Salvador Cabañas

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Salvador Cabañas
Salvador Cabañas.png
Personal information
Full name Salvador Cabañas Ortega
Date of birth (1980-08-05) 5 August 1980 (age 37)
Place of birth Asunción, Paraguay
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Striker, Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2001 12 de Octubre 28 (14)
1999 Guaraní (loan) 20 (6)
2001–2003 Audax Italiano 53 (29)
2003–2006 Chiapas 103 (59)
2006–2010 América 115 (66)
2012 12 de Octubre 14 (0)
2013 General Caballero
2013 12 de Octubre 0 (0)
2014 Tanabi 0 (0)
2014 Independiente PJC 4 (0)
Total 337 (174)
National team
1997 Paraguay U17 (3)
1999 Paraguay U20 (2)
2004–2010 Paraguay 44 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 June 2014.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2009

Salvador Cabañas Ortega (born 5 August 1980) is a retired Paraguayan football striker.

Cabañas played for Club 12 de Octubre, Guaraní, Audax Italiano, Chiapas, Club América, General Caballero, Tanabi Esporte Clube[1] and Independiente PJC. His football career saw him play in Paraguay, Chile, Mexico and Brazil.

Cabañas was also a member of the Paraguay national football team from 2004 to 2010, scoring 10 goals in 44 appearances and participating at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2007 Copa América. Cabañas was leading goal scorer of the 2007 and 2008 Copa Libertadores competitions. In 2007, he was awarded as both Paraguayan Footballer of the Year and South American Footballer of the Year. Cabañas had also been top-scorer in Chile and Mexico. He was known for his array of skills on the field such as excellent heading, accurate shooting with either foot, receptions in tight spaces, and a combination of technique, power and positional sense.[2]

Cabañas was shot in the head in January 2010, but survived the attack. Sixteen months after the assault he returned to football and participated in a tribute match for him between Paraguay's national team and Club América.[3]


Early years[edit]

Cabañas started his career at Club 12 de Octubre, where he was promoted to the first division by then coach Alicio Solalinde, scoring a 17 goals in his first season. He moved to a different team, Guaraní, where he had a brief stint before moving to Audax Italiano of Chile. In the 2003 Apertura tournament of the Chilean Primera División Cabañas netted 18 goals and was the top goalscorer.

Years in Mexico[edit]

Afterwards, he joined Chiapas of Mexico from Audax Italiano before the Mexican 2003 Apertura tournament. That season, Cabañas went on to play in 18 games for the team, scoring five goals. He came into his own in the 2004 Clausura however, as he scored 15 goals in 20 games for the club. He would lead the club in goals again in the 2004 Apertura, with eight in 16 matches.

Following the Clausura 2006 season in which Cabañas won his first goalscoring crown in the Mexican League, he attracted the attention of Club América, one of the most important clubs in the country, and was signed by the Mexico City squad prior to the Apertura 2006 season.

Cabañas became Club América's most prolific goalscorer for 2007, finishing up the first half of the year with an impressive 19 goals between 2007 Copa Libertadores (in which he became the top-scorer with 10 goals) and the Mexican Primera División. He started the second half of the year with a single goal in the North American SuperLiga, then scored 4 more goals in the 2007 Copa Sudamericana, and has scored 9 more in the Mexican Primera División, bringing his year's total with the club to 33 goals. His top form in 2007 earned him the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year and South American Footballer of the Year awards.

For 2008, Cabañas has started where he left off in 2007. He has scored 3 goals in the 2008 InterLiga, scored 8 in the 2008 Copa Libertadores (in which, for a consecutive second time, he became the top-scorer), and has scored 6 more goals in the Mexican Primera División. He started the second half of the year with 6 goals in the Mexican Primera División, bringing his year's total to 23 goals with the club.

Cabañas started 2009 by scoring his first goal in the 2009 InterLiga and scoring 13 more goals in the Mexican Primera División. He then finished the second half of the year with 12 goals in the Mexican Primera División. Taking his tally to 26 goals for the year. On January 18, against Santos Laguna, he scored two goals, taking his personal tally to 100 goals in the Mexican Primera División.[4]

In 2010, Cabañas again started the year scoring goals in the 2010 InterLiga, scoring four. In the two games he played in the 2010 Bicentenario, he scored two goals. His last game before being assaulted was on 24 January 2010 in a 2–0 loss against Morelia.[5]


Cabañas was shot in the head inside the "Bar Bar" night club, in Mexico City, on January 25, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.[6] According to the official police reports the assault was the result of a taunting incident in the bar's bathroom[7] between Cabañas and a mobster of the Beltrán-Leyva Drug-Cartel called José Balderas Garza, alias "JJ", who shot him.[8]

According to Cabañas ex-wife, the altercation was a result of Cabañas reacting against a robbery.[9]

