The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Paraguay

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This page contains a list of the greatest Paraguayan Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 96 of which were born in Paraguay. This makes Paraguay the birth place of the 34th most number of Soccer Players behind Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Paraguayan Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Paraguayan Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Paraguayan Soccer Players.

Photo of José Luis Chilavert

1. José Luis Chilavert (1965 - )

With an HPI of 68.75, José Luis Chilavert is the most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages on wikipedia.

José Luis Félix Chilavert González (Spanish pronunciation: [xoseˈlwis tʃilaˈβeɾt ɣonˈsales]; born 27 July 1965) is a Paraguayan former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Sportivo Luqueño, Guaraní, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Real Zaragoza, Vélez Sarsfield, RC Strasbourg, Peñarol, and the Paraguayan national football team. Chilavert won 12 club titles, including the 1994 Copa Libertadores and the 1994 Intercontinental Cup, while playing for Vélez Sarsfield, and is a three-time IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper award winner. A fast and agile shot-stopper, known for his leadership, strong personality, and goalkeeping ability, he was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world in his prime; outside of his goalkeeping position, Chilavert was also known for his outfield skills and ability as a free kick specialist, and often took penalties. He scored 67 goals in his professional career, many of them crucial, including eight in international matches. Four of his international goals were scored during Paraguay's qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Chilavert is the second-highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all time, surpassed only by Brazilian keeper Rogerio Ceni, and is one of only two goalkeepers to score a hat-trick. Chilavert was also known for his eccentricity and his fiery temper, which brought him his fair share of controversies; most notorious among them was his being sent off in 1997 for brawling with Colombian striker Faustino Asprilla. He was nicknamed "El Buldog" ("The Bulldog") and often wore a cartoon bulldog on his goalkeeper jersey.Chilavert appeared for the Paraguay national football team 74 times from 1989 to 2003, scoring 8 goals and representing the team at five major tournaments. Chilavert appeared for Paraguay at two FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998 and 2002), where he served as captain on both occasions, and appeared in three Copa América tournaments (1991, 1993, and 1997). Chilavert was also included in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament.

Photo of Arsenio Erico

2. Arsenio Erico (1915 - 1977)

With an HPI of 65.51, Arsenio Erico is the 2nd most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Arsenio Pastor Erico Martínez (30 March 1915 – 23 July 1977) was a Paraguayan football striker. He is the all-time highest goalscorer in the Argentine first division, with 295 goals according to Argentine Football Association. Previously it had been affirmed that Erico's record was 293 goals, sharing the record with Angel Labruna All the goals in Erico's career in Primera División were scored playing for Independiente. Erico is also considered the best Paraguayan footballer of all time and for some is the best player in history, including Alfredo Di Stefano. A striker noted for his technique, finishing and aerial ability, Erico was one of the finest players of the 1930s and one of greatest players to have played in the Argentinean league.

Photo of Julio César Romero

3. Julio César Romero (1960 - )

With an HPI of 63.73, Julio César Romero is the 3rd most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Julio César Romero Insfrán (born 28 August 1960 in Luque, Paraguay), nicknamed Romerito, is a former football midfielder from Paraguay, considered among the best players in Paraguayan football history. He is the only Paraguayan named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Photo of Manuel Fleitas Solich

4. Manuel Fleitas Solich (1900 - 1984)

With an HPI of 62.62, Manuel Fleitas Solich is the 4th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Manuel Fleitas Solich (30 December 1900 – 24 March 1984) was a Paraguayan football player and coach. He was known as "El Brujo" (the Wizard).

Photo of Aurelio González

5. Aurelio González (1905 - 1997)

With an HPI of 61.94, Aurelio González is the 5th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Aurelio Ramón González Benítez (25 September 1905 in Luque, Paraguay – 9 July 1997) was a Paraguayan football player. González is one of the greatest football players of Paraguay, considered by many as the second best player behind Arsenio Erico. He started his career in Sportivo Luqueño and then moved to Olimpia of Asunción where he spent the rest of his career winning several championships, most notably the three consecutive national championships obtained by Olimpia in 1927, 1928 and 1929.In the early 1930s he rejected an offer worth millions from San Lorenzo de Almagro of Argentina in order to fight for his country, Paraguay, in the Chaco War. He also was a vital player of the Paraguayan national team scoring several goals in the 1920s and 1930s, and participated at the 1930 World Cup.As a coach, he led Olimpia of Asunción to numerous championships and to the first Copa Libertadores final in 1960. He also coached the Paraguayan national team in the 1958 World Cup.

Photo of Ángel Berni

6. Ángel Berni (1931 - 2017)

With an HPI of 61.54, Ángel Berni is the 6th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Ángel Antonio Berni Gómez (9 January 1931 – 24 November 2017) was a football striker.

