The former goalkeeper of Vélez and of the Paraguayan team that played in the World Cup in France 98 recalled the talk he had with the world champion coach with Argentina
October 31, 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShareChilavert told the day that Bilardo wanted to nationalize him Argentine
With the passage of time, the figure of José Luis Chilavert became even larger than the size he had when he stood to defend the Vélez goal . Historical symbol of the Liniers club, the goalkeeper became an icon of the Fortín, with which he became champion of the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental in 1994, in addition to obtaining other titles. As with the Argentine team, the goalkeeper also left his stamp on the national team.
During his time in Paraguay, Chilavert was key for the Guaraní team to qualify for two World Cups . He was in France 1998 and also in Korea-Japan 2002, but it was in the championship that was played in Europe where the goalkeeper had a leading role. Together with an experienced team, he reached the round of 16 where he fell tight against the locals, who later became world champions.
With this background in his team, but with the roots that living for so many years in Argentina generated, Chilavert told a little-known anecdote that had him as the protagonist along with Carlos Bilardo , a key piece in the history of Argentine football. In dialogue with the Velez 670 party program, the goalkeeper recounted the day that Narigón called him with the intention of adding him to the Albiceleste.
“ Bilardo intended for me to become an Argentine national, to play for the Argentine team . So, at that moment, I told him ´no, I am Paraguayan and as such I am going to play with the national team of my country´. That's what I answered to his request, ” Chilavert recalled. The meeting took place after Bilardo spoke with Eduardo Luján Manera , then DT from Paraguay, before the player made his debut in the Guarani national team.
“The important thing is one's values, I am proud to be Paraguayan, my country needed me and I was always ready , “ added José Luis, who debuted in the Paraguayan goal on August 27, 1989 in a duel for Qualifying against Colombia at the Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asunción.
Chilavert and a particular anecdote with Carlos Bilardo
Beyond Chilavert's negative response to the coach who had led Diego Maradona's Argentine team to the second world title in its history in Mexico in 1986, the former Fortín goalkeeper stressed the value of the call of a figure of such size relevance. “The interesting thing is that a successful person in the world, like Carlos Bilardo, had that vision, of worrying because I had not yet played with Paraguay's senior team and then he gave me that option,” he said.
At the same time, he used the situation he lived through more than three decades ago and compared it to the decision that Lionel Messi made when he also chose to play for his country of birth and not for Spain.
“At the time Messi was offered to be Spanish to play for the Spanish team and he chose to be Argentine, it's the same. That's when the kind of person that one is begins to be carved. Messi opted for Argentina, that's why I value him very much, as I opted for Paraguay ”, concluded Chilavert, who played 74 official matches with his team and scored eight goals . Precisely, the first of them was achieved in his debut in the major when he beat the remembered René Higuita on a penalty.