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By ESPN Staff

Crocked Cardozo to stay with Paraguay squad

Jose Cardozo will remain with Paraguay's World Cup squad despite being ruled out of the tournament through injury.

The 35-year-old striker had hoped to enjoy one last hurrah for his country in Germany before retiring, but a torn calf muscle means he has no chance of playing in the competition.

His place in the squad has gone to Genoa striker Dante Lopez but Cardozo will remain with his team-mates to help them prepare for their World Cup opener against England on Saturday.

'I'll stay with the team. I want to be with them. Now that such an important game is coming, we must be united, no matter what has happened to me,' said Cardozo, who was his country's leading scorer in qualification with seven goals but had not been expected to start against England this Saturday.

Cardozo sustained his injury during the 1-1 friendly draw with Denmark last month.

'I was kicked but I thought it wasn't serious,' he said.

'But then, as training went on, it started hurting me again and I told doctors to scan the area. Unfortunately, the result is the one everybody knows.'

The former Toluca striker, who played last season at Argentinian giants San Lorenzo but is currently without a club, added: 'The coach, doctors and I all made a great effort but it was confirmed that it was a fibre tear that will put me totally out of the World Cup, as it will take three or four weeks to get over.

'That's life. It goes on, so I have to go on and look for the future.

'My dream was to retire from the national team by playing a World Cup, but I knew injuries were a possibility.'