Walter Pandiani

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Walter Pandiani
WalterPandiani cropped.jpg
Pandiani playing for Birmingham City in 2005
Personal information
Full name Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza
Date of birth (1976-04-27) 27 April 1976 (age 39)
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1997 Progreso 22 (12)
1997–1998 Basañez 0 (0)
1998–2000 Peñarol 71 (29)
2000–2005 Deportivo La Coruña 86 (31)
2002–2003 Mallorca (loan) 33 (13)
2005 Birmingham City (loan) 14 (4)
2005–2006 Birmingham City 17 (2)
2006–2007 Espanyol 52 (8)
2007–2011 Osasuna 92 (27)
2011–2012 Espanyol 16 (3)
2012–2013 Villarreal 17 (2)
2013 Atlético Baleares 9 (1)
2013–2014 Miramar Misiones 19 (5)
National team
2001–2004 Uruguay 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:05, 18 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Pandiani and the second or maternal family name is Urquiza.

Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza (born 27 April 1976) is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker. Nicknamed El Rifle,[1][2] his best assets are his strength and aerial ability.

His performances for Peñarol earned him a move to Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain, where he remained for the vast majority of his career, also representing Mallorca, Espanyol (twice) and Osasuna. He also spent a year with Birmingham City in England.

Over the course of 12 seasons, Pandiani amassed La Liga totals of 279 games and 82 goals.

Club career[edit]

Early years / Deportivo[edit]

Born in Montevideo, Pandiani started his career with hometown club Progreso, moving on to Basañez and Peñarol, the latter also in the country's capital, before signing with Deportivo La Coruña in 2000. Never an undisputed starter for the Galician team, he was one of their most important offensive elements, often scoring as a substitute (he netted 13 in the 2003–04 season).[3]

Pandiani, who had a successful loan stint at Mallorca while still at Depor, moved to Birmingham City in the Premier League, also on loan, in January 2005, after a series of run-ins with coach Javier Irureta.[4][5] He scored a goal on his debut against Southampton in a 2–1 home win,[6] and went on to score three more in the season, prompting manager Steve Bruce to sign him on a permanent contract for a reported fee of £3 million.[7]


Having failed to continue to display his previous form, Pandiani returned to Spain on 13 January 2006, after completing a move to Espanyol for £1 million.[7]

In his first full season he scored only seven La Liga goals,[8] including a first-half hat-trick against eventual champions Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium,[9] but was top scorer in the 2006–07 UEFA Cup with eleven as his club reached the final, which they lost on penalties to Sevilla.[8]


For 2007–08, Pandiani joined Osasuna.[10] Scarcely used in his first year, he was instrumental for the Navarrese in the following campaign, especially after the arrival in mid-October of coach José Antonio Camacho,[11] finishing as the club's top scorer.

Osasuna's first goal of the 2010–11 season only came in the fourth matchday, and 34-year-old Pandiani scored it through a header as the team came from behind to win it 3–1 against Real Sociedad, at home.[12] On 30 January 2011, during half-time of a 1–0 home win against Real Madrid, he was involved in a "verbal spat" with Cristiano Ronaldo, suggesting afterwards that "As a footballer he is a phenomenon but to do the things he does, maybe he has a screw loose."[13]

Late career[edit]

35-year-old Pandiani returned to Espanyol for 2011–12, signing a one-year contract[14] and acting mainly as backup to youth graduate Álvaro Vázquez.[15][16] On 22 September he came from the bench to score the game's only goal at home against Getafe, in stoppage time.[17] On 27 October he repeated the feat, albeit not so late in the game, with a powerful header at home to Real Betis.[18]

In late August 2012 Pandiani signed a one-year contract with Segunda División club Villarreal, where his 18-year-old son Nico was a C-team player.[19] On his debut, at home to Guadalajara on 2 September, he entered the game as a second-half substitute and scored the winning goal,[20] and did the same the following week in another narrow win, at Ponferradina.[21]

In late January 2013, Pandiani and Nico left Villarreal and joined Atlético Baleares in Segunda División B.[22][23] They both started in the latter's second senior appearance, a 1–2 away loss to Sant Andreu on 12 May where the father scored.[24]

In October 2013, Pandiani and Nico signed for Uruguayan Primera División club Miramar Misiones.[25] Pandiani scored three times from six appearances[26] as the team finished next to bottom of the 2013–14 Apertura.

International career[edit]

Despite his relatively successful career in Spain, Pandiani only received four caps for Uruguay, the first coming on 28 March 2001 in a 0–1 home defeat against Paraguay for the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[27]






Year Apps Goals
2001 1 0
2002 0 0
2003 1 0
2004 2 0
Total 4 0


  1. ^ ""El Rifle" Pandiani podría debutar frente a la Deportiva" ['El Rifle' Pandiani could make debut against Deportiva]. Diario de León (in Spanish). 28 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Badenes, Raül (2 September 2012). "El 'rifle' de Pandiani caza otra remontada" [Pandiani's 'rifle' hunts another comeback]. El Periódico Mediterráneo (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza". Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Kendall, Mark (19 January 2005). "Depor boss blasts Pandiani". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "Birmingham complete Pandiani loan". BBC Sport. 1 February 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "Birmingham 2–1 Southampton". BBC Sport. 2 February 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Pandiani completes Espanyol move". BBC Sport. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Pandiani picks up scoring prize". UEFA. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Soccer: Real Madrid rallies against Espanyol and rises to top of Spanish League". The New York Times. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Kendall, Mark (29 July 2007). "Osasuna swoop for Rifle". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "Mi sueño es jugar en Peñarol con mi hijo" [I dream of playing in Peñarol with my son] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Maiden win for Osasuna". ESPN Soccernet. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Pandiani: Ronaldo has 'screw loose'". ESPN Soccernet. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Pandiani pens Espanyol deal". Sky Sports. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Aldunate, Ramiro (27 October 2011). "Pandiani siempre se guarda una bala" [Pandiani always has one bullet left]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pandiani y Albín, a salvar al Espanyol" [Pandiani and Albín, to Espanyol's rescue] (in Spanish). Liga BBVA. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Late Pandiani strike sinks Getafe". FIFA. Press Association. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Pandiani downs Betis". ESPN Soccernet. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Corrigan, Dermot (28 August 2012). "Pandianis happy with Villarreal move". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Another comeback in El Madrigal (2–1)". Villarreal CF. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Pandiani acaba con las ilusiones de la Ponferradina" [Pandiani destroys Ponferradina's illusions]. Marca (in Spanish). 8 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Presentación de Nico y Walter Pandiani" [Introducing Nico and Walter Pandiani] (in Spanish). CD Atlético Baleares. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "El Atlético Baleares une a los Pandiani" [Atlético Baleares unites the Pandianis]. ABC (in Spanish). 2 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "Crónica 2ª División B: UE Sant Andreu 2–1 At Baleares" [2ª División B report: UE Sant Andreu 2–1 At Baleares] (in Spanish). Fútbol Balear. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  25. ^ Basal, Gonzalo (29 October 2013). "Walter Pandiani volverá al fútbol uruguayo para defender a Miramar Misiones" [Walter Pandiani returns to Uruguayan football to play for Miramar Misiones]. El Diario (in Spanish) (Uruguay). Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Walter Gerardo Pandiani". ESPN FC. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  27. ^ Walter PandianiFIFA competition record
  28. ^ "Pandiani, Walter". National Football Teams. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 

External links[edit]