Thursday, 3 June 2010
Paraguay - Final Squad/ Can Barrios replace Cabanas?
Never made the Quarter Finals - could this be the year for Paraguay? Best ever qualifying, beating Brazil and Argentina along the way. Below are the men coach Gerardo Martino is investing his faith in. The round of 16 is his minimum expectation. Tough game first up against Italy in Cape Town.
The cloud hanging over Paraguay is the violent attack on star striker, Salvador Cabanas, in Mexico City in January. Cabanas was shot in the head but amazingly survived and even pledged to play in the finals. Thankfully he was advised against this by his doctor - after all the bullet is still lodged in his head. I'm sure any goals scored during the World Cup will be dedicated to him and for good reason.
So, much attention on newly-nationalised striker, Lucas Barrios. He's been banging them in for Bourussia Dortmund and is continuing his form in the warm-up matches. And the remaining eyes on Sunderland's new recruit, tricky winger Christian Riveros, who was recently signed by Brucey on a freebie from Cruz Azul. He'll have a mate there - defender Paulo da Silva already plys his trade at the Stadium of Light. Los Guaranies will be looking to Riveros to pull the strings in South Africa and put em on a plate for Barrios.
Between the sticks:
Justo Villar (Valladolid/ESP), Aldo Bobadilla (Deportivo Independiente de Medellin/COL), Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteno).
Claudio Morel Rodriguez (Boca Juniors), Denis Caniza (Leon), Paulo da Silva (Sunderland), Dario Veron (Pumas UNAM), Julio Cesar Caceres (Atletico Mineiro), Carlos Bonet (Olimpia), Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo de Almagro), Antolin Alcaraz (FC Bruges)
Edgar Barreto (Atalanta/ITA), Cristian Riveros (Sunderland - nearly), Victor Caceres (Libertad), Enrique Vera (Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito), Jonathan Santana (Wolfsburg), Nestor Ortigoza (Argentinos Juniors)
Grabbing the glory:
Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund), Oscar Cardozo (Benfica), Edgar Benitez (Toluca), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund), Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad)