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Óscar Cardozo

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Óscar Cardozo

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Cardozo and the second or maternal family name is Marín.

Óscar Cardozo
Personal information
Full nameÓscar René Cardozo Marín
Date of birth (1983-05-20) 20 May 1983 (age 31)
Place of birthJuan Eulogio Estigarribia, Paraguay
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing positionStriker
Club information
Current clubBenfica
Number7
Youth career
Club 24 de Junio
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2003–20043 Febrero34(20)
2004–2006Nacional (PY)63(22)
2006–2007Newell's Old Boys33(21)
2007–Benfica164(108)
National team
2006–Paraguay46(9)
Template:Infobox medal templates
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 September 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 March 2013

Óscar René Cardozo Marín (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈo̞skaɾ re̞ˈne̞ karˈð̞o̞so̞ maˈɾin], born 20 May 1983) is a Paraguayan professional footballer who plays for S.L. Benfica in Portugal, as a striker.

Known for his powerful left-foot shot and free-kick skills,[1][2] 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.

Nicknamed "Tacuara" (Big cane in Guarani), Cardozo gained more than 45 caps for Paraguay, representing the nation at the 2010 World Cup.[3]

Club career

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.

Benfica

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[4][5]– 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.[6]

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 a 8–1 home demolition of Vitória de Setúbal.[7] 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,[8][9] 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.[10] He also found the net in the second leg at Anfield with a free kick, but in a 1–4 loss and subsequent elimination;[11] 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),[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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;[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18][19]

International career

On 7 October 2006 Cardozo made his international debut for Paraguay, in an exhibition game with Australia,[20] and he scored his first goal on 5 June of the following year in another friendly, now against Mexico.[21] 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;[22] 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.[23]

Cardozo was overlooked by coach Gerardo Martino for the 2011 Copa América squad, in spite of scoring 23 official goals for Benfica.

International goals

Óscar Cardozo: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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

Honours

Club

3 de Febrero
Benfica

Individual

Statistics

Club

As of 15 May 2013.[24][25]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
3 de Febrero 2003 * * * * - - 0 0 * *
2004 * * * * - - 0 0 * *
Total 34 20 * * - - 0 0 34 20
Nacional 2004 14 3 * * - - 0 0 14 3
2005 29 9 * * - - 0 0 29 9
2006 20 10 * * - - 0 0 20 10
Total 63 22 * * - - 0 0 63 22
Newell's Old Boys 2006–07 33 21 * * - - * * 33 21
Total 33 21 * * - - * * 33 21
Benfica 2007–08 29 13 5 5 0 0 11 4 45 22
2008–09 26 17 2 0 4 0 3 0 35 17
2009–10 29 26 0 0 5 2 13 10 47 38
2010–11 22 12 5 5 2 1 12 5 42* 23
2011–12 29 20 0 0 4 3 12 5 45 28
2012–13 25 17 5 6 2 1 14 9 46 33
2013-14 5 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 7 3
Total 165 108 17 16 17 7 67 33 267* 164
Career total 295 171 17 16 17 7 67 33 397* 227

*Includes one match in the Portuguese Supercup

International

Paraguay national team
Year Apps Goals
2006 2 0
2007 10 2
2008 10 1
2009 7 1
2010 6 0
2011 7 4
2012 3 1
2013 1 0
Total 46 9

Personal life

In spite of the same surname, a similar nickname and physical resemblance, he is not related to Ramón Cardozo (aka "Tacuarita"), who is also a footballer and a forward.[26]

References

External links

  • Benfica official profile (Portuguese)
  • Stats and profile at Zerozero
  • Stats at ForaDeJogo
  • PortuGOAL profile
  • Óscar Cardozo at National-Football-Teams.com
  • FIFA competition record
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup profile
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