Sebastián Abreu

Washington Sebastián Abreu Gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [seβasˈtjan aˈβɾew]; born 17 October 1976) is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Olimpia de Minas.

Sebastián Abreu
SEBASTIAN ABREU (16821761936) (cropped).jpg
Abreu with Aucas in 2015
Personal information
Full name Washington Sebastián Abreu Gallo[1]
Date of birth (1976-10-17) 17 October 1976 (age 44)[2]
Place of birth Minas, Uruguay[1]
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Olimpia Minas
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)
1998Grêmio (loan) 7 (1)
1999–2000Tecos (loan) 33 (27)
2000–2001San Lorenzo (loan) 25 (10)
2001Nacional (loan) 18 (16)
2002–2003Cruz Azul (loan) 39 (34)
2003América (loan) 16 (3)
2004Tecos (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)
2008River Plate (loan) 17 (2)
2008 Beitar Jerusalem 0 (0)
2008–2009 River Plate 0 (0)
2009Real Sociedad (loan) 18 (11)
2009–2010 Aris 8 (3)
2010–2012 Botafogo 93 (55)
2012Figueirense (loan) 5 (0)
2013–2015 Nacional 18 (5)
2013–2014Rosario Central (loan) 38 (8)
2015Aucas (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)
2021– Olimpia Minas 0 (0)
Total 684 (332)
National team
1996–2012 Uruguay 70 (26)
Teams managed
2019 Santa Tecla (caretaker)
2020 Boston River (player–coach)
Representing  Uruguay
Copa América
Winner 2011 Argentina
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He is best known for his record of appearing for 31 teams in 11 countries during his professional career.[3][4][5] Nicknamed Loco (Madman in Spanish), the prolific scorer for club and national team retired in 2021 after a four-month stint with Sud América.[6]

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 careerEdit


Early careerEdit

Born in Minas, Lavalleja Department,[1] 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.[7]

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.[8]

River Plate and BeitarEdit

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.[9]

In the middle of 2008, after exhausting negotiations, Abreu signed a deal with Israeli League champions Beitar Jerusalem FC.[10] 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 SociedadEdit

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.[11]

On 14 March 2009, he scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 away win against league leaders Xerez CD.[12] His team, however, ultimately failed in returning to the top flight.


On 13 June 2009, Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in Greece signed Abreu from River Plate.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

Sol de AméricaEdit

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.[19] He had already received a more lucrative offer from Mexico, but declined in order to be closer to his country,[20] and was officially confirmed on 6 January 2016.[21][22][23]


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.[24] After ten appearances in the Rio de Janeiro State League, he left.[25]

Later yearsEdit

On 4 April 2017, Abreu signed with Montevideo-based team Central Español of the Uruguayan Segunda División.[26] 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.[27]

Abreu returned to Brazil in December 2018 at age 42, agreeing to a contract at Série D's Rio Branco Atlético Clube.[28] He returned to his homeland the following July, signing with Boston River[29] and making his Primera División debut in a 0–0 draw against Club Atlético River Plate (Montevideo) where he donned jersey number 113.[30]

On 8 February 2021, Abreu signed for Athletic Club in Brazil.[31][32] After four matches in the Campeonato Mineiro, he terminated his contract on 21 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[33]

On 30 March 2021, Abreu joined newly promoted Uruguayan top-tier club Sud América.[34] 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.[35]

Abreu's hometown side Olimpia de Minas announced on 29 August 2021 that he would briefly come out of retirement to play for them in the local Campeonato Minuano.[36]


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.[37] He made his debut for the national side on 17 July 1996 in a friendly with China, going on to earn 70 caps.[38]

On 27 May 2010, Abreu stood only five goals short of Uruguayan all-time goalscoring record, held by Héctor Scarone for 79 years.[39] 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.[40][41]

Coaching careerEdit

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.[42] He won the Copa El Salvador four days later, defeating C.D. Audaz 1–0 in the final.[43]

In December 2019, Abreu was appointed player-coach at Boston River ahead of the upcoming campaign in the Uruguayan Primera División.[44] He resigned from the last-placed club the following 9 November.[45]

