Paraguay national football team

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Paraguay
Asociacion Paraguaya de Futbol logo.svg
Nickname(s) Los Guaraníes
La Albirroja (White and red)
Association Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol (APF)
Confederation CONMEBOL (South America)
Head coach Eduardo Berizzo
Captain Gustavo Gómez
Most caps Paulo da Silva (150)
Top scorer Roque Santa Cruz (32)
Home stadium Estadio Defensores del Chaco
FIFA code PAR
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First colours
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Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 41 Steady2.svg(11 June 2020) [1]
Highest8 (March 2001)
Lowest103 (May 1995)
First international
Flag of Paraguay (1842-1954).svg  Paraguay 1–5 Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg
(Asunción, Paraguay; 11 May 1919)
Biggest win
Flag of Paraguay (1842-1954).svg  Paraguay 7–0 Bolivia  Flag of Bolivia (state).svg
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 30 April 1949)
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 0–7 Paraguay  Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg
(Hong Kong; 17 November 2010)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 8–0 Paraguay  Flag of Paraguay (1842-1954).svg
(Santiago, Chile; 20 October 1926)
World Cup
Appearances8 (first in 1930 )
Best resultQuarter-finals (2010)
Copa América
Appearances37 (first in 1921 )
Best resultChampions (1953, 1979)

The Paraguay national football team (Spanish : Seléccion de fútbol de Paraguay) represents Paraguay in men's international football competitions, and are controlled by the Paraguayan Football Association (Asociación Fútbol de Paraguay). Paraguay is a member of CONMEBOL. The Albirroja has qualified for eight FIFA World Cup competitions (1930, 1950, 1958, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), with their best performance coming in 2010 when they reached the quarter-finals. A regular participant at the Copa América, Paraguay have been crowned champions of the competition on two occasions (in 1953 and 1979). Paraguay's highest FIFA World Rankings was 8th (March 2001) and their lowest was 103 (May 1995). Paraguay was awarded second place with Best Move of the Year in 1996 for their rise in the FIFA Rankings.

Contents

The national team's most successful period was under the coaching of Argentine Gerardo Martino, who was awarded with the South American Coach of the Year in 2007 and took Paraguay to the quarter-final stages of a FIFA World Cup competition for the first time in history (in 2010) and also to the final of the 2011 Copa América, where Paraguay finished as runners-up. In the entire national team's history at the FIFA World Cup, both Carlos Gamarra and José Luis Chilavert hold the distinction of being selected as part of the All-Star Team, being for the 1998 edition. Paulo da Silva holds the most appearances for the national team with 150 matches and Roque Santa Cruz is the all-time leading goal scorer with 32 goals. Denis Caniza, who was present with the national team from 1996 to 2010, is the only player to have represented Paraguay in four consecutive FIFA World Cup competitions (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010).

While Paraguay is not a major football force in South America, Paraguay is also a respected side in the CONMEBOL, partly for having won two Copa América titles and a major participant in the FIFA World Cup, having reached the quarter-finals once. Paraguay is also noted for its distinctive style of play, while most of South American teams are renowned for being skillful and stylish, Paraguay sets aside by a very conservative defensive counterattack style.

History

The beginning (1900–1930)

Paraguay at the 1929 South American Championship. Paraguay 1929.JPG
Paraguay at the 1929 South American Championship.

Soon after the introduction of football in Paraguay by Williams Paats, the Liga Paraguaya de Futbol (today Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol) was created in 1906. The first national football team was organized in 1910 when an invitation by the Argentine club Hércules of Corrientes was received to play a friendly match. Members of that first national team where F. Melián, G. Almeida, A. Rodríguez, M. Barrios, P. Samaniego, J. Morín, Z. Gadea, D. Andreani, C. Mena Porta, B. Villamayor, M. Rojas and E. Erico. The match ended in a 0–0 draw. [3]

Because of the increasing number of invitations to play matches and international tournaments, the Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol decided to officially create the national team and select the striped red and white jerseys that until this date remain as the official colours (taken from the Paraguayan flag). In late 1919, Paraguay accepted the invitation to play the 1921 Copa América and in order to prepare for that occasion a number of friendly matches were played between 1919 and the start of the tournament in 1921. The first of those friendly matches was a 5–1 loss against Argentina, and it marked the first international game by the Paraguayan national football team. When the 1921 Copa América finally arrived, Paraguay surprised everybody by beating then three-time South American champions Uruguay by 2–1, being this the first match in an official competition for the Paraguayan football team. Paraguay eventually finished fourth in the tournament and became a regular participant of the tournament for the next editions.

In 1930, Paraguay participated in the first World Cup, organized by Uruguay. In the first round, Paraguay debuted and lost to the United States (0–3), to then defeat Belgium (1–0) with a goal by Luis Vargas Peña. Only one team was to advance from the group stage, and the U.S. left Paraguay behind.

