City front-man determined to make his mark on biggest stage...Manchester City and Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has set his nation the ambitious target of reaching the quarter-finals at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
The former Bayern Munich forward scored the winning goal as the South Americans warmed up for the tournament with a 1-0 win over fellow finalists North Korea on Saturday.
With the tournament now fast approaching, Santa Cruz feels a spot in the last eight is not out of the question for his side.
"Paraguay have never been involved in the quarter-finals, that is what we want to achieve and see if we can go on from there," the 28-year-old told Sky Sports. “It would be a good World Cup if we could do that.”
While such a target may seem ambitious, Paraguay were drawn in Group F with Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia, meaning many will fancy them to secure second spot in the group behind the Italians, who are defending champions.
“It's a miracle to be involved in such a great tournament, something Paraguay has been blessed with and we are very proud, coming from such a small country,” continued Santa Cruz.
"It's probably because we are so down-to-earth. The football is not the best, we don't have a lot of resources, we have don't infrastructure or stadiums like other countries have."
Santa Cruz is eager to make his mark on the biggest stage after a frustrating first season with City following his £17.5 million summer move from Blackburn Rovers.
After initially struggling with injury, the striker struggled to get past Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor in the pecking order and made just six starts in the Premier League, scoring three times.
Santa Cruz admitted he is currently unsure whether his lack of first-team action at club level will prove to help or hinder him in South Africa.
"Fitness-wise I feel very good, and it's good for me to have 90 minutes behind me now," he added.
"It's one of those things you never know how it will affect you. It could be a good thing or it could be a terrible thing, I think the performance will speak for itself."
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