Soccer-World-Penpix of Paraguay squad

Thu, 20 May 02:08:00 2010

Penpix of Paraguay's provisional, 30-man squad for the World Cup finals:

Justo Villar (Real Valladolid). Goalkeeper. Born June 30 1977. Caps 71.

Captain and an "absent veteran" of two World Cups. He was Jose Luis Chilavert's reserve in Asia in 2002 and four years later in Germany he was injured eight minutes into the team's opening match against England and played no further part. Has good reflexes and is a good penalty stopper.

Aldo Bobadilla (Independiente Medellin). Goalkeeper. Born April 20 1976. Caps 18.

Shone in the Paraguayan league, earning a move to Boca Juniors but did not have a happy time in Buenos Aires. Has rebuilt his career in Colombia where he helped his club to win the Clausura title last year. A penalty specialist who stood in competently for the injured Villar in 2006.

Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteno), Goalkeeper. Born July 16 1981. Caps 3.

Shone for the junior national teams but his career suffered a hiatus over transfer issues and he saw little action between 2007 and 2009. Has done well with the league title favourites this year.

Denis Caniza (Leon). Defender. Born Aug. 29 1974. Caps 96. Goals 1.

Set to go to his fourth World Cup, he is the oldest member of the squad with many years' experience in the Mexican league. More of a full back but can play in central defence.

Paulo Da Silva (Sunderland). Defender. Born Feb. 1 1980. Caps 68. Goals 2.

One of the outstanding players in the qualifiers, very good in the air in the Paraguayan tradition. Keeps a low profile off the pitch.

Claudio Morel (Boca Juniors). Defender. Born Feb. 2 1978. Caps 26.

Versatile player comfortable in central defence or at left back, has good technique and takes a good free kick.

Julio Cesar Caceres (Atletico Mineiro). Defender. Born Oct. 5 1979. Caps 61. Goals 2.

Veteran of the previous two World Cups who is first choice at centre back, good going forward and in the air at both ends of the pitch. Moved to Brazil from Boca Juniors in January.

Carlos Bonet (Olimpia). Defender. Born Oct. 2 1977. Caps 61. Goals 1.

Right back who can also play in midfield, played at the 2006 finals but has not had many call-ups in the last two years.

Dario Veron (Pumas UNAM). Defender. Born July 26 1979. Caps 27.

Strong-marking centre back who has played in Mexico since 2003 and whose club side have the best defence in the Mexican league.

Julio Manzur (Olimpia). Defender. Born Jan. 22 1981. Caps 27.

Veteran of the 2006 finals who helped Paraguay to reach the 2004 Olympic final in Athens. Strong in the air, he makes up for limited technique with good positional sense.

Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo). Defender. Born June 16 1982. Caps 25. Goals 1.

Left back or wing with good long-distance shot, another Olympic silver medallist in 2004.

Antolin Alcaraz (Club Bruges). Defender. Born July 20 1982. Caps 4.

Quick centre back who is a relative newcomer, having played in only one qualifier near the end of the campaign.

Marcos Caceres (Racing Club). Defender. Born May 5 1986. Caps 6.

Centre back or right back with a good long-range shot who was a surprise inclusion as he is still recovering from a left knee injury.

Edgar Barreto (Atalanta). Midfielder. Born July 15 1984. Caps 47. Goals 1.

Defensive midfielder good at taking free kicks and shooting from distance. Is recovering from knee and foot injuries that have kept him out of action in recent months and put his trip to South Africa in doubt. Brother of third-choice keeper.

Cristian Riveros (Cruz Azul). Midfielder. Born Oct. 16 1982. Caps 46. Goals 8.

Ball winner quick to get forward into attacking positions, who played in almost all the qualifiers and is one of coach Gerardo Martino's key players. A veteran of the 2006 finals.

Jonathan Santana (VfL Wolfsburg). Midfielder. Born Oct. 19 1981. Caps 20.

