The drama involving Mexican National Team goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa has come to close. The 29 year-old has signed with Spanish side Malaga CF for the next three seasons and will be guarding the posts at La Rosaleda Stadium. Over 2,000 fans greeted Ochoa in his official presentation.
“I thank the team officials for giving me the opportunity, for the effort that they made to bring me to the club,” Ochoa said during his presentation. “I am very happy because this club has opened the doors for me to play in Spain. It is a dream come true. Most of all because it is a team that is growing, why I didn’t look at other teams.”
After a great performance at the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, many rumors arose concerning the former AC Ajaccio stopper. Teams like Paris St. Germain and Olympique Marseille were tempting for Ochoa, there was even the rumor that FC Barcelona had considered the Guadalajara native after Victor Valdez decided to leave the culés.
Ochoa began his career with Mexico City giant Club America in 2004 at the tender age of 18. Then Coach Leo Beenhakker gave Ochoa the opportunity after starting keeper Adolfo Rios was injured. From that point forward, Ochoa became a sensation and team icon.
In July 2011 “Memo” became the first Mexican goalkeeper to sign in a major European league signing with recently promoted AC Ajaccio in the French Ligue 1. Ochoa was constantly named to the league’s Top XI at the end of week play. Despite being in a recently promoted team, Ochoa managed eight clean sheets in his first year with the bears, and 12 in his second. He played in 112 league and cup games with Corsicans.
Ochoa was called up by Mexican National Team Coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera to participate in the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup. He started in Mexico’s four games at the tournament. Ochoa held Cameroon and Brazil keeping the teams from piercing his net. Against Brazil, Ochoa made an incredible stop against Neymar which was instantly compared to Gordon Banks’ play against Pelé.
“I was attracted to Malaga from the start,” Ochoa concluded. “I am here with the dream of giving my best so that the people can be happy every week.”
Ochoa will join the team during the preseason to perform in the Schalke 04 Cup, followed by an international exhibition friendly against Qatar. They wrap up against Italy’s Fiorentina in the Costa del Sol UNESCO Trophy before beginning the La Liga on Aug. 23, 2014 against Athletic Bilbao at La Rosaleda Stadium.