Salvador Cabañas Ortega is a Paraguayan former footballer who played as a striker. Cabañas played for Club 12 de Octubre, Guaraní, Audax Italiano, Chiapas, Club América, General Caballero, Tanabi Esporte Clube and Independiente F.B.C.. His football career saw him play in Paraguay, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. Cabañas was also a member of the Paraguay national football team from 2004 to 2010, scoring 10 goals in 44 appearances and participating at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2007 Copa América. Cabañas was leading goal scorer of the 2007 and 2008 Copa Libertadores competitions. In 2007, he was awarded as both Paraguayan Footballer of the Year and South American Footballer of the Year. Cabañas had also been top-scorer in Chile and Mexico. He was known for his array of skills on the field such as excellent heading, accurate shooting with either foot, receptions in tight spaces, and a combination of technique, power and positional sense. Cabañas was shot in the head in January 2010, but survived the attack. Sixteen months after the assault he returned to football and participated in a tribute match for him between Paraguay’s national team and Club América.
Match Worn Boots
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Afterwards, he joined Chiapas of Mexico from Audax Italiano before the Mexican 2003 Apertura tournament. That season, Cabañas went on to play in 18 games for the team, scoring five goals. He came into his own in the 2004 Clausura however, as he scored 15 goals in 20 games for the club. He would lead the club in goals again in the 2004 Apertura, with eight in 16 matches. Following the Clausura 2006 season in which Cabañas won his first goalscoring crown in the Mexican League, he attracted the attention of Club América, one of the most important clubs in the country, and was signed by the Mexico City squad prior to the Apertura 2006 season. Cabañas became Club América’s most prolific goalscorer for 2007, finishing up the first half of the year with an impressive 19 goals between 2007 Copa Libertadores (in which he became the top-scorer with 10 goals) and the Mexican Primera División. He started the second half of the year with a single goal in the North American SuperLiga, then scored 4 more goals in the 2007 Copa Sudamericana, and has scored 9 more in the Mexican Primera División, bringing his year’s total with the club to 33 goals. His top form in 2007 earned him the Paraguayan Footballer of the Year and South American Footballer of the Year awards. For 2008, Cabañas has started where he left off in 2007. He has scored 3 goals in the 2008 InterLiga, scored 8 in the 2008 Copa Libertadores (in which, for a consecutive second time, he became the top-scorer), and has scored 6 more goals in the Mexican Primera División. He started the second half of the year with 6 goals in the Mexican Primera División, bringing his year’s total to 23 goals with the club. Cabañas started 2009 by scoring his first goal in the 2009 InterLiga and scoring 13 more goals in the Mexican Primera División. He then finished the second half of the year with 12 goals in the Mexican Primera División. Taking his tally to 26 goals for the year. On 18 January, against Santos Laguna, he scored two goals, taking his personal tally to 100 goals in the Mexican Primera División. In 2010, Cabañas again started the year scoring goals in the 2010 InterLiga, scoring four. In the two games he played in the 2010 Bicentenario, he scored two goals. His last game before being shot was on 24 January 2010 in a 2–0 loss against Morelia.
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Cabañas was shot in the head inside the “Bar Bar” night club, in Mexico City, on 25 January 2010 at 5:00 a.m. According to the official police reports the assault was the result of a taunting incident in the bar’s bathroom between Cabañas and a mobster of the Beltrán-Leyva Drug-Cartel called José Balderas Garza, alias “JJ”, who shot him. According to Cabañas ex-wife, the altercation was a result of Cabañas reacting against a robbery. Cabañas received medical attention during the early hours of 25 January 2010. Later on the day he was submitted to a craniotomy but doctors decided that it was too risky to proceed and the bullet was not extracted. Cabañas left intensive care in late February and was hoping to fully recover in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but was not selected for the final Paraguay squad. Doctors dealing with Cabañas have described his recovery so far as “tremendous”. However, it is announced he does have short-term memory loss and may not recover for another one to three years. He gave his first interview on 12 March 2010 in appreciation to all the people who prayed for him. In 2013, Cabañas gave his version of the incident which stated that in his opinion the attack occurred so that he would not play at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and that Paraguay would not be crowned champions of the competition. At that moment, Cabañas challenged the man, asking him ‘what are you waiting for’, noting to him that he had held the gun towards Cabañas for almost 10 minutes, and after a little bit, the man pulled the trigger on Cabañas shot his forehead. He also stated that right after being shot, he had a near-death experience, where he felt that he went directly to heaven and spoke with God, who touched him on his forehead, where Cabañas had been shot, and told him that a long time remained until he was due to come to heaven and that he enjoy life and help those in need. Cabañas signed a contract with Paraguayan third-division club 12 de Octubre, on 20 January 2012, two years after the assault. He then made his competitive return to football on 14 April, starting and playing forty minutes, in the club’s 2–0 win over Martín Ledesma in the opening round of the Primera B. Salvador’s side gained promotion into the Second Division of Paraguay where he will now compete on a regular basis. Cabañas was invited to partake in a half time memorial appearance for Chiapas in a Liga MX match against Pumas. He received a standing ovation from the crowd at half time. Jaguares later went on to win the match 3–0.