First taste of success (1930–1970)

After strong participations in the Copa América tournaments of 1929, 1947 and 1949 (where Paraguay finished in second place), Paraguay was ready for their next World Cup competition.

The return to the World Cup was in 1950, where Paraguay faced Sweden and Italy in Group 3. Paraguay failed to advance to the next round after a 2–2 draw against Sweden and a 2–0 loss against Italy.

The first big success came in 1953 when Paraguay won the Copa América disputed in Peru. In their road to the championship, Paraguay defeated Chile (3–0), Bolivia (2–1) and Brazil (2–1); and tied against Ecuador (0–0), Peru (2–2) and Uruguay (2–2). Since Paraguay and Brazil were tied in points at the end of the tournament, a final playoff match was played between them, with Paraguay winning the final by 3–2. Key players of the campaign included Ángel Berni, Heriberto Herrera and Rubén Fernández. The coach was Manuel Fleitas Solich. [4]

For the 1958 World Cup, Paraguay surprisingly qualified ahead of Uruguay (beating them 5–0 in the decisive game) with a team that contained a formidable attacking lineup with stars such as Juan Bautista Agüero, José Parodi, Jorge Lino Romero, Cayetano Ré and Florencio Amarilla. In their first game in Sweden, Paraguay were 3–2 up against France in a game they lost 7–3. A 3–2 win over Scotland and a 3–3 draw with Yugoslavia saw Paraguay finish third in their group.

The departure of several of their stars for European football (mainly Spain) resulted in a weakening of Paraguay's football fortunes somewhat, but they were only edged out by Mexico in the 1962 qualifiers.

More continental success (1970–1990)

Paraguay fell short in subsequent World Cup qualifying campaigns, but Copa América success (and that of one of its premier clubs Olimpia in the Copa Libertadores) in 1979 shored up Paraguay as a solid player on the continent.

The 1979 Copa América was won by Paraguay after finishing first in Group C (which had Uruguay and Ecuador as well) with two wins and two draws. In the semi-finals, Paraguay defeated Brazil by an aggregate score of 4–3. In the finals, Paraguay defeated Chile by an aggregate score of 3–1 to claim its second continental crown. Players such as Romerito, Carlos Alberto Kiese, Alicio Solalinde, Roberto Paredes, Hugo Ricardo Talavera and Eugenio Morel where an important part of the team, coached by Ranulfo Miranda. [5]

Paraguay ended a 28-year absence from the World Cup in 1986 with a team starring Roberto Fernández in goal; Cesar Zabala, Rogelio Delgado and Juan Bautista Torales in defence; Jorge Amado Nunes and Vladimiro Schettina in midfield; midfield playmaker Romerito and strikers Roberto Cabañas, Ramón Ángel María Hicks and Rolando Chilavert (the older brother of José Luis Chilavert). In first round matches, Paraguay defeated Iraq (1–0, goal scored by Romerito) and then tied Mexico (1–1, goal scored by Romerito) and Belgium (2–2, both goals scored by Roberto Cabañas). They reached the second round where they were beaten 3–0 by England. [6]

The golden generation (1990–2011)

A drought followed once again, as Paraguay failed to reach the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

In 1992, Paraguay won the South American Pre-Olympic tournament, which guaranteed a spot in the 1992 Summer Olympics football competition. In the Olympics, Paraguay finished second in its group and were eliminated by Ghana in the quarter-finals. [7] The most important aspect of that Paraguay team was the emergence of new young players like Carlos Gamarra, Celso Ayala, José Luis Chilavert, Francisco Arce and José Cardozo, which became part of the "golden generation" that led Paraguay to three-straight World Cups and good performances in continental competitions, establishing Paraguay as one of the top teams in South America alongside Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.

1998 FIFA World Cup

Paraguay concluded the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup in second position, one point below Argentina.

Group D
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 32015506Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 312031+25
3Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 311184+44
4Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 30121761
Source: FIFA

Coached by the Brazilian Paulo César Carpegiani, the Albirroja returned to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986. The squad featured experienced players. Paraguay were drawn into Group D, alongside Bulgaria, Nigeria and Spain.

Paraguay drew their first two matches 0–0, against Bulgaria and Spain. [8] They then faced to face Nigeria, who has already qualified for the second round after winning their first two matches. Paraguay won 3–1 and finished in second position in the group.

Paraguay met France in the second round on 28 June. France were without Zinedine Zidane, and were held 0–0 by Paraguay for 90 minutes. In the 114th minute of extra-time, Laurent Blanc scored to eliminate Paraguay on the golden goal rule. [9] Defender Carlos Gamarra and goalkeeper and captain José Luís Chilavert were selected as part of the 1998 All-Star Team.

