Paraguay

The past
Paraguay took part in the first two editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, their best performance to date coming at the inaugural competition in 1989 in the Netherlands. There the Albirroja came agonizingly close to a semi-final berth after finishing third in the second group phase. However, after exiting Hong Kong 1992 at the first-round stage, Paraguay subsequently missed out on qualifying for a place at Spain 1996 and Guatemala 2000. They did manage to return to futsal's top table at Chinese Taipei 2004, only to fall at the first hurdle.

The present
The decision to perservere with coach Adolfo Ruiz Diaz has proved a wise one. The tactician has kept faith with the nucleus of the squad that travelled to Chinese Taipei while gradually introducing fresh young talent, and the results are there for all to see. Paraguay picked up bronze in the 2007 Pan-American tournament and finished fourth in the recent Copa America. There they lost just two games, going down in extra time to Uruguay in the last four and falling to a last-gasp Argentina winner in the play-off for third place. Inspired by captain Carlos Chilavert and the ever-reliable Walter Villalba, the Guaraníes have added a genuine goalscorer to their ranks in the shape of Marcos Benitez.

The future
"We're training really well and those of us who have travelled back from abroad have settled back in quickly. In addition, we've managed to assemble a respectable squad. Now, our thoughts have already turned to the World Cup," says Paraguay captain Carlos Chilavert.

The facts
Former stars
Luis Jara, Mario Ruiz Diaz (1989), Tomas Bobadilla, Juan Coronel, Carlos Peralta (1992), Carlos Villalba (2004).

Key players
Carlos Chilavert (defender), Fabio Alcaraz (pivot), Walter Villalba (wide player), Rene Villalba (wide player), Oscar Velazquez (wide player).

Qualifying statistics
Paraguay finished fourth at the Copa America, recording two wins and two defeats from their four games. The Albirroja scored 15 and conceded seven, with Walter Villalba the team's top scorer with five.

The numbers game
9 - This year's event will be Paraguay's fourth appearance at a FIFA Futsal World Cup.