This year they send their strongest squad yet in an attempt to match it with the big boys. Ecuador has been drawn into Group E , alongside France, Switzerland and the Honduras. Luckily for them, this one of the easier groups and with the exception of France they have a great chance of recording some victories and progressing to the next round.
World Cup History
Ecuador has always struggled to qualify for World Cups, with Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Colombia usually getting there ahead of them. However, this year, with Brazil as hosts, Ecuador took full advantage of South America’s 5.5 places and qualified from the CONMEBOL group in 4th place. They made their first appearance in 2002, but didn’t make it out of the group stages. 4 years later in Italy, they managed to make it to the round of 16, only to be knocked out.
Key PlayersEcuador have an obscure squad; however many are very accomplished players.
The undoubted star of Ecuador, the Manchester United right winger will be heavily relied upon for creating chances and leading the team in a positive manner. Valencia will use his incredible pace and crossing to good use as Ecuador need him to set up play. He is a great team player with good work rate and you can guarantee a consistent, hardy effort from him all cup long.
The spearhead of the side, Caicedo will be the focal point in attack. The Al-Jazira striker is a great match for Ecuador, possessing good all round skills including great stamina and strength. Like Valencia, Caicedo will be a man Ecuador can rely on to put in a good game.
Noboa is the heart of the Ecuadorian midfield, and with his technical no-how, could be the supplier for the likes of Caicedo and Valencia to do some damage. He is a good passer, has a great work rate and can run all day. Noboa will be the linchpin of centre midfield.
Ones to Watch
Once languishing in Ecuador, central defender Erazo is now at Brazilian club Flamengo and will be the go-to man in Ecuador’s undermanned defense. Although not the best attribute-wise, he can still do his job and will be a vital link in Ecuador’s chain.
One of the players to watch on Ecuador's team sheet is pacy young winger Jefferson Montero. Known by many throughout his homeland and Mexico, where he plays domestically for Morelia, Montero could be one of the surprise packages of this team due to not yet hitting the European stage.
The ManagerReynaldo Rueda
Colombian manager Rueda has been at the helm for 4 years now, and under his guidance Ecuador won the Pan-American Games. He is a reasonably good manager given his low reputation, and Ecuador will benefit from his tactical knowledge.