At 37 years of age, Nelson Haedo Valdez decided to end his long sporting career. The “León Guaraní” is one of the historic players of the Paraguayan soccer team.
Quickly quoting, in his resume he has scored the goals that classified the beloved Albirroja to two world championships in a row: for Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010.
His first appearance dates back to the 2003 Under-20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. There he played 4 games and scored a goal, specifically against Germany on December 5 in the 2-0 Guarani victory. There, the Albirroja reached the round of 16, in which they lost 1-0 to Spain.
Immediately afterwards, he already played his first Copa América. It was in 2004 in Peru, having his debut in the absolute on July 9 against Costa Rica, in the success of the national team 1-0. It was not for him to convert in that tournament, an edition in which Paraguay reached the quarterfinals.
His first goal with the Albirroja absolute took place on August 17 in Ciudad del Este in a friendly against El Salvador. However, his first official goal occurred on October 8 of that same year for Qualifiers against Venezuela in Maracaibo. That said, they qualified Paraguay for the 2006 World Cup. In that World Cup event, Haedo played three games and Albirroja was eliminated in the group stage.
With more experience, Nelson once again scored one of the most shouted goals in recent times: so far, he is the author of the last goal that qualified the Paraguayan soccer team. It was on September 9, 2009 in the 1-0 against Argentina, played in Defensores del Chaco and that earned the ticket to the selection to South Africa 2010.
The “León” played all five games for Paraguay in the 2010 World Cup. He also scored his penalty in the shootout against Japan, which served to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time. He was in the historic quarterfinal match against Spain, in fact he scored a goal that was mistakenly disallowed for allegedly advanced position.
Nelson continued to enhance his legacy in the national team and played in the 2011 Copa América, a contest in which he reached the final of the tournament. Four games played and one goal was the contribution of the former striker.
Later, he played the 2015 Copa América and obtained a third place, also the 2016 Copa América, where the Guaraní team was eliminated in the first phase. His last goal with Paraguay was registered in the 2015 Copa América on June 13 of that year against Argentina, so much so that it served for the comeback.
There were 76 games with the Albirroja absolute, 13 goals, 4 America’s Cup and two World Cups for an exemplary career.