Nolberto Albino "Ñol" Solano Todco (born 12 December 1974), commonly known as Nobby Solano, is a retired Peruvian professional footballer, and former manager of Peruvian Primera División club Universitario de Deportes and Canadian semi-professional team Internacional de Toronto, from League1 Ontario. He spent much of his playing career in the English Premier League and also played 95 times for Peru between 1994 and 2009. He is a popular figure in his native Peru, where he is seen as one of the most famous Peruvians, appearing on telephone cards and having his wedding televised live.
|Full name||Nolberto Albino Solano Todco|
|Date of birth||12 December 1974|
|Place of birth||Callao, Lima, Peru|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2007–2008||West Ham United||23||(4)|
|2014||Internacional de Toronto|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
His talents in football range from accurate crosses to accomplished dead-ball skills and he traditionally played either on the right side of midfield, or as a right back during his career. He is the first choice player to take corner and direct free kicks. Solano is the first Peruvian to play in the Premier League and the FA Cup Final. He is also an accomplished trumpet player and has set up his own Salsa band, The Geordie Latinos. He has described himself as an "adopted Geordie."
Born in Callao, Peru, Solano was the youngest of seven. His father, Albino, was in the Peru Navy, whilst his mother was a housewife who raised him, his four brothers and two sisters. He began playing football at a very early age in the streets of Callao.
Solano witnessed the Peru national football team qualify for the 1978 FIFA World Cup at the age of three and again qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup at the age of seven. The second World Cup he witnessed had the biggest effect on him. At that time he played a lot of football and his national team inspired him.
Solano signed his first professional contract with the Peruvian Primera División side Sporting Cristal in 1992 at the age of 17. He made his league debut on 13 April 1992 in his team's 2–0 win against San Agustín. Towards the end of his first season at Sporting Cristal, he signed a one-year contract with Deportivo Municipal, before returning to Cristal at the end of 1993. He was part of the Sporting Cristal squad of the 1990s during which the club won the Peru Primera División Championships (1994, 1995 and 1996) and reached the finals of the 1997 Copa Libertadores. Along with Roberto Palacios, Flavio Maestri, Julinho and Jorge Soto, he was one of Sporting Cristal's most recognized players of the era.
In 1997 aged 22 he signed for Argentinian side Boca Juniors where he became a teammate of Diego Maradona, who nicknamed Solano the 'Maestrito'. Solano said in 2004 that he would like to play for Boca Juniors again, but admitted he was perhaps too old for the ambition to be a realized.
In 1998, Solano became the first professional Peru-born footballer to play in England when he signed a contract with Newcastle United for £2,480,000. Interest in his first appearance on the field in the black and white shirt for Newcastle reserves was so substantial that the kick off was delayed to accommodate the large crowd, many of whom had been delayed after a lorry had shed its load blocking one of the major routes into the city. Solano marked the occasion with a goal. His first team debut for Newcastle came in a Premier League match against Chelsea on 22 August 1998, when he came on after 67 minutes as a substitute for goalscorer Andreas Andersson. In June 2001, he signed a new five-year contract with the club. A month later he scored what he later described as "the best goal of [his] career" with a solo effort against 1860 München. During this first spell at Newcastle, he played in the 1999 FA Cup Final.
Solano joined Aston Villa in January 2004 for a fee of £1.5 million and signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the club. He attributed his leaving Newcastle to a "strained relationship" with manager Bobby Robson. He made his debut in a 5–0 win over Leicester City on 31 January, ended the 2004–05 season as top scorer, and was elected the club's Player of the Year by the supporters, his teammates, and the local press.
In what was Solano's last appearance for Villa, in August 2005, he was sent off for striking Portsmouth's Richard Hughes in the face. On transfer deadline day, Solano rejected a late offer to join Liverpool and agreed to return to Newcastle.
Return to Newcastle UnitedEdit
Solano returned to Newcastle United in August 2005 for a fee believed by the BBC to be £1.5 million. He signed a contract originally for two years, but with the option for Newcastle to extend it for another year. Midfielder James Milner went in the other direction, joining Aston Villa on a season-long loan. Solano revealed that Alan Shearer had played an influential role in arranging his return.
In the 2006–07 season, injuries to right-back Stephen Carr and others caused manager Glenn Roeder to play Solano at right-back instead of his usual right-wing position. However it was not an unfamiliar playing position to Solano, as he had started his football career in defence and had featured at right-back for his country. With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, Solano said he would be "crazy" to move on at the age of 32, and duly signed a new one-year contract. However a few months later, he asked to leave the club to be closer to his family, who had moved to London. His one regret was that he had been unable to help the club win a trophy for the fans.
