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Paraguay

Paraguay

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Team Profile: Paraguay

GettyImagesParaguay are in their fourth consecutive finals

Appearances at finals:
1930 - First round
1934 - Withdrew from competition
1950 - First round
1958 - First round
1986 - Second round
1998 - Second round
2002 - Second round
2006 - First round

Overall record at finals: Played 19, Won 6, Drawn 7, Lost 9.

Best performance: Second round in 1986, 1998, 2002

Most appearances at finals: Carlos Gamarra (1998, 2002, 2006) - 11.

Most goals at finals: Nelson Cuevas (2002, 2006) - 3.

World Cup high: A 3-1 win over Nigeria, who had just defeated Spain and Bulgaria, at France 98.

World Cup low: Losing 7-3 to France at Sweden 58.

World Cup legend: Jose Luis Chilavert is one of the biggest stars in Paraguayan soccer and was outstanding in 1998 and 2002 when he led the teams that came very close to eliminating France and Germany.

The story so far: The Paraguayan national team's stock is on a high at present. They are now widely considered one of the strongest teams in South America after qualifying for their fourth consecutive World Cup.

After featuring in only one World Cup in 40 years, Paraguay put up decent performances in the past three tournaments, especially in 1998 and 2002, when they were eliminated in the last 16 by teams that ended up reaching the final: France and Germany. After the experience of previous World Cups, the current generation of Paraguayan footballers will now hope to finally go beyond the second round.

Qualification: Paraguay qualified without any major problems and with two games to play, having beating Argentina in Asuncion. The team, coached by Gerardo Martino, was the most impressive in the first half of qualifying, when they won seven out of ten games, including an outstanding 1-0 win over Brazil at home. Although they failed to keep up that high level of performance in the second half of the competition, they were still able to comfortably reach their fourth consecutive World Cup.

Qualifying record: P18, W10, D3, L5, F24, A16, Pts33.

Most appearances: Justo Villar (17).

Top goalscorers: Salvador Cabañas (6).