This guy must be the most underrated footballer in Ecuador history. For some reason, he never gets the attention or praise he deserves for his abilities and his habits of producing some of the most important moments in the history of Ecuadorian football. Let me recount some of his feats of individual brilliance: 2002 WC Qualifying: Ecuador 1 - Brazil 0 - replaces Aguinaga(!!) who is injured halfway through the game and adds life to the midfield in this historic victory. I believe this was his first cap. 2002 WC Qualifying: Peru 1 - Ecuador 2 - before El Tin's famous injury-time winner, a young Mendez, in one of his first games for the Tricolor, made it possible by scoring a crucial equalizer off a Ulises De La Cruz cross. 2002 World Cup: Ecuador 1 - Croatia 0 - scores in Ecuador's first ever World Cup victory, and our second ever World Cup goal 2006 WC Qualifying: Ecuador 5 - Paraguay 2 - after going down 0-2 Mendez scores the 2rd and 3rd goals to tie and put us in the lead. The 2nd goal was possibly the most beautiful goal ever scored for Ecuador. 2006 WC Qualifying: Ecuador 1 - Brazil 0 - scores the winner with 10 minutes left in the match to give us 3 vital points on the way to Germany. 2006 World Cup: Dominant midfield performances against Poland and Costa Rica to give us the 6 points and guarantee the next round. 2 assists against Costa Rica, including the cross for the famous Kaviedes "Spiderman" celebration. Gets noticed in Europe and joins PSV after the WC. 2006-2007 PSV Eindhoven: Scores 2 goals on his European debut. 2006-2007 Champions League: PSV 1 - Arsenal 0 - first Ecuadorian ever to score in a Champions League match, it also happens to be the winning goal in the Round of 16 against one of the best teams in Europe. 2010 WC Qualifying: Ecuador 1 - Brazil 1 - Magical dribbling of several Brazilian defenders to put the cross in for the tying goal - as good as Kaviedes famous dribbling of 3 Brazilians 8 years before. 2009 Copa Sudamericana: LDUQ 5 - Fluminense 1 - Scores a natural HAT TRICK (i.e. no penalties) in the final, virtually guaranteeing the title. When you think of what this guy has done, it surpasses everybody, except Spencer and maybe Aguinaga (who never got the chance to play major international tournaments in his prime) in terms of achievements, trophies and glory. In my lifetime, he's the second most talented ever behind Aguinaga (Valencia has the tools but he's still young). I think there will be a big hole in the NT midfield when he retires, and the next coach (Bauza) needs to think seriously about how to replace him if he does not have the same abilities 4 years from now. Just thought I'd give this guy his dues, and hoping he leads LDU to more glory tomorrow night.