ASUNCION, May 28 (Reuters) - Paraguay have opted for experience in attack in their bid to reach a second successive Copa America final next month and overcome the disappointment of missing last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Roque Santa Cruz, Nelson Haedo Valdez and Lucas Barrios -- all veterans of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and 2011 Copa America -- were named on Thursday in coach Ramon Diaz’s 23-man squad for the tournament in Chile starting on June 11.
Paraguay, who lost the 2011 final 3-0 to Uruguay in Buenos Aires, open their Group B campaign against Argentina and also face the title holders and Jamaica.
“We want to have a good Copa America, that’s why we picked these players, who have a high standing, are in good form and know how to handle an international tournament,” Argentine Diaz told reporters.
“We always ask for maximum commitment from the players, the same they show in training.”
Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Colo Colo), Antony Silva (Independiente Medellin), Alfredo Aguilar (Guarani)
Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Toluca), Pablo Aguilar (America), Fabian Balbuena (Libertad), Marcos Caceres (Newell’s Old Boys), Bruno Valdez (Cerro Porteno), Ivan Piris (Udinese), Miguel Samudio (America)
Midfielders: Victor Caceres (Flamengo), Nestor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo), Osvaldo Martinez (America), Richard Ortiz (Toluca), Osmar Molinas (Libertad), Eduardo Aranda (Olimpia), Oscar Romero (Racing Club)
Forwards: Roque Santa Cruz (Cruz Azul), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Eintracht Frankfurt), Raul Bobadilla (Augsburg), Lucas Barrios (Montpellier), Edgar Benitez (Toluca), Derlis Gonzalez (Basel) (Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tom Hayward)