International Factoids: Paraguay

19 04 2009
Paraguay is currently in first place in CONMEBOL and ranked 17th in the latest FIFA rankings.

Paraguay is currently in first place in CONMEBOL and ranked 17th in the latest FIFA rankings.

The Paraguayan national team is currenty atop the standings in CONMEBOL qualifying play.  The Guaranís have established themselves as a power in South America with successes both at the international and club levels.  When you think of Paraguay, players like Roberto Cabañas, Carlos Gamarra, José Amado Nunes, Julio César Romero, Roque Santa Cruz, and who could forget José Luis Chilavert.   Also there were players like former Barcelona and Espanyol star Cayetano Ré who won the Pichichi back in the 1964-65 season. There are also players like Denis Caniza, Claudio Morel Rodríguez, Julio César Cáceres, Nelson Haedo Valdez, and Salvador Cabañas leading the way for the national side.

This new generation of players led by Gerardo Martino is enjoying the benefits of having won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.   They have been also able to bounce back from an underachieving performance in the 2006 World Cup as well as a disappointing end to the 2007 Copa América at the hands of Paraguay.

Currently, the Albirroja are only two points away from securing their ticket to the World Cup for the fourth consecutive time; the fifth time in seven tournaments.  Although brief, Paraguay made their debut in the World back in 1930, but were manhandled by eventual semifinalist- the USA- 3-0 at the Estadio Parque Central in Montevideo.   Since then, there have been several highs and lows.  The highest moment in Parauguayan football was when they played eventual World Cup champ France to until Laurent Blanc scored in the  113th minute.  Four years later that would happen to them against as Oliver Neuville wold score in the dying minutes of the game to leave them out in the knockout stages yet once again.  Now they are ready to make some new memories.

Below are some factoids.  This will consistently grow and/or change in time.

All-Time Caps Leaders

Facts courtesy of Wikipedia and the APF

Player Years Caps (Goals)
Carlos Gamarra 19932006 110 (12)
Roberto Acuña 1993-2006 97 (5)
Celso Ayala 1993-2003 85 (6)
José Saturnino Cardozo 1991-2006 82 (25)
Roberto Fernández 19761989 78 (0)
Juan Bautista Torales 19791989 77 (1)
Denis Caniza 1996-present 77 (1)
José Luis Chilavert 1989-2003 74 (8)
Estanislao Struway 19912002 74 (4)
Carlos Humberto Paredes 1998-present 71 (10)
Julio César Enciso 19952004 70 (2)

All-Time Goalscorers

Player Years Goals (Caps)
José Saturnino Cardozo 1991-2006 25 (82)
Roque Santa Cruz 1999-present 20 (60)
Saturnino Arrúa 19691980 13 (26)
Julio César Romero 1979-1986 13 (32)
Gerardo Rivas 19211926 12 (32)
Carlos Gamarra 1993-2006 12 (110)
Miguel Ángel Benítez 19961999 11 (30)
Gerardo Claus Decker 1983-1988 11 o/g (29)
Juan Bautista Villalba 19451947 10 (22)
Aurelio González 1924-1937 10 (23)
Carlos Humberto Paredes 1998-present 10 (71)
José Luis Chilavert 1989-2003 8 (74)

Palermo Returns To National Team

17 04 2009

It was well over a decade the last time the Martín Palermo donned the Albiceleste. His infamous Copa América performance against Colombia in 1999.

Since that fateful day in Asunción, Palermo’s career underwent a rollercoaster ride of unprecedented measures.  From the highs of his great game against Real Madrid to the day that he had a stand fall on top of his leg when he played for Villarreal.  His return to Boca has seen him win titles left and right.  Three domestic titles, two Copa Sudamericanas, two Recopas, and a  Copa Libertadores are part of his resume ever since he returned to Argentina back in 2005.  His story is one written for the movies- sequels and all.   He was a day away from being called up to the national team once again last year, but suffered an ACL tear.

Martín Palermo

Martín Palermo

He was also left at the doorstep of Boca immortality when he was tied with Francisco Varallo as the club’s all-time leading scorer.  But he did what he had done before- come back and score.   So it was just a matter of time that he would come back to the national team.  Diego Maradona did that on Thursday when he announced his next call up for international duty, even though it is just for a friendly against Paraguay in the city of Colón in Argentina at the end of the month.

Palermo was one of four Boca Juniors players called up by Maradona (Forlín, Muñoz, and Battaglia are the others).   Surprisingly there were no players from River Plate called up.  This would be the billboard material that Los Millonarios might need in order to get that little extra incentive come time  they step onto the pitch at La Bombonera this weekend.

Argentina Callup (by team)

Boca Juniors:  Martín Parlermo, Juan Forlín, Sebastián Battaglia, Ezequiel Muñóz

Lanús: Sebastián Blanco, José Sand, Eduardo Salvio

Estudiantes:  Mariano Andújar, Marcos Angeleri, Juan Sebastián Verón

Vélez Sarsfield Nicolás Otamendi, Emiliano Papa, Maximiliano Moralez

Independiente: Rolfi Montenegro

Rosario Central: Milton Caraglio

Colón: Alexis Ferrero, Diego Pozo

Arsenal: Cristian Campestrini

Racing: Franco Zuculini

Argentinos Juniors: Ignacio Canuto, Matías Caruzzo

San Lorenzo: Gonzalo Bergessio

Newell’s Old Boys: Hernán Bernardello. Mauro Formica

Huracán: Matías De Federico

MAF Paraguayan Jersey Giveaway

9 04 2009

Interested in getting a jersey?

Well now is your chance.
We have a Paraguayan national team jersey that we are giving away. To be in the running you have to answer one simple question.

Who is the all-time leading scorer in Paraguayan national team history?

Who is the all-time leading scorer with the Paraguayan national team. If you would like to guess, send your answer to

All correct answers will be in the running for the Paraguay jersey and the winner will be announced during next week´s edition of Mad About Fútbol.

Mad About Futbol Team Of The Week: March 26 – April 2

4 04 2009
We head back to the club schedule this weekend, specifically in Europe.  However the performances of national teams cannot be ignored.  So much drama and so we’re here to pick a Team Of The Week.  The TOW played matches and/or made headlines during the calendar week of March 26 – April 2. The winner is: Read the rest of this entry »