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Paulo Wanchope

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Status: Single

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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 12 May 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of 15 June 2006.* Appearances (Goals)

Paulo Cesar Wanchope Watson (IPA: 'paulo ɰan't̪ʃope) (born July 31, 1976) is a Costa Rican football player. As of February 2007 Wanchope is the second most prolific goalscorer in the history of the national football team, behind Rolando Fonseca, with 45 goals in 72 international matches.

Wanchope began his career with Club Sport Herediano, until he went to England to play with Derby County, in 1997, and for whom he scored a memorable goal against Manchester United on his debut, beating four United players before slotting past Peter Schmeichel. After scoring 28 goals in 83 games within 2 seasons for Derby County, Wanchope was sold to West Ham United for $5.5 million. He never quite settled in at West Ham, despite scoring 15 goals in 46 games, and was eventually sold to Manchester City. Wanchope earned a starting position at Man City, and helped lead the team to promotion to the FA Premier League. Although at times scintillating, Wanchope may have been something of a disappointment in English football because of a reputation for inconsistency. At the end of the 2004 season, Wanchope was sold to Málaga CF of the Spanish league for ₤500.000, playing 26 games and scoring 6 goals.

Wanchope has been hugely important to the Costa Rican national team, playing for the team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and several Gold Cups. On October 8, 2005, Wanchope became the all-time leading goal scorer for Los Ticos when he scored the first goal in a home win over the USA in the qualifying match that sent Los Ticos to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 2005, ESPN declared Wanchope's goal against Numancia the best of the entire 2004/05 Spanish First Division . On 9 June 2006, he scored twice in the opening game of the 2006 World Cup, a 4-2 loss to Germany. These two goals made Wanchope the first Costa Rican to score twice in one World Cup match, and put him alongside Rónald Gómez as the only Costa Ricans ever to score more than one World Cup goal. After the defeat to Germany, Costa Rica were defeated by both Ecuador and Poland. Thus Costa Rica finished last in their group and failed to qualify for the second round. Wanchope played his last game for his country in the defeat to Poland. In 2006, following the World Cup in Germany, he signed with Argentine club Rosario Central. , scoring 5 goals in 14 games.

On 29 December 2006, J. League first division club FC Tokyo announced the acquisition of Wanchope on a transfer from Rosario Central. Along with prospect Sota Hirayama, Wanchope gave FC Tokyo a pair of large (190cm+) strikers. He was recently released by FC Tokyo and subsequently signed a one year deal with MLS team Chicago Fire.


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