Copa America 2011 Player Profiles: Maxi Pereira - Uruguay

One of the longest-serving members of Benfica's squad (having arrived in 2007 from Defensor Sporting of Uruguay), Victorio Maximiliano Pereira Paez - Maxi to his friends - has also arguably been the Eagles' most consistent performer during that time, adapting to a succession of different coaches, and proving vital to all of them. Initially a winger under Jose Antonio Camacho, Maxi's first season at the Luz was largely one of adaptation, though he did produce an unforgettable goal against AC Milan in the Champions League.

Following the departure of Nelson, Maxi was moved into the right-back position by Quique Sanchez Flores, and although the Spaniard is not remembered with great fondness in Lisbon, his decision to convert the Uruguayan into a rampaging full-back is at least one positive legacy of his time at the Luz. Maxi's finest campaign in Benfica colours was undoubtedly 2009/10, where the Eagles delivered some thrilling attacking football as they sped to a Liga and Taca da Liga double.

With the more defensive-minded presence of Ramires ahead of him, Maxi was able to contribute to Benfica's offensive moves with abandon, regularly appearing on the overlap to deliver crosses for the likes of Saviola and Cardozo. He also played a key role in Benfica's run to the Europa League quarter-finals, producing a pair of vital goals against Marseilles.

Whilst last season was something of a disaster for Benfica, Maxi was (along with his colleague at left-back, Fabio Coentrao) one of few players to emerge with his reputation enhanced. Barely showing any fatigue from an impressive World Cup, he hit the ground running, with his commitment and will to win a real boost to his oft-beleaguered coach, Jorge Jesus. Although not often picked out as a star name, Maxi is, to my mind, the beating heart of this Benfica side.  

Biography

Name: Maxi Pereira

Age: 27

Team: Uruguay

Position: Right-back

Club team: Benfica (Portugal, Primeira Liga)

Chances Copa America increases transfer interest: Possible. Maxi has a contract with Benfica until 2015 but also has a blabbermouth agent, who has been a constant in thorn in Benfica's side.

Role in the team: Attacking full-back

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.