Paraguay may have just qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa next year but they have wasted no time in making their intentions known.
This week the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Dr Danny Jordaan, welcomed a Paraguayan delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hector Lacognata Zaragoza to the OC headquarters in SAFA House, Johannesburg.
"When we met with Dr Jordaan I told him that we had a very important assignment from my president to see the progress on the stadium where the final will be played (Soccer City) because our national team is going to be there," said minister Zaragoza who has high hopes for his national team next year.
Paraguay has already secured their basecamp for the tournament, choosing the coastal town of Mossel Bay, a few hundred kilometers east of Cape Town, from which to launch their campaign for the title.
Construction on both the practice pitch and the change rooms at the practice venue has begun and the team has also identified the hotel it will be staying at during the tournament.
According to minister Zaragoza the country of Paraguay is already gearing up for the football spectacular.
"Of the millions of people who watch the tournament next year, six million of them will be in Paraguay. Everything in Paraguay stops when the national team is playing. Football is very important to the people and is played in every corner of the country."
For those fans that travel to South Africa to witness their team take part in the World Cup, they can be assured of a warm welcome according to the head of the Paraguayan Mission in South Africa, Gustavo Lopez Bello.
"We can expect the best possible welcome. This is a very beautiful country and South Africans are very kind people. We are so excited for the World Cup because it means people will be able to learn more about our country, our food and our culture."
Jordaan said Paraguay would be a welcome addition to the 2010 World Cup.
"They have performed extremely well during their qualification campaign. They are becoming one of the giants of South American football thanks to their results and we are sure they will enjoy a successful campaign in South Africa next year."
Paraguay who are currently ranked 23rd in the world will make its eighth appearance at the World Cup finals in 2010. Although they have never won the tournament they have enjoyed success at continental level winning the Copa America in 1953 and 1979 and have finished runners up in this tournament on five occasions.