Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Olimpia

2002 Copa Libertadores

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.


This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Olimpia is the most decorated football club in Paraguay. It holds the record of winning six consecutive Primera division titles, the only Paraguayan club to have achieved a hexacampeonato. Olimpia hold eight international titles, among which three Copa Libertadores and one Intercontinental Cup. It is the only Paraguayan club to have won official CONMEBOL tournaments.
In 1979 they achieved the rare feat, so far limited to an exclusive set of clubs, of winning all possible official titles on offer that year. They completed the quadruple by winning the Paraguayan championship, Copa Libertadores, the Copa Interamericana and Intercontinental Cup.

1979 Copa Libertadores

Team
GK: Éver Hugo Almeida (Paraguay)
Almeida made his professional debut in 1967 for C.A. Cerro of Montevideo. After a few years in the Uruguayan football league he was transferred to Club Guaraní of Paraguay. In 1973, he joined Olimpia and played with them for nearly two decades, setting a record for being the player with most appearances in the Copa Libertadores with 113, from 1973 to 1990, winning the tournament on two occasions (1979 and 1990). He also won the Intercontinental Cup (1979), Supercopa Sudamericana (1990), and the Recopa Sudamericana (1991), along with several Paraguayan national championships with Olimpia.  He became a Paraguayan citizen and was capped 22 times.
Éver Hugo Almeida 
GK: Ricardo Tavarelli (Paraguay)
Tavarellie earned the nickname "Mono" (monkey) because of his quick goalkeeping skills. He made his debut with Olympia in 1992. He was a pivotal part of the 2002 Olimpia team that won the Copa Libertadores. His skills helped Olimpia win two key penalty shoot-outs against Grêmio of Porto Alegre (semi-finals) and São Caetano (finals). He also played for Grêmio and Sportivo Luqueño. Tavarelli went to the  2002 World Cup, playing the team's first two matches following the suspension of captain José Luis Chilavert prior to the tournament.

GK: Martin Silva (Uruguay)
Silva has played most of his professional career in Defensor Sporting.  He moved to Olimpia in 2011, where he reached the Final of Copa Libertadores.  In late, 2013, he moved to play with Gremio in Brazil.   At the time of writing, he has 7 caps. He was also Uruguay's third choice goalkeeper in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 Copa América. 

RB: Virginio Caceres (Paraguay)
Cáceres started his career in the regional league team from the San Pedro Department and  at the start of 1984 signed for Club Guaraní. He soon made an impact and helped the team capture the 1984 Paraguayan league title. In 1990 he signed for Olimpia Asunción, where he would eventually play until his retirement in 2002. In his at Olimpia he won several national and international titles that established him as one of the club's important players. Capped 45 times, Virginio Cáceres was also of the  national team that participated in the 1986 World Cup. 

RB: Denis Caniza (Paraguay)
He started his career in Olimpia of Paraguay. He also played in Lanús of Argentina, Santos Laguna, Atlas, Cruz Azul, Leon, and Irapuato of Mexico. Caniza earned 100 caps for Paraguay, serving as its captain.  He holds the distinction as the only Paraguayan footballer to be selected for 4 consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals, having been chosen in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

CB: Juan Lezcano (Paraguay)
He was a member of the historical Olimpia team that won five Paraguayan league championships in a row, from 1956 to 1960 and reached the final of the Copa Libertadores in 1960, where Olimpia lost against Peñarol. Soon after in 1961, Peñarol signed him and became one of the key players of the that helped Peñarol win several national and international championships.

DF: Alicio Solalinde (Paraguay)
Solalinde began playing football for Olimpia de Villeta. He also played for Club Libertad and Club River Plate, but enjoyed his greatest success with Olimpia where he became a key player by winning several national and international titles such as the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1979. He also played for Paraguay from 1975 to 1981, where he obtained 32 caps and 4 goals. He won the 1979 Copa América.

DF: Ignacio Achúcarro (Paraguay)
Achucarro started his career in Olimpia Asunción of Paraguay, where he won two national championships before being transferred to Europe in 1958 to play for Sevilla FC. At Sevilla, he would spend 10 years before returning to Paraguay to play for Olimpia for the 1969 and 1970 seasons. Achucarro was part of the Paraguay national football team that qualified and played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he played all three games for Paraguay

CB: Rogelio Delgado 
He played for Olimpia, where he won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1979, and six Paraguayan league titles.  He also played for Independiente of Argentina and Universidad de Chile.  He was a member of the Albirroja at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. 

