Saturday, 8 May 2010

32 for 2010: Honduras

Wigan fans will know well the talents of the players of this small Central American nation - with first team regulars Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas and former player Wilson Palacios all coming from there.

This is Honduras' second World Cup Finals, having qualified for the 1982 finals. Despite finishing bottom of their group in that tournament, they had a good campaign: holding the eventual group winners Northern Ireland and the Spanish hosts to draws, and only being narrowly defeated by Yugoslavia.

This time around their task will be made harder if they have to do without their most potent striker David Suazo through injury. Currently playing for Genoa on loan from Inter his career has stuttered since he shared the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year award with Kaka in 2006.

Most recently Honduras made it to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup - being defeated by the hosts and eventual runners-up, USA. Their performance in tournament was made more impressive when it's remembered that they didn't have their key Europe-based players available (despite being held in July).

Their coach, Reinaldo Rueda, has been in charge since 2006 - he was previously head coach of his native Colombia.

Drawn with Spain again, it's hard to see them progressing beyond the group stage against an improving Swiss side and Chile who impressed in qualifying, but they should at least make one of the more overlooked groups a little more interesting.

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