With the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicking off in 31 days, it’s time to explore Qatar’s opening night opponent, Ecuador.
Every day until November 20th, we’ll explore a different team represented in this year’s tournament, from Group A to Group H, including predictions about where they’ll end up.
Yesterday, we looked into the host country’s team, the Maroon Men of Qatar. Here’s what you need to know about their first Group A rival, Ecuador.
Nickname: La Tri
Colors: Yellow, blue, and red
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro (Argentina)
Ecuador has international talent but not very many players in Europe’s top leagues. 21-year-old midfielder Gonzalo Plata plays for Valladolid in LaLiga, though they aren’t performing very well in Spain’s top flight. He has five international goals. Carlos Gruezo of FC Augsburg can also score, but captain Enner Valencia has the most international goals with 32. He is also 32 years old.
Ecuador’s best World Cup result came in a 2006 round of 16 1-0 loss to David Beckham and Michael Owen’s England, who lost to a young Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal the following round. Ecuador is currently ranked 44th in FIFA and has never performed great internationally.
Tournament Prediction: Group stage exit.
Ecuador is one of the FIFA lowest-ranking teams heading into their own World Cup – though it must be noted that the top-ranked team has never won the tournament. Still, coming in at #44 and facing off against the likes of Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands in Group A, it’s hard to see the La Tri surviving the group stages. They will probably slip past Qatar on opening night, but Senegal and the Netherlands are going to be too much for the South American country.
Featured Image: DALL-E 2/Federación Ecuatoriana de Fútbol/DM