Paraguay Copa America squad review: Premier League duo included

The official 26-man Paraguay Copa America squad was announced on Saturday by Argentine head coach Daniel Garnero, as the two-time winners of the competition prepare for their 38th appearance.

However, for all the nation's pedigree at this tournament, the quality of the current squad is arguably a shadow of the winners that graced the 1950s and 70s, having already lost three of their five FIFA World Cup qualifiers. As such, Paraguay will see even a mere run to the quarter-finals as a moral triumph.

Los Guaranies have been placed in Group D alongside fellow South American heavyweights Brazil and Colombia, as well as Costa Rica, who have been known in the past to produce a shock on the international scene.

Paraguay do have a few familiar names in the squad, including Premier League stars Miguel Almiron and Julio Enciso, who play for Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively. However, the overall squad is ageing, with 20-year-old Enciso just one of four players under the age of 25.

Indeed, a lot of Paraguay's hopes will rest on the young starlet, who already boasts 14 senior international caps for his country.

Brighton and Hove Albion star Julio Enciso is a key player for Paraguay at just 20 years old – Andres Pina/Photosport – Photo by Imago

Paraguay – Key facts

  • Year founded: 1919
  • Current FIFA ranking: 56th (as of 4th April 2024)
  • Highest FIFA ranking: 8th (March 2001)
  • Year of Copa America debut: 1921
  • Best Copa America performance: Winners (1953, 1979)
  • Player to watch: Julio Enciso

Full Paraguay Copa America squad

Goalkeeper

  • Carlos Coronel (New York Red Bulls)
  • Alfredo Aguilar (Sportivo Luqueno)
  • Rodrigo Morinigo (Libertad)

Defence

  • Ivan Ramirez (Libertad)
  • Omar Alderete (Getafe)
  • Matias Espinoza (Libertad)
  • Fabian Balbeuna (Dynamo Moscow)
  • Junior Alonso (Krasnodar)
  • Nestor Gimenez (Libertad)
  • Gustavo Gomez (Palmeiras)
  • Gustavo Velazquez (Newell's Old Boys)

Midfield

  • Damian Bobadilla (Sao Paulo)
  • Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United)
  • Andres Cubas (Vancouver Whitecaps)
  • Matias Rojas (Inter Miami)
  • Alejandro Romero Gamarra (Al Ain)
  • Richard Sanchez (America)
  • Fabrizio Peralta (Cruzeiro)
  • Mathias Villasanti (Gremio)
  • Hernesto Caballero (Libertad)

Attack

  • Derlis Gonzalez (Olimpia)
  • Adam Bareiro (San Lorenzo)
  • Angel Romero (Corinthians)
  • Alex Arce (LDU Quito)
  • Julio Enciso (Brighton and Hove Albion)
  • Ramon Sosa (Talleres)

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.