Pablo Contreras

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Contreras and the second or maternal family name is Fica.
Pablo Contreras
Pablo Contreras Training.JPG
Contreras with Melbourne Victory in 2013
Personal information
Full name Pablo Andrés Contreras Fica
Date of birth (1978-09-11) 11 September 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth Santiago, Chile
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
1991–1996 Colo-Colo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1999 Colo-Colo 37 (2)
1999–2001 Monaco 26 (0)
2001 Racing Club (loan) 8 (0)
2001–2008 Celta 105 (6)
2001–2002 Osasuna (loan) 31 (1)
2002–2003 Sporting CP (loan) 30 (2)
2008 Braga 13 (0)
2008–2011 PAOK 106 (6)
2012 Colo-Colo 16 (0)
2012–2013 Olympiacos 17 (1)
2013–2014 Melbourne Victory 20 (0)
Total 409 (18)
National team
1999–2012 Chile 67 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Pablo Andrés Contreras Fica (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo konˈtreɾas]; born 11 September 1978) is a retired Chilean footballer who last played for Melbourne Victory and the Chilean national football team as a centre back. He also can operate as a right back. Contreras began his career at Colo-Colo. He earned his first senior honours in 1997, winning the Chilean Primera División title. He also won an Olympic bronze medal with Chile in the Sydney Games. Contreras moved to Europe, signing with French side AS Monaco in 1999, winning the Ligue 1 in his first season.

After his spell in France, he was loaned to Argentine Primera División club Racing Club in 2001, and the next season Contreras joined Spain's La Liga side Celta Vigo for a €4.2 million deal. He was immediately loaned to Osasuna and then to Portuguese giants Sporting CP, playing in the UEFA Champions League, before returning after to Celta. He played over 100 matches with the Galician club until the 2006–07 season, after Celta's relegation to the Segunda División, after which he decided to leave the club. He signed a six-month contract with Sporting Braga in January 2008, before moving in June of that year to Greek Super League side PAOK Thessaloniki. In the middle of the 2011–12 season, Conteras left the club due to the Greek government debt-crisis of the Hellenic country, and decided to return to Colo-Colo, coached by Ivo Basay at the time.

A Chilean international on 66 occasions, Contreras was part of squad that earned the bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney. In his country, Pablo is nicknamed Espartaco by Chilevisión relator Paulo Flores specifically, referred him as the Spartan hero of his national team during the matches, when Contreras was under the orders of Claudio Borghi in Chile.

Club career[edit]

Colo-Colo[edit]

Born in Santiago, Contreras made his way through Colo-Colo's youth ranks, alongside fellow stopper David Henríquez, as the club was then managed by former international – also a defender – Pedro Reyes. He made his professional debuts in 1997, helping the club to two first division titles and appearing in 37 first-team matches in the next two seasons.

Monaco[edit]

Afterwards, Contreras made a move to AS Monaco FC of France. At the young age of 21, he was an important element in Monaco's league and Supercup victories of 2000. He also appeared for the club in both the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

However, in January 2001, it was discovered that Contreras was using a fake Italian passport in order to gain European Union status. A Paris court fined the player 30,000, and he received a two-year ban.[1][2]

Monaco was then forced to loan Contreras out to another team, and he moved to Argentina with Racing Club de Avellaneda. Shortly after, in July 2001, he was sold to Real Club Celta de Vigo, for €4.2 million.

Osasuna[edit]

Pablo Contreras in 2010.

Contreras did not join Celta immediately, being loaned to fellow La Liga side CA Osasuna. Immediately cast into the Navarrese's starting XI, he made 31 league appearances, but the club could only finish 17th, narrowly avoiding relegation.

Sporting CP[edit]

For the following season, another loan ensued, now to Portugal with giants Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he once again started throughout the season, with the Lions winning however no silverware at all – they were also eliminated in the Champions League qualifying rounds, at the hands of F.C. Internazionale Milano.

Celta[edit]

In the summer of 2003, 25-year old Contreras finally moved to Celta. He appeared rarely in his debut season, as the Galicians were participating for the first time ever in the Champions League. He appeared in seven games as Celta eventually lost in the round of 16 to Arsenal, but also saw his team relegate to Segunda División, after a 19th-place finish in the league. Contreras became first-choice for Celta in the following seasons but, after another relegation, in 2006–07, was deemed surplus to requirements by the coaching staff (Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov was one of four during the unsuccessful campaign in division two), and left the club in January 2008, after being released from his contract.

Braga[edit]

He returned to Portugal after four years, joining Sporting de Braga on a six-month contract,[3] and was regularly used during his spell, helping his team finish seventh.

PAOK[edit]

Pablo Contreras playing for PAOK in 2010.

In June 2008, Contreras agreed to a two-year link with P.A.O.K. F.C. of Thessaloniki, citing his trust in former Celta teammate Zisis Vryzas – and the club's chairman Theodoros Zagorakis – as the main factors for his move,[4] refusing also the opportunity of return to Colo-Colo, because the Hellenic team offered him a very high salary.[5] He made his official debut for the team on 30 August in a 2–0 away win over OFI Crete and his first goal came in an important 1–0 home victory in the derby against Aris Thessaloniki. On 24 December, was reported that Contreras will join Italian Serie A club Reggina Calcio during new year's eve.[6] On 21 February, he scored his second official goal for Thessaloniki's team against another traditional derby of the club against Iraklis, that PAOK won thanks to him. He was promoted to team captain in his second season, alongside Sérgio Conceição who retired shortly after.[7]

In late January 2011, shortly before a local derby against Aris Thessaloniki FC, he was informed of the loss of his father, but opted to leave for his country only after the game.[8]

On 2 January 2012, Contreras mutually terminated his contract with PAOK.[9]

Return to Colo-Colo[edit]

