Ecuador comes after the most prestigious decade in its footballing history. They have qualified for 3 successive World Cups and have won a Libertadores Cup with Liga de Quito. The keyword for them is Progress.
This Cup comes at a moment when members of the old guard could be making their last appearance in a major tournament. Walter Ayoví, a tireless left wingback, and midfielders Antonio Valencia, Christian Noboa and Alex Bolaños.
In comes the new generation of players, where left forward Jefferson Montero leads the ranks. Up front, two forwards complement each other. Felipe Caicedo who is missing through injury and will be replaced by Miller Bolaños and Enner Valencia. One's strength complements the others. Where one likes to go roam around the attacking zone the other waits for a chance.
Christian Noboa is the register. The player who dictates the tempo of the team. Seasoned player who has seen in the first person the development of Ecuador.Walter Ayoví was in his prime a tireless wingback who could play different roles on the left flank. As years have began to take a toll on his performance he has had to learn to measure his efforts. Antonio Valencia has been Ecuador's most regular and successful player in Europe. He has completed 7 seasons at Manchester United developing his game, from right winger to wingback. Felipe Caicedo. Just 24 years old but an important goal scorer. He is just 12 goals shy of Agustin Delgado's mark of Ecuador top scorer for the national team.
Jefferson Montero. Tricky, strong and quick winger now playing for Swansea. Doesn't hide from the 1 x 1 situations and is a nightmare for right-backs. Fidel Martínez may be nicknamed as the Ecuadorian Neymar, but Montero is the man to follow. Miller Bolaños has been polishing his scoring abilities while playing for Gremio in Brazil. 12 goals in 6 matches back him up and now has a chance to test himself in the Copa America because of Caicedo's absence.
Gustavo Quinteros. Born in Argentina, represented Bolivia as a player and now coaches Ecuador. He has the responsibility to refresh the team and try to qualify for a 4th successive World Cup. Has surprised many after last year disappointing Copa America in Chile. He is bringing young players to the team and is getting results.