Juan Carlos Paredes is a marauding full-back combining bags of pace, plenty of trickery and direct running on the overlap, attributes that naturally caught the eye of Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda. Esmeraldas-born Paredes, 26, came up through the ranks at local club Huracan, but a big switch to Guayaquil giants Barcelona soon beckoned. He was on the move again before too long, though, briefly playing for Deportivo Cuenca and then dropping down the divisions to help third-tier Rocafuerte gain promotion to Serie B.

Following another stint at Deportivo Cuenca, where he finished second in the league, the full-back won his first top-flight title at Deportivo Quito in 2011 before going full circle by rejoining Barcelona last year. Paredes earned his senior Ecuador debut in a 2010 friendly against Mexico and subsequently shrugged off the disappointment of missing the 2011 Copa America to establish himself as a key performer for his country, featuring in 14 of 16 qualifiers on the road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.