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 Chilean retired footballer who last played for Melbourne Victory.

He was a full international for eleven years and also was part of the under-23 squad that won the bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

Club career[edit]

Early years and Europe[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.

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.

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. 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.

In the summer of 2003, 25-year old Contreras finally moved to Celta. He appeared rarely in 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.

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 F.C.[edit]

In June 2008, Contreras agreed to a two-year link with PAOK 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]

Contreras was promoted to team captain in his second season, alongside Sérgio Conceição who retired shortly after.[5] 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. [6]

On 2 January 2012 Contreras solved his contract with PAOK.[7]

Colo-Colo[edit]

On 8 January, Contreras returned to his first club Colo-Colo in Chile, after being a free agent.

Olympiacos[edit]

On 16 August 2012, Contreras signed a contract with Olympiacos. On 27 August, he made his debut with in an away win against Veria F.C.. On 27 January, he scored his side’s only one 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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]

External links[edit]