Miguel Ángel Benítez
|Full name||Miguel Ángel Benítez Pavón|
|Date of birth||19 May 1970|
|Place of birth||Santísima Trinidad, Paraguay|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|1994||→ Almería (loan)|
|1995||→ Mérida (loan)||23||(10)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He is best known for his spell with Spain's Espanyol, where he played for seven years. Altogether he spent one full decade in that country, representing three other teams and appearing in more than 200 official games overall.
Benítez was born in Santísima Trinidad (Asunción). After playing for modest clubs in his country he arrived in Spain at the age of 23, purchased by Atlético Madrid, but appeared very rarely for the Colchoneros, being often demoted to its reserves and also being loaned twice, notably to CP Mérida which he helped promote from the second division by scoring a team-best ten goals in only five months.
Released by Atlético in the 1995 summer, Benítez signed with fellow La Liga side RCD Espanyol, going on to experience his best years: alternating between the starting XI and the bench, he amassed 166 competitive appearances for the Catalans, helping them to the 2000 conquest of the Copa del Rey.
Already in his 30s and dealing with some injuries, Benítez left Espanyol in January 2002, returning to his country and signing with Asunción's Club Olimpia. In the years until his retirement he appeared for several clubs, and also returned to Spain, playing with UD Almería in the second level.
Benítez started his coaching career in 2008, taking charge of lowly Club Silvio Pettirossi as it was experiencing its first season in the Primera División – short-lived, as the side dropped down two tiers in as many years.
Courtesy of his solid Espanyol performances, Benítez gained all of his 30 caps for the Paraguayan national team. He was selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, playing in all four matches as the country reached the round-of-16 and netting in the 3–1 group stage win over Nigeria.
Benítez was also selected for the 1999 Copa América, played on home soil, scoring three times: this included one in Paraguay's 1–1 quarter-final clash against Uruguay, where he also missed the decisive penalty shootout attempt.
|1.||10 November 1996||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Ecuador||1–0||1–0||1998 World Cup qualification|
|2.||12 January 1997||Guillermo Soto Rosa, Mérida, Venezuela||Venezuela||0–1||0–2|
|3.||10 September 1997||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Bolivia||1–0||2–1|
|4.||8 February 1998||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Poland||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
|5.||18 March 1998||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Mexico||0–1||1–1|
|6.||29 March 1998||Yale Bowl, New Haven, United States||Colombia||1–1||1–1|
|7.||24 June 1998||Stade de Toulouse, Toulouse, France||Nigeria||1–2||1–3||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|8.||2 July 1999||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Japan||1–0||4–0||1999 Copa América|
|10.||10 July 1999||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Uruguay||0–1||1–1|
|11.||17 November 1999||Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado, Uruguay||Uruguay||0–1||0–1||Friendly|