Legendary Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert's life would have met a different fate had it not been for Faustino Asprilla, according to the former Colombia forward. Asprilla recently revealed that he persuaded an assassin to spare Chilavert's life after Colombia lost a World Cup Qualifier to Paraguay in 1997.
During a South American qualifier in Asuncion in Paraguay, that the host went on to win 2-1, both Asprilla and Chilavert were sent off after clashing with each other.
In an interview with a Colombian television channel TelePacifico , former Newcastle United star Asprilla said that after his team's loss, a hitman reached out to him at the team hotel and asked for permission to kill the Paraguayan keeper.
"What? Are you crazy?" was Asprilla’s response. "You’ll destroy Colombian football, you can’t do that. No, no, no, no. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch . "
That, however, was not the first time Colombian football made the headlines with regards to an assassination. In 1994, national team defender Andres Escobar was killed for scoring an own goal, which resulted in the team crashing out of the World Cup.
Asprilla has represented Atletico Nacional in the homeland league, before leaving for Italian club Parma. He then joined Newcastle United in the Premier League.
On the other hand, Chilavert donned the national team jersey 74 times and had stints in South America and Europe as well. He scored 62 career goals, including a eight for his country — a record for an international 'keeper.