CB: Celso Ayala
He was a part of the great defensive unit of the Paraguayan national team during the 1990's.  He was capped 86 times and was among the most capped players for his country. For club football, he played in Spain, Brazil, Argentina and of course, Paraguay.  He was known for his spell with Club Olimpia and two spells with River Plate.  He won Copa Libertadores for both clubs. 

LB: Néstor Benitez (Paraguay)
He started his career at Presidente Hayes from his hometown, Tacumbú. From there, he was transferred to Olimpia Asunción which was coached then by the great Aurelio González. While in Olimpia, Benitez won a number of national championships and was called up to the Paraguay national football team in a few occasions. In 1972 he went to Sportivo Luqueño but was only able to play seven games due to an injury that kept him off the field for a few years until 1976 where he came back to play for C.A. Tembetary and retire in the same year. Benítez holds a record of playing 72 consecutive and uninterrupted games for Olimpia.

LB: Eligio Echagüe (Paraguay)
Echagüe started his career at Club Adolfo Riquelme from his hometown, Concepción. In 1947, he was transferred to Olimpia Asunción and made his debut in the first team squad in 1950. He was part of the Olimpia team that won five consecutive titles coached then by the great Aurelio González. Echagüe played for the Paraguay national football team in several occasions, most notably in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

DM: Carlos Paredes (Paraguay)
Paredes started his career with Olimpia in 1995, winning five national championships and becoming the youngest captain in the club's history at the age of 20. In 2000 he moved to FC Porto of Portugal. In Europe, he would also play for Reggina and Sporting Clube de Portugal. Paredes returned to Paraguay in 2008 to play for Olimpia, where he served as the team captain.  After two brief stunts withRubio Ñú due Sportivo Luqueño, he returned Olimpia.  Capped 74 times. He played in three World Cups: 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Carlos Paredes 
DM: Carlos Kiese (Paraguay)
The highlight of his career was in 1979, where he won the Copa America with the national team, and the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup with Olimpia. He also played for Gremio, Libertad, Independiente, Cerro Porteno and the Strongest.

CM: Jorge Gausch (Paraguay)
Nicknamed "El Chino" (the Chinese), Guasch started his career at the small regional club Guaraní de Davaru. In 1976, he moved to Olimpia. Guasch became Olimpia's captain in 1988 and he remained with the club until his retirement in 1991, winning 2 Copa Libertadores: 1979, 1990. He is regarded as one of the club's most important players.  Capped 47 times.  He went to the 1986 WC Finals.

CM: Sergio Orteman (Uruguay)
Órteman began his career in Uruguayan club Central Español in 1997. In 2001 he was transferred to Olimpia of Paraguay. He was part of the Olimpia team that won the 2002 Copa Libertadores (being selected as the most valuable player of the tournament) and the 2003 Recopa Sudamericana.  After Olimpia, he played for many clubs in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and Mexico, but never found the same successes.  He was a part of the team that won the Copa Libertadores in 2007 with Boca Juniors.  
Sergio Orteman

CM: Julio Cesar Enciso (Paraguay)
Enciso started his playing career in 1994 with Cerro Porteño where he won the league championships in his debut season. In 1996 he was signed by Internacional of Brazil where he played for 5 seasons, winning the Campeonato Gaúcho in 1997. Enciso returned to Paraguay in 2001 to play for Olimpia Asunción where he won the Copa Libertadores 2002 as their captain.  Capped 70 times.  He played at France 1998.

CM: Hugo Talavera (Paraguay)
He won the 1979 Copa América with the national team.  For his club career, he won three national championships in a row with Cerro Porteño before joining Olimpia in 1975.  He won the Copa
Copa Libertadores in 1979 and 7 more league titles with them.

CM: Luis Alberto Monzon (Paraguay)
Monzón started his career in the youth divisions of Olimpia and made his professional debut at the age of 16. He was a key player in the Olimpia team that won the Copa Libertadores in 1990, and throughout his years with the club, he won several national and international championships, which made him one of the squad's most emblematic players. He also played in Mexico for Cruz Azul, in Argentina for Club Atlético Huracán and a few Paraguayan teams before retiring. Capped17 times.