Personal lifeEdit

Abreu's son, Diego, played for Mexico at under-16 level.[46]




San Lorenzo


River Plate


Santa Tecla





Santa Tecla


  1. ^ a b c Guerrero, Alejandro (12 April 2018). "'Loco' Abreu logra un récord Guinness que es muy poco probable que un futbolista lo supere" ['Loco' Abreu gets a Guinness record that is most unlikely to be surpassed by a footballer]. Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Sebastián Abreu". Eurosport. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  3. ^ "World Cup 2010: Uruguay's Sebastian Abreu 'as mad as he is intelligent'". The Daily Telegraph. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Sebastián Abreu firmó con Audax Italiano, de Chile, y entró al Guinness como jugador que militó en más clubes" [Sebastián Abreu signed with Audax Italiano of Chile and entered Guinness as the player who has represented the most clubs] (in Spanish). Fútbol Uruguay. 26 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  5. ^ Garcia, Adriana (9 February 2021). "Abreu joins 30th career club Athletic Club MG at age 44". ESPN. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  6. ^ Garcia, Adriana (12 June 2021). "Guinness World Record holder Sebastian Abreu, who played for 31 clubs, retires". ESPN. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Uruguayan set for Deportivo return". UEFA. 25 April 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  8. ^ Domènech, Joan (26 January 1998). "El Barça no gana en el 98" [Barça do not win in 98]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  9. ^ Maldonado, Adrián (17 April 2020). "Clásico Loco" [Classic Madman] (in Spanish). Once Diario. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Beitar strengthened for Wisla challenge". UEFA. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  11. ^ Martínez, David (9 January 2009). "El "Loco" Abreu ficha por la Real Sociedad" ["Loco" Abreu signs for Real Sociedad] (in Spanish). Liga Fútbol. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Un hat-trick de Abreu tumba al Xerez" [Hat-trick by Abreu downs Xerez]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 March 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  13. ^ "O Sebastian Abreu στον ΑΡΗ!" [Sebastián Abreu to Aris!] (in Greek). Aris F.C. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  14. ^ "Botafogo acerta contratação do uruguaio "El Loco" Abreu, diz empresário" [Botafogo agree signing of Uruguayan "Madman" Abreu, says agent] (in Portuguese). Universo Online. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  15. ^ Lavinas, Thiago (18 April 2010). "Botafogo acaba com o tabu, vence o Flamengo e é campeão carioca" [Botafogo end taboo, beat Flamengo and are carioca champions] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Botafogo renova com Loco Abreu até o fim de 2012" [Botafogo renew with Madman Abreu until the end of 2012]. Extra (in Portuguese). 27 July 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Video: The Panenka fail & success: Loco Abreu has a crazy five minutes (Botafogo-Fluminense)". Goal. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  18. ^ "Figueirense utiliza Twitter para anunciar rescisão com Loco Abreu" [Figueirense use Twitter to announce rescision with Loco Abreu] (in Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  19. ^ "El Loco Abreu ya posa con la camiseta de Sol de América" [Loco Abreu already poses with Sol de América jersey] (in Spanish). D10. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Sol espera por Abreu y Wildo Alonso" [Sol waiting on Abreu and Wildo Alonso]. Hoy (in Spanish). 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Sebastián Abreu vestirá su camiseta número 21" [Sebastián Abreu will don his shirt number 21]. El Debate (in Spanish). 6 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Sebastián Abreu jugará en el fútbol paraguayo" [Sebastián Abreu will play in Paraguayan football] (in Spanish). Torneos y Competencias. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Sebastián Abreu signs for Paraguayan club Sol de América, his 22nd club". Box Score News. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Abreu ya tiene nuevo equipo" [Abreu already has a new team] (in Spanish). Azteca Deportes. