After legendary Zvonimir Soldo retired in June 2006, Stuttgart were in desperate need of a quality defensive midfielder to at least partly fill the huge gap Soldo had left. For a decade had the 189cm tall Croatian been one of the dominating figure in Stuttgartâ€™s midfield, backing the likes of Krassimir Balakov or Aliaksandr Hleb.
Bringing in Pardo was what can be called the best signing since having signed Meira from Benfica.
Right from the start did Pardo do what everyone expected him to do: being a worthy successor of Stuttgart legend Soldo
Yet, Iâ€™m gonna go into more detail later on after having given u some information on Pardoâ€™s career.
Pardoâ€™s career started in 1993 at the age of 17 at Atlas de Guadalajara, the local team of his home town; one of quite a number of similarities between his and Meiraâ€™s career tbh.
After five years there, he made his way to UAG Tecos where he only stayed one season before being signed by Mexican giants Club AmÃ©rica. What did I just say bout similarities between their careers?
He spent 7 quite successful years in Mexico-City where he won two Championships, before he was signed by Stuttgart in summer 2006, making him and fellow Mexican Ricardo Osorio, who Stuttgart signed from Cruz Azul, the first Mexicans in Bundesliga.
Pardoâ€™s play is very much alike Meiraâ€™s in terms of anticipation and determination though the Mexican also has other strengths which make him very important for his team.
Yet, since he is the successor for Soldo, comparisons between them are legal and should be made. Soldoâ€™s play was dominated by physicality which was not really astonishing since he stood at 189/88. Considering the fact that Pardo is only 175/69 it could be doubted that he is able to take it to his opponents in the same way Soldo did. WRONG!
Pardo is not only able to bring it to the opponentâ€™s players physically, he is also one of those who you need as a true #6 coz he knows when to commit a (rather hard) foul to wake up the team and make a statement on the pitch. Those were qualities Soldo was loved for by Stuttgart fans and they now love Pardo for.
Nevertheless, Pardoâ€™s play doesnâ€™t only consist of chopping players down. He has great vision which is one of the most important features a DM should have to be successful (see â€œimportance of the DMâ€ discussion PLFâ€™s thread). Pardo is able to play pinpoint passes to team mates, be it from deep down in his teamâ€™s half or as a nice through ball to open the opponentâ€™s defence.
Besides him being physically and technically gifted, his main asset is his mental strength. Pardo simply keeps going just like Meira till the final whistle blows, another quality Stuttgart fans highly appreciated in Soldo.