Paraguay and the FIFA World Cup

Paraguay and the FIFA World Cup

As the start of the FIFA World Cup approaches the coaches of the teams going to Germany this year, find themselves in very similar situations and all facing the same large looming question of whom to take with when they go to play for football soccer’s most coveted prize: bringing the World Cup Trophy home to their fatherland. However there is one national coach that seems to be unworried: Anibal Ruiz. A Uruguayan by birth, this 50 year old football trainer is eager to prove to his adopted country that he is a trueborn son by bringing home to Paraguay the prize of all prizes. He is confident that his team will be well prepared after playing their friendly games against Mexico, Norway, Denmark, and Georgia. You can see a determination in his face; instead of the furrow of thought most coaches have on their faces at this time before the tournament. Determination that he is sure will propel his team to do better than the second round exits that Paraguay has had in the last two World Cup encounters, first in France in ’98 and later in Korea/Japan in ’02.

Reflecting on his teams draw to meet England in the first round of the Cup, Ruiz again showed his determined face stating, “What is it that every team at this level aspires to? Playing against the very best, that’s the only way to prove how good you are. We need to prove ourselves. Paraguay is a big game side. Obviously, we are aware that England is a great side, but I maintain that it is the best thing that could have happened and the players agree. It’s a bonus to be playing them first; it won’t allow us a moment’s overconfidence. From now until the World Cup kicks off, and during the tournament itself, we need to be totally switched on and focused to avoid making even the slightest error.”

Ruiz has taken not only a very determined view on the upcoming tournament but has also taken a very realistic view and knows exactly what his team should expect in the upcoming tournament and is also very aware of the need of his players to be aware of what is upcoming. Paraguay’s recent friendly match with Wales was according to Ruiz “Extremely positive.” Claiming that more than anything the match gave the team a chance to meet and go over a few things, and remember how important it is that the team is all on the same page. When all the players are all coming from different systems of play from their separate club teams it is important to give them time to adjust to the national team play, and there is no question that Ruiz understands this notion.

Having already decided on 18 of the 23 players on his team Ruiz only has a few more decisions left to make regarding the team. One of those is Rogue Santa Cruz. With his recent injury there is some small question on whether he will be able to paly at a 100 percent or not. However, both Santa Cruz and his doctor are very optimistic about his ability to play in time. Santa Cruz says that he will be ready to play by April 15, which would give him nearly two months of practice before the tournament starts. As for Ruiz, he is satisfied with that date and the confidence that Santa Cruz and his doctor show and is certain that Santa Cruz will be ready in time.

This year one can expect to see a different sort of team from Paraguay, one that is well organized and well coached. Focusing their offensive strategies on width and penetration instead of direct passes as they have done in the past. If they make it past the first big hurdle in England expect this years team from Paraguay to go far.

Published by K. Smith

Born in Iowa. Hobbies included tennis, reading, and chess. View profile

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