Paraguay's Santa Cruz not just a pretty face
Paraguyan carves up opposing defenders
ROQUE SANTA CRUZ
Born: Aug. 16, 1981, in Asuncion, Paraguay
Nickname: Babygol, Rocky
Clubs played for: Santa Cruz began his pro career for hometown club Olimpia Asuncion in 1998, and he was named Paraguayan player of the year in 1999. Bayern Munich wasted little time in signing him to a deal, but Santa Cruz failed to make a big impact during his eight years in Germany due to a series of injuries. He moved to England in 2007, signing with Blackburn before Manchester City scooped him up in the summer of 2009.
International career: Santa Cruz first turned heads at the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup when he scored three goals. Later that year, he made his debut for the senior national team, while still only 17, at the Copa America. Since then, he's become a key player for Paraguay, appearing in two World Cups.
Why is he so special? The Paraguayan is a tall, lanky striker with a deft scoring touch who is capable of burning opposing defenders with his sudden bursts of speed. Santa Cruz uses his height to great effect in the air, and combines physical strength with elegance and grace
His most famous moment: Scoring a hat trick for Paraguay in a 5-0 win over Colombia at the 2007 Copa America.
He said it: "Even if you are a special player and have a great [pro] career, if you don't do it in a World Cup then you will never be considered one of the all-time greats.... All of the great players have won World Cups like Pele, Diego Maradona and even Ronaldinho. That's what sets them apart."
What they're saying about him: "He is a natural goal scorer, and if the ball is in the right area then Rocky will score goals." - Mark Hughes, Manchester City manager
Here's an interesting fact: He was named the sexiest player of the 2006 World Cup by German publications Die Welt and kicker.