West Ham UnitedEdit
Solano signed a one-year contract with West Ham United in August 2007. He made his debut for West Ham in October 2007, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 3–1 home win against Sunderland, and was instrumental in West Ham's second goal, his shot being deflected into the Sunderland goal by goalkeeper, Craig Gordon. His first goal for West Ham was a free-kick and the fifth goal in West Ham's 5–0 away win against Derby County on 10 November 2007. In the last game of the season on 11 May 2008 Solano scored his second free-kick goal, against Aston Villa, the match ended 2–2. He was released by West Ham when his contract expired at the end of the 2007–08 season having scored four goals in 23 appearances.
Greek league and return to PeruEdit
He then returned to Peru with Universitario de Deportes, for whom he scored a crucial penalty against Alianza Lima in the play-off for the Peruvian Primera División title, helping the team to a 2–0 aggregate victory to seal the club's 25th league title.
Solano returned to England where he trained with Colchester United and with Newcastle, before, on 22 January 2010, signing for Leicester City until the end of the season. He was reunited with Nigel Pearson, who had been assistant manager at Newcastle. He made his debut as an 84th-minute substitute in a goalless draw against Newcastle at the Walkers Stadium on 30 January, to an enthusiastic reception from both sets of fans. He played his first full game in a 1–0 win over Crystal Palace on 16 March. Solano played eleven league games, scoring in a 4–3 penalty shootout defeat to Cardiff City in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg. He was offered a contract for a further six months, but chose to leave the club, preferring to follow Pearson to Hull City.
Solano rejoined former Foxes' boss Nigel Pearson, who had recently taken over the manager's job at Hull City, signing a one-year deal. Despite initial expectations that Solano would be with Hull City for only a single season before retiring, Solano revealed in April 2011, that he hoped that he would be able to extend his stay with the Tigers beyond the 2010–11 season, by combining a playing and coaching role, as Nick Barmby had done.
It was announced on 13 May 2011 that Solano had signed for Hartlepool United, having previously worked with their manager Mick Wadsworth at Newcastle. Solano, on the first day of signing, promoted the idea of Are You Coming To Pools? with Hartlepool United selling season tickets for £100, the lowest price in Football League One.
On 2 August, Solano scored in a friendly against Sunderland, rivals of his former club Newcastle United, and scored his first league goal for Hartlepool on 17 September at home against Bury. The following week, Solano doubled his Hartlepool tally by scoring their first goal direct from a free-kick in the 2–1 away win at AFC Bournemouth. Following Wadsworth's sacking, his successor, first-team coach Neale Cooper, confirmed that Solano was not part of his plans, because he needed "players who will really graft, [and] that's not Nobby's game". In April 2012, the club confirmed Solano had been advised not to play for the remainder of the season because of recurring illness.
Solano made his full international debut for Peru at the age of 18, and went on to be capped 95 times, scoring 20 goals. He has been a key member of the squad since the mid-1990s but, in June 2005, Solano decided to quit the Peruvian national football team due to disagreements with the coach, Freddy Ternero. In 2006, he returned to the national team setup under new coach Franco Navarro. Despite his return to the national team, Solano was not selected for Peru's Copa America 2007 squad. He continued to represent the national team thereafter, but with his country having no chance at all of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he announced his decision to retire from international football after World Cup Qualifiers against Argentina and Bolivia. Solano has also stated his desire to try and guide his country to the World Cup as a coach in the near future to try to make up for never making it as a player.
On 12 December 2012, Universitario confirmed that Solano had left the club, despite the fact he guided the club into the top half of the table after being in the relegation zone when he first took charge.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Peru||League||Cup||League Cup||South America||Total|
|1992||Sporting Cristal||Peruvian Primera División||4||0||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|1993||Sporting Cristal||Peruvian Primera División||11||1||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Sporting Cristal Total||15||1||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|1993||Deportivo Municipal||Peruvian Primera División||27||7||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Deportivo Municipal Total||27||7||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|1994||Sporting Cristal||Peruvian Primera División||35||18||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Sporting Cristal Total||110||50||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Argentina||League||Cup||League Cup||South America||Total|
|1997–98||Boca Juniors||Primera División||32||5||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Boca Juniors Total||32||5||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1998–99||Newcastle United||Premier League||29||6||7||0||1||0||1||0||38||6|
|Newcastle United (1st Spell) Total||172||29||19||2||12||0||30||7||233||38|
|2003–04||Aston Villa||Premier League||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||0|
|Aston Villa Total||49||8||1||0||2||1||0||0||52||9|
|2005–06||Newcastle United||Premier League||29||6||4||0||2||0||0||0||35||6|
|Newcastle United (2nd Spell) Total||58||8||6||0||6||2||11||0||81||10|
|Newcastle United (Overall Total) Total||230||37||25||2||18||2||41||7||314||48|
|2007–08||West Ham United||Premier League||23||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||23||4|
|West Ham United Total||23||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||23||4|
|Greece||League||Greek Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Peru||League||Cup||League Cup||South America||Total|
|2009||Universitario||Peruvian Primera División||24||7||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Leicester City Total||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||13||0|
|Hull City Total||11||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||13||0|
|2011–12||Hartlepool United||League One||8||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||10||2|
|Hartlepool United Total||8||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||10||2|
- As of 23:10, 15 November 2011.
