Newcastle United made an announcement on Friday about Miguel Almiron.
The club detailing a busy summer for the player, with five World Cup qualifiers to play, as well as his wife due to give birth to their first child.
However, Miguel Almiron is set for a busier summer than the club realise, perhaps far busier.
After the Premier League season ends on Sunday (23 May), Almiron will be pretty much leaving straight away to meet up with his international teammates.
Paraguay have World Cup qualifiers away against Uruguay on Thursday 3 June and then home to Brazil on Wednesday 9 June.
The ten South America countries play each other home and away, with the top four automatically qualifying for the 2022 finals in Qatar, whilst the fifth placed country go into a play-off.
After each playing four of the eighteen games, Paraguay are well placed in fourth, ahead of fifth positioned Uruguay on goal difference. So a win in that 3 June match for Miguel Almiron and Paraguay would be a massive boost, ahead of playing top of the table Brazil at home.
The official Newcastle United announcement then loses the plot, they then state Paraguay have three more games to follow against Bolivia (14 June), Argentina (21 June) and Chile (24 June), all to be played in Argentina.
Paraguay are playing those three fixtures but they aren’t World Cup qualifiers as the club are claiming, instead they are part of Copa America 2021. The reason that all three games are to be played in Argentina is because they are hosting the competition, it was due to be a shared one but Colombia has been removed as co-host due to the ongoing protests against the President.
Copa America 2021 has ten countries participating, split into two groups of five. Newcastle United have missed the fact that Miguel Almiron and Paraguay have their fourth and final group game against Uruguay (as well as playing them earlier in the month in that World Cup qualifier) to play on 27 June.
It doesn’t stop there though for Miguel Almiron, or very unlikely to anyway, because the format sees the top four in each of the five team groups progress to the quarter-finals, a lot of matches to eliminate just two of the ten countries!
So the odds are highly stacked on the Newcastle player having a quarter-final on either the 2nd or 3rd of July.
If progressing from there, it would then be a semi-final on the 5th or 6th of July, before eventually a possible third place play-off on 9 July or the final on 10 July.
So instead of the five games Newcastle United believe Miguel Almiron could be involved in this summer, it could actually be as many as nine for Paraguay. They have six matches for sure and almost guaranteed a seventh, with then the possible semi and final.
A lot has been said about Premier League players looking forward to more of a proper break this summer after the shorter than usual gap between league seasons in 2020. However, that most definitely isn’t looking the case for Miguel Almiron.
Nor will it be for those involved in this summer’s Euros, lucky really that Newcastle United have far fewer players set to be involved in that tournament and the Copa America. So far, the only Newcastle players already chosen for the Euro 2020 finals are Emil Krafth and Ryan Fraser, with Martin Dubravka named in Slovakia’s provisional 24 man squad and certain to go.
Going back to the Copa America, the good news for Newcastle fans is that you will be able to watch Miguel Almiron in all of his tournament appearances for Paraguay, as the BBC are showing all matches live.
The Premier League kicks off on the weekend of Saturday 14 August and with Newcastle United’s squad set to return for pre-season on Monday 5 July, clearly Miguel Almiron and others won’t be back for then and will get an extended period for rest.
Newcastle are set to have training camps in July in both Portugal and a repeat of last summer’s one near York, so it remains to be seen whether NUFC’s small group of internationals will be back in time for those.
Newcastle United Official Announcement:
‘Miguel Almirón has been named in the Paraguay squad for five World Cup qualifying matches next month.
La Albirroja take on Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile in a packed June calendar, with coach Eduardo Berizzo calling on the Magpies man as they bid to reach the finals for the first time since 2010.
Paraguay face Uruguay at Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, on Thursday, 3rd June, then welcome Brazil to Estadio Defensores del Chaco in Asunción on Wednesday, 9th June.
That is followed by three fixtures in Argentina – against Bolivia at Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza on Monday, 14th June, Argentina at River Plate’s El Monumental in Buenos Aires on Monday, 21st June and Chile at Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero on Thursday, 24th June.
Almirón – whose wife, Alexia, is due to give birth to the couple’s first child over the summer – has 28 caps for his country and has scored two goals.’
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