Photo of Cayetano Ré

7. Cayetano Ré (1938 - 2013)

With an HPI of 61.09, Cayetano Ré is the 7th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Cayetano Ré Ramírez (7 February 1938 – 26 November 2013) was a Paraguayan footballer striker and coach who was born in Asunción.

Photo of Heriberto Herrera

8. Heriberto Herrera (1926 - 1996)

With an HPI of 61.07, Heriberto Herrera is the 8th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Heriberto Herrera Udrizar (24 April 1926 – 26 July 1996) was a footballer and manager who played international football for both Paraguay and Spain as a defender.

Photo of Delfín Benítez Cáceres

9. Delfín Benítez Cáceres (1910 - 2004)

With an HPI of 60.34, Delfín Benítez Cáceres is the 9th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Delfín Benítez Cáceres (24 September 1910 – 8 January 2004) was a Paraguayan football striker. Benítez started his career in Libertad of his native country. As one of the key players of the Paraguayan national football team in the early 1930s, he gained the attention of Argentinian club Boca Juniors and signed with them in 1932. He soon became one of the key players in the team and during the seven years he spent at the club he scored 107 goals in 162 matches, making him the fifth all-time top scorer in Boca Juniors' history [1]. Boca fans consider Benítez as "perhaps the best foreign player to ever wear the blue and gold jersey of Boca Juniors" [2]. Near the end of his football career, Benítez also played for Argentinian sides Racing Club (1939–41) and Ferro Carril Oeste (1941–44). During his time at Racing he became the top scorer in the Primera División Argentina and in South American football for 1940 with 33 goals, tied with Isidro Lángara of San Lorenzo. He earned 15 caps for Paraguay, including his participation at the 1929 South American Championship and both of the team's matches at the 1930 World Cup against the United States and Belgium; he scored three goals for Paraguay. Later, he appeared once for the Argentina national football team in 1934, scoring one goal. After retiring from football as a player, he became a coach and led Independiente Medellín to a Colombian national championship in 1955. He also managed Sporting de Barranquilla, Boca Juniors de Cali and Millonarios. He also coached several Venezuelan football teams.

Photo of Roque Santa Cruz

10. Roque Santa Cruz (1981 - )

With an HPI of 60.22, Roque Santa Cruz is the 10th most famous Paraguayan Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero (locally [ˈroke ˈlwis santa ˈkɾus kanˈteɾo]; born 16 August 1981) is a Paraguayan footballer who plays as a striker for, and captains both Paraguayan club Club Olimpia and Paraguay national team. He is the record goal scorer and has earned over 100 caps for the Paraguay national team, thus he is regarded as one of the best players in the nation's history.Santa Cruz started his career with Olimpia, progressing through their youth system to the first-team squad where he made his debut at the age of 15 in 1997. He finished his career with the club having scored 13 goals in 24 Primera División appearances where Olimpia claimed the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Primera División titles. Santa Cruz scored three goals in four appearances for Paraguay at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship before debuting for the Paraguayan national team at the 1999 Copa América, where he scored three goals in four appearances. He immediately joined Bundesliga club Bayern Munich in August 1999 for a fee of €5 million, which was a record transfer fee in Paraguayan football, where he scored five goals in 28 league appearances in his first season. He faced a series of injuries and heavy competition from teammates Giovane Élber, Roy Makaay and Claudio Pizarro which limited his impact and restricted his appearances for the club. Santa Cruz was part of a successful team for Bayern, winning numerous Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFB-Ligapokal titles. He also won the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League and the 2001 Intercontinental Cup. He left Bayern Munich in July 2007 to join Blackburn Rovers for a transfer fee of €5 million, where he scored 19 goals in the 2007–08 Premier League season. In June 2009, he joined Manchester City for a fee of £17.5 million on a four-year deal. Since his transfer, he was loaned out to Blackburn and Real Betis. A holder of a Spanish passport, Santa Cruz is eligible for unrestricted selection in all EU-based sides.Santa Cruz is ranked equal 75th in the List of top international association football goal scorers by country. He represented Paraguay at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup tournaments, and at the 1999, 2007, 2011 (where Paraguay finished runners-up) and 2015 Copa América tournaments. He retired from international football in 2016, but reversed his decision on May 2019. Since 2019, Santa Cruz has been the face of Lácteos Lactolanda through publicity campaigns.

Pantheon has 96 people classified as soccer players born between 1900 and 1998. Of these 96, 85 (88.54%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include José Luis Chilavert, Julio César Romero, and Roque Santa Cruz. The most famous deceased soccer players include Arsenio Erico, Manuel Fleitas Solich, and Aurelio González. As of October 2020, 15 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Heriberto Herrera, Constantino Urbieta Sosa, and Catalino Rivarola.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2020)

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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 10 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.