Victorio Maximiliano "Maxi" Pereira Páez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaksi peˈrejra]; born 8 June 1984) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who last played as a right back for Portuguese club FC Porto.
Pereira with Porto in 2018
|Full name||Victorio Maximiliano Pereira Páez|
|Date of birth||8 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 June 2018
He played with Defensor in Uruguay, joining Benfica in 2007 and going on to remain with the club for eight seasons, appearing in 333 official matches and winning 11 major titles. In 2015, he signed with Porto also in Portugal.
Born in Montevideo, Pereira started playing professionally with Defensor Sporting as an 18-year-old, early in the 2002–03 season. He took no time to adjust to the first team, being a crucial part alongside Álvaro González and scoring a career-best 12 goals in the Primera División of 2005–06.
After the 2006–07 campaign, Defensor lost both gems as González was transferred to Boca Juniors and Pereira went to S.L. Benfica, accompanied by countryman Cristian Rodríguez; the latter club signed the player for €3 million and 70% of his rights.
In his first year in Portugal, Pereira was initially played as a right midfielder, failing to adjust to that position. He did score in two consecutive home games in November 2007, in a 6–1 league thrashing of Boavista F.C. and in the season's UEFA Champions League 1–1 draw against A.C. Milan, where he netted with his left foot from outside the box.
The following campaign, Pereira switched to right-back after Nélson Marcos moved to Real Betis, and became an everpresent fixture during their campaign. In 2009–10, as Benfica won the league after five years – adding the Taça da Liga – he appeared in a total of 40 matches, scoring five goals in 2,932 minutes of action.
On 17 December 2011, Pereira renewed his contract until 2015 and the club paid €2.7 million for the remaining 30% of his rights, still in possession of Defensor. He netted two goals in the 2011–12 Champions League, both coming against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in the round-of-16 (2–3 away loss, 2–0 home win, both through tap-ins) as his team eventually reached the quarter-finals of the competition, where he was sent off in the first half of the second leg against Chelsea after two bookable offenses (1–1 away draw, 1–2 aggregate loss).
On 2 October 2014, Pereira reached the 300-game milestone at Benfica, in a Champions League match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, becoming the second foreigner behind Luisão to achieve this feat. On 2 May of the following year, he scored twice in a 5–0 win at Gil Vicente FC, contributing with a further three goals as the team renewed their domestic supremacy.
On 30 June 2015, Pereira left Benfica following the expiration of his contract. Fifteen days later, he joined rivals FC Porto as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Danilo. His competitive debut occurred on 15 August, in a 3–0 home win against Vitória S.C. where he provided two assists for teammates Vincent Aboubakar and Silvestre Varela. The following 6 March he scored his first goal for the team, a late equaliser in a 1–3 loss at S.C. Braga.
On 22 May 2016, in the final of the Taça de Portugal, also against Braga, Pereira's attempt in the penalty shootout was saved by José Carlos Marafona, in an eventual 2–4 defeat (2–2 after 120 minutes). The following 14 March, in the away leg of the last 16 of the Champions League against Juventus FC, he received a straight red card for handling Gonzalo Higuaín's goal-bound shot, conceding a penalty from which Paulo Dybala scored the only goal to eliminate the Portuguese 3–0 on aggregate.
A Uruguayan international since making his debut on 26 October 2005 in a friendly loss, away against Mexico, Pereira quickly became a regular for his country, and represented it at the 2007 Copa América. He was selected for the squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, playing all the games and minutes for the eventual semifinalists: in the quarterfinals against Ghana, he missed his penalty shootout attempt but Uruguay eventually qualified for the next stage, where he scored his first goal as an international in a 2–3 loss against the Netherlands, finding the net in the 91st minute.
Pereira was again an undisputed starter for Uruguay in the 2011 Copa América held in Argentina, with the national team winning its 15th continental tournament. He played 14 times in qualification for the 2014 World Cup, netting once in a 4–2 home win over Peru on 10 June 2012 and opening the scoring as Uruguay won 5–0 away to Jordan in a play-off to qualify for the tournament, on 13 November of the following year.
Pereira was the first player sent off in the finals in Brazil, receiving his marching orders in injury time of the 1–3 defeat to Costa Rica in Fortaleza after kicking Joel Campbell. He played a further two games in the tournament, which ended for the Charrúas at the last-16 stage.
On 28 March 2015, Pereira earned his 100th cap in a 1–0 friendly victory over Morocco in Agadir, becoming only the second Uruguayan after Diego Forlán to reach the milestone. He played every minute of the campaign at that year's Copa América, captaining the team in their final group match against Paraguay in place of the suspended Diego Godín.
On 9 June 2016, Pereira surpassed Forlán as Uruguay's most capped player by earning his 113th in the team's final group game at the Copa América Centenario in the United States; the 1–0 loss to Venezuela eliminated the nation. The 34-year-old was also selected for the 2018 World Cup.
