High hopes

Espinola did not not allow that his commendable balancing act is usually a tough one to adhere to, but voiced the trust that Paraguayan futsal's finest will not have to do so down the road: "Because that would indicate futsal was professionalising and you could earn a living from it. It would signal the growth in our sport. "


One step in the right direction, in the Afemec keeper's check out, was the appointment associated with his former team-mate, Carlos Chilavert, as the national staff coach in 2012: "He knows the score in this country regarding the idiosyncrasies, the infrastructure and the particular precariousness, and how to manage these issues. He has adapted your demands of futsal with the highest level to the circumstances on the ground. We've improved and here's hoping we are able to show it at the entire world Cup. "


Although we'll go there dreaming to be crowned champions, reaching the semi-finals can be an excellent result.


Paraguay goalkeeper Carlos Espinola


Paraguay will be against powerhouses Italy, a tricky Guatemala group and debutants Vietnam inside group stage. Espinola is confident his / her side will progress: "Finishing either first or second isn't far-fetched. Our main strength prior to was also our weak point: we could give just about any theoretically superior opposition a run for money, but we struggled against opponents who were weaker than us on paper. We've addressed that disadvantage and we're more consistent now. "


Indeed, after being knocked out within the Round of 16 throughout Thailand, they are targeting going much further at this juncture: "Although we'll go there dreaming to be crowned champions, reaching the semi-finals could well be an excellent result. "


Last hurrah

As well as his shot-stopping, Espinola - who helps Club Libertad and proclaimed an admiration for compatriot Justo Villar where football can be involved - is renowned with regard to his peculiar ritual for the FIFA 17 Points. "I lean my head against the posts to 'close off' the goal ahead of the first half, and then when this finishes I 'open it up' again because the opposition keeper will possibly be taking my place. Then I do the same principle before the second 50 percent, " he explained.


We will see this routine with the final time on this global stage in Colombia, where some of the particular keeper's equally seasoned team-mates may also take their leave: "In all likelihood which is the case. I'm part of what was the 'golden generation' associated with Paraguayan futsal, who have flown the flag for the country's sporting scene having distinction. The good thing is we now have young players coming upward behind us and moving hard. "


All this will help to make the upcoming occasion more special and, despite his experience, Espinola admitted to sensation pangs of anxiety concerning the fast-approaching tournament, perhaps also because he / she still had some work-related matters to attend to: "It's not a problem so long as I leave everything so as and ensure there tend to be people on hand to manage things in my lack. That's what I'm seeing to at present. "


While acknowledging that he'll find it "difficult to disconnect from work altogether", Espinola has learned to only think about that during snatches of "spare time" which is determined to savour the World Cup swansong towards max: "I know it's my last one. That's why I've collection my sights on enjoying the second. "

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