AM: Gabriel González (Paraguay)
Mostly known as "El Loco" González, he is one of the most recognized and loved players by fans of Club Olimpia of Paraguay. While playing for Olimpia, González won the Copa Libertadores, Supercopa Sudamericana, Recopa Sudamericana and several Paraguayan league titles, forming the feared Olimpia attacking trio of the early 1990s with teammates Adriano Samaniego and Raúl Vicente Amarilla. He also played for Argentine sides Estudiantes de La Plata and Colón de Santa Fe. He earned 34 caps.

ST: Mauro Caballero (Paraguay)
Caballero made his debut on the senior team for Olimpia in 1992, where he would win several national and international championships. Caballero also played for other clubs such as Tigres de la UANL, Cerro Porteño, Club Libertad, Club Jorge Wilstermann, Nacional and Estudiantes de Mérida. His best years as a striker where in 1998 and 2001, when he was the Paraguayan 1st Division topscorer.  Capped 14 times.

ST: Aurelio González  (Paraguay)
He is one of the greatest football players of Paraguay, considered by many as the second best player behind Arsenio Erico. He started his career with Sportivo Luqueño and then moved to Olimpia of Asunción where he spent the rest of his career winning several championships, most notably the three consecutive national championships in 1927, 1928 and 1929.

ST: Adriano Samaniego (Paraguay) 
Samaniego played for Olimpia from 1981 to 1985, achieving the top scorer title of the Paraguayan League in 1985 and winning 4 national championships.  After a brief stint in Mexico playing for Necaxa, he returned to Olimpia in 1990 to form the feared attacking trio of 1990 along with Raul Vicente Amarilla and Gabriel "El Loco" González, which led Olimpia to the Copa Libertadores title, Supercopa Sudamericana and Recopa of the same year. Samaniego was also the top scorer of the Copa Libertadores in 1990 with seven goals.  Capped 26 times. A serious injury kept him from playing the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

ST: Carlos Diarte (Paraguay)
Diarte started his career in Olimpia Asunción at the age of 16 he, helping Olimpia win the Paraguayan championship in 1971. In 1973, he signed for Real Zaragoza of Spain where he was part of the famous "Zaraguayos" group (a reference to the Paraguayan stars such as Saturnino Arrua and Felipe Ocampos that were playing for Zaragoza). In 1976, Diarte signed for Valencia CF where he would be part of a formidable attacking line along with Mario Kempes and Johnny Rep. Diarte also played for UD Salamanca, Real Betis and AS Saint-Étienne of France. Capped 45 times.

ST: Raul Vicente Amarilla (Paraguay/Spain)
Amarilla made his debut with Sportivo Luqueño at the age of 17. He soon signed for Real Zaragoza where in the 1982–83 season, he finished as the second best scorer in La Liga. He also played for Barcelona and América de Mexico. In 1999, he helped Olimpia to win the Copa Libertadores, the Supercopa and Recopa Sudamericana. Olimpia trio along with . He was voted South American Footballer of the Year that year.  Earlier in his career, Amarilla accepted an offer to play Spain U-21 team which barred him from playing for Paraguay later in his career.  
Raul Vicente Amarilla

Honorable Mention
Herminio Arias, Antonio Brunetti, Edelmiro Arévalo, Benito Sandoval, Osvaldo Aquino, Cesar Mena Porta, Juan Bautista Aguero, Vicente Rodriguez, Roque Santa Cruz, Evaristo Isasi, Aristides del Puerta, Angel Berni, Flaminio Silva, Mauro Caballero, Pablo Zeballos, Leocadio Martin.

Squad Explanation
-- I do not know much about Alicio Solalinde and Ignacio Achúcarro, but they appeared numerous times during my research.
-- Sergio Orteman and Julio Cesar Enciso were fundamental as Olimpia won the 2002 Copa Libertadores.
-- Carlos Diarte was better known for his career with Zaragoza, but he is still widely considered among the best ever player emerged from Olimpia's youth system. 
-- Raul Vicente Amarilla was the South American Player of the Year in1990 as Olimpia won the Copa Libertadores. 
-- Juan Bautista Aguero only spent three seasons with the club.
-- Roque Santa Cruz left too early in his career.  
-- Evaristo Isasi spent a long career at the club. So he deserved an honourable mention.
-- I did not know much about Leocadio Martin, Aristides del Puerta and Flaminio Silva.

 

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