Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ecuador Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Ecuador WC Finals 2002

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

South America without Brazil and Argentina.

Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2014. Their best performance came in 2006 when they advanced to the Round of 16, eventually eliminated by England. They are one of two countries in South America not to have won the Copa América, the other being Venezuela. Their best performance in the continental tournament was fourth in 1959 and 1993, both times on home soil.  Discarding an invitation to participate in the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay, their first participation in a World Cup qualifying campaign was in the 1962 campaign. 

This is my all-time team for Ecuador. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 
Copa America 1993
GK: Jose Cevallos 
Jose Cevallos spent most of his career with Barcelona (Ecuador), but his best club moment probably came during his career with LDU Quito when he saved three penalties and led his club to victory at the 2008 Copa Libertadoes.  He was capped 89 times between 1994 and 2010, and went to the World Cup Finals in 2002, where he was a star player for Ecuador.  He was nicknamed by the Ecuadorian fans as "las manos del Ecuador" meaning "the hands of Ecuador".

Morales started with Barcelona Sporting Club in 1983 and became their captain in the late 1980s. He reached the final of the Copa Libertadores de América in 1990. He then made the leap to Independiente de Avellaneda. in 1994, where He won the Supercopa Libertadores over there. He later played for  Palestino of Chile.  He played 40 times for Ecuador between 1987 and 1999.

GK: Alfredo Bonnard 
Born in Guayaquil, 1931, Alfredo Bonnard first represented Ecuador in 1953 in a match against Peru.  He was capped 20 times. He was selected as the best goalkeeper at the 1953 South American Championship followed by Adolfo Riquelme from Paraguay He also played in 1955, 1957 and 1959.  In Ecuador, played for Unión Deportiva Valdez (two-time Guayaquil champion in 1953-1954) and Barcelona (Guayaquil champion in 1961).

RW/RWB: Antonio Valencia  
Antonio Valencia is probably the most successful Ecuadorean player ever played in Europe.  He first made his name with El Nacional at home before moving to Europe. He first played in Spain with Villarreal and Recreativo. And then, he found success with Wigan in England.  In 2009, he secured a big move to Manchester United and voted into the PFA team of the year for the season 2009-2010.  Since 2004, he has been a regular member of the national team.  He earned 98 caps at the time of writing.
Antonio Valencia
RB: Ulises De L Cruz 
Ulises De L Cruz played 101 times for Ecuador between and 1995 and 2010, and was selected for two World Cup tournaments(2006 and 2010).  He started his club career at Deportivo Quito in 1991. He then played for Barcelona SC, Aucas and  Cruzeiro before heading to Europe in 2001.  In Europe, he played for Hibernian, Aston Villa, Reading and Birmingham City.

CB: Ivan Hurtado 
At the time of writing, Ivan Hurtado is Ecuador's all-time cap record holder.  He is also the most capped South American player and sixth in the world.  He had 168 caps between 1992 and 2014. He was once the captain of the national team. He was a key player for both World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006.  For his club career, he had played for clubs in Ecuador, Mexico, Qatar, Spain and Colombia. He started his career with Emelec.
Ivan Hurtado
CB: Vicente Lecaro 
Vicente Lecaro was a star player with Barcelona (Ecuador) in the 1960's.  He was voted as one of their greatest players. He played 14 seasons for the club between 1957 and 1971. With them, Lecaro was champion of Guayaquil in the years 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1967; while in 1960, 1963, 1966, and 1970 he was national champion. He never played outside Ecuador.

CB: Giovanny Espinoza 
His nickname is La Sombra, which translates as "the shadow", because of his size, he creates large shadows. He earned over 90 caps and attended both 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals. He was known for his partnership with Ivan Hurtado.  They played 67 times as partner, a world record. He started his career with LDU Quito. He also played in Holland, England and Brazil. 

