Pandiani playing for Birmingham City in 2005
|Full name||Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza|
|Date of birth||27 April 1976|
|Place of birth||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2000–2005||Deportivo La Coruña||86||(31)|
|2002–2003||→ Mallorca (loan)||33||(13)|
|2005||→ Birmingham City (loan)||14||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza (born 27 April 1976) is a Uruguayan retired footballer who played as a striker. Nicknamed El Rifle (the rifle), his best assets were 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.
Early years / Deportivo
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).
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. He scored a goal on his debut against Southampton in a 2–1 home win, 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.
In his first full season he scored only seven La Liga goals, including a first-half hat-trick against eventual champions Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, 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.
For 2007–08, Pandiani joined Osasuna. 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, finishing as the club's top scorer.
Osasuna's first goal of the 2010–11 season only came in the fourth matchday, and the 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. 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."
The 35-year-old Pandiani returned to Espanyol for 2011–12, signing a one-year contract and acting mainly as backup to youth graduate Álvaro Vázquez. On 22 September he came from the bench to score the game's only goal at home against Getafe, in stoppage time. On 27 October he repeated the feat, albeit not so late in the game, with a powerful header at home to Real Betis.
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. On his debut, at home to Guadalajara on 2 September, he entered the game as a second-half substitute and scored the winning goal, and did the same the following week in another narrow win, at Ponferradina.
In late January 2013, Pandiani and Nico left Villarreal and joined Atlético Baleares of the Segunda División B. They both started in Nico's second senior match, and Pandiani scored in the 2–1 defeat away to Sant Andreu on 12 May.
In October 2013, the pair returned to Uruguay and signed for Primera División club Miramar Misiones. Pandiani scored three times in the six remaining matches of the 2013–14 Apertura, as his team finished next to bottom, and played regularly during the Clausura but scored only twice as they repeated their previous finish, which contributed to their relegation.
Pandiani returned to the Barcelona area where he spent the 2014–15 season coaching junior teams at CD Masnou, where two of his sons played. He said that although he had always wanted to coach, he still thought of himself as a player and was open to offers; in June 2015, he signed for Lausanne-Sport of the Swiss Challenge League, with the remit of supervising and teaching the tricks of the trade to the 15-year-old striker Andi Zeqiri, who had already made his first-team debut.
Pandiani announced his retirement on 16 June 2016 after a 23-year professional career, at the age of 40.
Despite his relatively successful career in Spain, Pandiani only received four caps for Uruguay, the first coming on 28 March 2001 in a 1–0 home defeat against Paraguay in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.
- ""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.
- 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.
- "Walter Gerardo Pandiani Urquiza". Deportivo-la-Coruna.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Hall, Andy (7 October 2003). "Pandiani seeks magic seven". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- Kendall, Mark (19 January 2005). "Depor boss blasts Pandiani". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Birmingham complete Pandiani loan". BBC Sport. 1 February 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Birmingham 2–1 Southampton". BBC Sport. 2 February 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Pandiani completes Espanyol move". BBC Sport. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Pandiani picks up scoring prize". UEFA. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Soccer: Real Madrid rallies against Espanyol and rises to top of Spanish League". The New York Times. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Kendall, Mark (29 July 2007). "Osasuna swoop for Rifle". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "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.
- "Real win fiery encounter, Osasuna win". ESPN FC. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Pandiani: Ronaldo has 'screw loose'". ESPN FC. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Pandiani pens Espanyol deal". Sky Sports. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Aldunate, Ramiro (27 October 2011). "Pandiani siempre se guarda una bala" [Pandiani always has one bullet left]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Pandiani y Albín, a salvar al Espanyol" [Pandiani and Albín, to Espanyol's rescue] (in Spanish). Liga BBVA. 18 January 2012. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012.
- "Late Pandiani strike sinks Getafe". FIFA. Press Association. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011.
- "Espanyol extend Betis losing streak". Eurosport. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- Corrigan, Dermot (28 August 2012). "Pandianis happy with Villarreal move". ESPN FC. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Another comeback in El Madrigal (2–1)". Villarreal CF. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Pandiani acaba con las ilusiones de la Ponferradina" [Pandiani destroys Ponferradina's illusions]. Marca (in Spanish). 8 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "Presentación de Nico y Walter Pandiani" [Introducing Nico and Walter Pandiani] (in Spanish). CD Atlético Baleares. 31 January 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013.
- "El Atlético Baleares une a los Pandiani" [Atlético Baleares unites the Pandianis]. ABC (in Spanish). 2 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "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.
- 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). Archived from the original on 21 February 2014.
- "W. Pandiani". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Fernández, Francisco (26 February 2015). "Uruguay 2013/14". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Capdevila, Sergi (2 December 2014). "El fútbol base del Masnou, en manos del 'Rifle' Pandiani" [The youth setup at Masnou, in the hands of 'Rifle' Pandiani]. Sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Communiqué de presse" [Press release] (in French). FC Lausanne-Sport. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Pandiani anuncia su retirada" [Pandiani announces his retirement]. Sport (in Spanish). 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Pandiani no va con Uruguay" [Pandiani does not go with Uruguay] (in Spanish). Navarra Sport. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- Tabeira, Martín (31 October 2006). "Uruguay – International Matches 2001–2005". RSSSF. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Pandiani, Walter". National Football Teams. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Eto'o pone Mallorca a brindar" [Eto'o has Mallorca toasting]. El País (in Spanish). 29 June 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2016.