional career.

Sebastian ‘El Loco’ Abreu, who is 39 years old, began his pro career 22 years ago, in 1994. Abreu’s towering height initially had him practicing basketball until he was 18 years old. However, problems with coaches and an increased interest in football saw him dedicate himself to the world’s game. 

Abreu was also extremely interested in journalism, once interviewing himself for a local newspaper.

His long resume began in his native Uruguay, and just two years later he had already made the leap to Argentina. While in Argentina, Abreu became infamous for contriving to miss an open goal in a match between San Lorenzo and River Plate.

Abreu scored 26 goals in 43 appearances for San Lorenzo, and his 6’4’’ frame made him a sought after commodity internationally. His success with San Lorenzo caught the attention of Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna, and, from there, Abreu would begin to carve his reputation for globetrotting. 

 

In 22 years as a professional, Abreu has played across 10 different countries, for 22 different clubs. 

Abreu’s state of constant flux deservedly earned him the nickname El Loco (Madman/Crazy in Spanish). His professional life is full of eccentricities — from celebrating with a mask after scoring goals to converting penalties Panenka-style, as he did in the quarterfinal against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.

 Although 22 clubs is too many to list on any resume, Abreu still does not own the all time record in professional football. The Guinness World Record is held by Lutz Pfannenstiel, a German goalkeeper who was active between 1991 and 2011.

 In his twitter account, Pfannenstiel is proclaimed as being the only professional footballer who has played in all six FIFA confederations: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North and Central America and South America.

 Behind Abreu is Honduran Julio Cesar "Rambo" De Leon, who, with his transfer to Miami United from the NPSL, reached 18. His career began in 1996 and he is 36 years old.

 Sebastian ‘Loco’ Abreu’s list of clubs:

- Uruguay (Defensor, Sporting Nacional)

- Argentina (San Lorenzo, River Plate, Rosario Central)

- Spain (Deportivo La Coruna, Real Sociedad)

- Brazil (Gremio, Botafogo, Figueirense)

- Mexico (Tecos, Cruz Azul, America, Dorados de Sinaloa, Monterrey, San Luis, Tigers)

- Israel (Beitar Jerusalem)

- Greece (Aris Thessaloniki)

- Ecuador (Aucas)

- Paraguay (Sol de America)

- El Salvador (Santa Tecla)

With his new adventure in El Salvador, 'El Loco' Abreu has played in 10 different countries in his 22-year career. 

Next October, he will turn 40. As his agent explains, "Abreu is a professional who is always effective and he has goals to meet [expectations]. Perhaps he’ll one day enter the Guinness World Record book”. 

There’s one word that isn’t in Abreu’s dictionary: retirement.

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