What ever happened to? Diego Gavilán

Gavilán in Newcastle colours.
In 1999 Newcastle United became the first English side to sign a Paraguayan player by signing 19 year old midfielder Diego Gavilán from Paraguayan side Cerro Porteño for a fee of £2 million after he played in the 1999 Copa América where he was one of the youngest players in the squad after Roque Santa Cruz and Nelson Cuevas..

Newcastle were building a team studded with South American players and by the 2000-01 season Newcastle had Gavilán, Nolberto Solano, Clarence Acuña, and Cristian Bassedas in midfield.

Gavilán made his league debut in a 2-2 draw with Sunderland but he never established himself as a first team player, he only ever started 2 games for Newcastle and made a further 6 appearances as a substitute. He scored his only goal for the club in a 2-0 win against Coventry City in April 2000.

By 2002 it was clear that Gavilán was not part of Newcastle United's long term plans so he was sent out on loan to a succession of clubs. He played for UAG Tecos of Mexico between 2001 and 2002 and while he was there he was picked to play for Paraguay in the 2002 World Cup where he played in all 3 of Paraguay's group games. He spent 2003 with Internacional of Brazil where he won the 2003 Campeonato Gaúcho. In 2004 he returned to Europe to join Italian side Udinese.

When Gavilán's contract with Newcastle expired in 2004 he returned to Internacional of Porto Alegre, Brazil where he was won another Campeonato Gaúcho in 2005 and was part of the squad that finished as runners up in the Brasiliero 2005, although he had already left to join Argentine club Newell's Old Boys by the time the Brasiliero had finished.

Gavilán played 43 times for
the Paraguay national team.
Gavilán enjoyed 2 seasons with Newell's where he played alongside fellow Paraguay internationals Justo Villar, Oscar Cardoso and Santiago Salcedo. During this time he was selected for his 2nd Paraguay World Cup squad but he did not play in any of the games in 2006. He made his 43rd and last appearance for Paraguay in 2007.

After the summer of 2007 he returned to Puerto Alegre in Brazil to play for Grêmio who are the traditional rivals of his former team Internacional. He only stayed with Grêmio for the remainder of 2007. In 2008 he had short stints with two more Brazilian teams Portuguesa and Flamengo where he was part of the squad that won the 2008 Campeonato Carioca, his 3rd Brazilian state championship.

In 2009 he returned to Argentina to play for Avellaneda giants Independiente but he only made 5 league appearances for the club before being released after Américo Gallego took over as manager.

In 2010 he returned to Paraguay to play for Olimpia, the fierce local rivals of his first club Cerro Porteño, it is the second time in his career that he betrayed one of his former clubs by joining their fiercest local rivals and at 30 years of age it seems that he still has a good few years left to make a surprise return to England to play for Sunderland!

See also

Part of the What ever happened to? series.

1 comment:

  1. My response to someone that claimed that some lazy, inaccurate and virtually fact free piece of crud is better than my article: