Paraguay

The past
La Albirroja took part in the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, held in New Zealand in 2008. Drawn against Japan, France and eventual runners-up USA in the group phase, they made an early exit after losing all three matches.

The present 
Paraguay hosted the 2013 CONMEBOL U-17 Championship, where South America’s three qualifiers for Costa Rica 2014 were decided. The event proved a great success and helped boost the popularity of the women’s game in the country. Drawn into Group A with Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Peru, the hosts conceded just one goal in becoming the only side to win all their games in the first phase. Las Guaraníes then took third place in the final four-team round, with Colombia edging them out of second place on goal difference leaving Venezuela as champions.

The future
“Our biggest strength is the unity we have in the team,” said Guaraní coach Julio Carlos Gomez. “We work well as a unit and we take pride and joy from that. We’ve shown that if we work hard we can achieve our objectives.” Gomez’s preparations for Costa Rica 2014 will involve improving the physical conditioning of his squad and broadening his selection options by unearthing new talents.