IFFHS – THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER 1995, 1997, 1998 : JOSE LUIS CHILAVERT (PARAGUAY/ VELEZ SARSFIELD) 1995, 1997, 1998
Born 27 July 1965 in Luque (Paraguay), José Luis Felix Chilavert Gonzales (his complete name) was one of the greatest Goalkeepers in the World , winning 3 IFFHS Awards as THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER 1995, 1997, 1998 and also THE SECOND BEST GOAL SCORER in the World among the Goalkeepers (behind Brazil’s Rogerio Ceni) , he scored 67 goals (free kick specialist) in his professional career.
He grew up in Luque (Paraguay) where he began as Goalkeeper his career in 1982 with Sportivo Luqueno (67 matches, 4 goals) before joining Guarani in 1984 for one season (19 matches, 1 goal) and one Primera Division title. San Lorenzo (1985-1988) was his third station with 122 matches without goal , he moved later to Spain where he played for Real Zaragoza from 1988 to 1991 (79 matches, 1 goal).
After his time in Spain, he moved to Argentina where he joined Velez Sarsfield for a long period of 10 years (1991-2001). He played there 270 matches with 36 goals (!), winning the Primera Division four times (1993, 1995, 1996, 1998), the Copa Libertadores 1994, the Intercontinental Cup 1994, the Copa Interamericana 1994, the Supercopa Sudamericana 1996. In 1999, he became the FIRST GOALKEEPER IN THE WORLD AT THIS LEVEL to score a hat-trick in the history of professional football (3 penalties in the match Velez Sarsfield – Ferro Carril Oeste).
He went then to France to Racing Strasbourg where he played 50 matches from 2001 to 2003 and won the Coupe de France 2001, scoring the winning penalty in the shootout victory ! He returned to South America, to Penarol (Uruguay) in 2003 where he won the Primera Division title 2003 before finish his career in Velez Sarsfield in Argentina.
Jose Luis Chilavert earned 74 international caps for Paraguay from 1989 to 2003 and achieved a international goalkeeper record of 8 international goals ! He participated in the World Cup 1998 in France, where he became the first goalkeeper ever to score a direct free kick in the World Cup finals (elected as the Best Goalkeeper of the World Cup) and in the World Cup 2002, representing his team also in Copa America 1991, 1993 and 1997.
He announced his retirement from football in december 2003, was guest commentator in TV , worked against corruption and is today involved in political of Paraguay, where he is announced as the future President.