The Seattle Sounders’ Gonzalo Pineda has decided to hang up his boots and retire after a 13-year career that saw him play for seven clubs and make 44 appearances for the Mexico national team.
“I always wanted to retire in a good moment in my career,” he said, according to ESPN Deportes. “Seattle Sounders gave me the opportunity to return at that moment, to be a starter again. I wanted to retire with a good taste in my mouth, it was a decision I took with my family, and I believe that it’s the right time to do it.”
The 33-year-old defensive midfielder spent most of his club career in Mexico, where he played for Pumas, Chivas Guadalajara, San Luis, Cruz Azul, Puebla and Querétaro, before spending his last two seasons in Seattle. While Pineda was a valuable role player for the Sounders, his most memorable moment is with El Tri, where he converted a penalty kick in extra time using a "panenka" to score against Argentina int he 2005 Confederations Cup, a match Mexico would end up losing.
“The ‘Panenka’ I converted is something that marked my career. People still ask me about that today. It was in a Confederations Cup in 2005 against Argentina and they chose me to take the fifth penalty, I decided to take it like that without thinking about it much,” he said.
He was also on the 2006 World Cup team that lost again to Argentina in extra time in the round of 16. In his retirement press conference, he thanked Hugo Sanchez for giving him a chance to play for Mexico along with two club coaches that he worked with in Ricardo La Volpe and Enrique Meza.
Now done with his playing days, Pineda hopes to try his hand at coaching but wants to prepare by doing some television work along with other endeavors.
“Now I want, in the medium-term, to prepare myself more to be a head coach, I am going to pursue personal projects and collaborate temporarily with a US TV station, but I think about returning to the field to coach,” Pineda explained.
Bayer Leverkusen star striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was quick to praise Pineda after he announced his retirement.
Pineda has made 351 club appearances during his career, including 53 matches for the Sounders.