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Alex Aguinaga

Alex Aguinaga was one of the best players, if not the best, that Ecuadorian football ever produced. Recently, he ended his impressive career with an official “adios”. But the 39-year-old has not turned his back on sport completely and there was no farewell match or a lavish party. At Atahualpa Stadium in Quito, where he had played many of his 109 internationals, the playmaker with the trademark ponytail made another appearance, in which a world star team, Estrellas Mundiales, beat the locals, Idolos de la Mitad del Mundo (idols of half of the world), 3-2. Estrellas Mundiales, coached by Colombian Hernan Dario Gomez (who had guided Ecuador’s national team with captain Aguinaga to their first ever FIFA World Cup™ in 2002) lined up with former stars such as Chile’s Ivan Zamorano and Ivo Basay, Colombia’s Faustino Asprilla, Brazil’s Cesar Sampaio, Mexico’s Zaguinho, Enrique Borja, Luis Hernandez, Jose Luis Montes de Oca and Manuel Sol, Uruguay’s Sergio Vazquez, Argentina’s Mario Quiroga and Paraguay’s Hugo Caballero. Alex Aguinaga, of course, scored a goal, as did his son, Alex junior, who converted a penalty. Alex’s brother was playing for the opposition. Alex Aguinaga’s career as a footballer spanned 13 years and 492 matches (84 goals) for Mexican club Necaxa, where he enjoyed three league championship titles and came third in the FIFA Club World Cup Brazil 2000. El Maestro, as Aguinaga is reverently called by countless fans, will no doubt remain loyal to his club. He is planning to join the board but is not sure in which capacity. What is sure is that Aguinaga set up his own football academy in Mexico City in December 2007.