Carlos Augusto Zambrano Ochandarte (born 10 July 1989) is a Peruvian footballer who plays as a defender for Basel on loan from Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv. He is known for his strong tackling and excellent defensive capabilities; despite being a centre-back, he has scored numerous goals throughout his career, both at youth and senior level.
Zambrano was an undisputed starter on the Schalke 04 U-19 team, and was the captain. He has a great merit considering that at that age group captaincy usually goes to a native-born player. He went to FC Schalke 04 at the age of 16, after playing in the U-17 World Cup in 2005, with Peru as hosts. He immediately became a cornerstone in defense and an undisputed starter for the U-19 team and scored a large number of goals. Schalke 04's defense did not concede with Zambrano. He was present for the first 5 games of the season, until the sixth match for which he was out due to injury.
He has been compared with Brazilian defender Lúcio for his style of play and great defense, offense, and speed. He has played sixteen matches for Schalke, being praised by teammates such as Dario Rodriguez.
FC Schalke 04
On November 10, 2007, he was promoted to the FC Schalke 04 first team.
In 2012, he signed on to play for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga for an estimated fee of €1.5 million. Zambrano, has played most recently on loan with FC St. Pauli. On 13 October 2014, injured and the Peruvian spent 17 matches on the bench. The largest chunk, from mid-October until the end of January, lasted 104 days and 11 matches. The injury to his knee was pretty severe, too: one ligament torn, the other damaged. Having played only half the season, Zambrano never looked full-speed.
In January 2016, Schalke 04 are readying a bid for Zambrano. The Peru international is widely regarded as one of Bundesliga's leading centre-backs, and he has been heavily linked with a big club move. But, seeing that Eintracht had not long before rejected a €7 million proposal for his services from ACF Fiorentina, Schalke face an uphill task, especially knowing that they only have around €5 million left in the transfer budget. It was at Schalke that Carlos Zambrano had begun his professional career and he could now be returning for a second spell at Arena AufSchalke.
On 3 July 2016, he moved to Russia, signing with FC Rubin Kazan, for an estimated fee of €3 million.
On 1 September 2017, PAOK finally managed to complete the signing of experienced Peruvian central defender from FC Rubin Kazan. The 28-year-old international joins the Greek Cup winners of Romanian manager Răzvan Lucescu on loan from the Russian club, until the end of 2017-18 season. On 15 December 2017, the Peruvian international defender despite the fact that signed on a season’s long loan before the 2017-18 season begun, he has not impressed PAOK coach Răzvan Lucescu. Feeling that the 28 years old defender, hasn’t matched the expectations which came with his arrival, PAOK are not willing to pay the extra two million euros which are required to keep him until the summer. Their decision isn’t too surprising, especially when Zambrano made a key error in the defeat to Olympiacos and earned a cheap red card during the loss against AEK Athens.
On 30 January 2018, Zambrano signed a 4-year contract with Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv.
On 26 March 2008, Zambrano made his senior international debut for the Peruvian National Team in a friendly match against Costa Rica. Zambrano started the match and scored a goal in the 45th minute. Zambrano was chosen to participate in the 2011 Copa América, but an injury suffered against Senegal in a friendly game, days before the tournament began, kept him out. On September 11, 2012, Zambrano made his first goal in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers against Argentina on the 22nd minute, making it a one-goal lead over Argentina. The game would later end as a tie.