|Team||Season||League||National Cup[a]||League Cup[b]||Continental||Other||Total|
- Appearances in Taça de Portugal
- Appearances in Taça da Liga
- Six appearances and one goal in Champions League, two appearances in Europa League
- Appearances in Europa League
- Six appearances in Champions League, eight appearances and one goal in Europa League
- Appearances in Champions League
- Five appearances in Champions League and four appearances in Europa League
- Four appearances in Champions League and seven appearances in Europa League
- Appearance in Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
- Six appearances in Champions League and one appearance in Europa League
- As of 13 November 2013 (Uruguay score listed first, score column indicates score after each Pereira goal)
|1.||6 July 2010||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa||Netherlands||2–3||2–3||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|2.||10 June 2012||Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay||Peru||2–0||4–2||2014 World Cup qualification|
|3.||13 November 2013||Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan||Jordan||1–0||5–0||2014 World Cup qualification|
- Primeira Liga: 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Taça de Portugal: 2013–14
- Taça da Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2014
- UEFA Europa League: Runner-up 2012–13, 2013–14
- Primeira Liga: 2017–18
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2018
- Taça de Portugal: Runner-up 2015–16, 2018–19
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 31. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- Mantorras out for three months; BBC Sport, 27 August 2007
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Portuguese Securities Market Commission. 27 August 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- "Maxi Pereira é o novo lateral-direito" [Maxi Pereira is the new right back]. Record (in Portuguese). 13 October 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Goals, goals, goals; UEFA, 14 December 2007
- "Vieira anuncia renovação de Maxi Pereira" [Vieira announces Maxi Pereira renewal]. Record (in Portuguese). 17 December 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Maxi Pereira prolonga contrato até 2015" [Maxi Pereira extends contract until 2015]. Diário de Noticias (in Portuguese). 17 December 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Zenit's Shirokov scores twice to down Benfica". UEFA. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Benfica progress at Zenit's expense". UEFA. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- Chelsea 2–1 Benfica; BBC Sport, 4 April 2012
- "Maxi Pereira cumpriu 300 jogos de "águia ao peito" (com vídeo)" [Maxi Pereira reached 300-game mark with "eagle to chest" (with video)] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Exibição esmagadora deixa Benfica a dois passos do título" [Overwhelming display leaves Benfica inches away from title] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "FC Porto anuncia contratação de Maxi Pereira" [FC Porto announce signing of Maxi Pereira]. Público (in Portuguese). 15 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "Maxi Pereira, o hat-trick de duas assistências" [Maxi Pereira, the hat-trick of two assists]. i (in Portuguese). 18 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Maxi Pereira "Fizemos grande jogo" [Maxi Pereira "We played great"]. Record (in Portuguese). 16 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Porto loses ground to leader Benfica after 3–1 loss to Braga". Yahoo! News. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "Marafona the hero as Braga win Taca de Portugal". FourFourTwo. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Juventus 1 Porto 0 (agg 3–0): Maxi Pereira sent off for handball on the line as Juve coast into quarter-finals". The Daily Telegraph. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- Bevan, Chris (6 July 2010). "Uruguay 2–3 Netherlands". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- Uruguay celebrates well into early Monday its record winning 15th Copa America; Merco Press, 25 July 2011
- "Perú perdió 4–2 ante Uruguay en Montevideo y es último en la Eliminatoria" [Peru lost 4–2 to Uruguay in Montevideo and is now last in the qualifying group]. El Comercio (in Spanish). 10 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Wilson, Jonathan (13 November 2013). "Jordan panic after Maxi Pereira goal sets up emphatic Uruguay victory". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Costa Rican comeback undoes Uruguay". FIFA. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Uruguay with team confirmed and Pereira with 100 games to his credit". CONMEBOL. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Uruguai vence Marrocos no 100.º jogo de Maxi Pereira" [Uruguay defeat Morocco in Maxi Pereira's 100th game]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 28 March 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Fraser, Stuart (19 June 2015). "Maxi Pereira to wear the captain's armband as Uruguay prepare for crunch clash with Paraguay at Copa America". Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Maxi Pereira se convierte en el jugador con más partidos con Uruguay" [Maxi Pereira becomes Uruguay's most capped player]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "Maxi Gómez y Stuani se cuelan en la lista de 23 de Uruguay" [Maxi Gómez and Stuani squeeze into Uruguay's list of 23]. Marca (in Spanish). 2 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- "M. Pereira". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "Maxi Pereira". ESPN FC. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Maximiliano Pereira – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Maxi Pereira at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Benfica é campeão da época 2009/10" [Benfica are 2009/10 season champions] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Benfica campeão: todos os marcadores dos golos" [Benfica champion: all the goal scorers] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Cunha, Pedro Jorge (17 May 2015). "Benfica bicampeão: 28 com as faixas e dois à espera" [Benfica back-to-back champion: 28 with the sashes and two await] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Benfica faz a "dobradinha" no Jamor 27 anos depois" [Benfica get "double" at the Jamor 27 years later]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 18 May 2014. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Benfica venceu Sporting na final da Taça da Liga" [Benfica defeated Sporting in League Cup final]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 21 March 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Taça da Liga: Benfica-F.C. Porto, 3–0 (crónica)" [League Cup: Benfica-F.C. Porto, 3–0 (match report)] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Benfica vence Taça da Liga" [Benfica win League Cup] (in Portuguese). Cap Magellan. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- "Benfica vence Taça da Liga pela quarta vez" [Benfica win League Cup for the fourth time]. Expresso (in Portuguese). 14 April 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Portuguese League Cup boosts Benfica". UEFA. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Benfica 0–0 Rio Ave (3–2 on penalties): Portuguese champions win another trophy". Goal. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "Europa League – Ivanovic heads Chelsea to last-gasp glory against Benfica". Yahoo Sports. 15 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "FC Porto é campeão nacional 2017/2018" [FC Porto are 2017/2018 national champions] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- "FC Porto conquista Supertaça pela 21.ª vez" [FC Porto conquer Supercup for the 21st time] (in Portuguese). Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
- "Uruguai conquista Copa América (vídeo)" [Uruguay wins Copa América (video)]. Expresso (in Portuguese). 24 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Gala do Benfica: Aimar distinguido como o melhor de 2010/11" [Benfica Gala: Aimar distinguished as the best of 2010/11] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2016.