Paraguay extend Argentine links with Villalba call-up
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ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay have added to their contingent of Argentina-born players by calling up Newell’s Old Boys midfielder Hernan Villalba for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Bolivia.
The 25-man Paraguay squad named by coach Ramon Diaz includes five players who were born across the border in Argentina to Paraguayan parents.
Twenty-six-year-old Villalba owes his call-up to the absence of another Argentine midfielder, San Lorenzo’s Nestor Ortigoza, who is still recovering from an injury he sustained in the 0-0 draw against his country of birth on Oct. 13.
“I like how he’s playing. He’s a midfielder with good ball recovery and good distribution,” said Diaz, also an Argentine, of his latest addition to the national squad.
Paraguay, who took four points from their opening qualifiers against Venezuela and Argentina, visit Peru in Lima on Nov. 13 and host Bolivia in Asuncion four days later.
They are fourth in the 10-nation group, two points behind Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile.
(Writing by Rex Gowar,; Editing by Neville Dalton)