Guillermo Ochoa – Mexico’s Guardian
Guillermo Ochoa was one of the best goalkeepers in Brazil World Cup. His amazing performances against Brazil and Netherlands introduce himself as one the players that must be remembered after this World Cup. Guillermo Ochoa was in a sparkling form in each match, and his display against Brazil and Netherlands are by far some of the best moments of this World Cup.
What is more impressive is the fact that few free-agent players appear in the first line-up in a World Cup. But, the Mexican goalkeeper was one the finest players of El Tri. Guillermo Ochoa’s impressive performances come as shock for many fans, but the Mexican goalkeeper is undoubtedly one of the best shot-stoppers in the world. His career was overshadowed by allegations of doping in 2011. As a result, Guillermo Ochoa could not transfer to an important European team and had to sign with Ligue 1 strugglers: Ajaccio. With amazing saves against Neymar, Fred, Van Persie or De Vrij, the 29 years old Mexican keeper will surely get a contract to an established European club.
Guillermo Ochoa started his professional career at the of 17, playing for Mexico’s most successful team: America. Memo Ocho debuted for America when the club’s first choice goalkeeper, Adolfo Rios, got injured. Ochoa had became a regular for America since 2004. One of the most important achievements of his career was related to 2007 Copa America. Mexico finished 2007 Copa America on the third position and Ochoa made an amazing match against Brazil (Mexico won 2-0). After this outstanding performance, Guillermo Ochoa came back in Mexico as a superstar, being closely watched by many European teams. Memo was close to transfer to Fulham, Manchester United and Paris Saint German in 2011, but a doping scandal destroyed his career. After a Gold Cup in 2011, Ochoa was one the five Mexican players that tested positive at a doping test. However, the charges were dropped after two months because the investigators concluded that the players inadvertently eaten contaminated food. Unfortunately, the planned transfer to PSG felt down and the interest of Fulham and Manchester United faded away. The damage of these allegations to Ochoa’s career were unrepairable.
The Mexican goalkeeper only managed to transfer himself to newly promoted Ligue 1 team: Ajaccio. He made a splendid performance in his second official Ligue 1 game against Olympique Lyon, and due to his saves Ajaccio managed to go home with a draw. I would say that Guillermo Ochoa was instrumental for Ajaccio adventure in Ligue 1 in the following three seasons. Despite being the goalkeeper with the most conceded goals in those 3 Ligue 1 seasons, the Mexican can not be blamed because the Corsicans had a terrible defense. Other examples that confirm that Ochoa was very important and quite constant are the draws against PSG (clean sheet in 2012 and saving 12 shots out of 38 in 2013). Guillermo Ochoa was one the best goalkeepers in Ligue 1, despite the fact that he conceded a lot, but he did not have a good defense and the fans loved him because the Mexican kept at minimum the number of goals scored against Ajaccio. The Corsican club thanked Ochoa by presenting on their website a short resume of the Mexican goalkeeper after his departure in this summer: “He made more than 400 saves in three seasons in Ligue 1 and was the most consistent player in the league, playing 112 matches in that time”.
Memo Ochoa is a bit short for a goalkeeper (1.85 meters), but he is agile like cat, brave and has one the finest reflexes in the world. The Mexican surely deserves a better team, that has higher objectives than avoiding relegation. He has the talent, the reflexes, the bravery and the inspiration to stand up when the team needs. The Mexican’s performance in World Cup was just a mere demonstration of how good he is and it is a pity that big clubs needed the Brazil tournament to rediscover one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Maybe it is the time that his career will find the proper path and no other bad lucks will interfere.
Recently, Guillermo Ochoa was linked with a transfer to Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Malaga. Memo keeps the door open because has an outstanding World Cup in his resume and he his also a free agent. He is not only one the few Mexican goalkeepers that managed to transfer in Europe, but he is also one the greatest shot-stoppers in the world right now. Moreover, Memo Ochoa was credited to be the key player for America in winning the Mexican League in 2008. Guillermo Ochoa should have been a regular in El Tri in both 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but in 2006 Ricardo Lavolpe did not want to take any risk because Memo was only 21 years old. In 2010 the story was different, Javier Aguirre gave Oscar Perez the starter position because he had an interest with the goalkeeper’s agent (it is a known fact in Mexico that Aguirre partnered up with some agents and called up players for the Mexican national team in order to promote them for a transfer in Europe). In 2010, Ochoa was not managed by the “right” agent, but in 2014 he really demonstrated his real value.