Monday, January 25, 2010

Add to Missing Players: Paraguay Striker Shot

Knee injuries. Ankle injuries. Those happen to soccer players, and we are trying to keep track of them for you as they relate to the World Cup.

But getting shot in the head while sitting in a bar with your wife? Not remotely as common. Thank goodness.

Paraguayan standout forward Salvador Cabanas was shot in a Mexico City bar early Monday morning and is in serious condition -- with a bullet still in his skill.

It brings to mind that playing soccer can be a dangerous life, in Latin America.

One of Colombia's starting defenders, Andres Escobar, was shot to death outside a bar in Medellin in 1994. Some believe he was killed because he allowed an own goal in the 1994 World Cup, just a few days before, leading to a 2-1 defeat vs. the United States and to Colombia leaving the tournament after group play -- when no less an authority than Pele had suggested Colombia could win the tournament.

But others suggest Escobar's slaying was just a shootout outside a bar (not an uncommon event in Colombia, then or now), and Escobar was hit.

What Cabanas shares with Escobar, besides coming from South America, is that he was in a dangerous place when he was shot -- a bar in a Latin city known for drug trade/wars.

(Cabanas is in Mexico City because he plays for Club America, based in the Mexican capital.)

It now seems as if Cabanas will do well to survive the attack. Thinking that he will be able to play for Paraguay in South Africa 2010 is getting ahead of a sad story.

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