Argentine-born player comfortable on the right or in the middle who became a regular in the team in the latter stages of the qualifiers.

Victor Caceres (Libertad). Midfielder. Born March 25 1985. Caps 25.

Right-sided player nicknamed "Topo" (mole) who stands out for his defensive ability. Brother of defender Marcos Caceres.

Enrique Vera (LDU Quito). Midfielder. Born March 10 1979. Caps 27. Goals 1.

Holding midfielder who can play on either flank or in the middle, whose speed and control help him to move quickly into attack.

Sergio Aquino (Libertad). Midfielder. Born Sept. 21 1979. Caps 7.

Argentine-born right wing nicknamed "Pato" (duck) who has spent all his career in Paraguay. Is an option for the right which is the team's weaker flank.

Eduardo Ledesma (Lanus). Midfielder. Born Aug. 7 1985. Caps 10.

Attacking, right-sided midfielder who made his debut in mid-2009.

Nestor Ortigoza (Argentinos Juniors). Midfielder. Born Oct. 7 1984. Caps 3.

A recent addition to the squad. Very sound, Argentine-born, ball-winning midfielder with good distribution who has played a key part in his club's push for the Argentine Clausura championship.

Marcelo Estigarribia (Newell's Old Boys). Midfielder. Born Sept. 21 1987. Caps 8. Goals 1.

Relative newcomer who plays in Rosario for Newell's Old Boys, a favoured destination for Paraguayan players in Argentina with the club's traditionally excellent training staff.

Osvaldo Martinez (Monterrey). Midfielder. Born April 8 1986. Caps 12.

Dynamic attacking midfielder with a good pass who helped his club to win the Mexican Apertura title in the first half of the season.

Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City). Forward. Born Aug. 16 1981. Caps 67. Goals 21.

A first-choice striker since the qualifiers for the 2002 finals, his first World Cup, who would have won more caps but for injuries, and missed most of last year with a knee problem. He can be the leading light for Paraguay especially in the absence of Salvador Cabanas, who is recovering after being shot in a bar. Often features in celebrity media and heartthrob magazines.

Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund). Forward. Born Nov. 28 1983. Caps 38. Goals 9.

Quick striker with a powerful shot and good in the air, going to his second finals. Combines strength and speed to good effect and partnered Cabanas in a majority of the qualifiers. Early in his career playing for modest Atletico Tambetary he would sleep under the stands to be able to spend more hours practising. He never played in the Paraguayan first division, moving to Werder Bremen as a teenager.

Oscar Cardozo (Benfica). Forward. Born May 20 1983. Caps 29. Goals 4.

Tall central striker nicknamed "Tacuara", ('big cane' in the Guarani Indian language) because he is 1.94 metres tall. In top form, he helped his club to win the Portuguese league. Is often criticised for not reproducing his best for Paraguay. Has good control and uses his height to good effect for heading.

Edgar Benitez (Pachuca). Forward. Born Nov. 8 1987. Caps 12. Goals 1.

Fast striker nicknamed "Pajaro" (bird) who is happy anywhere across the front of attack and enjoys running at defences.

Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund). Forward. Born Nov. 13 1984. Caps 0.

Striker born and raised in Argentina who likes to attack from deep positions, he obtained Paraguayan nationality through his mother in April as Martino sought to fill the void left by Cabanas. Scored 19 goals in his first season in the Bundesliga.

Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad). Forward. Born Dec. 10 1988. Caps 2.

The youngest player in the squad who is at his best attacking from the wings. Helped his club to reach the Libertadores Cup quarter-finals.

Jorge Achucarro (Newell's Old Boys). Forward. Born Nov. 6 1981. Caps 11.

A right-sided striker also comfortable as a wing, fast with a good shot across the front of goal who has found a niche at Newell's, the team with the most points over the Argentine season even if they did not win either title. (Compiled by Daniela Desantis/Mariel Cristaldo; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email


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