• Thursday Jun 12, 2014

    WC Player Profile: Noel Valladares (Honduras)

    The play of goalkeeper Noel Valladares (pictured) is expected to be key if Honduras is to advance past the group stage at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)

    PORTO FELIZ, Brazil – Four years removed from his unforgettable diving save against Chile at the 2010 World Cup, Honduras goalkeeper and captain Noel Valladares is set once more to make his mark on the sport’s biggest stage.

    Perhaps no other player on the Catrachos’ roster at Brazil 2014 will be as intrinsic to the team’s success as the 37-year-old veteran.

    With highly-talented France, Ecuador and Switzerland providing the Group E opposition, it is easy to see why manager Luis Fernando Suarez may well end up relying heavily on the experienced shot-stopper.  After all, Valladares has accumulated more than 120 caps, appearing in a remarkable 53 World Cup qualifiers over four separate cycles. 

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    Valladares and Olimpia partner Donis Escober, form two-thirds of Honduras’ goalkeeping corps at Brazil 2014.  Though it is a footballing rarity for goalkeepers from the same club to be teammates at the international level, the duo have made it work successfully for eight years.

    For example, in the recently contested 2014 Honduran Clausura final between Olimpia and Marathon, Valladares played in the first leg, while Escober was in between the posts for the return match.  Both encounters ended in scoreless draws and the Lions eventually captured their 28th domestic crown on penalty kicks.

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    In South Africa, Valladares conceded only three goals in as many games and posted a shutout against Switzerland.  If Honduras can find the back of the net in Brazil -- after going goalless four years ago -- and Valladares upholds what has become an expected standard of excellence, the Catrachos will be in the competition for a first-time place in the Round of 16.

    NOEL VALLADARES
    Country:  Honduras
    Club:  Olimpia
    Position:  Goalkeeper
    Birthdate:  May 3, 1977

    FIFA STATISTICS

    WORLD CUP
    Appearances (1):  2010
    Games Played:  3

    WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
    Appearances (4):  2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
    Games Played:  53

    OLYMPIC FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
    Appearances (1):  2000
    Games Played:  3

     

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