José Francisco Cevallos

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José Francisco Cevallos
Cevallos in 2014
Personal information
Full name José Francisco Cevallos Villavicencio
Date of birth (1971-04-17) April 17, 1971 (age 47)
Place of birth Ancón, Santa Elena, Ecuador
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1985–1989 Molinera
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–2006 Barcelona SC 380 (0)
2005Once Caldas (loan) 11 (0)
2007 Deportivo Azogues 40 (0)
2008–2011 LDU Quito 48 (0)
Total 538 (0)
National team
1994–2010 Ecuador 89 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 22, 2011

José Francisco Cevallos Villavicencio (born April 17, 1971 in Ancón, Santa Elena Province) is an Ecuadorian retired football goalkeeper, former Minister of Sports in Ecuador and current President of Barcelona, the football club where he started his professional career. Nicknamed Las Manos del Ecuador (English: The hands of Ecuador), Cevallos is considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of Ecuadorian football. He has won three national titles (1991, 1995, 1997) with Guayaquil based club Barcelona, with whom he has spent the majority of his professional career. As the goalkeeper for LDU Quito, he was a key figure in the team's 2008 Copa Libertadores title, where he saved three penalties in the deciding penalty shoot-out. That same year, he was voted as the Best Goalkeeper in South America by Montevideo based newspaper El País. As a member of the national team, he has participated in four Copa Américas and Ecuador's first World Cup participation. Having represented his national team 89 times, he is the highest capped goalkeeper in the history of the team.

Club career[edit]


Cevallos join the Guayaquil-based club in 1990, and has spent most of his career there, playing over 400 league matches. He was a key figure in the club's 1991, 1995, and 1997 national titles, which gave the club their record 13 titles.

His most significant contribution to the club internationally came during the 1998 Copa Libertadores. In that season, Barcelona reached the finals for the second time in their history, but they would be the runner-up, again, after losing to Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

Once Caldas and Deportivo Azogues[edit]

In 2005, he was loaned to play for Once Caldas in Colombia, where he did not enjoy major success and he just completed one season there. After returning to Barcelona briefly, he went to Deportivo Azogues where many believed that would be the end of his career. But at the club, kept his form and got back to being one of the best goalkeepers in Ecuador. Due to his outstanding performance in 2007, LDU Quito signed him for the following season.[1]

LDU Quito[edit]

Cevallos joined the Quito club at the start of the 2008 season to help the club defend their 2007 title and to become an instrumental part of the clubs Copa Libertadores campaign. Again, as he did with Barcelona in 1998, Cevallos saw his role elevated to prominence. In the quarterfinals, LDU Quito eliminated Argentine club San Lorenzo by penalties, with Cevallos stopping a key shoot by Aureliano Torres. In the semifinals, he kept a clean sheet again Mexican club América in Quito, helping LDU Quito advance to their first final. After a 4−2 win in Quito during the first leg, Cevallos let the club's superior goal difference against Brazilian club Fluminense slip in the second leg, resulting in a decisive penalty shoot-out. Cevallos came out a hero in the end, blocking penalties by Darío Conca, Thiago Neves and Washington to give LDU Quito their first Copa Libertadores, which was also the first for the country. As a result of his performance in the tournament, he was elected as the best goalkeeper in South America and to the best eleven team for the tournament. IFFHS even ranked his as one of the top-ten goalkeepers around the world, at number 6. Initially slated to be with the club for a year, he extended his plans with the squad until 2010.

On May 16, 2011, he announced his retirement from professional football to make way for younger players.[2]

International career[edit]

During his first era with the Ecuador national football team he was a participant at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and in Copa América 1995,[3] 1997 with his brother,[4]1999,[5] and 2001[6] He played 77 official games before announcing retirenment in 2004.

In 2008, he returned for the national team in an unofficial friendly match against LDU Quito to which he belonged. This was the first time that he played for Ecuador in 4 years. He played the first half of the 5-0 win until he was replaced by Espoli's Maximo Banguera.

Later he was called again to play 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification against Argentina and Colombia.

He was nicknamed by the Ecuadorian fans as "las manos del Ecuador" meaning "the hands of Ecuador" referring to his wonderful performances in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification.


Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ecuador League Cup South America Total
2008 LDU Quito Serie A 19 0 N/A 16 0 35 0
2009 17 0 5 0 22 0
2010 8 0 7 0 15 0
2011 4 0 0 0 4 0




LDU Quito



Political career[edit]

José Francisco Cevallos
Minister of Sports
Assumed office
May 24, 2011
PresidentRafael Correa
Preceded bySandra Vela
Personal details

On May 23, 2011, Cevallos was picked to succeed Sandra Vela as the Minister of Sports in Ecuador.[7][8] He assumed office the following day.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Cevallos' older brother Alex used to play professionally as a goalkeeper as well. His son José Francisco, Jr. is also a footballer who plays for Juventus on loan from his father's old club.

He is also known for having a foundation that helps young kids, especially in football.


  1. ^ El Comercio
  2. ^ "Cuelgan guantes Las Manos del Ecuador" [Las Manos del Ecuador hangs his gloves] (in Spanish). May 16, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  3. ^ rsssf: Copa América 1995
  4. ^ rsssf: Copa América 1997
  5. ^ rsssf: Copa América 1999 Archived 2015-07-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ rsssf: Copa América 2001 Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]