As the leagues get underway across Latin America it seems a good time to list the Paraguayans plying their trade in the region, I’ve kept it to the top divisions but bear in mind there are dozens of players in the lower leagues of Argentina and Chile particularly.
No new signings, although Adalberto Román (River Plate) returns to Buenos Aires following an unsuccessful stint in Brazil with the relegated Palmeiras. Víctor Ayala (Lanús) and Marcos Cáceres (Newell’s) were the best performers from the foreign legion last year and are set to continue with their respective clubs. There is hope that under Carlos Bianchi the talented midfielder Orlando Gaona Lugo (Boca Juniors) can hold down a regular spot.
Federico Santander (Tigre)
Claudio Morel (Independiente)
Jonathan Santana (Independiente)
Samuel Cáceres (Independiente)
Víctor Aquino (Belgrano)
Jorge Achucarro (Colón)
Eduardo Ledesma (Godoy Cruz)
The major new signing is Luis Cáceres (Vitoria) who I technically shouldn’t include as they are Serie B, but if I didn’t I’d have little to write about with the only other Paraguayan in the country Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo) who is of course no relation. I’m scraping the barrel so much that I’ll just mention 22-year-old Marcelo Cañete (São Paulo) who I found out has a Paraguayan mother making him eligible for the national side.
All eyes will be on Robin Ramirez (Pumas) who was topscorer in Colombia last year and has already scored for his new side in the league. Last year was a great season for the central defender Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana) who won the title in his first season while Edgar Benítez (Toluca) was runner-up. One of this blog’s favourite players Osvaldo Martínez has just moved to Club América which is a career-defining move for the 26-year-old.
Paulo Da Silva (Pachuca)
Dario Verón (Pumas)
Cristian Bogado (Iquique) continues his successful career across the Andes and will be in the Copa Libertadores if they can get through the preliminary round. Miguel Angel Cuellar has left Cobresal to join ‘Copper Derby’ rivals Cobreloa having scored a bagful of goals last year. Rodrigo Rojas (O’Higgins) is still in the squad with the champions while youngster Rodrigo Baez (Colo Colo) has also decided to stay on.
David Portillo (Antofagasta)
Fabián Benítez (Audax Italiano)
Arnaldo Gimenez (Unión La Calera)
Pedro Vera (Rangers)
José Pedrozo (San Marcos Arica)
Rodrigo Riquelme (Palestino)
Derlis Barrios (Everton)
Richard Piñanez (Ñublense)
Deportes Tolima bring in Rogerio Leichtweis from Libertad who scored on his debut in the Copa Libertadores, he teams up with goalkeeper Anthony Silva. Another player to leave the Gumarelo is defender Nery Bareiro (Deportivo Cali) while right winger Jorge Nuñez (Once Caldas) also returns from Paraguay.
German Centurión (Santa Fe)
Edison Gimenez (Itagui)
The big news was of course the signing of Pablo Zeballos (Emelec) who arrived in the steamy port of Guayaquil from the frozen steppes of Russia. Another talented striker to move to the coast is Hugo Santacruz (Manta) who was hardly used by Ruben Israel at Libertad. The midfielder Fulvio Duarte is one of three Paraguayans at newly promoted Deportivo Quevedo alongside Luis Espínola and the hero from last year, striker Cristian Hermosilla. The side are managed by their compatriot, Raúl Duarte. The man who nearly kept Tacuary up last year was the very talented Nicolas Martinez (Independiente) who is sure to shine with his new club.
Enrique Vera (Liga de Quito)
Fernando Giménez (Emelec)
Librado Azcona (Independiente)
Edgar Balbuena (Independiente)
Delio Ojeda (Liga de Loja)
Emilio Martínez (Universidad Católica)
A few players have come back to Paraguay but the booming economy in the Andean nation means it is still a popular destination for our footballers, no more so than the historic city of Cuzco home to Real Atlético Garcilaso who were crowned runners-up last season in their first year in the professional division. Former Nacional striker Fabio ‘Pitu’ Ramos played a big part in their success last season and has decided to continue, while his performances have prompted the club to bring in more Paraguayans including Victor ’Cachi’ Ferreira and midfielder Oscar Gamarra. Also staying at altitude in 2013 is Mario Villasantti (Inti Gas) who was a key figure for the team from Ayacucho. An interesting signing is that of Aldo Jara (Sport Huancayo) who was most recently in the Intermedia with Sportivo Iteño, you assume he was recommeded by his compatriot Blás López.
Rolando Bogado (Real Atlético Garcilaso)
Edgar Acosta (Real Atlético Garcilaso)
Carlos Perez (Pacifico FC)
Ever Benítez (Pacifico FC)
The new inclusion is Nelson Cabrera (Bolívar) who comes over from China, his rivals will be Pablo Daniel Escobar and Ernesto Cristaldo (both The Strongest). The team with most Paraguayan players is Real Potosí who have Henry Lapcyzk, Carlos Neumann and Sixto Santa Cruz in their ranks.
Carlos Ortiz (Aurora)
Claudio Centurión (Nacional Potosí)
Cristino Ferreira (La Paz)
Francisco Arguello (Blooming)
A few players have crossed back to Paraguay this season so it leaves us with precious few faces in the charrúa league, in fact the only two we have listed are left-back Aureliano Torres (Peñarol) and one of many sent off in the infamous brawl last year, Edgar Machcua (Juventud las Piedras).
Juan Sosa (Atletico Marte)
Joel Benítez (Comunicaciones)
Aníbal Pacheco (Mictlán)
Julio Castillo (Chepo)
By Ralph Hannah