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By ESPN Staff
May 15, 2006

Paraguay name youngster Montiel in squad

ASUNCION, May 15 (Reuters) - Teenage midfielder Jose Montiel was included as Paraguay named their World Cup squad on Monday.

Montiel, 18, was one of a number of young players selected by coach Anibal Ruiz as Paraguay, who face England, Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago, head for their third successive World Cup finals.

'This is the future of our football,' Ruiz told reporters. 'More than 50 percent of this squad are young enough to play at another three World Cups.

'Montiel is part of a new generation which makes us optimistic about the capabilities of the young players.'

Other youngsters included were Bayern Munich midfielder Julio dos Santos, his club team mate Roque Santa Cruz, forward Nelson Haedo Valdez and midfielders Edgar Barreto and Cristian Riveros.

Montiel, who as child sold pies in the street to help his family earn some extra income, has made a huge impression since his professional debut at the age of 16 for Olimpia.

He played at the World Under-17 championships in Peru last year and made his full international debut against Venezuela as a 17-year-old.

'I'm immensely happy and full of pride,' Montiel told reporters.

At the opposite end of the age scale, Ruiz also included veterans Roberto Acuna and Jose Cardozo, despite their unimpressive form at club level.

Acuna, 33, had played only a handful of games this season for Deportivo Coruna in Spain while Cardozo, 35, has been released by Argentina's San Lorenzo after a lacklustre year.

'Cardozo is the most difficult merchandise to find in football, which is a goalscorer,' said Ruiz. 'If we have one, we musn't waste it.

'You don't play football with your age or identity card,' he added. 'You play it with what you have on the field.'

Acuna has played impressively for his country after making an international comeback in last year's World Cup qualifier at home to Argentina, which Paraguay won 1-0.

Paraguay reached the second round at the last two World Cups before falling to single-goal defeats against France and Germany respectively.

Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Newell's Old Boys), Derlis Gomez (Sportivo Luqueno), Aldo Bobadilla (Libertad)

Defenders: Denis Caniza (Cruz Azul), Carlos Gamarra (Palmeiras), Julio Cesar Caceres (River Plate), Delio Toledo (Real Zaragoza), Jorge Nunez (Estudiantes), Julio Manzur (Santos), Paulo da Silva (Toluca)

Midfielders: Edgar Barreto (NEC Nijmegen), Roberto Acuna (Deportivo Coruna), Carlos Paredes (Reggina), Julio dos Santos (Bayern Munich), Carlos Bonet (Libertad), Cristian Riveros (Libertad), Diego Gavilan (Newell's Old Boys), Jose Montiel (Olimpia)

Forwards: Nelson Haedo Valdez (Werder Bremen), Roque Santa Cruz (Bayern Munich), Nelson Cuevas (Pachuca), Salvador Cabanas (Chiapas), Jose Cardozo (no club)