At the age of 24, Emilio Izaguirre is the second youngest member of what is, relatively speaking, an ageing Honduras squad. A deceptively strong left-back with good pace and prodigious passing ability, not to mention the ease with which he can slot into the left side of midfield, Izaguirre is the Honduran equivalent of the great Roberto Carlos. With his country having qualified for its first World Cup finals since 1982, Izaguirre will be hoping to demonstrate his talents on the biggest stage of all over the next couple of months and ensure that Honduras can come away from their South African experience with their pride intact.
Currently playing his club football for Motagua, Honduras’ most prestigious side and the team he has represented ever since signing professional forms in 2003, Izaguirre has been a pivotal figure in guiding Motagua to the one league title and Copa Interclubes UNCAF triumph the club has enjoyed since his arrival. Although the full-back has been a central part of the Motagua set-up in recent years, strings of consistently eye-catching performances for both club and country over the last few seasons, as well as the chance to impress in South Africa this summer, could see Izaguirre finally secure a move to a big club in either Europe or South America after the conclusion of the World Cup.
Having represented Honduras at both U20 and U23 level between 2005 and 2007, Izaguirre was eventually called up to the senior side three years ago, making his debut in a 1-1 friendly draw against Denmark in Tegucigalpa. The dynamic defender has since gone on to make another 39 appearances for his country, scoring just a single goal but establishing himself as an invaluable member of the Honduran defence and becoming, despite his young age, one of the Central American’s most experienced players.
Although his country’s chances of progression from what is a difficult group for world’s 38th ranked side look slim at best, Izaguirre will have plenty of chances to impress in South Africa when going up against the likes of Andres Iniesta, Marco Padalino and Alexis Sanchez in the early stages. If he can succeed in keeping players of that calibre quiet, then, no matter how Honduras’ campaign ends, he could well be on his way to a top European club with the reputation as one of Central America’s finest defensive exports.