Tijuana’s Federico Vilar is calling it a career. The 39 year old goalkeeper announced his retirement after 519 career first division matches in Mexico at a press conference at Estadio Caliente on Tuesday.
“I gave it all I had and I put in all my effort,” Vilar said. “I make this decision happily knowing that I was competitive until the final moment.”
He was certainly competitive, leading Tijuana to the Superlider in the 2016 Apertura. Vilar seemed to have found the fountain of youth, as the 13 goals conceded and 8 shutouts this past season were career numbers for him.
Vilar is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and got his professional start with Club Atlético Almirante Brown in 1999. In 2001, he emigrated to Mexico and started playing for Potros Zitácuaro - a second division affiliate of Atlante. In 2003 he got his break, joining Atlante’s first team and he never looked back. With Atlante Vilar became a fixture, playing in 280 games between 2003 and 2010. He lead Atlante to the 2007 Apertura title and followed that up by winning the first iteration of the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2008-09.
Vilar could stop shots, but he could also score goals when the opportunity presented itself.
In 2010, he transferred to Monarcas Morelia where he remained until 2013. With Vilar, Monarcas won the 2011 Clausura as well as getting a thrilling win over Atlas in the 2013 Apertura Copa MX where Vilar converted a penalty and saved three to defeat Atlas.
In the beginning of 2014 Vilar went to Atlas and stayed there until the end of the 2015 Clausura, appearing in over 50 games for Los Zorros before joining Tijuana during the 2015 Apertura. Vilar also represented Argentina during the qualification for the 2010 World Cup.