As in many aspects of life, cycles end and football is no exception. The Honduran captain Maynor figueroa He lives it in his own flesh and not in the way that he would like after many years in the service of the H, being an example of dedication and professionalism for each of the footballers with whom he has had the opportunity to share.
To their 38 years his stage with the Honduran national team has come to an end and the match against Costa Rica next November 16 in San José could mark the last in his football life with the H so that later, in 2022, the Bicolor begins a restructuring process for the future with new players in the defensive zone who are the ones who would aspire to play the next elimination process towards the 2026 World Cup and to whom it will leave a high bar that is very difficult to overcome.
And it is that the night of terror lived by Honduras on Friday where after winning against Panama 2-0 and then came a comeback of 2-3 part of the visit has left the catrachos without options to go to the World Cup and with a direct manager: Maynor Figueroa who sand he made a mistake in the first, in the second and in the third goal received by Luis “Buba” López, this result cut off any possibility of going to Qatar of a team that was already in a bad way because of Fabián Coito’s disastrous decision-making work and that put Honduras in this window against the wall and on the edge of the precipice.
At the end of the game, the captain was crestfallen on the Olympic pitch, even with everything and his mistakes, no one dared to whistle him for the respect he earned and that has led him to become one of the all-time defenders of the National selection, But even when emotionally he was destroyed, he had the courage to go in front of the cameras, show his face and accept his guilt, although inside he also carried implicit knowing that there were not only three mistakes, but the responsibility to step aside and give the opportunity to other central defenders who, until now, did not do enough to convince the different DT’s of the H that they were a better option than him.
Bolillo Gómez in the press conference prior to this game had defended him against questions about his age and assured that in this sport what there are “are good and bad footballers.”
And is that Maynor He has had a bad football year in 2021 and is the lowest performing since his arrival in the United States; with the Houston Dynamo he has barely been able to play in 13 games and completed 90 minutes only in seven, his club was one of the worst in MLS and his contract has just ended and like Boniek García he will not be renewed because this team has also started a restructuring process with a new general manager and with the dismissal of coach Tab Ramos. Now Maynor will also face the difficulty of finding a club in MLS that could lead him to decide whether to return to the Honduran National League, play at a lower level in the United States or decide to retire from soccer.
AN INTACHABLE TRAJECTORY
And although many question these three errors, Maynor figueroa He has been an example of struggle and dedication for the Honduras National Team, he has been part of the last five eliminatory processes of the Bicolor where he was a key man to achieve the classifications World Cup winners in South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.
And after the failure with Jorge Luis Pinto in 2018 Heading to Russia, many considered that their cycle had ended, however Fabián Coito, the DT that practically has Honduras out of Qatar, chatting with the defender decided to continue accepting the calls when his answer could also be negative and would not generate any questioning for said decision.
In this way, Figueroa will say goodbye to the Honduran national team in which he debuted on January 21, 2003 in a friendly against Argentina at the Olímpico, since then he has become the ‘iron man’, playing almost 200 games. being the soccer player in the entire history of Honduras who most met with the national colors.
But his good record has not only been in the national team, at the club level since his beginnings in Victoria it was known that the left-hander would go far and that is how it was, the arrival in Olympia was the spearhead to triumph in England where he won an FA Cup with Wigan In the final of 2012 against the mighty Manchester City, then he had a not so good step with Hull City until finishing in the United States 2015 at Colorados Rapids, then he went to Dallas FC for three years and the same years at Dynamo.
THE MEN WHO ARE PROFILED TO REPLACE IT
The latest inclusion of Hernán ‘Bolillo’ Gómez in the central defense of Honduras raises good hopes for the future, as the young defender Carlos Meléndez, 23 years old, He made his debut against Panama as one of the safest and best concentrated men, his 1.90 meters tall allowed him to win every aerial ball he played and his foot safety was also evident.
Melendez was in the previous pre-Olympic process that led Honduras to contest the Tokyo Olympics 2021 where, despite not having a good performance, it has been shaping up to be the future of the central defense.
The other defender already known to all is Denil Maldonado, se is consolidating in the Everton of Chile what will play next season Libertadores Cup and what next to Melendez can begin to lead this area of the field for the upcoming tournaments for H.
In the last calls, other defenders with a good projection have also appeared, such as Marcelo Pereira who disputes his second round and those of Olympia José García and Elvin Casildo, the latter is recovering from a serious knee injury.