Nestor Ortigoza has taken the road less travelled to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, but will be determined to seize his chance to play at the highest level. Born in San Antonio de Padua, in Argentina, Ortigoza started his career with Argentinos Juniors, turning professional at the age of 20 in 2004. After a brief spell at Nueva Chicago, the all-action midfielder returned to become an important part of the Argentinos line-up.
In December 2008, Ortigoza’s hard work was rewarded with a call-up to a preliminary Argentinian squad made up solely of players plying their trade in domestic football. The group trained together with the intention of playing a friendly, but a three-way play-off for the Argentinian championship meant that the players returned to their clubs.
Undeterred, Ortigoza applied for Paraguayan citizenship, and once his passport came through in April 2009, he received the call from Albirroja coach Gerardo Martino to join the squad for October's South Africa 2010 qualifiers against Venezuela and Colombia. He subsequently made his debut against the Venezuelans, playing his part in a 2-1 away victory.
Although he has the energy and experience to play further forward in the midfield, the hard-working Ortigoza has settled into a role in front of the back four, and a series of disciplined performances have sealed his place in the squad.