Goalkeeper Federico Vilar (pictured) played a key role in Atlante's run to the 2008/09 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League crown. (Photo: Manuel Montoya/Straffon Images)
TIJUANA, Mexico – After 519 games in the Mexican top flight, Club Tijuana goalkeeper Federico Vilar announced Tuesday his retirement from football.
The 39-year-old Argentine played for four different teams in Mexico, including an Atlante side with which he played from 2003-10, winning the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League title (2008/09) and a Liga MX crown (2007 Apertura). He also competed for Morelia (2010-13) and Atlas (2014-15).
"Having Vilar in the last years of his career was an honor and a pleasure," said Ignacio Palou, Club Tijuana’s general sporting director. "On behalf of Club Tijuana, we thank him because we were able to verify his quality as a person and as a professional.
With Atlante, Vilar appeared in three games at the 2009 FIFA World Cup. He helped the Potros shutout New Zealand’s Auckland City, 3-0, in the quarterfinals. The resulting semifinal encounter against Barcelona ended in a 3-1 setback, a game in which Atlante bravely led for 30 minutes.
"I gave everything I had and worked hard at every step," Vilar said. "I make this decision with the happiness of being competitive until the last moment.”
In the 2016 Liga MX Apertura, Club Tijuana finished the regular season in first place for the first time, equaling Tigres with a league-low 13 goals conceded. Vilar kept eight clean sheets during the 17-game campaign.