Confirmed Ecuador World Cup Squad: Man United star & ex Man City striker lead way

Ecuador Flag

Ecuador have named a 24-man squad for their World Cup campaign, with United midfielder Antonio Valencia the main man in the country's Group E ambitions.

Ecuador squad

Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona, Ecuador), Adrian Bone (El Nacional), Alexander Dominguez (Liga de Quito).

Defenders: Gabriel Achilier (Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Oscar Bagui (Emelec), Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua (Emelec), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona, Ecuador), Cristian Ramirez (Fortuna Duesseldorf).

Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Pedro Quinonez (Emelec), Luis Saritama (Barcelona, Ecuador), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

Forwards: Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana), Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Enner Valencia (Pachuca), Armando Wila (Universidad Catolica).

The South Americans have enjoyed strong growth in recent years, qualifying for 3 out of the last 4 World Cups and squeezing much fancied Uruguay into the play off spot for this year's tournament, sneaking the last qualifying spot for the CONMEBOL region.

This tournament will be bittersweet for Ecuador as they make the journey over the Andes and through the Amazon to their neighbours Brazil, all the while missing star striker Christian Benitez, who tragically died at the age of 27 last summer. Former Birmingham forward Benitez would have surely led the line for his country, with much of the responsibility now falling on the shoulders of the country's other talisman Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia, as well as former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo.

As captain, and veteran Premier League title winner, Valencia will be used to carrying the hopes of his country on a continent that Ecuador have traditionally done well, and with few other European based players to call on the squad will at least be familiar with the playing conditions.

Young Germany based duo Cristian Ramirez and Carlos Gruzero are the surprise inclusions, with head coach Reinaldo Rueda having until June 2nd to trim one player from his squad.

They play the Netherlands on May 17th, with a friendly against England also lined up, before kicking off the tournament against Switzerland on June 15th.

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