With the World Cup less than 40 days away, the footballing world will descend on Brazil.
Ecuador were last in the World Cup in 2006, getting knocked out in the last 16, so there is a bit of encouragement if they can make it through their group. With a number of well-known players, can they perform on the biggest stage?
It will be even tougher for Ecuador with the loss of star striker Christian Benitez, who passed away in July 2013. He could have potentially made the job of qualifying significantly easier with his pace and ability to score goals.
The Probable Squad of 23:
Goalkeepers - Maximo Banguera (Likely No.1), Alexander Dominguez and Adrian Bone
Defenders - Walter Ayovi, Jorge Guagua, Juan Carlos Paredes, Frickson Erazo, Gabriel Achiller, Oscar Bagui, Cristian Ramirez and Jayro Campos
Midfielders - Edison Mendez, Segundo Castillo, Antonio Valencia (Captain), Luis Saritama, Christian Noboa, Jefferson Montero, Renato Ibarra and Joao Rojas
Forwards - Felipe Caicedo, Enner Valencia, Jaime Avovi and Narciso Mina
Key player - Antonio Valencia - the Manchester United winger has found himself under pressure this season from what has happened there, with his reputation damaged to an extent, so a successful World Cup may ease the doubters. But only time will tell and he needs to show his leadership qualities as the captain.
Player to watch - Christian Noboa has been in Russia since 2007, playing for Rubin Kazan and Dynamo Moscow, respectively, in both teams has made himself a vital player in their midfields. His versatility could prove useful for Ecuador and a successful run and showing could generate interest in him.
The manager - Reinaldo Rueda - took charge in 2010 after successfully leading Honduras to the 2010 World Cup - but whilst he was praised for being successful, his tactics were criticised for being negative. This is the fear which has been placed on Ecuador going into this World Cup and this was highlighted at the recent friendly with Australia. If that fate follows them in the World Cup, Rueda will be leaving after the World Cup, so will look to get it right this time for Ecuador.
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