Paraguay may be small in size, but this South American nation has made a major impact over the years in everything from sports to classical music. Smacked down in the center of Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. At first glance, it may be difficult to see that there’s more to this hot spot than steaming mugs of matés and futból. Rest assured, there are plenty of gentlemen from Paraguay that have been making their mark across the globe for their numerous talents. In honor of their Independence Day here are Paraguayan men you need to know.
José Luis Chilavert
Jose Luis Chilavert is famous for his no-nonsense temperament in the field, but it was his passion for the sport that led to his biggest accomplishment: the prestigious “World’s Best Goalkeeper of the Year” award from the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Chilavert, who began his career in the early ‘80s, would go on to win this title a whopping three times throughout his career (1995, 1997, and 1998). “He was part of the Paraguay side that competed at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, playing a big part in his country’s progress to the second round in both,” says Bleacher Report of the 48-year-old. But not everyone was a fan of the controversial sportsman. In 2001, he reportedly spat at Brazilian player Robert Carlos after a World Cup match between the two countries, followed by a comment that Brazil should return land it took from Paraguay in the 19th century.