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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Chilavert vows to score against Spain
Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert
Chilavert has never been afraid to speak his mind
If Paraguay get a free kick within range during their Group B game against Spain, goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert says he will score.

The talismanic and outspoken goalkeeeper, who regularly scores from free kicks, reckons his team can eliminate the Spaniards, just as they did four years ago.

Open Quote
We are humble, we are going to work hard and see how far we can get
Close Quote
Jose Luis Chilavert

"We knocked them out of the World Cup last time and this time, we're going to do it again," Chilavert said.

"I've got Canizares in my sights, because I'm going to score against him from a free kick in the World Cup," he told Radio Nanduti in an interview from Italy, where Paraguay are warming up for the World Cup.

Accusing the Spanish media of overconfidence, Chilavert, who has scored more than 50 goals from penalties and free kicks in his career, said: "We are humble, we are going to work hard and see how far we can get."

"Spain always play their World Cup qualifiers against the likes of Andorra, Burkina Faso, Liechtenstein but I'm sure that if they played in the South American qualifiers, they would not get through."

Suspension

Paraguay, whose players often speak the Indian language Guarani rather than Spanish to confuse their opponents, drew 0-0 with Spain at the 1998 World Cup in a first-round match.

They eventually qualified from the group along with Nigeria while Bulgaria and Spain were eliminated.

Chilavert will miss Paraguay's opening game against South Africa as he completes a three-match suspension for spitting at Brazil's Roberto Carlos following a World Cup qualifier last year.

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South Africa leave a lot of gaps but are fast - that is something we must look out for
Close Quote
Jose Luis Chilavert

But he will back for the remaining group games against Spain and Slovenia.

And he does not rate South Africa very highly, either, although he did concede that they have a lot of pace.

"They don't play very well as a group," he said.

"They leave a lot of gaps but are fast - that is something we must look out for.

"We have to constantly put pressure on them. We must be on top of them and not let them think."

Chilavert believes that Paraguay can do well if they can find the form that saw them beat Brazil in the World Cup qualifying stages.

"That is the level we must have. With Brazil we did not let them play. With this type of effort, we can succeed."

The Paraguay team will play a friendly against Sweden on Friday before heading to Japan.


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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

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