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Wálter Centeno Corea (born 6 October 1974) is a retired Costa Rican football midfielder who is one of Costa Rica's best players.

Wálter Centeno Corea
Walter Centeno 2019.jpg
Centeno managing Saprissa in 2019
Personal information
Full name Wálter Centeno Corea
Date of birth (1974-10-06) 6 October 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Palmar Sur, Costa Rica
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Saprissa (manager)
Youth career
Compañeros de Tibás
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2002 Saprissa 152 (18)
1995–1996Belén (loan) 52 (3)
2002–2003 AEK Athens 14 (2)
2003–2012 Saprissa 251 (47)
2013 Bayamón 11 (3)
Total 480 (72)
National team
1995–2009 Costa Rica 137 (24)
Teams managed
2015–2016 Puntarenas
2016–2019 Municipal Grecia
2019– Saprissa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He had sublime vision and passing skills. He also had good dribbling abilities, great technique and a top eye for goal. He was a regular member of the national team. He holds the record for appearances with the Costa Rican national team, having gained 137 caps (135 FIFA official caps) and scored 24 goals along the way.


Club careerEdit


Nicknamed Paté, Centeno started his career at Saprissa, who loaned him out to Belén for whom he would make his professional debut on 4 February 1995 against Alajuelense. He scored his first goal on 3 September 1995 for Belén against Turrialba.[1] He earned his nickname in his childhood due to his love for eating pate's.[2]

AEK AthensEdit

After 7 years at Saprissa he had a short spell abroad when he moved to AEK Athens of Greece.[3] While playing for AEK, he participated in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage managing to score in the team's away home draws against Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (2–2) and AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico (1–1). He however returned to Saprissa after one season in Europe.

Back at SaprissaEdit

He was named the Best player of the 2003–04 Costa Rican season by the Costa Rican sports media, after scoring 9 goals while orchestrating Saprissa's offense, helping the team to win the league.

With Saprissa, he has won 10 national championships and 1 CONCACAF Champions Cup, won the title with a 3–2 aggregate win over Mexico's UNAM Pumas in the final, and was part of the team that played the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship Toyota Cup,[4] where Saprissa finished third behind São Paulo and Liverpool. His appearance at this tournament was considered as outstanding by FIFA experts.

He retired in 2012, his final league match was on 5 May 2012 for Saprissa against Santos de Guápiles.[1] Saprissa retired the no. 8 shirt in his honour as well as definitely retiring the no. 10 shirt of Alonso Solís.[5]

Puerto RicoEdit

In April 2013, Centeno came out of retirement to join Puerto Rican side Bayamón.[6]

International careerEdit

Centeno played his first game for the Costa Rican national team on 27 September 1995 against Jamaica.[7] He has been a fixture for the team for the last thirteen years, playing in the Pan American Games held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1995; the Copa América tournaments of 1997,[8] 2001[9] and 2004;[10] plus the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2006.[4] On 1 April 2009, he surpassed the record of caps for Costa Rica (held then by Luis Marín, 124 caps, 5 goals) as at 18 November 2009 he has 137 caps and 24 goals.[11] He was the captain of Costa Rica national football team for the last part of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifications. Rodrigo Kenton, the appointed manager replacing the fired Hernan Medford, chose him for covering this important role in the team because of his experience, hardening and leadership. Centeno played his last game on the national team on 18 November 2009, where they tied 1–1, in which he scored. The game meant that Costa Rica will not be in World Cup 2010. Centeno's goal was his last with as an International player, and it also marked the last goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage.

Shortly after that game, he announced his quitting from national team.

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list. Costa Rica's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1 24 February 1999 San José, Costa Rica   Jamaica 9–0 Friendly
2 25 November 1999 Alajuela, Costa Rica   Slovakia 4–0 Friendly
3 1 July 2000 Alajuela, Costa Rica   Panama 5–1 Friendly
4 30 May 2001 San Pedro Sula, Honduras   Panama 2–1 2001 UNCAF Nations Cup
5 3 June 2001 San Pedro Sula, Honduras   El Salvador 1–1 2001 UNCAF Nations Cup
6 26 January 2001 Miami, United States   Haiti 2–1 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup
7 9 May 2002 San Salvador, El Salvador   Colombia 1–2 Friendly
8 13 February 2003 Panama City, Panama   Guatemala 1–1 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup
9 16 July 2003 Boston, United States   Cuba 3–0 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
10 19 July 2003 Boston, United States   El Salvador 5–2 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
11 19 July 2003 Boston, United States   El Salvador 5–2 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
12 19 July 2003 Boston, United States   El Salvador 5–2 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
13 12 January 2005 San José, Costa Rica   Haiti 3–3 Friendly
14 3 September 2005 Panama City, Panama   Panama 3–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
15 7 September 2005 San José, Costa Rica   Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
16 6 June 2007 Miami, United States   Canada 1–2 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
17 9 June 2007 Miami, United States   Haiti 1–1 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
18 11 June 2007 Miami, United States   Guadeloupe 1–0 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
19 17 October 2007 San José, Costa Rica   Haiti 1–1 Friendly
20 11 October 2008 Paramaribo, Suriname   Suriname 4–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
21 1 April 2009 San José, Costa Rica   El Salvador 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
22 10 July 2009 Florida, United States   Canada 2–2 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
23 10 October 2009 San José, Costa Rica   Trinidad and Tobago 4–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
24 18 November 2009 Montevideo, Uruguay   Uruguay 1–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)

Personal lifeEdit

Centeno is a son of Benigno Centeno and Lidieth Corea and he is married to Vivian Gutiérrez with whom he has three children.





  1. ^ a b “Paté” Centeno se despidió de la afición junto con sus amigos - CRHoy ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  2. ^ Walter 'Paté' Centeno anunció su retiro - Mediotiempo ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  3. ^ Walter "Paté" Centeno jugó con el AEK de Atenas el año 2002. Archived 17 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine - Al Día ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  4. ^ a b Walter CentenoFIFA competition record
  5. ^ Centeno escogerá a sus compañeros en juego de hoy - Nación ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  6. ^ Walter Centeno regresa al futbol con el Bayamón F. C. de Puerto Rico - Nación ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  7. ^ Walter Centeno quedó fuera de Copa de Oro por esguince (with bio) Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine - Nación ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  8. ^ Copa América 1997 - RSSSF
  9. ^ Copa América 2001[permanent dead link] - RSSSF
  10. ^ Copa América 2004[permanent dead link] - RSSSF
  11. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Walter Centeno Corea – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 May 2009.

External linksEdit