On January 7, 2012, it was confirmed that Contreras was returning to Chile's powerhouse club Colo-Colo,[10] after several rumours of a possible move to Argentina's Colón de Santa Fe and also other European and American clubs. On January 19, he made his unofficial debut in an exhibition match against Unión Temuco, where he played very well, despite a 2–1 defeat.[11] After the pre-season in Temuco, Contreras played well for his team, now in the Noche Alba against Peruvian side Alianza Lima at the Estadio Monumental.[12] On January 29, Contreras played his first competitive match of the season against Deportes Iquique in a 0–0 home draw, thus being his first competitive match for Colo-Colo since his return.[13] He instantly became an irreplaceable player for coach Ivo Basay, helping the team win important games during his tenure, for example against Cobreloa at Calama and O'Higgins in the capital, thus becoming a mainstay centre back for Basay's team. On April 14, his assist to Rodrigo Millar for the first goal in the derby against Universidad Católica, salvaged a 1–1 draw at the Estadio Monumental for the first match under new head coach Luis Pérez after Basay's departure, who abandoned the club after a 4–2 away loss against Unión Española. After Esteban Paredes moved to Atlante, Pablo became the Colo-Colo captain, due his experience and tenure.

Olympiacos[edit]

On 16 August 2012, Contreras signed a contract with Olympiacos F.C.. On 27 August, he made his debut with in an away win against Veria F.C.. On 27 January, he scored the only goal in a 1- 0 away win against Panthrakikos.

Melbourne Victory[edit]

On 22 September 2013, it was confirmed Contreras signed for Australian club Melbourne Victory. Contreras made his debut in Round 1 against Melbourne Heart, playing the full 90 minutes.[14] He was, however, suspended after the match for 2 games due to an off-ball incident where he blocked an opponent in the derby match.

In January 2014, Contreras announced on Chilean radio that he would retire at the end of the season.[15] However, strong performances near the end of the season prompted speculation that Contreras might play on with the Victory for the 2014-15 season, albeit on reduced wages. However, shortly after Melbourne Victory's semi-loss against eventual A-League champions Brisbane Roar, he confirmed his retirement.[16]

International career[edit]

Contreras playing for Chile in 2011.

Contreras made his debut for Chile team on 17 February 1999 against Guatemala. He was then picked for that year's Copa América in Paraguay, helping the national side finish in fourth position.

In 2000, Contreras participated at the 2000 Summer Olympics, where Chile won the bronze medal, and the player was named one of the best defenders in the tournament. He also featured prominently in qualification for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup, with Chile failing to make the final stages on both occasions.

One of the darkest moments in Contreras' career happened during the 2007 Copa América. Alongside Reinaldo Navia, Jorge Valdivia, Rodrigo Tello, Jorge Vargas and Álvaro Ormeño, he was involved in an incident at the team's hotel involving the staff. The employees claimed the team players were celebrating drunk, throwing food, and destroying hotel property after qualifying for the second round of the tournament – Chile lost the next game 6–1 against Brazil.

Afterwards, national coach Nelson Acosta resigned and all the players involved were suspended for 20 games by the ANFP. After serving ten games, Contreras, as well as the other players involved – with the exception of Ormeño – signed a letter admitting their involvement and apologizing for the incident, and the punishment was lifted. After being reinstated, Contreras became an important member under Marcelo Bielsa, as Chile qualified for the World Cup in South Africa, the nation's first in 12 years. Contreras became the second-captain, after Claudio Bravo, when the team was managed by Claudio Borghi.

International goals[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
30 April 2003 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile  Costa Rica 1–0 1–0 Friendly
15 November 2011 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile  Paraguay 1–0 2–0 2014 World Cup qualification

Honors[edit]

Club[edit]

Colo-Colo
Monaco
Sporting
Olympiacos

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

PAOK

References[edit]

  1. ^ "French Court bans South American footballers". BBC News. 4 April 2001. 
  2. ^ "Celta land banned Contreras". Uefa.com. 24 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Braga seal deal for Contreras". Uefa.com. 16 January 2008. 
  4. ^ PAOK con Pablo Contreras presente vence a Ergotelis (PAOK defeats Ergotelis with Pablo Contreras in lineup); Peloteros Chilenos en el Mundo, 20 December 2009 (Spanish)
  5. ^ Pablo Contreras se debate entre Colo Colo y oferta desde Grecia (Spanish)
  6. ^ Prensa italiana asegura que Pablo Contreras será nuevo jugador de Reggina (Spanish)
  7. ^ Πάμπλο Κοντρέρας : Η συνέντευξη; PAOK 24, 18 January 2011 (Greek)
  8. ^ Αναχωρεί για Χιλή ο Κοντρέρας, χάνει τον Ολυμπιακό; Contra, 30 January 2011 (Greek)
  9. ^ Συμφωνία με Κοντρέρας για τη λύση (in Greek). PAOK 24. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Pablo Contreras ya arribo a Chile para comenzar trabajos con Colo-Colo". Emol.com (Emol). 7 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Unión Temuco sorprendió a Colo Colo y lo eliminó de cuadrangular amistoso". La Tercera.cl. 19 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Fútbol: Colo Colo se rehabilita con victoria 2-0 sobre Alianza Lima en la 'Noche Alba 2012'". Terra Chile. 24 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Colo Colo empató con Iquique en opaco partido". Colo-colo.cl. 29 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Victory gets its marquee man". Football Federation Australia. 22 September 2013. 
  15. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-victorys-chilean-international-pablo-contreras-to-retire-at-the-end-of-the-season-20140125-31foz.html
  16. ^ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/football/chilean-defender-pablo-contreras-retires-jimmy-jeggo-leaves-victory-to-join-adelaide/story-fnk6pqhd-1226902473748

External links[edit]