x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Cabanas aiming for World Cup

All the Paraguay forward can think of nine days after being shot in the head is returning to training and getting on the plane to South Africa.

MEXICO CITY // All the Paraguay forward Roberto Cabanas can think of nine days after being shot in the head is returning to training and getting to the World Cup, according to the president of his Mexican club America. The 29-year-old Cabanas was shot in a bar in Mexico city in the early hours of January 25 after an argument with another man, according to police, who are still looking for a suspect.

"It's what he's thinking about, he's spoken to the doctor about it and that's very good because it motivates him," America president Michel Bauer told Televisa. "He already wants to be training, as well as mentioning the subject of the World Cup," he added of the burly forward who played a major role in Paraguay's qualification for their fourth successive finals in South Africa. There are 128 days to the tournament's June 11 kickoff.

Cabanas had a long operation after the incident but surgeons were unable to remove the bullet, which remains lodged in his brain. By last weekend Cabanas was speaking and watched America's Mexican championship match, a 1-0 win the players dedicated to him, on television. On Monday, he moved his limbs, ate and talked to relatives - but he remains in critical condition. "Salvador is OK, I know everyone wants to know if he'll play in the World Cup but it's impossible to give a forecast on his footballing life. Scientifically, we can't say," said Aldo Martinez, the Paraguayan national team's chief doctor.

There have been massive shows of support for Cabanas in Mexico and his home country. Astonishingly, a week after the incident, Cabanas's America team mate Juan Carlos Silva was shot in the buttocks in an attempted robbery. However, the club's sporting director Jaime Ordiales said the bullet appeared to have gone right through him and he was in no danger. * Reuters