Ecuadorian wonderkid Kendry Paez has made waves with a historic international debut, offering Chelsea fans a tantalizing glimpse of his talent. The midfielder, hailing from Guayaquil, is set to join Chelsea in 2025, leaving his boyhood club, Independiente del Valle, after turning 18.
Previously linked with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, Paez’s international debut earlier this year against Mushuc Runa was nothing short of remarkable. He scored a crucial goal, helping his team secure a 3-1 victory. In doing so, the 2007-born prodigy became the youngest debutant and goal-scorer in Ecuador’s top-flight football.
Having represented Ecuador at both the U17 and U20 levels, Paez received his first senior call-up in June. At just 16 years, four months, and eight days old, he made his debut in Ecuador’s 2-1 win over Uruguay at Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado. This achievement not only established Paez as Ecuador’s youngest-ever player but also marked him as the youngest footballer ever to represent a South American nation in a World Cup qualifier.
Paez featured prominently under Félix Sánchez, sharing the midfield with future Chelsea colleague Moises Caicedo. He played for 70 minutes before making way for clubmate Joao Ortiz, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. Just before being substituted, Paez showcased his playmaking skills by setting up Félix Torres with a precise low cross from the left, resulting in Ecuador’s second goal.
Torres, who scored twice in the match, had initially equalized after Agustín Canobbio’s opener. Paez’s contribution was not just about scoring and assisting; it was a landmark moment as he became the youngest player to provide an assist in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier.
Kendry Paez’s rapid rise in the world of football is a testament to his immense talent and potential. As he prepares to embark on his Chelsea journey, football enthusiasts eagerly anticipate how this young sensation will continue to make history on the international stage. Paez’s remarkable debut has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Ecuadorian football and has set the stage for an exciting future with Chelsea.