Ochoa in action for Ajaccio in 2013
|Full name||Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña|
|Date of birth||13 July 1985|
|Place of birth||Guadalajara, Mexico|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡiˈʎeɾmo oˈt͡ʃo.a]; born 13 July 1985), commonly referred to as Memo, is a Mexican footballer who plays for Spanish club Málaga and the Mexican national team as a goalkeeper.
Ochoa made his debut for América in 2004 in a league match against Monterrey. He won his first league title in 2005 and was the club's first-choice goalkeeper up until 2011, making over 200 appearances for América. That summer Ochoa was transferred to Ajaccio in France. He spent three seasons with the club until their relegation from Ligue 1. In 2014, Ochoa joined Málaga.
A Mexican international since 2005, Ochoa received his first cap during a friendly match against Hungary, which Mexico won 2–0. Ochoa was Mexico's starting goalkeeper in both the 2014 FIFA World Cup, being chosen twice as man of the match, and the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, won by the Mexicans. He was also included in the squads for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and was originally in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup before being suspended from the competition due to doping allegations.
Guillermo Ochoa made his debut with América during the Clausura 2004 tournament against Monterrey, being only 18 years old when called up by coach Leo Beenhakker. Ochoa quickly demonstrated his skill and talent in goal, and the young goalkeeper was thrust into the spotlight to replace injured veteran Adolfo Ríos. He would then share the starting job with Rios after he recovered from his aforementioned injury.
When the Apertura 2004 tournament began, Ochoa was thought to be the heir apparent to Ríos, who had retired. However, new coach Oscar Ruggeri brought new goalkeepers with him, among them Argentine Sebastián Saja. Ruggeri's stay at the club was marred by controversy and unpopular decisions. He was fired after only six games into the season and Ochoa was soon reinstated by new coach Mario Carrillo. Since then, he has started every game for Club América barring incidents involving injuries or national team duty. Under Carrillo, Ochoa won his first championship with América following the Clausura 2005 season.
Ochoa would start 2008 in great form, helping América win the InterLiga tournament with excellent performances, most notably in the group match against Monarcas Morelia, where he saved a late penalty kick, and América's 1–0 lead.
In the winter of 2010, there was much speculation by various sources in England as to where Ochoa would move to for the 2010–11 season. English newspaper Metro reported that Manchester United were keen on signing Ochoa. It was also reported by The Daily Mail that Ochoa was handed a trial with Fulham. This was later denied by both Fulham and América.
On 4 July 2011 Ochoa signed a three year contract, with an additional one year option, with the recently promoted Ajaccio. Ochoa played in his first two friendlies with Ajaccio against Bordeaux, losing 1–2 and against Real Sociedad, losing 0–4.
He made his official club debut on 5 August 2011 against Toulouse, losing 0–2. On 18 and 21 December Ajaccio won two games in a row, with Ochoa keeping two consecutive clean-sheets, his third clean-sheet in total of the season. Ochoa also contributed in 3–0 victory against Étoile Fréjus Saint-Raphaël in the Coupe de France. On 14 January 2012 he helped Ajaccio with a 2–1 victory over Auxerre, and on 21 January he played against Valenciennes in a 2–1 victory which put Ajaccio out of the relegation zone since the start of the season. Ajaccio won its sixth game with Ochoa in a 2–1 home win against Dijon. For the last game of the season Ajaccio needed a win against Toulouse to get out of the relegation zone. Ochoa started and played 90 minutes against Toulouse and helped Ajaccio win 2–0 to stay in the Ligue 1. Ochoa finished his first season with 8 cleansheets, 43 saves and 151 blocks. Unfortunately he also finished the Ligue 1 season with 59 goals conceded, making him, along with Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thébaux, the most scored-on keeper of the season.
On 1 July, Ajaccio's club president Alain Orsoni announced that Ochoa would stay for the 2012–13 season amidst rumored interest from clubs such as Fenerbahçe and Sevilla, but neither the clubs nor Ochoa's manager could come to a solid agreement.
