|Full name||Óscar René Cardozo Marín|
|Date of birth||20 May 1983|
|Place of birth||Juan Eulogio Estigarribia, Paraguay|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Club 24 de Junio|
|2006–2007||Newell's Old Boys||33||(21)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 April 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Óscar René Cardozo Marín (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈo̞skaɾ re̞ˈne̞ karˈð̞o̞so̞ maˈɾin], born 20 May 1983) is a Paraguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for S.L. Benfica in Portugal and the Paraguayan national team.
Known for his powerful left-foot shot and free-kick skills, he first gained notoriety whilst playing for Newell's Old Boys, which led to a move to Benfica, where he scored nearly 200 official goals and won five major titles, namely the 2010 national championship where he also was the top scorer.
Beginnings / Newell's
Born in Juan Eulogio Estigarribia, Cardozo started his senior career with modest Club Atlético 3 de Febrero of Ciudad del Este, helping it to the second division championship. In 2004 he moved to the top level with Asunción's Club Nacional, where he quickly established himself as the team's top scorer, scoring 17 overall goals in his last season.
Cardozo arrived at Argentina and Newell's Old Boys in the second half of the 2006–07 season for a transfer fee of US$1.2 million, joining compatriots Diego Gavilán, Santiago Salcedo and Justo Villar. He netted 11 goals in only 16 games in the Apertura, but his team could only finish 18th in the tournament, and 13th overall; as a result of his performances, he was voted the 2006 Paraguayan Footballer of the Year.
On 21 June 2007 Cardozo officially signed for Portuguese club S.L. Benfica, after being bought for an approximate amount of €9.2 million for 80% of his playing rights– this made him the second most expensive signing in the club's history, only surpassed by Simão Sabrosa for whom the club paid €12 million in 2001. He finished his first season with 22 official goals, but the Reds came out empty in silverware; on 22 February 2008, he scored a last-minute goal against 1. FC Nuremberg for the campaign's UEFA Cup (2–2 away draw, 3–2 aggregate win): thus, he kept his promise of surpassing the 20-goal mark.
In 2008–09 Cardozo scored 17 goals, all in the league, including the equalizer against F.C. Porto on 30 August 2008. He finished second in the Bola de Prata race, losing only to Liédson of Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Cardozo had a very positive 2009–10 pre-season, netting eight times in ten matches. On 31 August 2009, in the third league game, he scored a hat-trick in an 8–1 home demolition of Vitória de Setúbal. On 22 October, in the Europa League group stage match against Everton, Tacuara netted twice in two minutes in an eventual 5–0 thrashing at the Estádio da Luz, and added a further three in the league against C.D. Nacional (6–1, at home), and with Académica de Coimbra (4–0, home).
In the Europa League quarter-finals against Liverpool, Cardozo scored two penalties for a 2–1 home win. He also found the net in the second leg at Anfield with a free kick, but in a 1–4 loss and subsequent elimination; as Benfica won the national championship, adding the year's domestic League Cup, he finished with a career-high 38 goals in 47 matches (26 in the domestic league, leading Porto's Radamel Falcao by only one), partnering well with Argentine Javier Saviola. On June 2013, Manuel Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, declared his interest on the Paraguayan international.
At the end of the 2011–12 campaign Cardozo was crowned Portuguese League top scorer for the second time at 20 goals – joint with S.C. Braga's Lima – as Benfica finished in second position. On 10 December 2012 he scored three in a 3–1 derby win at Sporting (even though one of the goals was initially attributed to Marcos Rojo as an own goal), repeating the feat the following week at home against C.S. Marítimo (4–1), which resulted in him surpassing the 100-goal mark in the Portuguese League.
On 2 January 2013, Cardozo took his season tally to 21 goals in 19 official games after netting three in a 6–0 home routing of C.D. Aves for the campaign's Portuguese Cup. On 2 May he scored his fifth and sixth in eight contests in the season's Europa League, being crucial to a 3–1 home win against Fenerbahçe S.K. in the semifinals second leg with the subsequent 3–2 aggregate qualification to the final in Amsterdam; in the decisive match he netted from the penalty spot in the 68th minute for the 1–1 equalizer against Chelsea, who eventually won it 2–1.
Cardozo was replaced after 70 minutes in the domestic cup final on 26 May 2013, with Benfica leading 1–0 but eventually losing 1–2 to Vitória de Guimarães. At the end of the game he angrily confronted manager Jorge Jesus, inclusively pushing him; he later apologised for his actions, being fined for half of his monthly salary.
Cardozo started the new season after his teammates due to the controversy, but soon returned to his scoring ways. On 9 November 2013, he put three past Sporting in a 4–3 home win for the domestic cup's fourth round.
On 14 May 2014 Cardozo had his penalty shootout attempt saved by Sevilla FC's Beto, in an eventual Europa League final loss. He still finished the campaign with 11 goals all competitions comprised, including seven in the domestic league which was won for the 33rd time.
