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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 25, 2010

Soccer: Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabanas shot in Mexico

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY A star player for Paraguay's World Cup team was shot in the head Monday in the bathroom of a Mexico City bar.

Salvador Cabanas, a forward for the Mexican team Club America, was in critical condition. He was conscious when he arrived at a hospital where he was being operated on to remove the bullet, team president Michel Bauer told Televisa network.

"He was a bit confused and didn't know what had happened and he was asking where they were taking him and why they were taking him there," Bauer said.

Two suspects were detained and details surrounding the shooting are unclear, Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera told Televisa. Mancera said Cabanas had gone to the bar with his wife and was shot before dawn.

Juan Angel Napout, president of Paraguay's soccer federation, said a doctor would travel to Mexico to accompany Cabanas.

"We are praying for him," Napout said.

The 29-year-old player is a striker for the Paraguayan team that is grouped with defending champion Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia in the first round of the World Cup.

Cabanas has been playing in Mexico since 2003, when he was with the Jaguars. In 2006 he was sold to Club America. He has 125 goals in 218 games in Mexico and is one of the best strikers in the Mexican soccer league.

Steve Bruce, manager of the English club Sunderland, this month expressed interest in signing Cabanas.

Cabanas was honored as South America's soccer player of the year for 2007 by Uruguay's El Pais newspaper, the only time a player in Mexico has won the award. He is a former scoring champion in the Mexican and Chilean leagues.