1999 and 2001 Copa América

Group A
TeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 321050+57
Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 320143+16
Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia 30211212
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 30123851
Source: [ citation needed ]

Paraguay were hosts of the 1999 Copa América, played in four cities throughout the country. Head coach Ever Hugo Almeida selected an experienced squad, with the majority of the players having been present at the 1998 World Cup. Grouped with Bolivia, Japan and Peru, the Albirroja played their first match of the competition, drawing 0–0 against Bolivia. On 2 July, Paraguay faced Japan and sealed a 4–0 victory. In Paraguay's third and last group-stage fixture against Peru, Paraguay won 1–0. The Albirroja topped the group with seven points. Paraguay were drawn against Uruguay at the quarter-final stage. The match was decided via a penalty shootout, which saw Paraguay defeated 5–3. Following the conclusion of the competition, striker Roque Santa Cruz was awarded with the 1999 Paraguayan Footballer of the Year award. [10]

In the 2001 Copa America, head coach Sergio Markarián selected a squad of mostly domestic based players. Paraguay were drawn against Peru, Mexico and Brazil. In their opening fixture on 12 July, the fixture ended 3–3. On 15 July, Paraguay drew 0–0 with Mexico in their second group stage fixture. Paraguay then faced Brazil on 18 July in their last group stage fixture. Brazil won 3–1 and eliminated Paraguay, who had obtained just two points at the competition.

2002 FIFA World Cup

Paraguay began its 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign in March 2000, suffering a 2–0 away defeat against Peru. One month later, they defeated Uruguay 1–0. On 3 June 2000, Paraguay secured a 3–1 home victory against Ecuador, before Paraguay were defeated 3–1 away against Chile. On 18 July 2000, Paraguay earned a 2–1 home victory against Brazil. Paraguay then drew the next two fixtures. Paraguay then earned four consecutive wins — against Venezuela, Colombia (2–0), Peru (5–1), and Uruguay (1–0) — to move into second position in qualifying.

Chilavert was a key figure during the qualifiers as Paraguay qualified for Korea-Japan 2002. Chilavert sanlorenzo.jpg
Chilavert was a key figure during the qualifiers as Paraguay qualified for Korea-Japan 2002.

Paraguay fell 2–1 away against Ecuador. Paraguay defeated Chile 1–0. Paraguay were defeated 2–0 away against Brazil. Paraguay defeated Bolivia 5–1 at home. One month later Paraguay drew Argentina 2–2. Paraguay maintained second position in the table. Paraguay were then defeated 3–1 away against Venezuela and 4–0 against Colombia. Paraguay finished in fourth position after Round 18, with 30 points, qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Both José Saturnino Cardozo and Carlos Humberto Paredes were in the top 10 leading goal scorers of the qualifiers.[ citation needed ] Cardozo ranking fifth, with six goals in fourteen matches, and Paredes ranking tenth, having scored five goals in sixteen matches.[ citation needed ]

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 330094+59Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 31116604
3Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 31115504
4Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 30032750
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria

Paraguay came into the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament with most of their players from France 98, as José Luís Chilavert would captain the Albirroja at the tournament. Cesare Maldini's appointing as coach in January 2002 had caused controversy as domestic managers were overlooked (prompting the managers union to try to unsuccessfully expel him for immigration breaches). [11] [12]

Paraguay were drawn into Group B with Spain, South Africa and Slovenia. The Albirroja would face South Africa in their opening group stage match on 2 June, with a match that tied at 2–2. Paraguay faced Spain in their next fixture on 7 June. Spain defeated Paraguay 3–1. In Paraguay's third group stage fixture against Slovenia, Paraguay won the match at 3–1. Although Paraguay and South Africa had finished with four points each, the Albirroja progressed due to goal difference. [13] Paraguay were then drawn against Germany at the round of 16 stages. Germany, who had been the more dominant side throughout the match, scored in the 88th minute to win the match, ending Paraguay's tournament. [14]

Nelson Haedo played at the 2004 Copa America. Nelson Valdez.jpg
Nelson Haedo played at the 2004 Copa América.

2004 Copa América

Coach Carlos Jara Saguier took a relatively young squad to the 2004 Copa América, with the majority of players tied to clubs of the Primera División Paraguaya. Paraguay had been drawn into Group C, with Brazil, Costa Rica and Chile. A penalty sealed Paraguay's 1–0 victory in their first group-stage match against Costa Rica. Paraguay earned a 1–1 draw with Chile in the following match. In Paraguay's fixture against Brazil, Paraguay earned a 2–1 victory, which saw Paraguay top the group as undefeated, with seven points. Paraguay were drawn against Uruguay in the quarter-finals. A 3–1 Uruguay victory eliminated Paraguay from the competition.

