Pinilla with Universidad Chile in 2018
|Full name||Mauricio Ricardo Pinilla Ferrera|
|Date of birth||4 February 1984|
|Place of birth||Santiago, Chile|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Chievo (loan)||6||(0)|
|2004||→ Celta (loan)||6||(0)|
|2006||→ Racing Santander (loan)||13||(1)|
|2006–2007||→ Hearts (loan)||3||(2)|
|2007||→ Universidad Chile (loan)||4||(2)|
|2008||Vasco da Gama||3||(0)|
|2012||→ Cagliari (loan)||14||(8)|
|2015||→ Atalanta (loan)||14||(6)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 May 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2016
However, he was immediately sold to fellow Serie A club A.C. Chievo Verona (which acquired 50% of the player's rights), and finished the 2003–04 season on loan again, to La Liga side Celta de Vigo, not managing to score in 12 league appearances combined.
In July 2004, Sporting Clube de Portugal bought 50% of his playing rights and Pinilla, having spent much of the season on a low note, finished it with five goals, notably a hat-trick in a 3–0 win at S.C. Braga on 1 May 2005.
However, he was also unable to settle at Sporting and, on January 2006, would move on loan, finishing the 2005–06 campaign at Racing de Santander. On 26 February 2006 he netted his only goal for the Cantabria team, a penalty kick in a 2–2 away draw against Deportivo Alavés.
In 2006–07, Pinilla was once again loaned, now to Scottish club Heart of Midlothian. His time with the Edinburgh club was beset by injuries, resulting in him only playing a handful of times for the first team; in February 2007, he returned to Universidad de Chile.
Pinilla returned to Hearts for pre-season training ahead of the 2007–08 season, with Hearts buying out Sporting's half of his rights. However, his return to playing football with Hearts had a major setback when it was revealed the player had a fractured scaphoid wrist bone, a hidden injury sustained while still in Chile. This put him out of action for a six further weeks.
On 9 January 2008, it was reported that Pinilla had sustained another injury in training that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign. On 6 May, his agent stated that he had signed a deal which would keep him at Hearts until 2011, after his contract with Inter expired the following month. However, on 1 July, Hearts announced that they had released the forward from his contract.
In early September 2008, Pinilla joined Brazil's CR Vasco da Gama, signing a contract until the end of the season. He played his first match with new club in a 0–1 away loss against Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, in a derby.
Back to Italy and Serie A
Pinilla returned to Italy in August 2009, joining Serie B's F.C. Grosseto S.S.D. on a free transfer. At the Tuscan club, his once promising career got back on track, as he scored 24 goals in 24 games – including a series of 12 consecutive matches netting, a competition record – and finished the season as the second best scorer despite missing more than a third of the campaign through different injuries; his performances subsequently ensured him interest from several Italian top division clubs.
In June 2010, U.S. Città di Palermo announced the signing of Pinilla. He scored five league goals in his first 12 games, being an important attacking unit in a team that also comprised forwards Abel Hernández, Massimo Maccarone and Fabrizio Miccoli.
On 11 September 2011, in the season's opener, Pinilla was brought from the bench to score the 4–2 for Palermo against former club Inter, in an eventual 4–3 home win. On 25 January of the following year he was loaned to fellow league side Cagliari Calcio, with the Sardinians having the option of making the move permanent in June.
Whilst at the service of Atalanta BC, on loan, Pinilla scored arguably one of the best goals of the season in Italy on 4 April 2015, after netting through a bicycle kick in a 1–2 home loss to Torino FC. He added a further five during his five-month tenure, being crucial as his team narrowly avoided relegation as 17th.
Return to Universidad
On 21 July 2017, aged 33 and ten years after last leaving the club, Pinilla terminated his contract with Genoa and returned to Universidad de Chile.
Pinilla made his debut for Chile in 2003, and led his country's scoring during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with three goals. However, on 27 February 2007, whilst on loan to Universidad, he was caught in a hotel with María José López, the model wife of national team captain Luis Antonio Jiménez. The two players later encountered each other in a Santiago nightclub, which led to Pinilla's admission to hospital with head trauma and neck injuries.
Subsequently, Pinilla announced his decision to retire from the international scene. In August 2010 he returned to the team, being recalled by manager Marcelo Bielsa for a friendly with Ukraine. He was also picked for a game against Uruguay later in November of the following year, only to be called off due to injury.
Pinilla was selected to the squad of 23 for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He made his debut in the tournament on 14 June, playing two minutes in a 3–1 group stage win against Australia and being involved in Jean Beausejour's goal. Again from the bench, he appeared in the round-of-16 against the hosts: his 119th minute shot hit the bar with the score at 1–1, and he later missed his penalty shootout attempt in an eventual elimination.
Pinilla was a member of the squad which won the 2015 Copa América on home soil for their first continental honour, making brief appearances in two games. On 29 March 2016, he and Arturo Vidal scored twice each in a 4–1 away win over Venezuela in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
|Racing Santander (loan)||2005–06||13||1||—||—||—||13||1|
|Universidad Chile (loan)||2007 Apertura||4||2||—||—||—||4||2|
|Vasco da Gama||2008||3||0||—||—||—||3||0|
|1||30 March 2003||Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile||Peru||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||9 September 2003||Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile||Peru||1–0||2–1||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3||1 June 2004||Polideportivo Pueblo Nuevo, San Cristóbal, Venezuela||Venezuela||1–0||1–0||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||9 February 2005||Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile||Ecuador||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|5||30 March 2005||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Paraguay||1–2||1–2||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6||4 June 2014||Elías Figueroa Brander, Valparaíso, Chile||Northern Ireland||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|7.||29 March 2016||Agustín Tovar, Barinas, Venezuela||Venezuela||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
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