On 7 October 2006 Cardozo made his international debut for Paraguay, in an exhibition game with Australia, and he scored his first goal on 5 June of the following year in another friendly, now against Mexico. He was selected for the squad that appeared in that year's Copa América: the tournament in Venezuela ended in the quarterfinals and the player netted once, in a 3–1 group stage win against the United States.
Cardozo scored two goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification stages, as Paraguay qualified for the finals in South Africa. On 29 June 2010 he netted the winning penalty in the shootout against Japan (5–3 victory), as La Albirroja qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever; in the following game, however, with the score at 0–0, he missed a 59th-minute penalty against Spain, in a 0–1 defeat against the eventual champions.
|1||5 June 2007||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Mexico||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|2||28 June 2007||Estadio Agustín Tovar, Barinas, Venezuela||United States||1–2||1–3||2007 Copa América|
|3||15 October 2008||Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Peru||1–0||1–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|4||10 October 2009||Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela||Venezuela||0–2||1–2||2010 World Cup qualification|
|5||29 March 2011||LP Field, Nashville, United States||United States||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|6||2 September 2011||Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama||Panama||0–1||0–2||Friendly|
|7||6 September 2011||Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||0–2||0–3||Friendly|
|8||6 September 2011||Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras||Honduras||0–3||0–3||Friendly|
|9||15 August 2012||RFK Stadium, Washington DC, United States||Guatemala||0–1||3–3||Friendly|
- 3 de Febrero
- Primeira Liga: 2009–10, 2013–14
- Taça de Portugal: 2013–14; Runner-up 2012–13
- Taça da Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14
- UEFA Europa League: Runner-up 2012–13, 2013–14
- Paraguayan Footballer of the Year: 2006, 2009
- Primeira Liga: Top scorer 2009–10, 2011–12
- SJPF Player of the Month: May 2009
- Taça de Portugal: Top scorer 2007–08, 2010–11, 2012–13
- UEFA Europa League: Top scorer 2009–10
- Goal.com Team of the Year: 2009–10
|3 de Febrero||2003||*||*||*||*||-||-||0||0||*||*|
|Newell's Old Boys||2006–07||33||21||*||*||-||-||*||*||33||21|
*Includes one match in the Portuguese Supercup
- "Hélder Postiga, Oscar Cardozo e Rui Patrício: O estigma do Patinho Feio" [Hélder Postiga, Oscar Cardozo and Rui Patrício: The Ugly Duckling stigma] (in Portuguese). Futebol 365. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "Cardozo treinava livres e à noite ia para a escola" [Cardozo practiced free kicks and went to school at night] (in Portuguese). Record. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "José Saturnino Cardozo – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (in Portuguese). CMVM. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Paraguayan striker Cardozo joins Benfica; ESPN Soccernet, 21 June 2007
- Oscar "Tacuara" Cardozo cumplió con su promesa de llegar a los veinte goles (Oscar "Tacuara" Cardozo kept promise of reaching twenty goals); Somos Paraguay (Spanish)
- Futebol: Liga (3.ª jornada) – Benfica dá 8–1 ao Setúbal e sobe a segundo (Football: League (3rd round) – Benfica hands Setúbal 8–1 and moves to second); Jornal de Notícias, 31 August 2009 (Portuguese)
- Benfica 5–0 Everton; BBC Sport, 22 October 2009
- Europa League: Everton humbled, Fulham denied; ESPN Soccernet, 22 October 2009
- Ashenden, Mark (1 April 2010). "Benfica 2–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- Bevan, Chris (8 April 2010). "Liverpool 4–1 Benfica (agg 5–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- "Benfica triumph in the Lisbon derby". PortuGOAL. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Benfica hammer ten-man Marítimo to go clear at table top". PortuGOAL. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Benfica annihilate Aves". PortuGOAL. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Cardozo double helps Benfica clinch final berth". UEFA.com. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Ivanović heads Chelsea to Europa League glory". UEFA.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Guimarães claim famous cup win". PortuGOAL. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Cardozo apologises to Jesus". ESPN FC. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Cardozo foi multado em mais de 65 mil euros" [Cardozo fined more than 65 thousand euros] (in Portuguese). Record. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "Luisão's extra time header eliminates Sporting in exhilarating derby". PortuGOAL. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Gardner, Paul (15 May 2014). "Brazen goalkeeper cheating helps Sevilla win Europa League". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Australia – Paraguay 1:1; Footballdatabase, 7 October 2006
- Mexico – Paraguay 0:1; Footballdatabase, 5 June 2007
- Fletcher, Paul (29 June 2010). "Paraguay 0–0 Japan (5–3 pens)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Fletcher, Paul (3 July 2010). "Paraguay 0–1 Spain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
- "O. Cardozo". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Óscar Cardozo at ESPN FC
- "Ramón Cardozo: ¿El hermano perdido?" [Ramón Cardozo: The lost brother?] (in Spanish). Dechalaca. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Benfica official profile (Portuguese)
- Stats and profile at Zerozero
- Stats at ForaDeJogo
- PortuGOAL profile
- Óscar Cardozo at National-Football-Teams.com
- Óscar Cardozo – FIFA competition record
- 2010 FIFA World Cup profile