Cabañas received medical attention during the early hours of 25 January 2010.[10] Later on the day he was submitted to a craniotomy but doctors decided that it was too risky to proceed and the bullet was not extracted. Cabañas left intensive care in late February and was hoping to fully recover in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but was not selected for the final Paraguay squad.[11] Doctors dealing with Cabañas have described his recovery so far as "tremendous".[12] However, it is announced he does have short-term memory loss and may not recover for another one to three years. He gave his first interview on 12 March 2010 in appreciation to all the people who prayed for him. In 2013, Cabañas gave his version of the incident which stated that in his opinion the attack occurred so that he would not play at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and that Paraguay would not be crowned champions of the competition.[13]

At that moment, Cabañas challenged the man, asking him 'what are you waiting for', noting to him that he had held the gun towards Cabañas for almost 10 minutes, and after a little bit, the man pulled the trigger on Cabañas shot his forehead.[14] He also stated that right after being shot, he went directly to heaven and spoke with God, who touched him on his forehead, where Cabañas had been shot, and told him that a long time remained until he was due to come to heaven and that he enjoy life and help those in need.[13]

Return to football[edit]

Cabañas signed a contract with Paraguayan third-division club 12 de Octubre, on January 20, 2012, two years after the assault.[15] He then made his competitive return to football on 14 April, starting and playing forty minutes, in the club's 2–0 win over Martín Ledesma in the opening round of the Primera B.[16] Salvador's side gained promotion into the Second Division of Paraguay where he will now compete on a regular basis.[17] Cabañas was invited to partake in a half time memorial appearance for Chiapas in a Liga MX match against Pumas. He received a standing ovation from the crowd at half time. Jaguares later went on to win the match 3–0.[18]

First retirement and return to football[edit]

On 26 January 2014, Cabañas announced his retirement from football, after having received an offer from Mexican second division side Murciélagos FC.[19][20] However, on 1 February 2014, it was announced that Cabañas had signed with Club 12 de Octubre, who had been promoted to the Paraguayan Primera División for the 2014 season.[21][22] On 16 February 2014, the day that Cabañas was meant to debut against Cerro Porteño in the Round 1 of the 2014 Paraguayan Primera División season, it was announced by club spokes man, Miguel Soloaga, that Cabañas would not participate in the competition due to his low form. Sologa stated that Cabañas was out of physical form and discarded from the Torneo Apertura but would continue to participate in the club's training sessions.[23]

Tanabi Esporte Clube[edit]

On 17 March 2014, it was announced that Cabañas had signed a three-month contract with São Paulo Série B (equivalent to the state fourth division) outfit Tanabi Esporte Clube. The club's president, Irineu Alves, travelled by car from Brazil to Paraguay in order to finalize the contract, stating that Cabañas was a big financial signing for the club.[24][25] On 18 May 2014, Cabañas had debuted for the club in a friendly against Gremio Barueri, which ended in a 2-2 draw, where Cabañas missed a penalty in the last minute.[26][27][28]

Second retirement[edit]

On 30 May 2014, Cabañas officially announced that he had retired due to not being able to maintain rhythm to play since being shot in the head in 2010.[29][30][31][32][33]

Independiente Fútbol Club PJC[edit]

On 27 June 2014, Cabañas came out of retirement and signed with Independiente Fútbol Club of Pedro Juan Caballero.[34] On 29 June 2014, Cabañas debuted for Independiente against former Primera División Paraguaya club Sportivo 2 de Mayo in the Liga Deportiva Amamby of the Paraguayan Cuarta División, entering the field in the 35th minute of the second half.[35]

International career[edit]

In 1997, Cabañas represented Paraguay's U17 team at the 1997 South American Under-17 Football Championship held in Paraguay, scoring 3 goals.[36] Two years later, Cabañas was selected in Paraguay's U20 squad to participate at the 1999 South American U-20 Championship, where he scored two goals.[37] Paraguay qualified for the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship as Cabañas was selected in the squad which featured Roque Santa Cruz and Nelson Cuevas.[38][39][40][41]

Cabañas debuted for the Paraguay national team during the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign. He was selected in the squad for the tournament finals but did not play.

He scored three goals in four matches in the 2007 Copa América as Paraguay reached the quarter-finals. He was the team's top scorer in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers with six goals, including one in a 2–0 win over Brazil in Asunción.


Stamps of Paraguay, 2014

Individual honors[edit]

  • Winner of the "Balón de Oro" as the best striker in the Clausura 2008 tournament [42]

International goals[edit]

As of July 3, 2010[43]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 27 March 2005 Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito, Ecuador  Ecuador 2–0 2–5 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 28 June 2007 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Colombia 4–0 5–0 2007 Copa América
3. 28 June 2007 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Colombia 5–0 5–0 2007 Copa América
4. 2 July 2007 Estadio Agustín Tovar, Barinas, Venezuela  United States 3–1 3–1 2007 Copa América
5. 21 November 2007 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile  Chile 1–0 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 15 June 2008 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Brazil 2–0 2–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 11 October 2008 Estadio El Campín, Bogotá, Colombia  Colombia 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. 10 June 2009 Estádio do Arruda, Recife, Brazil  Brazil 1–0 1–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
9. 5 September 2009 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Bolivia 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 10 October 2009 Puerto Ordaz, Polideportivo Cachamay, Venezuela  Venezuela 1–0 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification


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External links[edit]