They are part of the old Guard. The Paraguay National Football Team was one of the original thirteen teams to compete in the very first World Cup Tournament way back in 1930.
The “Guaraníes” managed one win and one loss in that first Cup series, but it was not enough to send them through to the semifinals. In subsequent appearances, both in 1950 and 1958, the Paraguay team failed to make it past qualifying. To this date, their best World Cup performances were turned in during 1986, 1998, and 2002 Cup tournaments.
In 1986, Paraguay’s coach, Cayetano Re was sent off during their first-round match against Belgium for, it seems strange to say, standing too close to the field. He was the first coach ever to have suffered the indignation of being sent off during the World Cup finals.
Then, in 1998, Paraguay’s squad featured a talented young goalkeeper named Jose Luis Chilavert. This young man’s play caused fans and opponents to take notice. While their unbeaten run was finally stopped by a second-round defeat to the team that would go on to win the tournament, France, it still left them feeling good about the progress they were making.
The second round, however, proved to be their obstacle once more in the 2002 World Cup, and they faced elimination at that level once more. The question is, can they make it to and then, perhaps, past that second round in this year’s World Cup in South Africa?
After 12 years of absence from the big football event, they came back to the 1998 France world cup with the inspiration of their show-stopper Jose Luis Chilavert. After more than 10 years, the Paraguayan football team has become the recognized face in the top football teams.
Paraguay has always enjoyed their success in South America with its solid defense and fast front runners. Even though, they showed some good progress during the 1998 and 2002 appearances, the guide of 2006, Anibal Ruiz was unable to guide them out of group B where they had a tough fight from Sweden, England. Due to this reason, Paraguayan decided to replace him with Gerardo Martino, an Argentinean tactician.
The Paraguay National Team had to be encouraged that, in their opening game against the defending Champs, Italy, they managed to finish up with a draw. Their coach, Gerardo Martino, was quick to point out that keeping Italy from scoring a win was almost as good as a win over a lesser team and proved that their squad had great potential.
After all, they beat both Argentina and Brazil in qualifying. Under Martino’s guiding hand, the team from Paraguay may bear watching. Paraguay failed to make it to the final four in both the 2010 and 2014 football world cups.