Couñago with Ipswich Town in 2007
|Full name||Pablo González Couñago|
|Date of birth||9 August 1979|
|Place of birth||Redondela, Spain|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|1998||→ Numancia (loan)||13||(1)|
|1999–2000||→ Recreativo (loan)||25||(4)|
|2010–2011||→ Crystal Palace (loan)||30||(2)|
|2012||Đồng Tâm Long An||9||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 December 2016.
After having played in 35 La Liga matches for Celta and Málaga, scoring three goals (75/11 both major levels of Spanish football combined), he spent the bulk of his professional career in England with Ipswich Town, where he scored a total of 65 official goals.
Born in Redondela, Province of Pontevedra, Galicia, and a product of local Celta de Vigo's youth ranks, Couñago made his professional debuts in Segunda División, loaned to CD Numancia, but returned in January 1999 to his first club, failing to appear in La Liga in his first spell.
In 1999–2000, he returned to the second level yet on loan, now with Recreativo de Huelva, after which he returned to Vigo still with no impact (all of his league appearances were made from the bench).
After impressing in a Spanish under-21 4–0 win over England at Birmingham City's ground, Couñago was signed by Ipswich Town in the late spring of 2001, as manager George Burley had been in the stands watching his performance. The player, who was out of contract, signed a four-year deal.
Couñago scored at will in his first spell for the Blues, netting twice against Walsall (3–2 at home), Burnley (6–1 at Portman Road) and at West Ham United (2–1, with both teams eventually promoted to the Premier League), and adding a hat-trick against FC Avenir Beggen for the 2002–03 UEFA Cup, in an 8–1 home thrashing (9–1 on aggregate; Ipswich had suffered top level relegation, but qualified for Europe through the fair play award).
Couñago joined Málaga CF in 2005–06, scoring three times in 27 matches as the Andalusians finished bottom of the table. He produced more in the following year, but the club failed to regain its top flight status.
Back to Ipswich
After being released by Málaga, Couñago re-signed for the Tractor Boys on a two-year deal on 13 July 2007, extendable to three if the club gained promotion. Ipswich manager Jim Magilton said of the player: "I have always looked at Pablo as a player with all the attributes to be top class. He enjoyed a good relationship with the fans of this club, but I don't think anyone really saw the best of Pablo in his first spell here". The player stated: "It's great to be back here at Ipswich. I'm really excited about the move. As soon as I knew that Jim wanted me I was keen to come back. It's good to feel wanted. I also know the way Jim likes to play football, pass, pass, pass and that is good for me as well". He scored a return debut goal in the 4–1 home win against Sheffield Wednesday, and added two the following month against Coventry City (same venue, same result).
Couñago was Ipswich's joint-top scorer for the 2007–08 season with 12 goals. One of those goals, an audacious backheel in a 1–3 defeat to Charlton Athletic on 8 December 2007, was voted goal of the campaign, also being one of the winners at Town's 2007–08 awards night.
On 21 February 2009, Couñago started his 192nd league game for Ipswich and scored his 50th league goal for the club, in a 3–1 win at promotion rivals Queen Park Rangers (both sides eventually fell short on the attempt). In the summer, he turned down the chance to join Swansea City following the arrival of Roy Keane as manager, but joined Crystal Palace on loan a year later, reuniting with former Ipswich boss Burley.
On 6 November 2010, Couñago scored his first goal for Palace, in a 1–2 loss at Middlesbrough, opening his home account on the 27th in the 1–0 win over Doncaster Rovers. In June 2011, aged nearly 32, he was released by Ipswich.
Subsequently, Couñago played five months with Đồng Tâm Long An F.C. in Vietnam, helping the club promote to the V-League during his spell. On 2 October 2012, he joined Hong Kong First Division League club Kitchee SC, for an undisclosed fee; he made his debut for his new team five days later, against Yokohama FC Hong Kong, coming on as a 62nd-minute substitute for compatriot Fernando Recio.
Couñago scored ten goals in 28 official appearances in his only season, and his 30-yard shot against Sun Pegasus FC helped the club win the Hong Kong FA Cup, while he also played a part in its quarterfinal run in the AFC Cup. In May 2014, after one year with lowly CD Choco in Tercera División, he signed for Finland's FC Honka.
Couñago was joint-top scorer and received the Golden Shoe award in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, as the Spanish under-20s emerged victorious. In the following two years, he appeared and scored regularly for the under-21 team.
Couñago has one son, Iago, who was born in April 2008.
- As of 1 November 2015
|Numancia (loan)||1998–99||Segunda División||13||1||6||2||—||19||3|
|Recreativo (loan)||1999–2000||Segunda División||26||4||2||0||—||28||4|
|Ipswich Town||2001–02||Premier League||13||0||2||0||4[b]||0||19||0|
|Crystal Palace (loan)||2010–11||Championship||30||2||2||0||—||32||2|
|Đồng Tâm||2012||V.League 2||5||—||5|
|Kitchee||2012–13||First Division League||13||7||7||1||7[c]||2||27||10|
- Đồng Tâm Long An
- Spain U20
- FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Shoe: 1999
- Ipswich Town Top Scorer: 2002–03 (21 goals)
- Hong Kong FA Cup Most Valuable Player: 2012–13
- "Pablo Counago". Premier League. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Pablo Couñago" (in Spanish). Yo Jugué en el Celta. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Ipswich sign Spanish U21s star; BBC Sport, 24 May 2001
- Royle salutes Counago; BBC Sport, 29 December 2002
- Ipswich 6–1 Burnley; BBC Sport, 14 October 2003
- West Ham 1–2 Ipswich; BBC Sport, 26 December 2003
- Ipswich thrash Beggen; BBC Sport, 29 August
- Ambrose accepts Charlton challenge; UEFA.com, 8 July 2005
- "Couñago makes return to Ipswich". BBC Sport. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
- Ipswich 4–1 Sheff Wed; BBC Sport, 11 August 2007
- Ipswich 4–1 Coventry; BBC Sport, 21 September 2007
- "Ipswich Town FC team". Ipswich Town. Retrieved 11 January 2008.
- "Jon at The Double". Ipswich Town. 22 April 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
- QPR 1–3 Ipswich; BBC Sport, 21 February 2009
- Counago snubs Swansea overtures; BBC Sport, 25 July 2009
- "Middlesbrough 2–1 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- "Pablo the FA Cup Hero". TWTD. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "Dos choqueiros en Finlandia" [Two choqueiros in Finland] (in Spanish). Global Galicia. May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Qué fue de los campeones del mundo sub20" [What happened to the under-20 world champions] (in Spanish). Marca. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Davis, Derek (30 April 2008). "Pablo burning desire for tide to turn". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Couñago: Pablo González Couñago". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Games played by Pablo Counago in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Pablo Couñago". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Counago Pablo" (in Finnish). Finnish Football Association. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Pablo Couñago – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 October 2014.