CB: Holger Quinonez 
Holger Quinonez was capped 50 times for Ecuador between 1984 and 1999.  He represented the country in five Copa América tournaments. He featured in seven FIFA World Cup qualification matches.  He was voted once as the best centreback in South America.  He played with for Barcelona Sporting Club (Ecuador),  Brazil's CR Vasco da Gama, Club Sport Emelec, C.F. União in Portugal, Deportivo Pereira from Colombia and Deportivo Quito.
Holger Quinonez
LB:  Luis Capurro
Luis Capurro began his career in Patria De Esmeraldas in 1978. He also played for Barcelona SC, Emelec, Patria de Guayaquil, Milagro Sport, Filanbanco, LDU Quito, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay and Racing Club of Argentina under Alfio Basile.  Capurro won two Ecuadorian league titles, in 1994 with Emelec and in 1997 with Barcelona SC. He had 100 caps between 1985 and 2003.

LB/LW: Walter Ayoví
Ayovi was transferred to Barcelona Sporting Club from Emelec in 2002.  And then, he played for Monterrey between 2009 and 2013 after a brief career in El Nacionel and UAE.  He movbed onward to Pachuca in 2013.  Between 2001 and 2017, he played 121 times for Ecuador.  He is the second most capped player at the time of writing.  He went to 2002 and 2014 World Cup Finals.

DM: Segundo Castillo 
Castillo started his career with Quito's Club Deportivo Espoli.  He then moved across the capital to one of Ecuador's most successful sides Club Deportivo El Nacional. In 2006, he moved abroad, joining Red Star Belgrade. In 2008 Castillo joined English Premier League club Everton on a year-long loan deal.  He also played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Pachuca, etc.

DM: Alfonso Obregon 
Alfonso Obregon spent most of his career with LDU Quito, where he won 5 Serie A titles and the 2008 Copa Libertadores.  He has made over 300 appearances and captained the team for a number of years before ceding the position to Patricio Urrutia.He also played for Espoli and Delfin. He was capped 58 times between 1995 and 2004.  He made his debut against Bolivia in 1995. He participated in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea. He played in Copa America of 2001 and 2004.
Tenorio was the first-choice defensive midfielder for Ecuador in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan-Korea and 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. In Germany, he formed an impressive defensive midfielder partnership with Segundo Castillo, helping Ecuador make it to the Round of 16.  He played 78 times for the national team between 1998 and 2007. In his club career, he played for Barcelona (Ecuador) between 2002 and 2006.  He also played for Sociedad Deportiva Aucas and LDU Quito.
Edwin Tenorio
Édison Méndez is the second-most capped player for his country.  He had 111 caps. Méndez began his career with Sociedad Deportivo Quito of his native Ecuador. After the World Cup Finals in 2002, he moved aboard.  He played in Mexico and Brazil as well as PSV in Holland. In March 2007, he became the first Ecuadorian to score in the UEFA Champions League by getting the only goal in the round of 16 match against Arsenal.

AM/CM: José Villafuerte
Villafuerte spent almost his entire career with El Nacional through the 1970s and 1980s, winning 7 championships in 10 years. At the end of his career, he played for CD Filanbanco. During this period, he was also a key player for Ecuador, though the national side saw little success during in World Cup qualifiers and the Copa America this period. 

AM: Alex Aguinaga 
Alex Aguinaga is considered one of the greatest players ever from Ecuador.  He was at one point the all-time cap record holder for his country, helping them to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 2002.  He first made his name with Deportivo Quito at home before moving to Mexico's Necaxa in 1989. He would spent 13 years with the club, becoming one of the best players in the Mexican league. In 1999 , Necaxa won the CONCACAF Champions Cup title and participated in the first edition of the FIFA Club World Cup where Aguinaga scored 2 goals.
Alex Aguinaga 
FW: Polo Carrera  
Polo Carrera played 20 times for Ecuador between 1966 and 1983. At the club level, he played for LDU Quito at home.  He was the all-time top goalscorer in the Copa Libertadores tournament for LDU Quito with 12 goals, until surpassed by Patricio Urrutia. He played briefly in Brazil for Fluminense FC and Barcelona (Ecuador). In 1968, he moved to Penarol , but moved to River Plate of Uruguay in 1970.  

