FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Paraguay announce 24-man squad for showpiece event
What’s the story?
Paraguay who finished third in the South-American Under-17 Football Championship earlier this year, have announced their 24-member squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup which starts from October 6th.
Paraguay, who are making their fourth appearance in the U-17 World Cup, failed to go through the group stages in the previous edition of the tournament in Chile in 2015.
They come into the tournament after finishing third in the South America U-17 Championship earlier this year. They had a good qualification with a win against Chile and a draw against champions Brazil.
The heart of the matter
Here is the Paraguay squad for the upcoming tournament :
Goalkeepers: Ángel Roa (Olimpia), Jhonathan Martínez (Olimpia), Diego Huesca (Valencia – España) and Aldo Pérez (Guaraní).
Defenders: Luis Zárate (Libertad), Marcelo Rolón (Libertad), Alexis Duarte (Cerro Porteño), Roberto Fernández (Guaraní), Jesús Rolón (Olimpia) and Pedro Álvarez (Cerro Porteño).
Midfielders: Julio Báez (Cerro Porteño), Víctor Villasanti (Guaraní), Stevens Gómez (Cerro Porteño), Giovanni Bogado (Libertad), Braian Ojeda (Olimpia), Alan Rodríguez (Cerro Porteño) and Hugo Quintana (Olimpia).
Strikers: Fernando Cardozo (Olimpia), Fernando Romero (Nacional), Nicolás Morínigo (Olimpia), Leonardo Sánchez (Olimpia), Aníbal Vega (Palmeiras – Brasil), Antonio Galeano (Rubio Ñu) and Blas Armoa (Sportivo Luqueño).
The squad features a host of talented players like Fernando Romero, Roberto Fernández and Alan Rodríguez. Both Romero and Fernández had scored three goals each in the qualification tournament. But they will miss their top-scorer Martin Sanchez for the tournament. The 24-member squad will be further reduced to 21 on September 21 which is the deadline for all the participating nations to submit their final list of players.
La Albirrojita have been preparing in the Guarani territory of Paraguay and shall head to Germany for a series of practice games ahead of the competition in India.
La Albirrojita are in group B with African U-17 champions and 2015 runners-up Mali, U-17 Euros semi-finalists Turkey and Oceanian champions New Zealand. They will start their group stage matches on 6th October at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium.
They are among the strongest teams in the competition having drawn twice against Brazil in the last six months and defeated the likes of Chile and Venezuela. They are expected to cross the group stage this time after having a great qualification tournament.