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Paraguayan legend Jose Luis Chilavert announces his intention to run for president


Legendary goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert has announced his intention to run for president in the upcoming Paraguayan elections in 2023.

Chilavert was widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his heyday and was as renowned for his goalie antics as his shooting ability. He has been regularly seen taking free kicks and penalties and is the second-highest scorer in history, with 67 goals for club and country.

Eight of those goals have come for the Paraguayan national team, which he has represented 74 times. He scored four times qualifying for the 2002 World Cup and retired a year later as one of the most famous figures in Paraguayan football history.

He has never hidden his political views as a player and his revolutionary stance has earned him comparisons with Che Guevara. Fans and former teammates often picked him as their future president, but if it was a joke, Chilavert didn’t get it.

After spending years denouncing “corruption” within the Paraguayan government, the former guard announced on Christmas Eve that he would run against incumbent conservative Mario Abdo Benitez in the next elections in 2023.

“Enough impunity, enough corruption and enough looting of the Paraguayan people,” he wrote on his Twitter.

Jose Luis Chilavert from Paraguay
Chilavert plays for Paraguay | Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

The image also reads: “Chila Presidente 2023”.

Chilavert made more than 200 appearances for Argentina’s team Velez Sarsfield, where he won four league titles in his first stint. He has scored 36 times for Velez, a strike rate that most forwards would be quite happy with.

He also played for Sportivo Luqueno and Guarani in his native Paraguay, and ventured to Europe later in his career. It turned out for Real Zaragoza and French club Strasbourg, although he only scored once on the continent, where his scoring abilities weren’t as appreciated.