S AmericaAdam BateComment

In Search of Armando Paredes

S AmericaAdam BateComment

Can you help? Just like Interpol, IBWM has a wanted list.  They look for Carlos the Jackal types, we go in search of South American loons.  Here's our crimewatch type correspondent, Adam Bate.

It’s a small world these days and football is no different. Even a bumbling fool like me can easily contact experts across the four corners of the globe at the click of a button. But details of one man elude me. He goes by the name of Armando Paredes.

Paredes first piqued my interest when reading a piece about South American wild men. The usual nutters were there from Edmundo to Rene Higuita. And then there was Paredes - an Ecuadorian lunatic with a rap sheet the length of Linford Christie’s schlong.

Right from the beginning of his career the Ecuadorian midfielder, now 26, developed an unsavoury reputation. The standard fare of nightclub excesses and missed training sessions were ticked off at an early stage. An early quest for success in European football with lowly Italian side Venezia was a disaster. Instead, Paredes continued to rack up more clubs than international caps – he’s managed just two of the latter thus far.

By early 2008 Paredes was treading water back in Ecuador and his relationship with Emelec’s Argentine coach Juan Urquiza had disintegrated. When the player was substituted in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Liga de Quito he hurled his shirt to the ground – and death threats at the coach.

More troubles followed with stories of photographers being attacked in November 2008 but the worst was yet to come. In March 2009, a drunken Paredes turned up at his ex-wife’s home and, when he was not let in, climbed through the window and attacked his former partner, her mother and even the maid. A scuffle ensued with his ex-wife’s male relatives before the footballer was eventually arrested after insulting the police. Armando’s take on things was somewhat different: “I just wanted to relax and be with my daughter.”

Paredes’ relationship with Tatiana Perez, his wife, had fallen apart following a high profile affair with a well-known TV presenter in Ecuador called Sofia Caiche. The story sparked a gossip column frenzy but the player’s relationship with Caiche fizzled out – only for the TV star to announce her pregnancy in September 2009.  Caiche even spoke of Paredes’ assurances that he would stop drinking and his plans to fulfil his promise of becoming the best player in the country.

However, by February 2010 Paredes was fast running out of clubs to turn to in Ecuador. He still managed to turn up at El Nacional, the 13 time league champions. Sadly, things didn’t take too long to come to a head. Just weeks after joining, Paredes was dismissed for ill-discipline after refusing to take a blood test prior to a game. The end of the matter? Not by a long shot – good old Armando refused to accept the club’s decision and insisted he would continue to turn up to training regardless.

And this is where it gets really frustrating. Football Manager 2011 indicates that Paredes is still at El Nacional and I admit that should be good enough for me. But the rather less respected Wikipedia does not include the midfielder on the current player list and the Google trail runs cold after the events of March 2010.

Where are you Armando? You mad bastard.

You can follow Adam Bate on Twitter @GhostGoal.

If you are able to provide further information on Armando's whereabouts, call this number please leave details in our comments box below.  You could win a reward.  Probably.