Honduras: World Cup 2014 Team Preview
Best Ever Finish: Group Stage (1982, 2010)
Manager: Luis Fernando Suarez
Captain: Noel Valladares
Honduras qualified for Brazil with relative ease. They finished third in the CONCACAF group standings, leaving Mexico and Panama to battle it out for the final spot.
Heading into what will be the nation’s third World Cup, their primary objective will be to win a game. In their six World Cup outings to date, that has escaped them: having drawn three times and lost on a further three occasions.
Depending on the draw, this squad certainly has the personnel capable of picking up that maiden victory. They have a host of experience within their team, including long-standing Premier League players like Wilson Palacios and Maynor Figueroa. Celtic left-back Emilio Izaguirre is arguably their best player and his blistering forays up and down the left flank will be the Honduran’s primary attacking threat
Given a favourable draw, Honduras well could be celebrating their first ever World Cup win. Manager Luis Fernando Suarez lead Ecuador into the last 16 back in 2006, but the people of Honduras would surely settle for that first ever victory. Anything surpassing that would be a huge bonus and massive surprise.
Key Player – Wilson Palacios
Whilst Izaguirre is probably the best player in this Honduras side, veteran Palacios remains the most important. Having found himself in the Premier League wilderness for a couple of seasons at Stoke City, Palacios has seen much more game time under new boss Mark Hughes.
At his peak, the Stoke City man international was one of the most ferocious and athletic defensive midfielders in the Premier League. His performance levels have dwindled significantly, but he has recaptured some form this season and remains the heartbeat of this Honduran team.
With many teams far superior to Honduras in this tournament, you suspect Palacios will have his work out in that anchoring position. Los Catrachos need some massive defensive performances from him and Figueroa if they are to pick up that elusive maiden World Cup win.