Roque Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Roque Santa Cruz

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Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero (born 16 August 1981) is a Paraguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Paraguay national football team. Holder of a Spanish passport, Santa Cruz is eligible for unrestricted selection in all European Union-based sides.

Club career


Born in Asunción, Santa Cruz joined the Olimpia's youth academy at the age of nine where he became the top scorer during several seasons until the head coach of Olimpia's first team, the Uruguayan Luis Cubilla, invited Santa Cruz to practice with the first team squad at the age of 15. His professional debut was in 1997 at the age of sixteen. Santa Cruz's club performance led Olimpia to a Paraguayan championship in the 1998–99 season, and the winning of the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year award. Aged 17, Santa Cruz participated in the 1998 Copa Mercosur where Olimpia reached the semi-finals. During the first-leg quarter-finals match against Vélez Sársfield on 27 October he scored in the 65th minute as Olimpia won 4–3. In the second leg on 4 November he scored two first half goals as Olimpia won 2–1 to advance to the semi-finals. All three goals were scored past his international goal keeper team mate Jose Chilavert. During his time at Olimpia he earned the nickname 'Babygoal'. Olimpia's president, who at the time was Osvaldo Domínguez Dibb, had assessed...
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