2006 FIFA World Cup

Cardozo scored seven goals during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Jose cardozo.jpg
Cardozo scored seven goals during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

Paraguay began the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification with three wins in their first four fixtures in 2003. After losing 4–1 to Peru, Paraguay notched consecutive wins against Uruguay (4–1), Chile (1–0) to reach first position of the table. In 2004, Paraguay drew 0–0 against Brazil and lost 2–1 to Bolivia. Paraguay got their only win of 2004 against Venezuela a 1–0. Paraguay ended the year with a 1–0 defeat against Uruguay. In 2005, Paraguay lost to Ecuador and then defeated Chile 2–1. In their next fixture, Brazil defeated Paraguay 4–1. Paraguay defeated Bolivia 4–1, and Argentina 1–0 for Paraguay's first official victory over Argentina.[ citation needed ] They defeated Venezuela 1–0. In round 18, Paraguay were defeated 1–0 at home against Colombia. Paraguay concluded the qualifiers in fourth position, qualifying for their third consecutive World Cup. José Cardozo finished second in goals scored with seven.[ citation needed ]

Paraguay against England at the 2006 FIFA World Cup On the pitch.jpg
Paraguay against England at the 2006 FIFA World Cup
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of England.svg  England 321052+37Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 312032+15
3Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 31022203
4Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago 30120441
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria

Head coach Aníbal Ruiz took with him 8 European based players and 11 South American based players, including captain Carlos Gamarra, to Germany for the 2006 tournament. This was Paraguay's third consecutive FIFA World Cup tournament, and the team had experienced players within the side.

Paraguay were drawn into Group B alongside England, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago. Paraguay faced England in their opening group stage match on 10 June. England managed to hold onto a 1–0 lead to earn a victory. They faced Sweden on 15 June in a match which Sweden eliminated Paraguay after just two group-stage matches without the Albirroja scoring a single goal. Paraguay's only compensation came in their third and last group stage fixture on against Trinidad and Tobago on 20 June, Paraguay's 2–0 victory. Paraguay finished third in their group. Paraguay's group stage elimination made them the only South American national team which did not advance beyond the first round.[ citation needed ] Upon the conclusion of Paraguay's 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, Aníbal Ruiz resigned as head coach and Raúl Vicente Amarilla was assigned as the interim coach.

Gerardo Martino became the new coach as of January 2007. Gerardo Martino (marzo de 2014).jpg
Gerardo Martino became the new coach as of January 2007.

Paraguay's national squad underwent a major transition after Germany 2006 because of the retirement of key players including José Luis Chilavert. In 2007, Argentine Gerardo "Tata" Martino was designated as head-coach.

2007 Copa América

Group C
TeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 330093+69
Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 320182+66
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 31023963
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 30032860
Source: [ citation needed ]

Gerardo Martino took with him a relatively experienced squad to Venezuela, with Darío Verón, Claudio Morel Rodríguez, Carlos Bonet, Julio Manzur, Paulo da Silva, Aureliano Torres, Roque Santa Cruz and captain Julio César Cáceres all re-appearing for the national team, and newcomers Enrique Vera, Óscar Cardozo and the Argentine-born Jonathan Santana were appearing for Paraguay in their first major tournaments. The competition also proved to be one of the last national team involvements from veteran Nelson Cuevas. Paraguay were drawn into Group C, alongside Argentina, Colombia, and the USA. In Paraguay's first fixture, they would defeat Colombia 5–0 after a hat-trick from Roque Santa Cruz and a double from Salvador Cabañas. [16] In Paraguay's second fixture against the USA, Édgar Barreto opened the scoring in the 29th minute just before the USA's Ricardo Clark would level the scores in the 35th minute. Paraguay would win the match 3–1 after a goal from Óscar Cardozo and a 92nd minute free kick from Salvador Cabañas would seal the game for the Albirroja. [17] With both Paraguay and Argentina having obtained six points and qualifying from beyond their Group C, the two teams faced in their last group stage fixture with a less strengthened side, Roque Santa Cruz, Édgar Barreto, Cristian RIveros and Paolo da Silva all commencing on the bench as Nelson Cuevas would gain his first appearance of the competition and Aldo Bobadilla would play a full 90-minutes of the fixture, replacing Justo Villar for the second time in the tournament. A 79th minute Javier Mascherano goal was enough to seal a 1–0 victory for Argentina, [18] as Paraguay advanced to the knock-out stages to face Mexico. Mexico had already beaten Brazil in the group stage and had finished in first place of their respective Group B with seven points. After Paraguayan goal keeper Aldo Bobadilla had earned a straight red card in the 3rd minute, Paraguay conceded a penalty in the 5th minute and eventually found themselves down 3–0 at half-time. Mexico would score another three more goals, thrashing Paraguay 6–0 and ending their Copa América campaign. [19]

2010 FIFA World Cup

Coach Gerardo Martino regarded Salvador Cabanas as the Albirroja's best player, Martino also considered Cabanas as Paraguay's Lionel Messi. Salvador Cabanas.png
Coach Gerardo Martino regarded Salvador Cabañas as the Albirroja's best player, Martino also considered Cabañas as Paraguay's Lionel Messi.

