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José Luis Félix Chilavert González (born July 27, 1965 in Luquemarker, Departamento Central) is a Paraguayanmarker former football goalkeeper and free kick specialist. He was a three-time IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper award winner. Chilavert was also known for his skills as a free kick specialist, and often took penalties. His pioneering of this expertise in his position made him the all-time leading scorer among professional keepers. He scored 62 goals in his professional career, many of them crucial, including eight in international matches. Four of his international goals were scored during Paraguay's qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Chilavert was also known for his eccentricity and at times fiery temper, which brought him his fair share of controversies; most notorious among them was his being sent off for brawling with Colombianmarker striker Faustino Asprilla.

Club career

Chilavert made his debut as a football player at the age of 17, with the team Sportivo Luqueño, who were a second division team at that time, he was trained by the very well knowned goalkeeper Modesto Sandoval. In 1989, he played for the Paraguayan national team for the first time. By then he had already reached division one football, with Argentina's San Lorenzo.

He later moved to Spainmarker, where he played for Real Zaragoza. He then returned to Argentina, where he played with Vélez Sársfield, helping them win the Argentine championship four times as well as the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup, both in 1994. In 1999, he became the first goalkeeper to score a hat-trick in the history of football, while playing for Vélez against Ferro Carril Oeste, scoring all three goals through penalties. He also scored a memorable free-kick from behind the half-way line against River Plate.

International career

He was voted World Goalkeeper of the Year by the IFFHS in 1995, 1997, and 1998. He scored in the World Cup qualifying campaign of 1998. He had been briefly dropped before the tournament for his criticism of the recall of Romerito by the Paraguay coach. In 1998, he participated in the World Cup, where he became the first goalkeeper ever to take a direct free kick in World Cup finals (almost scoring), against Bulgaria; he received an ovation when he crossed the pitch to try to score. With two clean sheets in the first round, he helped take Paraguay to the round of sixteen, where the team lost to France on a golden goal. Chilavert had made boasts about being the Cup's best goalkeeper before the tournament.FIFA named Chilavert on the tournament All Star Squad for his performances alongside French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Chilavert refused to take part in the Copa America of 1999, angering the Paraguayan government as he claimed funding should be used for education.

After a qualifying game for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he spat on Brazil's Roberto Carlos, an action which caused FIFAmarker to give him a three-match suspension and forced him to watch the first game of the World Cup from the stands. Chilavert accused Roberto Carlos of racism and obscene gestures during the match. He also justified his action by saying he had been provoked by the Brazilians who had called him the weakest link of Paraguay before the match. Chilavert also claimed the match was like a war and that Brazil should return land to Paraguay lost in the 19th century.

Before the tournament, Paraguay manager Cesare Maldini had faced criticism in Paraguay but Chilavert defended Maldini respecting him for his experience. He also expressed great confidence in the ability of the Paraguayan team and downplayed his role to the whole team.

During the World Cup, Chilavert made an error against Spain as Paraguay lost 3-1. Chilavert attempted a free kick against Casillas but it was saved. Before the match, Chilavert claimed he would keep a clean sheet against Spain and score 2 free kicks against their keeper. Chilavert let a goal from Slovenia slide between his legs in the next match but Paraguay recovered to defeat Slovenia 3-1. In their second round match against Germany, despite several saves from Chilavert, Paraguay lost 1-0.

He had 74 international caps for Paraguay and a goalkeeper-record of eight international goals. Chilavert retired from international football in 2003, after a feud with team directors.

Retirement and post-career

Chilavert announced his retirement from all football in December 2003, but decided to come out of retirement to return to Vélez. Chilavert had just won the Uruguayan league with Penarol when he initially retired. He finally retired permanently in 2004, playing his last match, a farewell testimonial, on November 11 of that year (fittingly, he scored a goal).

In 2005, Chilavert was sentenced to six months in prison in France for the use of false documents about the compensation for the end of his contract with Racing Club de Strasbourg.

Chilavert was a commentator for American television network Univision during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He is expected to commentate on future tournaments for them. Recently, he has become involved investing in renewable energy using seaweed. In a recent interview by the Argentine media, Chilavert said that he has invited European firms to come to Paraguay and invest in what he calls a very ambitious and interesting project. He keeps a close watch on Paraguayan Football Federation advising them in anything they have to do to take Paraguay back to the World Cup Finals.



Vélez Sarsfield




Career statistics


  1. Watch video
  2. "Chilavert scores in emotional farewell", Reuters via, 15 November 2004.
  3. "Chilavert gets suspended jail term", Reuters via ESPN Soccernet, 9 July 2005.

External links

1985 San Lorenzo de Almagro Primera División 10 0
1985-86 38 0
1986-87 31 0
1987-88 43 0
1988-89 6 0

1988-89 Real Zaragoza La Liga 37 0
1989-90 34 1
1990-91 8 0

1991-92 Vélez Sársfield Primera División 18 0
1992-93 30 1
1993-94 23 0
1994-95 34 1
1995-96 34 4
1996-97 24 6
1997-98 35 10
1998-99 26 4
1999-00 34 8
2000-01 8 2

2000-01 Strasbourg Division 1 17 0
2001-02 Division 2 33 0
2002-03 Ligue 1 0 0

2003 Peñarol Primera División 17 4

2003-04 Vélez Sársfield Primera División 6 0

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