AM/FW: Jorge Bolanos  
Jorge Bolanos was widely considered the second-best Ecuadorian player ever after Alberto Spencer. He spent most of his career with Emelec. He spent a year on loan with River Plate in Argentina, but playing in the minor league. His transfer from Emelec to Barcelona of Guayaquil was controversial  He actually joined America Quito as a transit team before going to Barcelona.  He also played in Miami Gatos in the USA. He was capped 22 times, making his debut against Argentina in 1960.  

Valencia has earned over 70 caps for Ecuador since his debut in 2012. He represented the nation at the World Cup in 2014 and 2022, and the Copa América in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021. He is Ecuador's all-time top goal scorer with 40 goals and holds the record for the most goals scored in the World Cup for his national team, with six.  In his club career, he played for Emelec, West Ham, Tigres, Fenerbahçe and Internacional.

RW/FW: Washington Munoz 
Washington Munoz was nicknamed El Chanfle.  He was the greatest right-wing shot in the history of Ecuadorian football and without a doubt one of the best in South America. He was a star for Barcelona (Ecuador) in the 1960's. He won 4 league titles between 1962 and 1977. He is the top scorer in the history of the Barcelona Sporting Club of Ecuador with 101 official goals. At the international level, he played 16 times for Ecuador between 1965 and 1973.  He scored 6 international goals.

RW/FW: Washington Munoz 
Washington Munoz was nicknamed El Chanfle.  He was the greatest right-wing shot in the history of Ecuadorian football and without a doubt one of the best in South America. He was a star for Barcelona (Ecuador) in the 1960's. He won 4 league titles between 1962 and 1977. He is the top scorer in the history of the Barcelona Sporting Club of Ecuador with 101 official goals. At the international level, he played 16 times for Ecuador between 1965 and 1973.  He scored 6 international goals.
Washington Munoz
ST: Ivan Kaviedes
Kaviedes rose to fame after scoring 43 goals in one season for Emelec in the 1998 Ecuadorian league. This led to a move to Perugia in the Italian Serie A, but his club career after 1998 was not well. He played in England, Spain and Mexico.   He scored in Ecuador's goal qualifiers, which allowed Ecuador to qualify for the first time ever to a World Cup. He was part of the national team that played at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. He had 57 caps.

Delgado is the all-time top scorer for the Ecuadorian national team with 31 goals in 71 games. He played in both 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals. Delgado's first goal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup was also the first goal for the Ecuadorian team in a World Cup. He played professional club football in Ecuador, Mexico and England for club such as Necaxa and Southampton. His career in Ecuador was largely associated with Barcelona.

ST: Alberto Spencer 
Alberto Spencer was known as "Cabeza Mágica" (Spanish for magic head).  He is still the all-time leading scorer in the Copa Libertadores' history.  He is considered one of South America's greatest strikers. He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol. He was elected the 20th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2004.  He also played for Everest and Barcelona at home. Between 1959 and 1972, he played 11 times for Ecuador and he later played for Uruguay.
Alberto Spencer

Honorable Mention
Pablo Ansaldo, Alexander Domínguez, Carlos "El Bacán" Delgado, 
Jorge Henríquez, Norberto Araujo, Jimmy Montanero, Danes Coronel,Wagner Rivera, Flavio Perlaza, Pervis Estupiñán, Neicer Reasco, Luciano Macías, Moisés Caicedo, José Balseca, Carlos Torres Garcés, Moisés Caicedo,Christian Noboa,  Klever Fajardo, Héctor Carabalí, Enrique Álvarez, Enrique Cantos ,Wellington Sánchez, Enrique Raymondi, Ermen Benítez, Cleber Chala, Carlos Alberto Raffo, Felipe Caicedo, Christian Benítez, Ítalo Estupiñán, Raul Aviles.

