Ulises de la Cruz (born February 8, 1974 in Ecuador) is an
Ecuadorian football player who currently plays for Aston Villa
F.C. as a midfielder.
His first team were the Ecuadorian Liga Deportivo Universitaria,
for whom he started playing in the 1999/2000 season. On June 18,
2001, he moved to Hibernian F.C. for a fee of 700,000 pounds,
for whom he made 25 full league appearances, as well as 7
substitute appearances, scoring two goals. He struggled to make
the grade at Hibernian but had a good World Cup in Japan 2002
and was picked up by Graham Taylor after he did television work
at the 2002 World Cup, an instant signing when Taylor came back
to Villa, and Hibernian came back from a tour of Finland.
A struggler in his first season at the club, he flourished in
the 2003/04 season after David O'Leary took over, and an injury
to Mark Delaney ensured that de la Cruz could start more games
than he had previously. New contract talks succeeded for the