José Luis Félix Chilavert GonzálezLegendary Paraguay Footballer
- Date of Birth
- July 27, 1965
- Place of Birth
- 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
- Playing Position
José Luis Félix Chilavert González (Spanish pronunciation: born 27 July 1965) is a Paraguayan former footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Sportivo Luqueño, Guaraní, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Real Zaragoza, Vélez Sarsfield, RC Strasbourg, Peñarol and the Paraguay national football team.
A free-kick specialist, Chilavert won 12 club titles, including the 1994 Copa Libertadores and the 1994 Intercontinental Cup, whilst playing for Vélez Sarsfield, and is a three-time IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award winner. Outside of his goalkeeping position, Chilavert was also known for his skills as a free kick specialist, and often took penalties. He scored 67 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 is the 2nd highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all time, surpassed only byBrazilian keeper Rogerio Ceni, and is the only goalkeeper to score a hat-trick. 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 in 1997 for brawling with Colombian striker Faustino Asprilla. He was nicknamed “El Buldog” (“the Bulldog”) and often wore a cartoon bulldog on his goalkeeper jersey.
Chilavert appeared for the Paraguay national football team 74 times, scoring 8 goals, from 1989 to 2003, representing the team at 5 major tournaments. Chilavert appeared for Paraguay at two FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998 and 2002), where he served as captain on both occasions, and appeared in three Copa Américatournaments (1991, 1993 and 1997). Chilavert was also included in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament.
Chilavert grew up in Luque of Gran Asunción, from a poor and humble family, and walked bare-foot until the age of 7. His parents are Catalino Chilavert, who was a state bureaucrat, and Nicolasa González. When he was five, he had 3 siblings and two responsibilities: To order the cows and to sell the milk in the neighborhood of Ñu Guazú, a rural suburb of Luque. One of his siblings, Rolando Chilavert is also a football player.