Carlos Alberto Gamarra Pavon (born February 17, 1971 in Ypacarai, Paraguay) is a retired football player. He captained the Paraguay national team at international level, playing at centre-half, and is the most capped player in Paraguayan football history, having made 109 international appearances and scoring 12 goals. He last played domestically at Olimpia in Paraguay.
Gamarra was known for his leadership, heading and outstanding tackling skills, making him one of the most respected defenders in the world.
Gamarra began his club career playing for Cerro Porteño in his home country in 1991, and went on to win the Paraguayan national championship with Cerro in 1992. He moved to Independiente for the 1992-1993 football season in Argentina, but stayed only briefly before moving back to Cerro Porteño. His first international cap came against Bolivia on March 27, 1993, a game which Paraguay lost 2-1. He stayed at Cerro Porteño until 1995.
In 1995, Gamarra joined Internacional in Brazil, where his profile grew, eventually resulting in the naming of him as Paraguayan Footballer of the Year in 1997 by the Paraguayan newspaper Diario ABC Color (an achievement which Gamarra repeated in 1998). He moved to SL Benfica for the Portuguese 1998 season, before returning to Brazil, this time with SC Corinthians.
Gamarra made his first big impact in international football during Paraguay's campaign at World Cup France 1998, in the second round of which Paraguay were knocked out by France (the eventual winners). Gamarra played in all four of Paraguay's games, garnering great respect for his defensive skills, and did not concede a single foul in any of his side's matches. FIFA named him as part of the All-Star team of the World Cup.
After finishing the 1999 Brazilian football season with Corinthians, he moved to the Spanish league, playing for Atlético de Madrid. Atlético were relegated in 2000, and Gamarra briefly moved back to Brazil, this time joining CR Flamengo. The 2001-2002 season was more successful for Gamarra, as he joined AEK Athens in Greece, playing 24 league games and winning the Greek Cup.
At the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Paraguay were once again knocked out in the second round. Gamarra played every single minute of Paraguay's campaign, and again completed his side's participation without conceding a foul.
On the back of his World Cup performance, he joined Internazionale in Italy's Serie A for the 2002-2003 season. This was undoubtedly the highest-profile club Gamarra had joined. In his first pre-season, he scored the winning goal in the Pirelli Cup final against AS Roma. Inter finished the season as runners-up in the league, with Gamarra making 14 appearances. His next season at the club was less successful, as Inter finished fourth in the league, and Gamarra made only 10 appearances. He remained at Inter for the 2004-2005 season, but after another season largely spent on the bench he joined the Brazilian side Palmeiras in July, 2005.On August 2006 he signed for Ethnikos Piraeus FC a team that currently plays in Greek National second division. A former Brazilian national, Giovanni also signed for this team in the 2006 transfer period.
Gamarra captained the Paraguay side to a silver medal in the football tournament at the 2004 Summer Olympics Olympic Games, losing 1-0 to Argentina in the final.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gamarra was the first player in the tournament to score an own goal, from an incoming free kick from David Beckham in his team's opening match against England, which eventually led to England's 1-0 win. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Gamarra announced his retirement from the Paraguay national team.
- Paraguayan League: 1990, 1992 (with Cerro Porteño)
- South American Olympic Qualifying Tournament: 1992 (with Paraguay)
- Campeonato Gaúcho: 1997 (with Internacional)
- Campeonato Brasileiro: 1998 (with Corinthians)
- Campeonato Paulista: 1999 (with Corinthians)
- Campeonato Carioca: 2001 (with Flamengo)
- Copa dos Campeões: 2001 (with Flamengo)
- Greek Football Cup: 2002 (with AEK Athens)
- Silver medal, Olympic Games: 2004 (with Paraguay)
- Coppa Italia: 2005 (with Internazionale)