Paraguay commenced their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 0–0 away draw against Peru. [23] Paraguay followed this draw with four consecutive wins — against Urugauay (1–0), Ecuador (5–1), Chile (3–0), and Brazil (2–0). These victories placed Paraguay in first position of the CONMEBOL table in four matches, [24] [25] and Paraguay remained in first position of the CONMEBOL table for nine consecutive rounds (from round 4 to round 12). Paraguay lost for the first time in qualifying in a 4–2 away defeat against Bolivia. [26]

Paraguay travelled to Argentina. [27] 1–1 was how it finished. Days later, a 2–0 home victory against Venezuela as Paraguay remained in first position of the CONMEBOL table. [28] Paraguay then earned two 1–0 victories against Colombia and Peru. [29] [30] The results keeping Paraguay in first place of the CONMEBOL table as 2008 concluded. Paraguay's qualification campaign in 2009 commenced with a 2–0 away loss against Uruguay [31] and a 1–1 away draw against Ecuador, [32] By June, Paraguay suffered a 2–0 home defeat at the hands of Chile, [33] Paraguay were defeated 2–1 away against Brazil. [34] In the last four matches of the qualification campaign, where which three of the four fixtures would be played at home, Paraguay earned a 1–0 home victory against Bolivia. [35] Qualification was secured in the next fixture against Argentina on 9 September, when Paraguay won 1–0. [36] Paraguay concluded the qualification campaign with a 2–1 away victory against Venezuela and a 2–0 home loss against Colombia. [37] [38] Paraguay concluded the qualification campaign with 33 points, as Salvador Cabañas finished in sixth position of the leading goal scorers, having scored six goals.[ citation needed ]

The Albirroja vs. Italy on 14 June 2010 FIFA World Cup 2010 Italy Paraguay3.jpg
The Albirroja vs. Italy on 14 June 2010
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 312031+25Advance to knockout stage
2Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia 31114514
3Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 30302203
4Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 30214512
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria
2010 FIFA World Cup Stamps of Paraguay, 2010-08.jpg
2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup Stamps of Paraguay, 2010-09.jpg
2010 FIFA World Cup

Paraguay had an experienced side with Roque Santa Cruz, Édgar Barreto, Carlos Bonet, Enrique Vera, Cristian Riveros, Nelson Valdez and Paulo da Silva. Paraguay had qualified for their fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup, and the 2010 edition proved to be a record fourth consecutive World Cup for Denis Caniza.[ citation needed ] The final squad consisted of 9 European based players. [39] Paraguay were drawn into Group F alongside Italy, Slovakia and New Zealand. Paraguay faced Italy in their opening match and drew 1–1, after taking the lead in the 39th minute. [40] They then beat Slovakia 2–0 [41] and played out a 0–0 draw with New Zealand, to finish first in the group. [42]

Paraguay were drawn against Japan in the second round, and won a penalty shoot-out 5–3 after a 0–0 draw. [43] The win meant that Paraguay advanced to the last eight for the first time.[ citation needed ] The Albirroja were drawn against Spain at the quarter-final stage. Paraguayan goalkeeper Justo Villar saved a penalty kick, but Spain scored in the 83rd minute to win 1–0, and went on to win the tournament. [44] After the match, Gerardo Martino stated that he would be leaving his position at the end of his contract.

2011 Copa América

Paraguay's Justo Villar was voted best goalkeeper of the 2011 Copa America. Justo Villar en accion 3.jpg
Paraguay's Justo Villar was voted best goalkeeper of the 2011 Copa America.

At the 2011 Copa America, Paraguay were drawn into Group B with Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador. Paraguay drew their opening group stage match 0–0 with Ecuador. Paraguay leveled with Brazil 2–2, as Paraguay would settle for their second draw of the tournament. Paraguay played out a 3–3 draw with Venezuela. Paraguay concluded the group stage phase with three points from three matches, as the group's third-place finisher and the competition's second-best third-place finisher in the group stage. Paraguay were drawn against Brazil at the quarter final stages. The match was decided via a penalty shoot out. Paraguay won the penalty shoot out 2–0. Paraguay then faced Venezuela in the semi-final. Paraguay won 5–3 via their second consecutive penalty shoot out, to send Paraguay to the final. Paraguay faced Uruguay in the final, the first time that Paraguay reached the final since the 1979 Copa América. Paraguay lost 3–0. Paraguayan goalkeeper Justo Villar was awarded as the Best goalkeeper of the tournament. Gerardo Martino resigned soon afterwards as coach of the Albirroja.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Francisco Arce was in charge of the Albirroja in 2011, following the departure of Gerardo Martino. Chiqui Arce.jpg
Francisco Arce was in charge of the Albirroja in 2011, following the departure of Gerardo Martino.

Francisco Arce took charge of the national team for the qualifiers. In Rounds 1 and 2 in October 2011, Paraguay were defeated 2–0 away. [45] Four days later, Paraguay drew with Uruguay 1–1. Paraguay earned their first win of the qualifiers when they defeated Ecuador 2–1. [46] Fourth position was the highest ranking that Paraguay achieved throughout the qualifiers, as the national team faced a series of losses.

