Ecuador comes into the Qatar World Cup as one of the few unknowns. Despite the uncertain nature of the team on the pitch, it’s off it where a large part of uncertainty lands.
La Tri was alleged of cheating to get into the 2022 World Cup involving Ecuadorian player Byron Castillo. In particular, there was apprehension around the fact that Castillo had not been born in Ecuador but rather in Colombia, and as a result, he did not qualify for the requirements for Ecuadorian citizenship. During Ecuador’s run to the World Cup qualifying tournament in Qatar, Byron Castillo took part in eight of the country’s matches.
Chile and Peru submitted a unified plea to FIFA after their country secured the fourth and final slot for automatic qualification from South America. This allegation was thrown out by FIFA, but it isn’t ideal preparation for such a young group of players leading into a major international competition.
One aspect of this team that isn’t relatively unknown is Moises Caicedo.
The Brighton midfielder embodiments all the good around this current Ecuadorian group of players. Incredibly young gifted players are the core group dubbed a golden generation. It’s no surprise that Ecuador has recently become a hotspot for young talent. Domestic teams in the country are investing more time and money in discovering and developing young talent in order to maximise the country’s most important natural resource, its people, which they will then sell to larger clubs and leagues in order to obtain more revenue for youth development.
It’s evident that Ecuador is growing in stature at club and international levels. The likes of Piero Hincapié, Pervis Estupiñán, Jeremy Sarmiento, and Gonzalo Plata are shining lights within the set-up. Still, Caicedo shins the brightest at the heart of this youthful side.
Moises Caicedo’s status in Ecuador and English football, in general, is growing rapidly. He’s a regular starter at a Premier League side and doesn’t look out of place in matchups against the big sides at 20-year-old. The stage Ecuador will provide, where he is, without a doubt, the best midfielder, will only intensify the hype around him.
As the undisputed midfield leader for Ecuador, Moises Caicedo has an opportunity to showcase his talents to the globe.
Caicedo is still a raw talent, but the skillset is there, and with it, he can be a top, top all-action midfielder. He’s dominant in all thirds of the pitch, with quick combinations on the ball, robust hard tackling and a strong mind at Independiente, which alerted Brighton & Hove Albion into securing his services.
He’s adapted to the demands of the Premier League exceptionally.
Back to Ecuador, Moisés Caicedo was one of these rare players that had established himself as a player on the international level before he did at the top level domestically. This emphasises the belief shown in him at such a young age. The promise shown in him has been quickly rewarded — providing six goal involvements in fifteen qualifying games.
In Ecuador’s group, there is Netherlands, Senegal and the host Qatar. They open the entire campaign against Qatar.
Despite the odds against La Tri, they’ll be hoping to get past the group stages for the first time since 2006; Moises Caicedo will be a vital part.