Walter Martinez (green jersey), shown in CONCACAF Champions League action against Pumas on March 10, 2010, has returned to play for Marathon in the 2015 Honduran Clausura.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- After playing in leagues across the globe, some of Honduras’ top players have returned to their home country, strengthening the National Professional Football League for the 2015 Clausura season.
Osman Chavez, Johnny Leveron, Walter Martinez, Ramon Nuñez and Arnold Peralta are all back to give the domestic game a lift and to remain in sight of national team head coach Jorge Luis Pinto as he builds a squad ahead of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Here’s a look at the returnees:
OSMAN CHAVEZ (PLATENSE)
After five years in Poland with Wisla Krakow and loan spell at China’s Qingdao Jonoon, Chavez returns for a second stint at Platense, the club that launched his professional career. The 30-year-old defender, who appeared in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, has played in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. He has participated in three editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and won the 2011 Central American Cup.
JOHNNY LEVERON (Marathon)
Following two seasons with Canada’s Vancouver Whitecaps, Leveron, 26, signed with San Pedro Sula-based Marathon. The defender has played for Honduras at the FIFA U-17 (2007) and U-20 (2009) World Cups, the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament and World Cup Qualifying (2012). He also won the 2011 Central American Cup.
WALTER MARTINEZ (Marathon)
Martinez, 32, is back for another stint at Marathon. The 49-time capped midfielder played last season with Guatemala’s Xelaju MC, scoring four goals in 18 games. Over the course of a career that has spanned 14 years, he has also competed in China (Beijing Guoan, Chongqing), Spain (Alaves) and the United States (San Jose Earthquakes). Martinez, who has five career CONCACAF Champions League goals (all with Marathon during the 2009/10 edition), appeared in all three of Honduras’ games in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He also won the 2011 Central American Cup.
RAMON NUÑEZ (Real España)
Nuñez, another veteran of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 Central American Cup-winning squad, returns to Honduras more than four years since leaving Olimpia for England’s Leeds United. The 29-year-old, who played with Alajuelense in the last few months of 2014, has two career goals in the CONCACAF Champions League, both while as member of Cruz Azul. He has represented Honduras in the FIFA U-20 World Cup (2005) and the Olympic Football Tournament (2008), as well as in 14 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
"I come motivated to win many important things and to be champion with Real España. I have seen that it has a great team. I want to emphasize Real España and focus myself in order to return to the national team.”
ARNOLD PERALTA (Olimpia)
After missing out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a leg injury, Peralta is eager make his mark with Olimpia, especially when it meets Herediano in the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League. The 25-year-old midfielder returns to his native country after less than two years with Scotland’s Rangers FC, which terminated his contract by mutual consent on January 21. Peralta has won 31 caps for the Catrachos, including 12 in World Cup qualifiers and four in Central American Cup play. He has also represented Honduras in the FIFA U-20 World Cup (2009) and the Olympic Football Tournament (2012).
"The mentality is to win many titles. I know it will be hard. I know what Olimpia represents as an institution and I go with a winning mentality.”