As we come to the end of the Clausura season the talk in Paraguay begins to revolve around which players will move on and who will be returning to Paraguay. Today we look at five players currently playing in Paraguay who are most likely to be in the eyes of clubs in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and even Europe.
Club: Cerro Porteño
D.o.B: 30 May 1987
Place of Birth: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
The defensive midfielder struggled at first following a big money move from Independiente, unable to protect the defence or adjust to the rythym of Cerro’s passing game. However he was excellent towards the end of the Apertura and in this Clausura, breaking up play but also able to distribute the ball quickly to offensive players to start attacks. His form saw him finally make his debut for the national side in Paraguay’s win over Peru in the world cup qualifiers. With Cerro Porteño in debt and publicly announcing the need to sell their most valuable assets, Fidencio Oviedo is being priced up at almost $5 million and there have been rumours of interest from Italy.
D.o.B: 04 September 1988
Place of Birth: Asunción, Paraguay
Another defensive midfielder, Marcos Riveros is arguably more athletic than Oviedo and is stronger in the air – he was key in Nacional’s title win in 2011 and has once again been instrumental in their title challenge this year. He struggled during his time in Argentina with Newell’s Old Boys but maybe in a better side and now with more experience he can settle into a big club possibly in Mexico where Nacional have sold players to before and where the Paraguayan stock has risen even higher this season thanks to the performances of Pablo Aguilar and Edgar Benítez.
D.o.B: 22 May 1990
Place of Birth: Villa Ygatimí, Paraguay
Position: Midfield/Full Back
If it wasn’t for Antonio Valencia the left-back currently playing in the middle would already be in Europe, he was hotly tipped to move abroad having shone against Uruguay only for the Manchester United winger to break his leg in a reckless challenge towards the end of a World Cup Qualifier in November 2011. Now he is fully fit and has been one of the best player’s in a disappointing Olimpia side, he is a ferocious tackler and has also proved to be something of a goalscorer with his clever late runs and ability to latch onto crosses with his intelligent movement. Another player who might be sought after in Italy, Olimpia like Cerro are in debt so will be willing to sell.
José Ariel Nuñez
D.o.B: 12 September 1988
Place of Birth: Luque, Paraguay
Something of a breakthrough year for this whippet of a striker who has always shown something of a Nelson Haedo in his style, the way he happily runs all game and will close down the opposition from the front. What he does possess is an excellent ability to finish off chances once he is in behind the defence something which he often does thanks to his movement and pace. Like Oviedo he has broken into the national team under Gerardo Pelusso making three starts under the Uruguayan coach. Libertad are notoriously reluctant to sell so he might find it tough getting away from the Guma but if he does Mexico looks a likely option.
D.o.B: 15 February 1989
Place of Birth: Ñemby, Paraguay
Position: Attacking midfielder
The former Olimpia player drifted off the footballing map for a while but has emerged at Tacuary this season and starting scoring goals at a phenomenal rate from attacking midfield. At the time of writing he is joint topscorer in the league with defences finding him unplayable, he is very short (5 ft 8 in) and with excellent technical ability making it hard to shake him off the ball once he gets a yard of space. He formed part of the Paraguay U20s squad that went to the World Cup in 2009 with several former teammates now enjoying life in Europe (Luis Caballero, Krylya – Ivan Piris, Roma – Hernan Perez, Villarreal – Lorenzo Melagerjo, Benfica – Celso Ortiz, AZ). His purple patch has earned him a place in the Paraguay training squad.