- As of 7 October 2012
|Universitario de Deportes||31 May 2012||12 December 2012||33||12||8||13||36.36|
Universitario de DeportesEdit
- Kirin Cup: 1999, 2005
- Howey, Martin (21 May 1999). "Salano Tunes Of Glory". The Mirror (London). Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- Hill, Graham (1 February 2004). "Diego made me a star – ace Solano". Sunday Mercury (Birmingham). "Solano is a hero in Peru where his face appears in TV adverts. The 29-year-old winger is such a household name there that even his wedding was televised live."
- "Solano's tune army". icNewcastle. Retrieved 27 May 2007.
- Walker, Michael (10 January 2004). "Solano blows his own trumpet". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
- "Solano's Boca dream". Sky Sports. 24 September 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- Soccerbase – Nolberto Solano
- "Sol Bids Farewell To Toon". Newcastle United F.C. 1 September 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007.
- "Solano signs for Villa". BBC Sport. 30 January 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- "Nobby blames Bobby for exit". Sky Sports. 11 September 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Leicester 0–5 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 31 January 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
- "Aston Villa: 2004/05: Player Appearances". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Howell, Bill (10 May 2005). "Nobby rues Villa gaffes". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Pearson, James (25 August 2005). "Hughes: I'm no cheat". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Buckingham, Mark (2 September 2005). "Solano shunned Reds". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Solano makes return to Newcastle". BBC Sport. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Kendall, Mark (4 September 2005). "Nobby: Al crucial in my return". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Solano fancies Magpies stay". Sky Sports. 14 January 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Solano linked to West Ham switch". BBC Sport. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- Dall, James (4 September 2007). "Nobby's trophy regret". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "West Ham sign Solano and Camara". BBC Sport. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- Lillywhite, James (21 October 2007). "West Ham 3–1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- "Derby County 0–5 West Ham United". whufc.com. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- "West Ham release veteran Solano". BBC Sport. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
- "Solano in Galaxy talks". Sky Sports. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- Paraskevas, Chris (11 August 2008). "Solano Signs For Larissa". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Nolberto Solano stars as titles are decided across South America". Guardian.co.uk. Reuters. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Nolberto Solano trains with Colchester United". BBC Sport. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Solano training with Magpies". Sky Sports. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
- "Leicester sign former Newcastle winger Nolberto Solano". BBC Sport. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Leicester 0–0 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 30 January 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Shuttleworth, Peter (12 May 2010). "Cardiff 2–3 Leicester (agg 3–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Defender Wayne Brown and midfielder Nolberto Solano quit Leicester City". This is Leicestershire. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "HULL CITY: Solano hails 'perfect boss' – Peru star was happy to follow". This is Hull and East Riding. 24 July 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "HULL CITY: Solano and Harper agree deals". Hull Daily Mail. 10 July 2010. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- "HULL CITY: Nobby looks for new role – and an extended stay with Tigers". Hull Daily Mail. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- "Pools Make Sensational Swoop For Solano". Hartlepool United F.C. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Hartlepool boss Cooper has no place for Nolberto Solano". BBC Sport. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Illness ends campaign for Hartlepool's Nolberto Solano". BBC Sports. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Nolberto Solano retires to coach Newcastle Benfield". BBC Sport. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- Solano Ends Peru Career Sky Sports 3 October 2009
- "Nolberto Solano: 'Estoy orgulloso de llegar nuevamente a Universitario'" [Nolberto Solano: 'I'm proud to be back at Universitario'] (in Spanish). Club Universitario de Deportes. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Nobby Solano's First Managerial Role At Universitario In Peru Comes to an End". Sky. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Where are they now? The night the Hammers dethroned the champions". West Ham United F.C. 29 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "Nolberto Solano Career Stats". Soccerbase. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Nolberto Solano". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Player – Nolberto Solano". footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- South American Team of the Year
- South American Player of the Year 1997