Mauricio Pinilla

Mauricio Pinilla
Personal information
Full name Mauricio Ricardo Pinilla Ferrera
Date of birth (1984-02-04) 4 February 1984
Place of birth Santiago, Chile
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 51
Youth career
Universidad Chile
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Universidad Chile 39 (20)
2003–2004 Internazionale 0 (0)
2003–2004Chievo (loan) 6 (0)
2004Celta (loan) 6 (0)
2004–2007 Sporting CP 20 (5)
2006Racing Santander (loan) 13 (1)
2006–2007Hearts (loan) 3 (2)
2007Universidad Chile (loan) 4 (2)
2007–2008 Hearts 2 (0)
2008 Vasco da Gama 3 (0)
2009 Apollon Limassol 5 (2)
2009–2010 Grosseto 24 (24)
2010–2012 Palermo 35 (10)
2012Cagliari (loan) 14 (8)
2012–2014 Cagliari 49 (14)
2014–2015 Genoa 12 (3)
2015Atalanta (loan) 14 (6)
2015– Atalanta 24 (6)
National team
2001 Chile U17 3 (5)
2003 Chile U20 3 (1)
2003– Chile 45 (8)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 October 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2016
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Pinilla and the second or maternal family name is Ferrera.

Mauricio Ricardo Pinilla Ferrera (born 4 February 1984) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays for Italian club Atalanta B.C. as a striker.

After beginning his career at Universidad de Chile, he signed for Inter Milan at the age of 19, but never appeared for the club in four years. He went on to play in five countries, mainly Italy.

A Chilean international since 2003, Pinilla represented the country at the 2014 World Cup and two Copa América, winning the 2015 and 2016 editions of the latter tournament.

Club career

Early career

Born in Santiago, Pinilla started his career with Club Universidad de Chile, leaving for European football and Italian giants F.C. Internazionale Milano in 2003 after signing a five-year contract.[2]

However, he was immediately sold to fellow Serie A club A.C. Chievo Verona (which acquired 50% of the player's rights[3]), and finished the 2003–04 season on loan again, to La Liga side Celta de Vigo,[4] not managing to score in 12 league appearances combined.


In July 2004 Sporting Clube de Portugal bought 50% of his playing rights[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

In 2006–07 Pinilla was once again loaned, now to Scottish club Heart of Midlothian.[8] 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.[9]

Pinilla returned to Hearts for pre-season training ahead of the 2007–08 season, with Hearts buying out Sporting's half of his rights.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] On 6 May, his agent stated that he had signed a deal which would keep him at Hearts until 2011,[13] after his contract with Inter expired the following month. However, on 1 July, Hearts announced that they had released the forward from his contract.[14][15]

In early September 2008 Pinilla joined Brazil's CR Vasco da Gama, signing a contract until the end of the season.[16] He played his first match with new club in a 0–1 away loss against Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, in a derby.

After Vasco was relegated to the second division, Pinilla left the club and moved to Cyprus' Apollon Limassol as a free agent.

Back to Italy and Serie A

In August 2009 Pinilla returned to Italy, 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 –[17] 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.[18] He scored five league goals in his first 12 games, being an important offensive 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.[19] On 25 January of the following year he was loaned to fellow top-divisioner Cagliari Calcio, with the Sardinians having the option of making the move permanent in June.[20]

On 2 July 2012, Pinilla joined Cagliari on a permanent basis.[21] Two years later, after an average of seven league goals per season, he moved to fellow top-division club Genoa C.F.C. on a 2+1 years contract.[22]

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.[23] He added a further five during his five-month tenure, being crucial as his team narrowly avoided relegation as 17th.

International career

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.[24] 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.[25]

Subsequently Pinilla announced his decision to retire from the international scene.[26] In August 2010 he returned to the national team, being recalled by manager Marcelo Bielsa for a friendly with Ukraine.[27] He was also picked for a game against Uruguay later in November of the following year, only to be called off due to injury.[28]

Pinilla was selected to the squad of 23 for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32][33] 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.[34]

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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




  1. "Squadra – Mauricio Pinilla" [Squad – Mauricio Pinilla] (in Italian). Atalanta B.C. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  2. "Decision on Chilean youngster Pinilla expected next week". Inter Milan. 5 July 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. "La Lazio gela tutti su Stam: costa 20 milioni" [Lazio bets all on Stam: 20 million] (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 6 July 2003. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  4. "Pinilla boosts Celta options". 16 January 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  5. "Sporting swoop for Pinilla". 23 July 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  6. Pinilla keeps pressure on Benfica;, 2 May 2005
  7. "El Racing saca un punto de Mendizorroza" [Racing takes one point from Mendizorroza] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 26 February 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  8. "Hearts complete Pinilla signing". BBC Sport. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  9. "Pinilla not coming back to Hearts". BBC Sport. 27 February 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  10. "Pinilla back at Hearts after loan". BBC Sport. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  11. "Palazuelos pays for Hearts move". BBC Sport. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  12. "Pinilla injury setback for Hearts". BBC Sport. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  13. "Agent announces new Pinilla deal". BBC Sport. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  14. "Hearts release frontman Pinilla". BBC Sport. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  15. "Pinilla leaves Hearts". Heart of Midlothian. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  16. "Vasco acerta com os atacantes Pinilla e Marcelo Brás" [Vasco signs strikers Pinilla and Marcelo Brás] (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
  17. "Grosseto, Pinilla eguaglia il recordo di Batistuta" [Grosseto, Pinilla equals Batistuta record] (in Italian). Tutto Palermo. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  18. "Pinilla al Palermo, Giovio al Grosseto" [Pinilla to Palermo, Giovio to Grosseto] (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  19. "Inter lose seven-goal thriller". ESPN Soccernet. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  20. "Pinilla in prestito al Cagliari" [Pinilla loaned to Cagliari] (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  21. Duo depart Palermo;, 2 July 2012
  22. "Esclusiva TMW – Pinilla-Genoa, c'è la firma" [TMW Exclusive – Pinilla-Genoa, here's the signature] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  23. "Mauricio Pinilla scores brilliant bicycle kick for Atalanta". Bleacher Report. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  24. "Jambo striker sparks storm over 'fling' with skipper's model wife". The Free Library. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  25. Pisa, Nick (16 September 2009). "Blonde presenter axed from Berlusconi's TV channel for performing raunchy routine on football chat show". Daily Mail.
  26. "Sunday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  27. "Bielsa convoca por primera vez a Mauricio Pinilla a la selección chilena" [Bielsa calls Mauricio Pinilla to Chilean national team for the first time] (in Spanish). La Tercera. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  28. "Pinilla se perdería el partido contra Uruguay" [Pinilla to miss game against Uruguay] (in Spanish). El Gráfico. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  29. "Chile World Cup 2014 squad". The Daily Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  30. "Sanchez stars as Chile overcome Australia". 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  31. "Brazil through as Chile pay the penalty". 28 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  32. "Chile 3–3 Mexico: Vuoso cancels out Vidal's double in thrilling draw". 16 June 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  33. Johnston, Neil (25 June 2015). "Chile 1–0 Uruguay". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  34. "Venezuela 1 Chile 4: Vidal, Pinilla braces see Pizzi's men to win". FourFourTwo. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  35. "Chile 0–0 Argentina (Chile win 4–1 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  36. "Chile win Copa América once again as Argentina title drought continues". The Guardian. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
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