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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group F - Paraguay

Nickname – Guaraníes, La Albirroja


God’s blessed Salvador Cabañas scored 6 goals out of 24 goals providing vital importance to their road into qualifying to the world cup before he was shot in the head. Apart from such story, Paraguay, if it wasn’t for their last match loss against Colombia and they would have finished top of the CONMEBOL ahead of Chile and Brazil. They finished with 33 points levelled with Chile and with Brazil just one point ahead.


Jun 14 Cape Town Italy v Paraguay - Italy 2 Paraguay 0. That’s how we stand in terms of wins/losses between these two nations whether it is non-competitive matches or in a world cup stage.

Jun 20 Bloemfontein Slovakia v Paraguay - Last time that Paraguay lost against European nations was in the 2006 World Cup, 1-0 against Sweden & England.

Jun 24 Polokwane Paraguay v New Zealand - Remember the first show when Pascal stated that Real Madrid back in 2000 scored a lot of goals but conceded far more? Well, this seems to be the case for New Zealand, even though they score not less than 2 goals each time they play against most of their group competitors they concede more. Only game – Paraguay 3-2 New Zealand.

Goalkeepers: Justo Villa (Valladolid), Aldo Bobadilla (Independiente Medellin), Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteno)

Defenders: Julio Cesar Caceres (Atletico Mineiro), Denis Caniza (Leon), Dario Veron (Pumas), Paulo Da Silva (Sunderland), Claudio Morel (Boca Juniors), Carlos Bonet (Olimpia), Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo), Antolin Alcaraz (Brugge)

Midfielders: Cristian Riveros (Sunderland), Jonathan Santana (Wolfsburg), Enrique Vera (Liga de Quito), Victor Caceres (Libertad), Nestor Ortigoza (Argentinos Juniors), Edgar Barreto (Atalanta)

Strikers: Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City), Oscar Cardozo (Benfica), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund), Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dormund), Edgar Benitez (Pachuca)


Gerardo Martino adopts a conservative 4-4-2 as his style of play that can switch to an offensive 4-3-3 case Paraguay’s opponent are in a weaker position. Villar; Morel Rodriguez, Paulo da Silva, Cáceres, Verón; Barreto, Santana, Ledesma, Martinez; SantaCruz/Barrios, Valdez.


Nelson Valdez plays for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga of Germany. His pace combined with strength and great vertical leap makes him a deadly forward especially because he is all-round performer going back and forth instead of being a natural striker waiting for the ball. Having also a decent level of creativity and technique can upset the most secure defensive line.

Lucas Barrios completes the duo of players from Borussia Dortmund. He has collected 19 goals and 4 assists out of 30 matches this season and most recently scored a great goal against Ireland in one of the warm-ups for the World Cup. La Pantera has he nicknamed happens to factors relatively simples to explain which are the reliability and efficacy that this player can bring to any team. Check his numbers: Cabreloa 39 matches/26 goals; Colo-Colo 53 matches/49 goals.


The surprise omissions are Cabanas from Club America due to his almost fatal shot in the head that he took.


"The secret to our qualification was the fact that the players and all the professionals involved with the national team went about their job responsibly and with a minimum of fuss. If we had failed to do what previous coaches achieved and missed out on qualifying, then we would have become a negative footnote in Paraguay's footballing history. Anyone who coaches a national team does so for one of two reasons: to stay in the job or go down in history. I've chosen the second option." Coach Gerardo Martino


- Gerardo Martino –

1 Clausura – Libertad (Paraguay) 2007.

Career made of 60 matches with 37% Win, 30% Draw, 33% Loss, GS 1,05 GA 0,98


Strength – Remember Chilavert? The infamous goalkeeper was a key to Paraguay’s approach on a defensive perspective. They are a very strong side when it comes to defense, but they not neglect their offensive potential with the like of Santa Cruz, Barrios and Valdez or even Cardozo. They are very strong against European opposition.

Weaknesses – Playing a more direct football based often in counter-attack means that rolling the ball between the squad in terms of game-play is not what you are used to see in Paraguay. But this direct approach can be more effective, objective and less demanding than having ball possession all the time. Paraguay’s ever having won against Italy meaning that they could be settling for second place which would see them facing the possible opposition of Netherlands.

Opportunities – If they take a positive result from the first match they could potentially finish 1st of the group on goal difference or ahead of Italy depending on match’s result. The first match is going to help to stabilize the team’s focus because the last two matches don’t seem to be the hardest task to face.

Threats – If Gerardo Martino that embedded the methodology of Marcelo Bielsa’s approach doesn’t go beyond the game’s strategy, they could face tough issues regarding the ability of being motivated for the last matches that look much more decisive than the first one that probably will only manage to settle whose finishing top and second position of the group.


Number 30 of the world ahead of Algeria, Ghana and Denmark but behind of Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Slovenia.


2 Copa America - 1953, 1979.



South Korea 1 0 Paraguay

Paraguay 1 0 Bolivia

Paraguay 1 0 Argentina

Venezuela 1 2 Paraguay

Paraguay 0 2 Colombia

Chile 2 1 Paraguay

Qatar 2 0 Paraguay

Netherlands 0 0 Paraguay

Paraguay 1 1 South Africa

North Korea 0 1 Paraguay

Rep. Ireland 2 1 Paraguay

Paraguay 2 2 Ivory Coast

Greece 0 2 Paraguay

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