Squad Explanation
 -- The original team was created in 2018.  I did an in depth review of the team in October 2023.
-- Alberto Spencer and Álex Aguinaga were the greatest footballers from Ecuador.  Jorge Bolaños and Ivan Hurtado might also be undisputed on this team.
-- The IFFHS created their All-Time best XI for Ecuador.   They were Jose Cevallos, Ulises de la Cruz, Vicente Lecaro, Iván Hurtado, Luis Capurro, Antonio Valencia, Edison Méndez, Álex Aguinaga, Polo Carrera, Alberto Spencer and Agustín Delgado.
--  In 2021, Studio Futbol created this All-Time Best XI.  They were José Francisco Cevallos, Ulises de la Cruz, Iván Hurtado, Vicente Lecaro, Luis Capurro; Antonio Valencia, Edison Méndez, Álex Aguinaga, Jorge Bolaños, Alberto Spencer and Agustín Delgado.
--- La Villa del Gol came up with this own Historical XI.  The starting eleven were José Francisco Cevallos, Ulises de la Cruz, Iván Hurtado,  Holger Quinonez, Luis Capurro, Alfonso Obregon, Antonio Valencia, Álex Aguinaga, Polo Carrera, Alberto Spencer, Agustín Delgado.  Their bench players were Alfredo Bonnard, Vicente Lecaro, Segundo Castillo, Jorge Bolaños, Edison Méndez, Iván Kaviedes, Chucho Benitez and José Balseca. 
-- Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2014.  Half of this all-time team played in one or more of those World Cup Finals.  Alex Aguinaga is the greatest player from this generation. Antonio Valencia, Jose Cevallos, Ulises De L Cruz, Neicer ReascoAlfonso Obregon, Edwin Tenorio, Édison Méndez, Giovanny Espinoza, Ivan Hurtado, Iván Kaviedes and Agustín Delgado were also from that period. In 2006, they reached the second round before losing to England 1-0.
-- In the 1960's, Ecuador has a strong side.  It featured Washington Muñoz, Alberto Spencer, Vicente Lecaro and Jorge Bolaños. They made this team.  Enrique Raymondi and Carlos Alberto Raffo made honorable mention. In 1965, they almost qualified for the World Cup Finals.  They forced a playoff match to determine a spot in England.
-- Ecuador has a weak record in the Copa America.  They only finished in the top four twice in the history of the tournament in 1959 and 1993.  Both tournaments were hosted by Ecuador.  In 1959, Ecuador actually finished 4th from a tournament with 5 teams. They did force a draw with Argentina and a victory over Paraguay. Alberto Spencer and Vicente Lecaro were on that team.  In 1993, they won all of their group matches and beat Paraguay in the quarterfinal before losing to Mexico in the semifinal.  From the 1993 team, I selected Iván Hurtado, Holger Quinonez and Álex Aguinaga.
-- El Nacional dominated domestic football in the 1970's.  I selected José Villafuerte from that era onto this team. Ermine Benítez also made honourable mention.
-- I need to keep an eye on Moisés Caicedo, Piero Hincapié and Pervis Estupiñán.  The future of Ecuador looks very bright.
-- During the 2023 review, it became obvious that Jose Cevallos and Carlos Luis Morales were the two undisputed selection for the goalkeeper position.  Cevallos was nicknamed Las Manos del Ecuador (English: The hands of Ecuador). He was Ecuador's most capped goalkeeper.  Morales known as "Pestañita" played for a decade in Barcelona of Ecuador from 1983 to 1994. and then made the leap to Independiente de Avellaneda.  He won the Supercopa Libertadores over there.
-- For the third goalkeeper, I selected Alfredo Bonnard, I have limited information on him. Some said that he is the greatest goalkeeper from Ecuador. He was a hero of the 1953 Copa America even Ecuador finished last in the tournament. Pablo Ansaldo who played roughly around the same time was also mentioned frequently.  He wa my third choice before the 2023 review.
Alfredo Bonnard
-- Pablo Ansaldo is one of the greatest goalkeepers in Ecuador's history. He was capped 23 times.  He played for Barcelona (Ecuador) from 1954 to 1966.  He then spent a single season with Manta Sport. He was capped 23 times.  He was seriously injured in a World Cup Qualifier for the Finals in 1966.
