Friday’s Forgotten Footballer: José Chilavert

By Thomas Crean

Full Name: José Luis Félix Chilavert González
Position: Attack-minded Goalkeeper
Nationality: Paraguayan (74 caps, 8 goals)
Clubs: San Lorenzo, Real Zaragoza, Vélez Sársfield, Strasbourg, Penarol.

José Luis Chilavert will be forever remembered as one of the best shot-stopping, inspirational and clinical goal scoring goalkeepers (not a misprint!) to grace the footballing world.

Paraguay’s favourite son is arguably the best player ever produced by the nation, while certainly being the most famous.

He scored 62 goals in his professional career, which was mainly down to him being a penalty and free kick specialist. His unorthodox use of such skills makes him one of the highest-scoring goalkeepers in footballing history.

Chilavert made his debut as a 15-year-old for second division side Sportivo Luqueno. He moved on to San Lorenzo in 1985, where he earned his first international cap.

He spent three seasons in Spain with Real Zaragoza (1988-91). He then returned to Argentina, where he helped Veléz Sársfield to three league titles, a Copa Liberatadores and Intercontinental Cup.

Chilavert made claims leading up to staging of the 1998 World Cup that he was the best goalkeeper on show at the tournament. Paraguay suffered a second round exist to hosts and eventual winners, France.

José had a reputation of over-confidence, a fact upheld by his poor attitude toward fellow players and managers.

One of his more high-profile incidents involved being banned for the first two matches of the 2002 World Cup for spitting at Roberto Carlos during a qualification match.

Chilavert was voted as the world’s best goalkeeper in 1995 and 1997, which only sealed his reputation into the history books.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Laver Cup 2018
The Sport Review
Laver Cup 2018: Federer, Djokovic and fellow top-10s relish European defence – ‘We’re ready!’
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Laver Cup 2018
The Sport Review
Laver Cup 2018: Roger Federer turns maestro, Sascha Zverev turns tough to extend European lead
The Sport Review
Liverpool FC owner’s wife reacts to 3-0 win over Southampton
The Sport Review
Gary Lineker sends message to Alexandre Lacazette as Arsenal beat Everton