Paraguay are back again for a third World Cup in succession, taking their total number of appearances to seven. They will be hoping to get good results against group favorites England and Sweden in their bid to progress.
Julio Daniel dos Santos helped Paraguay negotiate the tough South American group
World Cup Qualifiers
The fourth team to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Paraguay left six teams behind them in their qualification group, including two-time world champions Uruguay, who saw their World Cup dreams quashed in a penalty kick shoot-out against Australia.
Paraguay's stars are a known quantity in Germany, as many of them play club soccer for Bundesliga teams, including Julio dos Santos, a silver medal winner at the Athens Olympics and recent addition to Bayern Munich. Roque Santa Cruz, a teammate of dos Santos' on the national and club teams, has proved to be a dangerous player, but injury has left him wondering if he'll make the World Cup roster. Nelson Valdez, a Werder Bremen regular, on the other hand will be able to tell his teammates the ins and outs of the German stadiums -- and how to win in them.
Anibal Ruiz took over the national team from Cesare Maldini after the 2002 World Cup on a temporary basis and was given the job for good in April 2003.
World Cup History
This summer will be Paraguay's seventh performance on world soccer's biggest stage.
1930: preliminary, 1950: preliminary, 1958: preliminary, 1986: preliminary, 1998: round of 16, 2002: round of 16.
Match Schedule: Preliminary Round
June 10: England - Paraguay in Frankfurt
June 15: Sweden - Paraguay in Berlin
June 20: Paraguay - Trinidad and Tobago in Kaiserslautern
World Cup Base
Paraguay found a place to stay in the Bavarian town of Oberhaching.
Faced with a difficult group draw, the somewhat inconsistent mix of young and old on the Paraguayan team are likely to have all they can handle getting past the tournament's preliminary stage.