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Carlos Gamarra
Gamarra in 2019
Personal information
Full name Carlos Alberto Gamarra Pavón
Date of birth (1971-02-17) 17 February 1971 (age 53)
Place of birth Ypacaraí, Paraguay
Height 1.80 m
Playing position Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1992 Cerro Porteño 35 (2)
1992–1993 Independiente 8 (0)
1993–1995 Cerro Porteño 49 (2)
1995–1997 Internacional 59 (5)
1997 Benfica 13 (0)
1998–1999 Corinthians 31 (3)
1999–2000 Atlético Madrid 32 (1)
2000–2002 Flamengo 4 (1)
2001–2002 AEK Athens (loan) 24 (0)
2002–2005 Internazionale 27 (0)
2005–2006 Palmeiras 33 (2)
2007 Olimpia 25 (1)
Total 340 (17)
National team
1992–2004 Paraguay U23 18 (6)
1993–2006 Paraguay 110 (12)
Representing  Paraguay
Men's Football
Silver 2004 Athens Team Competition
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Carlos Alberto Gamarra Pavón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɾlos alˈβeɾto ɣaˈmara paˈβon]) (born 17 February 1971) is a Paraguayan former professional footballer who played as a centre back. He captained the Paraguay national team at international level and was for a long time the most capped player in Paraguayan football history, having made 110 international appearances and scoring 12 goals. Throughout his career, Gamarra was known for his leadership, physical strength, ability in the air, heading accuracy, and outstanding tackling skills, which made him one of the most respected defenders in South America.

Gamarra appeared for the Paraguay national team 110 times, scoring 12 goals, from 1993 to 2006, representing the team at 10 major tournaments and captained the squad during the latter part of his career. He is the second most capped player of the national team, his record being broken by Paulo da Silva in 2013. Gamarra appeared for Paraguay at three FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2006), five Copa América tournaments (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2004), and twice at the Summer Olympic Games (1992 and 2004, with Paraguay claiming Silver Medals in the latter). Gamarra was named as the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year in 1997 and 1998, and was also included in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament.

Club career

Born in Ypacarai, Gamarra began his club career playing for Cerro Porteño in his home country in 1991, and went on to win the Paraguayan national championship with Cerro in 1992. He moved to Independiente for the 1992–93 football season in Argentina, but stayed only briefly before moving back to Cerro Porteño.

In 1995, Gamarra joined Internacional in Brazil, where his profile grew, eventually resulting in the naming of him as Paraguayan Footballer of the Year in 1997 by the Paraguayan newspaper Diario ABC Color (an achievement which Gamarra repeated in 1998). He moved to S.L. Benfica for the Portuguese 1997–1998 season, before returning to Brazil, this time with SC Corinthians, where he won Serie A Brazilian Championship in 1998.

After finishing the 1999 Brazilian football season with Corinthians, he moved to the Spanish league, after the Brazilian club agreed with Atlético Madrid for 9 million USD in June 1999. Atlético were surprisingly relegated in 2000, and Gamarra briefly moved back to Brazil, this time joining Flamengo. The 2001–2002 season was more successful for Gamarra, as was loaned AEK Athens in Greece in a transfer record of 5m€ for the club. There he played in 24 league games and won the Greek Cup. He also became a favorite player of the AEK fans.

On the back of his World Cup performance in 2002, he joined Internazionale in Italy's Serie A for the 2002–03 season. In his first pre-season, he scored the winning goal in the Pirelli Cup final against A.S. Roma. Inter finished the season as runners-up in the league, with Gamarra making 14 appearances. His next season at the club was less successful, as Inter finished fourth in the league, and Gamarra made only 10 appearances. He remained at Inter for the 2004–2005 season, but after another season largely spent on the bench he joined the Brazilian side Palmeiras in July 2005. In 2007, Gamarra decided to return to Paraguay to end his football career and signed for Olimpia. Gamarra decided to retire after the 2007 season being Olimpia his last professional club

International career

Gamarra's first international cap came against Bolivia on 27 March 1993, a game which Paraguay lost 2–1. He stayed at Cerro Porteño until 1995.

Gamarra made his first big impact in international football during Paraguay's campaign at 1998 FIFA World Cup, in the second round of which Paraguay were knocked out by France (the eventual winners). Gamarra played in all four of Paraguay's games, garnering great respect for his defensive skills, and did not concede a single foul in any of his side's matches. FIFA named him as part of the All-Star team of the World Cup. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Paraguay were once again knocked out in the second round. Gamarra played every single minute of Paraguay's campaign, and again completed his side's participation without conceding a foul.

Gamarra captained the Paraguay side to a silver medal in the football tournament at the 2004 Summer Olympics Olympic Games, losing 1–0 to Argentina in the final. On 4 August, before the Summer Olympics began, he played in a preparation game against the Portugal of Cristiano Ronaldo in the city of Algarve, resulting in a 5–0 defeat.

In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gamarra was the first player in the tournament to score an own goal, from an incoming free kick from David Beckham in his team's opening match against England, which eventually led to England's 1–0 win. (Scored after just three minutes, this became the fastest World Cup finals own goal in history, until the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Sead Kolašinac scored just after two minutes playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina against Argentina in the group stages.) During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gamarra announced his retirement from the Paraguay national team.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cerro Porteño 1991 Paraguayan Primera División 23 0
1992 21 2
Total 44 2
Independiente 1992–93 Argentine Primera División 8 0
Cerro Porteño 1993 Primera División 15 0
1994 24 1
1995 10 1
Total 49 2
Internacional 1995 Série A 17 0
1996 17 1
1997 0 0
Total 34 1
Benfica 1997–98 Primeira Divisão 13 0
Corinthians 1998 Série A 31 3
Atlético Madrid 1999–00 La Liga 32 0
Flamengo 2000 Série A 4 1
AEK Athens (loan) 2001–02 Super League 24 0
Inter Milan 2002–03 Serie A 14 0
2003–04 10 0
2004–05 3 0
Total 27 0
Palmeiras 2005 Série A 30 1
2006 3 1
Total 33 2
Olimpia 2007 Paraguayan Primera División 25 1
Career total 324 12


Scores and results list Paraguay U23's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Gamarra goal.
List of international goals scored by Carlos Gamarra
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 30 July 1992 Estadio Luis Casanova, Valencia, Spain  Morocco 3–0 3–1 1992 Summer Olympics
2 15 August 2004 Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Thessaloniki, Greece  Ghana 1–0 1–2 2004 Summer Olympics


Cerro Porteño

  • Paraguayan League: 1990, 1992


  • Campeonato Gaúcho: 1997



  • Campeonato Carioca: 2001
  • Copa dos Campeões: 2001

AEK Athens

  • Greek football Cup: 2002



  • Silver medal, Olympic Games: 2004


  • El País South America Ideal Team of the Year: 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2005
  • Paraguayan Footballer of the Year: 1997, 1998
  • FIFA World Cup: All-star team 1998
  • 1998 Best Defender CONMEBOL
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2005
  • Bola de Prata: 1998, 2005

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Carlos Gamarra para niños

  • List of men's footballers with 100 or more international caps
  • Players and Records in Paraguayan Football
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