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Paraguay manager Ramon Diaz recently handed over his resignation after his team were eliminated from the Copa America much earlier than expected.

Paraguay were one of the teams competing in the centenary edition of the Copa America, which was being held in the United States and other North American countries.Diaz had been in charge of the Paraguayan national team for 18 months, but the 56-year-old did not manage to achieve anything significant during this period. However, he was hoping to make an impact at the Copa America. Failure to do the same has resulted in his exit.

The national team have begun searching for a new manager and are expected to be in no hurry before making the announcement. The national team went on the run of six matches without a win towards the end ofDiaz’ regime. They were knocked out of the Copa America after having taken just one point from the three games in the group stages. Paraguay will be aware that the next manager has to be excellent from the word go since he will not have any breathing space in the form of friendly games. His first match is likely to be the World Cup qualification game against Chile in September and it will be immediately followed by a game against Uruguay.

“After the end of Paraguay’s participation in the Copa America Centennial, professor Ramon Diaz tendered his irrevocable resignation as technical director of the Paraguayan football team,” read a statement on the official website of the Paraguayan national team after the exit from the competition. The solitary point taken by Paraguay at the centenary Copa America came in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in the opening group game. Since then, they suffered a 2-1 loss against Colombia followed by the narrow 1-0 defeat against United States.

Paraguay have omitted experienced forward Lucas Barrios in the final squad for the Copa America.

Manager Ramon Diaz has taken this decision despite seeing the forward come up with two goals in the previous edition of the tournament in Chile. The upcoming Copa America is held to celebrate the centenary year. Hence, it comes much earlier than its usual schedule. It gives Paraguay a great opportunity to overcome the disappointment of the previous edition.

The national team may be without the great players that it had a few years ago, but Ramon Diaz will see this as a great opportunity to build a team for the future. This may have been the reasoning behind omitting the 31-year-old from the squad ahead of this crucial tournament.

Interestingly,Barrios was part of the Paraguayan national team in the provisional squad, while he also played for the national team in the games against Brazil and Ecuador a few months ago in the World Cup qualifiers. The Copa America centenary edition will take place in United States. The tournament starts on June 3. The opening match for Paraguay will be against Costa Rica and they are involved in a group containing hosts United States.

Columbia are the other team in the group. Hence, Paraguay will already face a lot of challenges to even reach the knockout stages. They are not one of the favourites to progress to the next round. United States and Colombia will be seen as the potential teams to progress. However, Paraguay can spring a surprise if they start the campaign on a positive note by winning against Costa Rica. Anything other than a victory will be a huge dampener to the national team’s hopes. Some of the older players like Paulo da Silva and Roque Santa Cruz continue to be part of the team.