Roberto Acuña

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Roberto Acuña
ROBERTO ACUÑA (17028268530, cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full name Roberto Miguel Acuña Cabello
Date of birth (1972-03-25) 25 March 1972 (age 47)
Place of birth Avellaneda, Argentina
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1993 Nacional
1993–1994 Argentinos Juniors 33 (4)
1994–1995 Boca Juniors 31 (3)
1995–1997 Indepediente 65 (3)
1997–2002 Zaragoza 153 (20)
2002–2006 Deportivo La Coruña 14 (0)
2003–2004Elche (loan) 26 (2)
2004Al Ain (loan) 4 (0)
2007 Rosario Central 4 (0)
2007 Olimpia 16 (3)
2009–2012 Rubio Ñu 97 (15)
2013–2014 12 de Octubre 8 (1)
2015 Deportivo Recoleta 11 (2)
2016–2017 Rubio Ñu 23 (0)
Total 485 (53)
National team
1993–2011 Paraguay 100 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Roberto Miguel Acuña Cabello (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈβeɾto miˈɣel aˈkuɲa kaˈβeʎo]; born 25 March 1972) is a Paraguayan former footballer.

Nicknamed El Toro (bull) due to his strength and dominating presence, he operated mainly as a central midfielder. He spent several years as a professional in Spain at Zaragoza and Deportivo, appearing rarely for the latter club.

Acuña played 100 times for Paraguay, representing the nation in three World Cups and four Copa América tournaments.

Club career[edit]

Acuña was born in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Argentina, emigrating to Paraguay at a young age and starting playing for Club Nacional in 1989. After five years, he decided to acquire the country's citizenship to play for the national team, eventually becoming the second most capped player in Paraguay's history, second only to Carlos Gamarra.

Afterwards, Acuña played four seasons back in Argentina, with Argentinos Juniors, Club Atlético Independiente and Boca Juniors, before moving to Europe in 1997 where he signed with Spain's Real Zaragoza. With the Aragonese he was an everpresent midfield fixture, helping the side to the 2001 conquest of the Copa del Rey.[1][2] In 2001, he won the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year award.[3]

Consequently, Acuña attracted attention from Deportivo de La Coruña, which bought the player for five years and 11 million even though he was still due a five-match suspension from the previous season, where Zaragoza was relegated.[4] With the Galicians, however, he never appeared more than seven times in the league during his spell, also struggling with injuries[5] and being often loaned.[6]

Acuña first retired in 2007, finishing his career in Paraguay with Olimpia Asunción. However, in 2009, he came out of inactivity, signing with lowly Club Rubio Ñu; in 2012, the 40-year-old joined Club 12 de Octubre.

In 2015, aged 43, Acuña helped Deportivo Recoleta gain promotion to the Paraguayan Primera División B.[7][8] In December of that year, he re-joined former club Rubio Ñu.[9][10]

International career[edit]

Like central defender Gamarra, Acuña appeared in three FIFA World Cups – 1998, 2002 and 2006 – and collected 100 caps in total, scoring five goals.[11][12] He played in all the matches for the national in all three editions, and was the first Paraguayan to be sent off in a World Cup when he elbowed Germany's Michael Ballack in the last minute of the 0–1 round-of-16 loss on 15 June 2002 (for a second bookable offense).[13]

In the build-up to the 2006 World Cup, Acuña made headlines in Sweden after reportedly having asked a FIFA employee to phone and try to arrange a date with a female photographer.[14] He retired from international competition on 11 June 2011 at the age of 39, captaining Paraguay in a friendly with Romania.[15]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Paraguay's goal tally first.[16][17][18][19]
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 30 June 1995 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Ecuador 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 11 June 1997 Estadio Félix Capriles, Cochabamba, Bolivia  Chile 1–0 1–0 1997 Copa América
3. 6 July 1997 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Argentina 1–2 1–2 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 3 June 1998 Stadionul Steaua, Bucharest, Romania  Romania 2–2 2–3 Friendly
5. 16 August 2000 Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Argentina 1–0 1–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification







  1. ^ Llegó el Frente y se fue el Atlético (The Front arrived and Atlético left); ABC, 21 June 2001 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ a b "Zaragoza, no hay quinta Copa mala" [Zaragoza, no such thing as a bad fifth Cup] (in Spanish). ABC. 1 July 2001. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b El historial del galardón (Award's history); ABC Color, 29 December 2008 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Deportivo swoop for Acuña; UEFA, 10 July 2002
  5. ^ Acuña despair for Deportivo; UEFA, 17 April 2003
  6. ^ Deportivo return for 'Toro'; UEFA, 1 February 2005
  7. ^ "La edad no para al Toro y seguirá en actividad" [Age cannot stop the Bull and he will remain active] (in Spanish). Hoy. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  8. ^ "El Toro, interminable, suma otro título en su carrera con Recoleta" [The Bull, endless, adds another career title with Recoleta] (in Spanish). D10. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  9. ^ "La vuelta al ruedo del "Toro" Acuña" [The "Bull" Acuña returns to the arena] (in Spanish). ABC Color. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  10. ^ ""En nuestra época nadie se sacaba selfies"" ["In our time no one took selfies"] (in Spanish). Hoy. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  11. ^ Roberto Miguel Acuña – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
  12. ^ Paraguay – Record International Players; at RSSSF
  13. ^ "Germany edge out Paraguay". BBC Sport. 15 June 2002. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Paraguayan football star Acuña was behind the invite". Dagens Nyheter. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Paraguay vence a Rumania en despedida del "Toro" Acuña" [Paraguay beat Romania in farewell of "Toro" Acuña] (in Spanish). ABC Color. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  16. ^ "1995 Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  17. ^ "1997 Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  18. ^ "1998 Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ "2000 Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Supercopa Libertadores 1995 – Full Details". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 October 2017.

External links[edit]