The talisman and captain of the Honduras side, Amado Guevara has finally achieved at the age of 34 a dream he has been pursuing throughout his playing days: to reach the FIFA World Cup™ finals.
That dream became a reality when Los Catrachos secured a decisive 1-0 win over El Salvador last October, a result that, in combination with USA’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, clinched Honduras’s place at South Africa 2010.
Prior to that emotional moment, the abrasive midfielder had spent his career venturing around the globe in search of success.
Guevara’s story began at local side Motagua, where he quickly created a niche for himself and pocketed four league winners’ medals. Real Valladolid then lured him to Spain, although he failed to hold down a regular first-team place and moved on to Zacatepec of the Mexican second division. Costa Rica was the next port of call for El Lobo (The Wolf), who spent a few months with Deportivo Saprissa before finally enjoying some stability with Major League Soccer outfit New York MetroStars.
US football suited Guevara’s style down to the ground and he made a successful transition to life in the States. In his first season he led the New Yorkers to the runners-up slot and then ended his second campaign as leading scorer, despite playing in midfield, also winning the Player of the Season award.
In the meantime Guevara endured a string of disappointments with the national side. He was a key member of the team that worked its way to the brink of qualification for Korea/Japan 2002 only to lose out in the decisive game against Mexico. Guevara had another crack at reaching the world finals in Germany four years later, but Honduras failed to make the final six-team qualifying group, their path blocked by Guatemala and Costa Rica.
In 2007, Guevara left the renamed New York Red Bulls to sign for fellow MLS outfit Chivas USA. Failing to adapt at the franchise, who sold his player rights to Toronto FC, the gifted midfielder opted to return home, securing a loan deal with his beloved Motagua.
Rediscovering his hunger for the game, he was handed the captain’s armband for the start of Honduras’s bid to reach South Africa 2010, knowing that this would be his last chance to make the finals.
His subsequent leadership and force of character played no little part in Reinaldo Rueda’s side finally securing a place in the competition for only the second time in the country’s history. And though he might be the wrong side of 30, Guevara is determined to prove to the world that there is plenty of life in the old wolf yet.