FIFA WC 2014: Guillermo Ochoa is now a household name

By Chaitan Papnai | Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014, 19:46 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai

New Delhi: Before the start of the on-going World Cup Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa was a little known face. But with his impressive goalkeeping he not only made a name for himself in this World Cup but earned a lot of respect from football fraternity as well.

Though Mexico are now out of the World Cup after losing a dramatic tie in their last 16 knock-out match against the Netherlands on Sunday, Ochoa proved his mettle once again in the match. The curly-haired Mexican keeper hogged the limelight in each match Mexico had played in the World Cup finals in Brazil this year.

Against the Netherlands he didn`t only stop the star forwards of the Dutch team – Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie -- from scoring, but his block against Stefan de Vrij from point blank range was again one of the best saves of the tournament. His saves helped his team to maintain the 1-0 lead till last few minutes of the match, though in the dying minutes Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goals changed the course of the game completely. But even then Ochoa was rewarded with the Man-of-the-Match award in the end.

He is one of the reasons that Mexico reached that far in the biggest single-sporting extravaganza. He has now become the face of this Mexico side. The Mexican goalie has arguably been the top most goal-keeper thus far. His best performance of the tournament came in the group stages, that too, while playing against the home team Brazil. His outstanding glove work against Neymar & Co. helped him to eke out a draw for his side against the hosts. He was certainly the hero of the match as he didn`t concede a single goal against the Selecao and earned a lot of fans across the globe. His flawless work in the match was noticed by one and all.

After the outstanding World Cup, the 28-year-old, who plays for French second division team Ajaccio, would be on the radar of several big European clubs. So now its time for him to cash in the opportunity to break into a big European club and make a mark for himself.