-- Giovanny Espinoza and Ivan Hurtado together hold the international record for the longest unbroken pairing in the position of centre half (centerback) – they have played the last 65 games together, dating back to 1999. Both made the team.  In Barcelona, Vicente Lecaro was a part of the defensive line that was known as "Iron Curtain" together with Miguel Bustamante, Vicente 'Ministro' Lecaro and Alfonso 'Quijano. The three of them were the greatest central defenders from Ecuador.
-- Some people even put Holger Quinonez ahead the three central defenders.  He would probably be disputed as well. He was voted once for being the best central defender in Latin America.
-- I also considered the following players. Jorge Henríquez played club football in Chile when he was actually called by Chile for the 1945 South American Championship held in Chile. He chose to play for his home country.  He later headed to Columbia to play for Santa Fe during the era of "El Dorado".  His name did appear in some discussions. Norberto Araujo is considered one of the best Ecuadorian defenders in history, and one of the best foreign defenders who played in Ecuadorian soccer.  But since he only played 4 times for Ecuador after naturalization. His impact to Tricolors was lesser than the players selected. Jimmy Montanero is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this is why he was widely known as "El Mormon" during his football career.  Piero Hincapié is only 21 years at the time of writing in 2023. He is not readt for a spot on this team.
-- Ulises De La Cruz established himself playing in England.  He was the undisputed selection for the rightback position.  And then, I put Antonio Valencia over here.  He successfully moved to the rightack position in latter part of his career.  Both were often cited among the top ten greatest ever players for Tricolors.  So I did not have any room for Danes Coronel and Wagner Rivera.
-- Luis Capurro was widely considered to be Ecuador's greatest leftback.  His crowning moment came during his time at Emelec between 1989 and 1994. In those years he became captain and won the league titles in 1993 and 1994.  In 2018, I chose Neicer Reasco over Walter Ayoví, but I felt Ayovi should be ahead of him in 2023.  Ayovi had 120 caps.  But by 2023, Pervis Estupiñán had also emerged.  He was named in the Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2021 as well as establishing himself in the English Premier league.  There were many talks of him being the greatest leftback of all-time suppressing even Capurro.  
Luis Capurro
-- In 2018, I selected Luciano Macías without knowing his true position.  I thought that he was a central defender.  In 2023, I discovered that he was a fullback.  So I dropped him.  He made his debut in 1953 with Barcelona (Ecuador). He served as the captain of Barcelona (Ecuador) from 1961 to 1971. He was a part of their defensive unit known as "Iron Curtain". He was capped 23 times by the national team of Ecuador. He scored two international goals for them. He played in 3 Copa Americas Cups and 3 World Cup Qualifiers.
-- In the summer of 2023, Chelsea paid Brighton €116M for Moisés Caicedo, which broke the British transfer record and made him the most expensive Ecuadorian player ever.  Less than two years earlier, Brighton only paid Independiente del Valle 5.2 million euros for him.  At the time of writing, he is only 21 years old and has yet proved himself at the highest level.  So I kept Segundo Castillo.  He was selected over more offensive-minded players.  He and Alfonso Obregon were always on par with each other.  However, during my research in 2013, I added Edwin Tenorio who played in two World Cup Finals. Many people considered him better than Obregon.  And I also considered Klever Fajardo.  
-- Christian Noboa was a deep lying playmaker.  He had a long career in Russia. Hector Carabali was also brought up during my research.  They were put into honorable mentions.  
-- Álex Aguinaga is probably Ecuador's greatest player in the modern era, but his exposure to the world was limited by playing club football in Mexico.  His jersey Number 7 retired by Necaxa as a recognition to his contribution to the club.