Paraguay were defeated 2–0 against Chile and 3–1 to Bolivia. [47] Francisco Arce departed as coach in 2012 after Paraguay's loss against Bolivia, and was replaced by Gerardo Pelusso. Paraguay were defeated 3–1 against Argentina, 2–0 against Venezuela, and 2–0 against Colombia. [48] This string of losses placed Paraguay at the bottom of the table.

Roque Santa Cruz scored his 26th goal, becoming Paraguay's leading career scorer. Roque Luis Santa Cruz.jpg
Roque Santa Cruz scored his 26th goal, becoming Paraguay's leading career scorer.

Paraguay ended their losing streak when they defeated Peru 1–0, only their second win of the qualifiers. [49] Paraguay's then tied Uruguay 1–1. [50] Paraguay were defeated 4–1 against Ecuador. [51] In Round 13, Paraguay lost 2–1 to Chile in a match where Roque Santa Cruz's goal brought his tally to 26 which made him the all-time leading goal scorer of the Paraguayan national team's history. [52] By this time, Gerardo Pelusso had departed and coach Víctor Genes would ultimately be in charge until the qualifiers were concluded. Paraguay next defeated Bolivia 4–0. [53] However, a 5–2 defeat against Argentina officially eliminated Paraguay from qualifying.

Paraguay's last two matches in October 2013 saw then face Venezuela and Colombia. The match concluded 1–1. In Paraguay's last fixture of the qualifiers in Round 18, they lost to Colombia 2–1. Paraguay finished in ninth position of the table, having gained just 12 points from three wins and having been defeated ten times. [54] The 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign proved to be unsuccessful. Throughout the duration of the qualifiers, Paraguay changed coaches three times.

2015 Copa América

Paraguay's campaign in the 2015 Copa América was much more successful than their qualifying campaign to Brazil. In this competition, Paraguay made it to the semi-finals, defeating Brazil in quarter-finals via penalty shootouts, after the score being 1–1, although they were eliminated by Argentina, by a score of 6–1. [55]

2016 Copa América Centenario

Prior to the competition, the Paraguayan press had labeled Roque Santa Cruz, Nelson Haedo, Paulo da Silva and Justo Villar as histórics, being the only four experienced and veteran players in the squad selected for the competition. [56] [57] Santa Cruz suffered an injured and was later replaced by Antonio Sanabria. [58]

Following an unsuccessful campaign, Ramón Díaz announced his resignation as coach of the Albirroja in a press conference at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco after returning to the country. [59] [60] He had already received criticism from former Albirroja great José Luís Chilavert, who stated that the team was managed based on "friendship" in the federation due to corruption and opined that Díaz is more of an office person. [61] [62] [63] José Cardozo, former Albirroja leading goal scorer and current coach of Chiapas in Mexico, also expressed his dissatisfaction with the Albirroja. He stated that: "There are players that do not even know our national anthem" and "We used to play until we would suffer severe injuries, and we performed because we loved the Albirroja. Today, someone has pain in their stomach and does not want to train". "Carlos Gamarra and Francisco Arce played many times with busted ankles, and I once played with a damaged knee" remembered Cardozo. [64] Former Albirroja World Cup veteran Celso Ayala spoke to HOY.com and mentioned that "Any team beats us. In the Albirroja, we've stopped kicking, blocking and heading. Uruguay, for instance, never forgets about its roots, and we have to be like them". [65]

Team image

Kit providerPeriod
Flag of Germany.svg Adidas 1979-1985
Flag of Brazil.svg Rainha 1986
Flag of Argentina.svg Sportman 1987–1990
Flag of Brazil.svg Textil Paraná 1991–1992
Flag of Italy.svg Ennerre 1993–1994
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Reebok 1995–1998
Flag of Germany.svg Puma 1999–2006
Flag of Germany.svg Adidas 2007–2020
Flag of Germany.svg Puma 2020–present

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
YearRoundPositionPldWD*LGFGAPldWDLGFGA
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Group stage9th210113Qualified as invitees
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934 Did not enterDeclined participation
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg 1938
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Group stage11th201124Qualified automatically
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954 Did not qualify420286
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 Group stage12th31119124301114
Flag of Chile.svg 1962 Did not qualify201101
Flag of England.svg 1966 411235
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 640265
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 421185
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 412133
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 410336
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 Round of 1613th4121468332148
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 Did not qualify420267
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 614167
Flag of France.svg 1998 Round of 1614th412132169252114
Flag of South Korea.svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 16th411267189362923
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 Group stage18th310222188462323
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 Quarter-finals8th5131321810352416
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 Did not qualify1633101731
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 187381925
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 To be determinedTo be determined
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2026
TotalQuarter-finals8/2127710103038154663058201189
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Copa América

