Quick striker who scored the goal that sent Paraguay to South Africa, blasting the winner against Argentina in September 2009. He was Salvador Cabanas’s regular partner in qualifying.
He played alongside Roque Santa Cruz at the 2006 World Cup (when his shirt name was Haedo) but failed to score in three appearances despite looking menacing.
Valdez joined Borussia Dortmund that summer but also found goals hard to come by - he has managed just 15 league goals in 113 games for his current club. He has been linked with a move to England this summer, with Wigan reportedly a possible destination. The striker joined Paraguayan minnows Atletico Tembetary as a 15-year-old but his wages were so low he spent two years sleeping under the stands at the club’s home ground.
He got his big break when Werder Bremen chairman Jurgen Born, whose wife is Paraguayan, dropped by for a game. He was so impressed with the 18-year-old that he invited him to Germany where he scored four goals in his first trial match. He went on to win the league and cup double with Werder in 2003/04.
Valdez has spent almost a decade in Germany, but has yet to score 10 or more league goals in a single season. However, he has broken one goal scoring record - he has the honour of scoring the ‘latest’ goal in the Bundesliga. It was 11.13pm when he netted the winner against Schalke in August 2004 - the match had been interrupted by floodlight failure.
Every year he treats 1,500 Paraguayan kids to a Christmas party, supplying footballs, toys and sweets.
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