By Louis Smith.
Back in March, WFi reported that Paraguayan football was to come to a halt following the coronavirus outbreak. This Friday, after four long months, the league will finally get back underway.
In the months that have passed, there’s still been plenty of Paraguay-related football news from both home and abroad.
Brazilian football icon Ronaldinho spent a total of 32 days in an Asuncion prison which coincided with his 40th birthday. During his short stay behind bars, he managed to take part in a futsal match with fellow inmates.
Since then he has been released and is currently under house arrest in a hotel on the outskirts of Asuncion.
On the topic of short stays, travel complications around Emmanuel Adebayor returning to Paraguay saw his spell at Club Olimpia come to an end.
The Togo international played a total of four matches for the club, failing to find the net, but of course, he did something to be remembered for…
Adebayor’s time at Olimpia has come to an end.
— Louis Smith (@louissmith22) June 30, 2020
Several Paraguayan clubs assisted the emergency services on the frontline providing help for those in need.
Club Atlético Tembetary, a side playing in the lower league’s of Paraguayan football, donated food parcels to their local neighbourhood and offered their sports complex to health workers allowing them to enjoy a moment of well-earned relaxation.
Here on WFi, we were not short of Paraguayan football coverage. North America editor Chris Smith spoke to Paraguayan-American journalist Roberto Rojas about Erik Lopez’s prospective move from Olimpia to Atlanta United. The deal has since gone through.
Jerry Mancini also spoke to Rojas regarding, Miguel Almiron’s journey from Paraguay to the Premier League.
Promising forward Fernando Ovelar spoke to us about his desire to play in the Premier League, Richard Sanchez told us about his move from Olimpia To Mexico and Olimpia President Marco Trovato spoke about the ambitions he has for the club in the future.
Erik Lopez wasn’t the only player moving to the United States. Guarani’s Rodney Redes will join him in 2021 as he was announced as the first signing for new MLS club Austin FC.
Welcome Rodney Redes, our first signing.
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 6, 2020
Several Paraguayan football fans, without their domestic league taking place, sat down to watch the football Europe had to offer, no doubt keeping an eye on Newcastle United and their compatriot, Almiron, who has been in the news in Paraguay this week but not for football reasons…
Swedish rapper and Toon Fan, Mick C, released a track titled “Hey Miggy” about the attacking midfielder, the tune was the most played song of the week it was released in Paraguay on Spotify.
It’s safe to say it’s been a crazy four months without the beautiful game in Paraguay, and now, Paraguayans can finally watch their own domestic league with plenty to look forward too.
Kicking things off on Friday night in a scrap at the bottom of the table are General Díaz and San Lorenzo. Both clubs have only won once so far this season, and will be eager to get some much-needed points on the board.
The later kick-off on Friday sees the champions Olimpia travel to Sportivo Luqueño. Olimpia haven’t won any of their last three league meetings as they sit in second place, four points from the top. They are going to have to improve their league form if they want that fifth straight title. If they are going to secure three points, they will have to do so without goal machine Roque Santa Cruz, who is doubtful with a slight knock.
Saturday’s football begins with an interesting battle between 5th place Guairena FC and 4th place Guarani. Guairena, newcomers into the league for 2020, are performing above expectations. They are unbeaten in their last seven league matches, one of which was an impressive fightback to draw 2-2 away at Cerro Porteño.
A victory for Guarani would see them move to within two points of the league leaders. It will be the first competitive match Rodney Redes will play in since signing for Austin FC. The evening fixture will be rounded off between Sol De America and 12 de Octubre.
In the final day of the matchweek there are two more tasty games in store. Cerro Porteño host league leaders Libertad in the standout out game of the week. Anything but a win for Cerro will make it difficult for them to claim the Apertura title this season.
Following an early exit in the Copa Libertadores and disappointing run of form in the league, Cerro fans are hoping that the club can get things back on track after a rocky start to 2020. A win on Sunday would certainly start to point things in the right direction.
In contrast, Libertad are flying in the league winning six out of the eight matches played and are well on course to end Olimpia’s run of league titles.
Libertad also have the joint top scorer in the league in Sebastián Ferreira who will be keen to pick up where he left off.
The final battle of the week sees River Plate take on Club Nacional. The visitors sit third in the table and are unbeaten in their previous three league outings. So far they have conceded only five times in eight matches — the best defensive record in the league.
River Plate are currently in seventh in the league. In their last outing before the break they earned a creditable draw away at Olimpia. They will need to put in another resilient display if they are to get anything out of the match on Sunday.
55 positive Covid-19 tests throughout the league mean that Paraguay will now have to wait till at least Wednesday for their national sport to resume. The breakdown of the positive cases is 35 at 12 de Octubre, 13 at Guaraní, four at San Lorenzo, and three among referees.
The three teams with positive cases are still waiting to hear when they can play their next match. The three games featuring teams whose results came back all clear are scheduled on Wednesday but are subject to a second round of testing.