Miguel Ángel Benítez
|Full name||Miguel Ángel Benítez Pavón|
|Date of birth||19 May 1970|
|Place of birth||Santísima Trinidad, Paraguay|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|1994||→ Almería (loan)|
|1995||→ Mérida (loan)||23||(10)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He is best known for his spell with Spain's Espanyol, where he played for seven years. Altogether he spent one full decade in that country, representing three other teams and appearing in more than 200 official games overall.
Benítez was born in Santísima Trinidad. After playing for modest teams in his country he arrived in Spain at the age of 23, purchased by Atlético Madrid, but appeared very rarely for the Colchoneros, being often demoted to its reserves and also being loaned twice, notably to CP Mérida which he helped promote from the second division by scoring a team-best ten goals in only five months.
Released by Atlético in the 1995 summer Benítez signed with fellow La Liga side RCD Espanyol, going on to experience his best years: alternating between the starting XI and the bench, he amassed nearly 200 official appearances for the Catalans, helping them to the 2000 conquest of the Copa del Rey.
Already in his 30's and dealing with some injuries, Benítez left Espanyol in January 2002, returning to his country and signing with Asunción's Club Olimpia. In the years until his retirement he appeared for several clubs, and also returned to Spain, playing with second-tier UD Almería.
In 2008 Benítez started his coaching career, taking charge of lowly Club Silvio Pettirossi as it was experiencing its first season in the top level – short-lived, as the club dropped down two divisions in as many years.
Courtesy of his solid Espanyol performances, Benítez gained all of his 30 caps for the Paraguayan national team. He was selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, playing in all four matches as the national side reached the round-of-16 and netting in the 3–1 group stage win over Nigeria.
Benítez was also selected for the 1999 Copa América, played on home soil, scoring three times: this included one in Paraguay's 1–1 quarter-final clash against Uruguay, where he also missed the decisive penalty shootout attempt.
- Nigeria – Paraguay 1–3 (1–1); Planet World Cup, 24 June 1998
- BDFutbol profile
- Miguel Ángel Benítez at National-Football-Teams.com
- Miguel Ángel Benítez – FIFA competition record