    Champions      Runners-up       Third Place       Fourth Place  

South American Championship / Copa América record
YearRoundPositionPldWDLGFGA
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1916 Did not enter
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1917
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1919
Flag of Chile.svg 1920
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1921 Fourth place4th310227
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1922 Runners-up2nd421153
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1923 Third place3rd310246
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1924 Third place3rd311144
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1925 Third place3rd4004413
Flag of Chile.svg 1926 Fourth place4th4103820
Flag of Peru (1825-1950).svg 1927 Did not enter
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1929 Runners-up2nd320194
Flag of Peru (1825-1950).svg 1935 Did not enter
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1937 Fourth place4th5203816
Flag of Peru (1825-1950).svg 1939 Third place3rd420298
Flag of Chile.svg 1941 Did not enter
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1942 Fourth place4th62221110
Flag of Chile.svg 1945 Did not enter
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1946 Third place3rd521288
Flag of Ecuador (1900-2009).svg 1947 Runners-up2nd75111611
Flag of Brazil.svg 1949 Runners-up2nd86022113
Flag of Peru.svg 1953 Champions1st7421148
Flag of Chile.svg 1955 Fifth place5th5113714
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1956 Fifth place5th502338
Flag of Peru.svg 1957 Did not enter
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1959 Third place3rd63031212
Flag of Ecuador (1900-2009).svg 1959 Fifth place5th4013611
Flag of Bolivia.svg 1963 Runners-up2nd6411137
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1967 Fourth place4th5203913
Flag of UNASUR.svg 1975 Group stage7th111255
Flag of UNASUR.svg 1979 Champions 1st633093
Flag of UNASUR.svg 1983 Third place3rd202011
Flag of Argentina.svg 1987 Group stage9th201103
Flag of Brazil.svg 1989 Fourth place4th7313910
Flag of Chile.svg 1991 Group stage6th420278
Flag of Ecuador (1900-2009).svg 1993 Quarter-finals8th411227
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1995 Quarter-finals6th421165
Flag of Bolivia.svg 1997 Quarter-finals7th411225
Flag of Paraguay.svg 1999 Quarter-finals6th422061
Flag of Colombia.svg 2001 Group stage10th302146
Flag of Peru.svg 2004 Quarter-finals5th421155
Flag of Venezuela.svg 2007 Quarter-finals5th420288
Flag of Argentina.svg 2011 Runners-up 2nd605158
Flag of Chile.svg 2015 Fourth place4th6132612
Flag of the United States.svg 2016 Group stage12th301213
Flag of Brazil.svg 2019 Quarter-finals8th403134
Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Colombia.svg 2021 Qualified
Flag of Ecuador.svg 2024 Qualified
Total2 Titles37/46169634465252290

Pan American Games

Pan American Games record
YearRoundPositionGPWDLGFGA
Flag of Argentina.svg 1951 Fourth place4th4103514
Flag of Mexico.svg 1955 Did not participate
Flag of the United States.svg 1959
Flag of Brazil (1960-1968).svg 1963
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 1967
Flag of Colombia.svg 1971
Flag of Mexico.svg 1975
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg 1979
Flag of Venezuela (1954-2006).svg 1983
Flag of the United States.svg 1987 Preliminary round9th302118
Flag of Cuba.svg 1991 Did not qualify
Flag of Argentina.svg 1995 Quarter-finals7th420243
Since 1999 See Paraguay national under-23 football team
TotalFourth place3/12113261025

All-time head-to-head record

Below is a result summary of all matches Paraguay have played against FIFA recognized teams. [66]

As of 19 November 2019

  Positive Record  Neutral Record  Negative Record

  1. Includes matches against Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia .

Results and fixtures

  Win  Draw  Loss

2019

5 September Friendly Japan  Flag of Japan.svg2–0Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Kashima, Japan
19:20
Report Stadium: Kashima Soccer Stadium
Referee: Kim Jong-hyeok (South Korea)
10 September Friendly Jordan  Flag of Jordan.svg2–4Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Amman, Jordan
18:00
Report
Stadium: Amman International Stadium
10 October Friendly Serbia  Flag of Serbia.svg1–0Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Kruševac, Serbia
20:45
Report Stadium: Mladost Stadium
Referee: Nejc Kajtazović (Slovenia)
13 October Friendly Slovakia  Flag of Slovakia.svg1–1Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Bratislava, Slovakia
20:45
Report
Stadium: Tehelné pole
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
14 November Friendly Bulgaria  Flag of Bulgaria.svg0–1Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Sofia, Bulgaria
19:00 Report
Stadium: Vasil Levski National Stadium
Attendance: 500
19 November Friendly Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg0–0Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
19:30  UTC+3 Report Stadium: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium
Referee: Ali Al Samahiji (Bahrain)

2020

26 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying Paraguay  Flag of Paraguay.svgPostponedFlag of Peru (state).svg  Peru

2021

Players

Current squad

The following 25 players were selected for the friendly matches against Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia on 14 and 19 November 2019 respectively. [67]
Caps and goals current as of November 19, 2019 after the match against Saudi Arabia.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
11 GK Antony Silva (1984-02-27) 27 February 1984 (age 36)290 Flag of Argentina.svg Huracán
221 GK Roberto Fernández (1988-03-29) 29 March 1988 (age 32)160 Flag of Brazil.svg Botafogo
121 GK Alfredo Aguilar (1988-07-18) 18 July 1988 (age 32)20 Flag of Paraguay.svg Olimpia

