Ecuador World Cup 2022 squad: Final 26-man team announced

Ecuador World Cup 2022
(Image credit: PA)

The Ecuador World Cup 2022 squad has been announced, with former West Ham striker Enner Valencia leading the 26-man team as captain. 

Highly unfancied when the Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifiers began, Ecuador swept to their fourth World Cup finals with time to spare.

The wily Gustavo Alfaro has chiselled a balanced side from the prize picks of South America’s famed Independiente del Valle youth academy – including Brighton’s Moises Caicedo – and they are organised, physically tough and ruthlessly direct on the counter. Few will expect much from La Tri in Qatar, but that’s just how they like it.

They'll need to keep proving the doubters wrong in Qatar. On their day, Ecuador can be merciless – just ask Colombia, who suffered their heaviest qualifying defeat since 1977, at the hands of La Tri. That 6-1 romp cost Carlos Queiroz his job.

The experience of Enner Valencia – the captain and record goalscorer – adds to under-the-radar young talent who make up arguably the most exciting generation in Ecuador’s history. They are also lightning in transition.

However, the lack of a quality goalkeeper is a big worry. Alexander Dominguez, 35 and well past his best, is still expected to start despite having been dropped at one point in the qualifying campaign. 

Ecuador World Cup 2022 squad

Ecuador World Cup 2022 squad: The final 26-man squad

  • GK: Hernan Galindez (Aucas)
  • GK: Moises Ramirez (Independiente del Valle)
  • GK: Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito)
  • DF: Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • DF: Robert Arboleda (Sao Paulo)
  • DF: Felix Torres (Santos Laguna)
  • DF: William Pacho (Antwerp) 
  • DF: Pervis Estupinan (Brighton)
  • DF: Angelo Preciado (Genk)
  • DF: Xavier Arreaga (Seattle Sounders)
  • DF: Diego Palacios (Los Angeles)
  • DF: Jackson Porozo (Troyes) 
  • MF: Jose Cifuentes (Los Angeles)
  • MF: Carlos Gruezo (Augsburg)
  • MF: Angel Mena (Leon)
  • MF: Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton)
  • MF: Jhegson Mendez (Los Angeles FC)
  • MF: Gonzalo Plata (Real Valladolid)
  • MF: Alan Franco (Talleres)
  • MF: Moises Caicedo (Brighton)
  • MF: Kevin Rodriguez (Imbabura)
  • FW: Djorkaeff Reasco (Newell's Old Boys)
  • FW: Enner Valencia (Fenerbahce)
  • FW: Michael Estrada (Cruz Azul)
  • FW: Aytron Preciado (Santos Laguna)
  • FW: Romario Ibarra (Pachuca)

Ecuador World Cup 2022 top scorers

3 goals – Enner Valencia

1 goal - Moises Caicedo

Who's got a yellow card at the World Cup?

1 yellow: Moises Caicedo

2 yellows: Jhegson Mendez

Ecuador manager

Who is Ecuador's manager for the 2022 World Cup?

Gustavo Alfaro was a pragmatic departure from the ill-fated flamboyance of predecessor Jordi Cruyff, who left in 2020 having not held a single training session. After a long career coaching clubs in his native Argentina, including Boca Juniors, this is the 60-year-old’s first taste of international football and he aims to put defence first.

Ecuador's star player

Who is Ecuador's best player?

Moises Caicedo hasn’t looked back since making his debut against Argentina two years ago – he’s the heartbeat of everything good about this Ecuador team. Caicedo, 21 by tournament kick-off and a star in South America long before excelling for Brighton this season, can make Manchester United regret pulling out of a £4.5m deal 18 months ago.

How many players are Ecuador allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?

National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while last year's Copa America allowed squads of 28 players.

Now it has been announced that 26-player squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an expansion from the usual 23-man teams.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).

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