On 11 August, Ochoa started and played against Nice in a 1–0 away win for their first game and win for the season. On 19 August, Ochoa played in Ajaccio's 0–0 draw at home against Paris Saint-Germain, in which he played a big part by keeping a clean sheet. In the third match of the season Ochoa played 60 minutes against Valenciennes in which he had to be substituted out due to a collision with a teammate. Ajaccio lost the match 0–3. Ochoa finished the season with 12 clean sheets.
Ochoa started in Ajaccio's first game of the season on 11 August 2013 against Saint-Etienne. Ajaccio lost the match 0–1. On 18 August, Ochoa played all 90 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes, with Ajaccio taking an early 1–0 advantage, though an Edinson Cavani goal in the 86th minute cost Ajaccio a famous victory, instead having to settle for a 1–1 draw. Ochoa's performance was praised, with many noting that the Mexican had saved 12 of the 39 total shots by PSG.
On 18 January 2014 Ochoa played his 100th match in Europe in Ajaccio's 0–2 away loss to Nice. Following a 1–2 defeat to Bastia on 20 April, Ajaccio were officially relegated to the Ligue 2 after spending three years in the top flight. Ochoa played his final match with the club on 17 May in a 1–3 defeat to Saint-Etienne. After announcing his departure officially, the club bid farewell to Ochoa in an open letter on social media.
Ochoa signed a three-year contract with La Liga club Málaga on 1 August 2014. Despite having participation with the club during the pre-season, Ochoa had not made any league appearances, with Carlos Kameni being manager Javi Gracia's first-choice goalkeeper. On 3 December, Ochoa played his first competitive game for Málaga, in a 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Deportivo de La Coruña. In the following league game against the same team, three days later, he was again back on the substitute's bench.
At the age of 20 Guillermo Ochoa was called up by Mexico's former manager Ricardo La Volpe for the 2006 FIFA World Cup as the third-choice goalkeeper. Newly appointed manager Hugo Sánchez called Ochoa into the national side as a deputy to Mexico's then-number one, Oswaldo Sánchez. In addition to the World Cup, Ochoa has participated in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2007 Copa América. He made his 2010 World Cup qualification debut on 28 March 2009 against Costa Rica. Ochoa made the final 23-man cut for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but was controversially the back-up goalkeeper to veteran Oscar Pérez.
During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Ochoa, along with four other members of the Mexico national team, tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol and were withdrawn from the team's tournament squad. All players were later acquitted by Mexican Football Federation and the results blamed on contamination of meat, with the ingestion of clenbuterol considered non-intentional. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to request a ban. But on 12 October 2011, WADA withdrew this request after the full file was available for them.
2014 World Cup
On 9 May 2014 Ochoa was named in Mexico's 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup. He started in Mexico's opening match against Cameroon on 13 June, which ended in a 1–0 victory for Mexico. The match was Ochoa's debut in a World Cup, having been called up for the previous two tournaments but failing to appear in a match. He made one important diving save. On 17 June, in the second group stage match against hosts Brazil, Ochoa made four stunning saves, including one following a powerful header from Neymar that immediately drew comparisons to Gordon Banks' famed 1970 save against Pelé, helped Mexico secure a 0–0 draw, and was named man of the match. His performance in the match earned praise from many, including Brazilian head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Ochoa himself commented on his performance, saying: "It was the match of my life. To do it in a World Cup, in front of all the fans, it's incredible." Ochoa conceded one goal against in the group stage, in the 3–1 victory against Croatia that qualified Mexico for the Round of 16. Ochoa started in Mexico's knock-out game against The Netherlands, in which he made several crucial saves to hold on to Mexico's 1–0 advantage, however the Dutch went on to win 2–1. Ochoa's performance was praised, and was named man of the match for a second time.
Ochoa chooses to play internationally with the jersey number 13, after his birthday on 13 July.
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Thirteen is anything but unlucky for Guillermo Ochoa. Born on the 13th of July and the wearer of the No13 jersey, the Mexico goalkeeper now has another reason to regard the number with affection. Today, on Friday 13 June, he finally made his FIFA World Cup debut.
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