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  25. ^ Faldon, Gustavo (1 April 2017). "Após 10 jogos, Loco Abreu deixa o Bangu para voltar ao futebol uruguaio" [After 10 games, Loco Abreu leaves Bangu to return to Uruguayan football] (in Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  26. ^ Fernández, Nelson (5 April 2017). "Otra aventura para Sebastián Abreu, el hombre de los 25 clubes" [Another adventure for Sebastián Abreu, the man of the 25 clubs]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  27. ^ Garcia, Adriana (28 December 2017). "Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu signs for 26th club, breaks world record". ESPN. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  28. ^ Pinheiro, Richard; Souza, Filipe (13 December 2018). "Saiba o que o Rio Branco-ES ofereceu para convencer Loco Abreu a jogar o Capixaba 2019" [Know what Rio Branco-ES offered to convince Loco Abreu to play the 2019 Capixaba] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Fútbol: "Loco" Abreu ficha a los 42 años con Boston River de Uruguay" [Football: "Madman" Abreu signs with Uruguay's Boston River at 42] (in Spanish). Xinhua News Agency. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  30. ^ "¡El 'Loco' Abreu debutó con el '113'!" ['Madman' Abreu made debut with '113'!] (in Spanish). Be Soccer. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Loco Abreu chega ao Athletic-MG e mantém o mesmo estilo: 'Vemos como estou fisicamente quando entrar em campo'" [Loco Abreu arrives at Athletic-MG and keeps his style: 'We'll see how I am physically when I enter the field'] (in Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  32. ^ "Loco Abreu é confirmado por time mineiro e chega ao 30º clube na carreira" [Loco Abreu is confirmed by team from Minas Gerais and reaches 30th career club] (in Portuguese). Goal. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Sebastián 'Loco' Abreu dejó de ser jugador de Athletic Club de Brasil por culpa del coronavirus" [Sebastián "Madman" Abreu is no longer a player of Brazil's Athletic Club because of coronavirus]. El Comercio (in Spanish). 22 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Otro más! Abreu fue presentado en su nuevo equipo" [And counting! Abreu was presented in his new team]. Olé (in Spanish). 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  35. ^ "El Loco Abreu cuelga las botas con 44 años y tras haber jugado en 31 clubes diferentes" [Loco Abreu hangs his boots at 44 and having played in 31 different clubs]. La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 10 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  36. ^ "Abreu volverá a las canchas para jugar con el Olimpia de Minas el torneo minuano de OFI" [Abreu will return to the pitches to play with Olimpia de Minas in OFI's minuano tournament] (in Spanish). Fútbol Uruguay. 30 August 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  37. ^ Sebastián AbreuFIFA competition record (archived)
  38. ^ Passo Alpuin, Luis Fernando. "Washington Sebastian Abreu – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  39. ^ "Abreu a 5 goles de Scarone, máximo goleador en la historia de la Celeste" [Abreu 5 goals from Scarone, top scorer in Sky Blue history] (in Spanish). El País 24. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  40. ^ Fletcher, Paul (2 July 2010). "Uruguay 1–1 Ghana (4–2 pens)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  41. ^ Lafuente, Javier (25 June 2012). ""Lanzar a lo Panenka no es locura, es clase"" ["To shoot like Panenka is not madness, it's class"]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  42. ^ "Sebastián "Loco" Abreu: "No vengo con una varita a transformar"" [Sebastián "Madman" Abreu: "I'm not coming here with a magic wand and change anything"] (in Spanish). 26 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  43. ^ a b "Santa Tecla vence al Audaz y es bicampeón de la Copa El Salvador" [Santa Tecla beat Audaz and are back-to-back Salvadoran Cup champions]. El Gráfico (in Spanish). 30 April 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  44. ^ "Sebastián Abreu será jugador y técnico en Boston River" [Sebastián Abreu will be player and manager at Boston River]. El Observador (in Spanish). 27 December 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  45. ^ "El "Loco" Abreu deja de ser técnico y jugador del Boston River uruguayo" ["Loco" Abreu no longer manager and player of Uruguay's Boston River] (in Spanish). EFE. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  46. ^ Pacheco, Enrique (29 July 2019). "Diego Abreu, el hijo del "Loco", debuta anotando gol con la selección mexicana" [Diego Abreu, the "Madman"'s son, has scoring debut with Mexican national team] (in Spanish). Soy Fútbol. Retrieved 6 June 2020.

External linksEdit