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Thursday 29 May 2014

Around the World: Honduras and the Barclays Premier League

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup a look at the Honduran influence on the BPL

Wigan Athletic's Honduran defender stunned Stoke City with a goal from inside his own half in the 2009/10 season

Ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, which starts on 12 June, looks at the 31 nations outside of England who are competing in Brazil and their influence on the Barclays Premier League.

Honduras, who are in Group E with France, Switzerland and Ecuador, have competed in two FIFA World Cups – in 1982 and 2010 – and are hoping to make it third time lucky in emerging from the group stage for the first time in Brazil.

There are two representatives of Barclays Premier League clubs in Luis Fernando Suarez's 23-man squad with Hull City defender Maynor Figueroa and Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios bound for this summer's tournament. Wigan Athletic's Roger Espinoza, who played in the English top flight in 2013, is also among the party.

There have been six Hondurans to have plied their trade in the Barclays Premier League. The first was Milton Nunez, for Sunderland against Wimbledon in the 1999/2000 campaign. Since then Ivan Guerrero, for Coventry City, Hendry Thomas, Espinoza (both Wigan), Palacios (Birmingham City, Wigan, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City) and Figueroa (Wigan and Hull) have followed in his footsteps. Figueroa became the first Honduran goalscorer in the BPL in January 2009. He is also the leading BPL appearance-maker from his country with 211 matches to his name, 64 more than the other Honduran to have broken the 100-match mark, Palacios.

Hondurans have managed 429 Barclays Premier League appearances in total and scored six goals, one of which was a spectacular strike by Figueroa from his own half against Stoke during the 2009/10 season, which was voted goal of the season. The English top flight has yet to be graced by a manager from the nation.

Hondurans in Barclays Premier League
Total players in BPL history 6
Total BPL appearances 429
Total BPL goals 6

First Honduran to play in the Barclays Premier League
Milton Nunez
- Sunderland (v Wimbledon, 8 April, 2000)

BPL appearances by Hondurans
Maynor Figueroa
Wilson Palacios
Hendry Thomas
Roger Espinoza
Ivan Guerrero
Milton Nunez

First Honduran to score in the Barclays Premier League
Maynor Figueroa -
Wigan Athletic (v Spurs, 11 January, 2009)

Honduran goalscorers in BPL
Maynor Figueroa
Wilson Palacios
Roger Espinoza

Honduras 23-man FIFA World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana).
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan Athletic), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquake), Osman Chavez (Quingdao Jonoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua).
Midfielders: Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke City), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids).
Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

  • Milton Nunez was the first Honduran to play in the Barclays Premier League for Sunderland

  • Maynor Figueroa has played in and scored in more BPL matches than any of his compatriots

  • Ivan Guerrero turned out in the BPL for Coventry City

  • Hendry Thomas was another of Wigan's Honduran contingent

  • Wilson Palacios played in the BPL for Birmingham, Wigan, Spurs and Stoke

  • Wigan's Roger Espinoza celebrates his only BPL goal against Swansea City in May 2013

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Key Points

  • Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup we look at the influence of players from 31 participating nations outside England on the BPL
  • Next in series looks at players from Honduras in the Barclays Premier League
  • Maynor Figueroa is the Honduran with the most BPL appearances, while Milton Nunez was the first to appear in the competition