Sebastián Abreu: Soccer Player for the Most Teams

Sebastián Abreu holds the Guinness World Record by playing for the most soccer teams during his career. Incredibly, he's still playing!
Sebastián Abreu: Soccer Player for the Most Teams

Last update: 20 June, 2020

Uruguayan soccer player Sebastián Abreu holds the record for playing within more soccer teams than any other player. He’s still playing at the age of 43! Today, we’ll tell you about all of the clubs he’s played at least one match for. It’s really quite some career.

Meet Sebastián Abreu: the record-breaking soccer player

Washington Sebastián Abreu was born in Uruguay in 1976 and knew from a very young age that he wanted to play soccer. He made his professional debut in 1992 at Nacional de Minas, and that same year he was called up to represent his country’s Under-17 team.

After that tournament, four Uruguayan teams fought to sign Abreu. In the end, he signed his first professional contract with Defensor Sporting, where he played for three seasons and made an appearance in the Copa Libertadores. Later in his career, he would earn the nickname ‘El Loco’ (The Madman).

In 1996, Abreu traveled to Argentina to join San Lorenzo, where he played for two seasons. Deportivo La Coruña signed him in 1998, but that same year he returned to South America, to play for Gemio in Brazil. Later, in 1999, he moved to Mexico to play for Tecos. At the start of the millennium, he returned to San Lorenzo in Argentina.

In 2001, he signed for Nacional for the first time, his boyhood club. He would return here twice more, in 2003 and 2004/2005. One of the ways he made clear his love for the club was that he always earned less money there than he did at other clubs.

Sebastián Abreu: Mexico and beyond

Between 2002 and 2003, he played for Cruz Azul and América, both teams from Mexico. He returned to Mexico in 2005 to wear the colors of Dorados de Sinaloa, Monterrey, San Luis, and UANL… all of that in just two years!

Sebastián Abreu playing for River Plate.
Sebastián Abreu playing for River Plate. Image: TyC Sports.

In 2008, he returned to Argentina to play for River Plate. However, he was there for less than a season, moving to Beitar Jerusalem in Israel halfway through the season. Interestingly, he returned to River Plate in September due to a contractual conflict, although he would only stay for a few months.

In 2009, he played for two teams: Real Sociedad in Spain and Aris Salónica in Greece. Then something strange happened! He stayed for two years at the same club, playing for Botafogo in Brazil from 2010 to 2012. Then, at the end of his contract, he signed for Figueirense until the end of the season.

Sebastián Abreu: recent dizzying team changes

Between 2013 and 2014, he played for Rosario Central in Argentina (after a lightning-quick return to Nacional), and in 2015, he alternated between Aucas in Ecuador and his beloved Nacional.

Later, in 2016, he lived for a time in Paraguay playing for Sol de América and then in El Salvador, playing for Santa Tecla.

Sebastián Abreu posing for a photograph.

In 2017, El Loco played for three teams: Bangu in Brazil (pictured above), Central Español in Uruguay, and Puerto Montt in Chile. The following year, he remained in Chile but changed teams twice, first playing for Audax Italiano and then for Magallanes. Incredibly, he also had time to captain Santa Tecla and win the Copa El Salvador.

He began 2019 playing for Rio Branco in Brazil but then signed for Boston River, his 29th team. Here, he also worked as a coach. As if all this weren’t enough, Sebastián Abreu played for the Uruguay national team between 1996 and 2012, with whom he won the 2011 Copa América.

Abreu playing for Uruguay in 2010.
With his team, in South Africa 2010. Image: FIFA.

Sebastián Abreu’s statistics

In 2017, Sebastián Abreu took the record of the player with the most teams on his CV, taking the record away from Lutz Pfannenstiel, ‘The Globetrotter’. Over such a long career, he’s won a number of titles, including:

  • Two Argentine titles (with San Lorenzo in 2001 and River Plate in 2008).
  • Two Uruguayan championships (with Nacional in 2001 and 2005).
  • Four Brazilian titles (with Botafogo, three in 2010 and one in 2012).
  • Two cups in El Salvador (with the Santa Tecla, in 2016 and 2019).

Currently, Sebastián Abreu is the eighth highest active scorer in the world, with 435 goals. Throughout his entire career, he’s played 839 games, with an average of (almost) a goal every two games.

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