152 DF Gustavo Gómez (captain) (1993-05-06) 6 May 1993 (age 27)413 Flag of Brazil.svg Palmeiras
32 DF Iván Piris (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 31)320 Flag of Paraguay.svg Libertad
52 DF Bruno Valdez (1992-10-06) 6 October 1992 (age 27)301 Flag of Mexico.svg América
132 DF Júnior Alonso (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 27)281 Flag of Brazil.svg Atlético Mineiro
22 DF Jorge Moreira (1990-02-01) 1 February 1990 (age 30)190 Flag of Argentina.svg River Plate
42 DF Fabián Balbuena (1991-08-23) 23 August 1991 (age 28)140 Flag of England.svg West Ham United
172 DF Santiago Arzamendia (1998-05-05) 5 May 1998 (age 22)80 Flag of Paraguay.svg Cerro Porteño
202 DF Blas Riveros (1998-02-03) 3 February 1998 (age 22)70 Flag of Switzerland.svg Basel

63 MF Richard Sánchez (1996-03-29) 29 March 1996 (age 24)121 Flag of Mexico.svg América
223 MF Cristhian Paredes (1998-05-18) 18 May 1998 (age 22)60 Flag of the United States.svg Portland Timbers
163 MF Matías Rojas (1995-11-03) 3 November 1995 (age 24)70 Flag of Argentina.svg Racing
143 MF Ramón Martínez (1996-01-04) 4 January 1996 (age 24)40 Flag of Brazil.svg Atlético Mineiro
73 MF Mathías Villasanti (1997-01-24) 24 January 1997 (age 23)40 Flag of Paraguay.svg Cerro Porteño
83 MF Jorge Morel (1998-01-22) 22 January 1998 (age 22)30 Flag of Paraguay.svg Guaraní
3 MF Andrés Cubas (1996-05-22) 22 May 1996 (age 24)10 Flag of France.svg Nîmes

214 FW Óscar Romero (1992-07-04) 4 July 1992 (age 28)454 Flag of Argentina.svg San Lorenzo
104 FW Derlis González (1994-03-20) 20 March 1994 (age 26)437 Flag of Paraguay.svg Olimpia
234 FW Miguel Almirón (1994-02-10) 10 February 1994 (age 26)262 Flag of England.svg Newcastle United
114 FW Ángel Romero (1992-07-04) 4 July 1992 (age 28)192 Flag of Argentina.svg San Lorenzo
194 FW Darío Lezcano (1990-06-30) 30 June 1990 (age 30)174 Flag of Mexico.svg Juárez
184 FW Braian Samudio (1995-12-23) 23 December 1995 (age 24)40 Flag of Turkey.svg Çaykur Rizespor
94 FW Lorenzo Melgarejo (1990-08-10) 10 August 1990 (age 29)30 Flag of Russia.svg Spartak Moscow

Recent call-ups

The following players have received a call-up within the past 12 months:

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Miguel Martínez (1998-09-29) 29 September 1998 (age 21)00 Flag of Paraguay.svg General Díaz v. Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia , 13 October 2019
GK Marino Arzamendia (1998-01-19) 19 January 1998 (age 22)00 Flag of Paraguay.svg Sportivo Luqueño v. Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan , 10 September 2019

DF Robert Rojas (1996-04-30) 30 April 1996 (age 24)31 Flag of Argentina.svg River Plate v. Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia , 13 October 2019
DF Matías Espinoza (1997-09-19) 19 September 1997 (age 22)20 Flag of Paraguay.svg Libertad v. Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia , 13 October 2019
DF Juan Escobar (1995-07-03) 3 July 1995 (age 25)60 Flag of Mexico.svg Cruz Azul v. Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan , 10 September 2019
DF Saúl Salcedo (1997-08-29) 29 August 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of Argentina.svg Huracán v. Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan , 10 September 2019

MF Alejandro Romero Gamarra (1995-01-11) 11 January 1995 (age 25)52 Flag of the United States.svg New York Red Bulls v. Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia , 13 October 2019
MF Juan Rodrigo Rojas (1988-04-09) 9 April 1988 (age 32)270 Flag of Paraguay.svg Olimpia v. Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan , 10 September 2019
MF Iván Franco (2000-04-16) 16 April 2000 (age 20)10 Flag of Paraguay.svg Libertad v. Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan , 10 September 2019

FW Antonio Sanabria (1996-03-04) 4 March 1996 (age 24)171 Flag of Italy.svg Genoa v. Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia , 13 October 2019

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Suspended

Previous squads

Technical staff

Head coach: Flag of Argentina.svg Eduardo Berizzo [68] [64]

Records

As of 27 June 2018

Players in bold are still active at international level.

Honours

Senior national team

See also

Related Research Articles

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