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World Cup 2010 Focus: Paraguay

Posted by Scot Munroe Friday, June 4, 2021

Paraguay after failing 4 years ago in Germany are looking to put that behind them and are looking for a good campaign. But the sad news is that Paraguay will be without star striker Salvador Cabanas after he was shot in a botched robbery back in January. Cabanas still has the bullet lodged in his head and sadly his goal scoring talents will be sadly missed in South Africa.

Gerardo Martino the coach was hired after the awful display in 2006 and the Argentine has helped to rejuvenate the national team but has been criticised nationally in the press for bringing naturalised Argentines into the Paraguayan national team. This could help them in the long run.

A fantastic start to the South American World Cup Qualifying made people aware in South America of this team, but in the last 18 months there has been mixed fortunes as the team limped across qualifying and then Friendly results have been mixed a draw against the Netherlands were followed by defeat by Qatar. The talent is there for Martino to show but the results have been the sticking point. Martino has 2 ways of playing with a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2 formation and has beaten Brazil at home 2-0 using 3 strikers. That fluidity in formation can make Paraguay very dangerous opponents.

The 3 players to watch out for would be Oscar Cardozo off Benfica is a very languid striker who has been scoring goals for fun for Benfica but has yet to show his form on the big stage and has been criticised in the press. Roque Santa Cruz may have played a small role in qualification due to his knee problems is still and wonderful eye catching striker. He may have his injury problems in the past but for Paraguay he is one of the top scorers for his country. Justo Villar the goalkeeper who has only played 8 minutes in the last 2 world cup due to injury and against England he left the pitch in tears, the Valladolid keeper has been the bright spark in the battling season.

Paraguay's 23-man Squad:

Goalkeepers: Villar(Valldolid) Barretto(Cerro Porteno) Bobadilla(Independiente Medellin)

Defenders: Rodriguez(Boca Juniors) Caniza(Leon) Da Silva(Sunderland) Veron(Pumas) Caceras(Atletico Minerio) Bonet(Olimpia) Torres(San Lorenzo) Alcaraz(FC Bruges)

Midfield: Barretto(Atalanta) Riveros(Cruz Azul) Caceras(Libertad) Vera(LDU Quito) Santana(Wolfsburg) Ortigoza(Argentina Juniors)

Strikers: Barrios(Borussia Dortmund) Santa Cruz(Manchester City) Valdez(Borussia Dortmund) Cardozo(Benfica) Gamarra(Libertad) Benitez(Toulca)

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