-- Some people considered Jorge Bolanos as the second-best Ecuadorian player ever after Alberto Spencer. The contemporary fans probably ranked Aguinaga ahead of him.  He was relatively unknown outside Ecuador.  He played in the 1960's and 1970's.  I have problems researching him. I have a question mark on his career in the NASL.  He was listed as a player for Miami Toros in 1977, but the club did not exist in 1977. It became Fort Lauderdale Strikers that year. His name was not listed anywhere on the roster of any NASL team.  He actually played with Alberto Spencer in Barcelona of Guayaquil (Ecuador).  I do not know the details of the partnership, but Spencer retired soon after. Nevertheless, he should be a lock on this team.  
Jorge Bolanos
-- Edison Mendez was highly rated by the younger fans.  He was probably one of the top 10 players ever from here. He played in three World Cup Finals. He could also play as a right winger. In addition, I would also take Antonio Valencia.  Valencia has a successful career in the Premiership. Manchester United is probably the biggest club that Ecuadorian footballers had ever played for in the Champions' league era. He spent 10 seasons with Manchester United. Enrique Cantos played as a right midfielder, but I was set with Mendez and Valencia. 
-- Polo Carrera was left-footed, but I was unsure if he was a left winger.  He made his professional at the age 15.  Washington Munoz was a big idol for Barcelona (Ecuador).  He had a unique style of freekicks.  He could also play on the wing.
-- I preferred younger players than Enrique Álvarez who played in the 1940's.  He spent time in both Argentina and Colombia.
-- Alberto Spencer is considered to be the greatest footballer from Ecuador.  He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol.  He is perhaps the only Ecuadoran footballer recognizable among history buffs outside of South America.  
-- I did not select Ivan Kaviedes in 2018 due to the fact that his club career was inadequate
In 1998, Ivan Kaviedes scored 43 goals in a single season for Emelec. He became the IFFHS World’s Best Top Division Top Goal Scorer that year, but that was his breakout season. He did not stand out anywhere throughout his career. He was snubbed for IFFHS's Ecuador's Best XI, which created uproars among the Ecuadoran press.  That said something about his standings in Ecuador.  Many rated him among the greatest of all-time. So I gave him a spot because of the uproar.  
-- Augestino Delgado was the all-time top scorer for the Ecuadorian national team with 31 goals in 71 games. During the World Cup Qualifiers for the Japan/Korea World Cup Finals, he scored 9 goals.  Enner Valencia suppressed his all-time tally in 2021 and became the all-time leading scorer for El Tri.  He also scored all of Ecuador's goals in the 2014 World Cup Finals.  His scoring steak continued in Qatar where he scored 3 straight goals for Ecuador.  So in the last two World Cup Finals, he scored 6 out of Ecuador's total of 7 goals.
Enner Valencia
-- Felipe Caicedo spent some time in big clubs such as Manchester City and Lazio. Christian Benítez died young, which created a strong sentimental feeling in Ecuador.  In his lifetime, he scored 24 goals in 58 games for La Tricolor. Ítalo Estupiñán was voted as the best player in Mexico in 1974.  He began playing football for Club Social y Deportivo Macará and made his Ecuadorian Serie A debut at age 17. He would also play for Club Deportivo El Nacional and Club Sport Emelec in Ecuador's top division. He played several seasons in the Primera División de México with Deportivo Toluca F.C., Club América, Atlético Campesinos and Puebla F.C., winning the league with Toluca in 1974–75 and with Puebla in 1982–83.  They were serious candidates, but I did not have enough room for them.
-- I do not know about Carlos Alberto Raffo, but he was the top scorer at the 1963 Copa America. It appeared that he was a naturalized player from Argentina.  José Balseca played with him and were mentioned on a few occasions during my research. I put them on honorable mention for now.



  1. Cevallos
    Reasco Espinoza Quinonez Capurro
    Valencia Méndez Urrutia Ayoví
    Aguinaga Spencer

    Apparently, Hurtado was already overdue by 2008: https://www.eluniverso.com/2008/09/10/0001/15/print7B61037E44714D3881BDB0F8618019D9.html
    This XI can't lose.......when it comes to penalties

  2. https://cleverkrux.com/club-america-vs-deportivo-toluca-f-c-timeline-explained/