Darío Silva

Darío Silva
Personal information
Full name Darío Debray Silva Pereira
Date of birth (1972-11-02) 2 November 1972
Place of birth Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992 Defensor 18 (4)
1993–1994 Peñarol 44 (27)
1995–1998 Cagliari 89 (20)
1995Peñarol (loan) 12 (8)
1998–1999 Espanyol 15 (3)
1999–2003 Málaga 100 (36)
2003–2005 Sevilla 48 (9)
2005–2006 Portsmouth 13 (2)
Total 339 (109)
National team
1994–2005 Uruguay 49 (14)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Silva and the second or maternal family name is Pereira.

Darío Debray Silva Pereira (born 2 November 1972) is an Uruguayan retired footballer who played as a striker.

After making a name for himself in his country and in Italy with Cagliari, he spent the following seven years of his career in Spain – scoring 48 La Liga goals in 163 games, mostly for Málaga – before moving to England. He suffered a serious car accident shortly after leaving Portsmouth, which caused him to lose a leg and effectively end his career.[1]

Amongst other tournaments, Silva represented Uruguay at the 2002 World Cup, gaining nearly 50 caps.

Club career

Born in Treinta y Tres in the namesake department, Silva began his career in 1991 with Defensor Sporting, signing shortly after with Montevideo and first division powerhouse C.A. Peñarol.

In 1995, aged 22, he switched to Italy and signed with Cagliari Calcio, where he was nicknamed Sa pibinca (Sardinian for nuisance) due to his frenzied attacking style. In his last season he helped the club return to Serie A, posting his best individual record with 13 goals; during his three-year spell he also briefly returned to Peñarol, on loan.

Silva then moved to Spain, where he would remain for nearly one full decade. He started at RCD Espanyol where he failed to impress, and signed for Málaga CF in 1999. With the Andalusians he formed an efficient offensive partnership with Julio Dely Valdés, also helping to the conquest of the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup and consecutive mid-table La Liga finishes; during his tenure with the club, the temperamental player was also sent off eight times.

In 2003, aged nearly 31, Silva joined Málaga neighbours Sevilla FC. Two years later, as the club purchased Luís Fabiano, Frédéric Kanouté and Javier Saviola, he was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Joaquín Caparrós, and cancelled the last year of his contract, joining Premier League side Portsmouth on a free transfer and signing a two-year deal.

At Pompey, Silva failed to make an impact after suffering an ankle injury and, after scoring just three goals in 15 appearances, he was released from his contract on 14 February 2006. He found the net against Charlton,[2] Sunderland[3] and Ipswich Town, the latter in the campaign's FA Cup.[4]

Car crash

On 23 September 2006, Silva was seriously injured in a car crash in Montevideo. The accident occurred when he lost control of his pick-up truck and was thrown from the vehicle, colliding with a lamppost.[5]

In the impact, 33-year-old Silva fractured his skull, being rendered unconscious and suffering a compound fracture on his right leg. At the time of the crash, he was traveling with two other ex-footballers, Elbio Papa and Dardo Pereira, who were not seriously injured.[5]

On the day of the accident, a team of five made the decision to amputate Silva's leg below the knee, and he underwent an operation which lasted for three and a half hours. He was put into a medically induced coma for the amputation.[6] After the operation, there were fears that the amputation would become infected.[5] However, his condition was declared stable a few days later as he recovered at Montevideo's La Española hospital, whose staff expected him to make a full recovery.

After difficulty with coming to terms with the amputation, Silva left the hospital on 5 October 2006, and returned to his home in Montevideo with the plan of receiving a prosthetic leg in Italy to help him walk and run without the aid of crutches.[7]

International career

Silva made his debut for Uruguay on 19 October 1994, in a friendly match with Peru in the Estadio Nacional José Díaz in Lima (1–0 win).[8] He appeared for the national team at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2002 FIFA World Cup – no goals in three matches in an eventual group stage exit[9]– and the 2004 Copa América.

Silva retired from international play after Uruguay failed to qualify to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and earned a total of 49 caps, scoring fourteen goals.

After retirement

On 6 October 2006, news reports suggested that Silva was offered a job as a football pundit in his country. However, pending the success of his prosthesis, he expressed a desire to return to the game as a player-coach.[10] In November, British newspaper Daily Mail reported that he aimed to make the 2012 Summer Olympics as a rower,[11] but nothing came of it.

Silva took the pitch again on 13 January 2009 after a three-year absence, taking part in a charity match between Uruguay XI and Argentina XI for the “Fundación Niños con Alas” (Winged Children Foundation), again displaying his scoring touch after converting a penalty kick.[12]



  1. "Dario Silva: Nothing will ever change me". FIFA.com. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  2. "Portsmouth 1–2 Charlton". BBC Sport. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  3. "Sunderland 1–4 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 29 October 2005. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  4. "Ipswich 0–1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 7 January 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 "Silva stable after car accident; BBC Sport, 25 September 2006
  6. "Silva loses leg after car accident". CNN. 25 September 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  7. "Silva leaves hospital after crash". BBC Sport. 5 October 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  8. Uruguay – International Matches 1991–1995; at RSSSF
  9. Darío SilvaFIFA competition record
  10. Dario Silva feeling optimistic about future; Goal.com
  11. Wednesday's football gossip; BBC Sport, 11 November 2006
  12. "Footballer has leg amputated, returns to the game". The Spoiler. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2010.

External links

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