Manager Gerardo Martino has chosen his 26-man squad he will be taking to Mexico’s 17th World Cup, 16 of which play in the Mexican League, Liga MX. Experience looks to be a big factor for Martino’s selection, as there is not a single player under the age of 23 in the squad and lots of familiar faces, however, a few notable names have been left out.Embed from Getty Images
Left Back Jesus Gallardo celebrates his goal in a friendly against Iraq.
Guillermo Ochoa, Club America, 37.
Alfredo Talavera, FC Juarez, 40.
Rodolfo Cota, Club Leon, 35.Embed from Getty Images
The forever iconic Guillermo Ochoa.
Jorge Sanchez, Ajax, 24.
Kevin Alvarez, Pachuca, 23.
Nestor Araujo, Club America, 31.
Johan Vasquez, Cremonese, 24.
Hector Moreno, Monterrey, 34.
Cesar Montes, Monterrey, 25.
Gerardo Arteaga, Genk, 24.
Jesus Gallardo, Monterrey, 28.Embed from Getty Images
Hector Moreno Will be heading into his 4th World Cup with El Tri.
Andres Guardado, Real Betis, 36. Most capped player, 177.
Hector Herrera, Houston Dynamo, 32.
Carlos Alberto “Charly” Rodriguez, Cruz Azul, 25.
Erick Gutierrez, PSV, 27.
Luis Chavez, Pachuca, 26.
Edson Alvarez, Ajax, 25.
Orbelin Pineda, AEK Athens, 26.
Luis Romo, Monterrey, 27.Embed from Getty Images
Edson Alvarez will be the backbone of Mexico’s midfield.
Hirving Lozano “Chucky”, Napoli, 27.
Raul Jiminez, Wolves, 31.
Alexis Vega, Guadalajara, 24.
Roberto Alvarado, Guadalajara, 24.
Rogelio Funes Mori, Monterrey, 31.
Uriel “El Brujo” Antuna, Cruz Azul, 25.
Henry Martin, Club America, 29.Embed from Getty Images
Can Raul Jiminez stay fit throughout the World Cup?
Guillermo Ochoa- The man that emerges from the shadows every World Cup to drop goalkeeping masterclasses is back! Club America sit at the top of the Liga MX and Ochoa captains the side, showing his great leadership skills and the confidence he brings to his outfield players, knowing they have an ace shot stopper behind them. He has even chipped in with an assist this season in a 6-1 victory over Puebla! At the age of 37 this may be the last time we see the Mexico captain compete in a World Cup, so hopefully he can provide us with some more memories one last time.
Jorge Sanchez- One of Mexico’s brightest talents of the current generation, the electric fast full back will be looking to show the world why he got a big move to Dutch giants Ajax in the summer. Sanchez is a perfect fit for Mexico’s fast paced style of attacking football, as he can turn defence into dangerous counter attacks due to his pace. He has already registered a goal and an assist in seven Eredivise games and picked up five appearances in the Champions League this season, gaining valuable experience of playing against the elite players in world football. If all goes well for Sanchez at the World Cup and he performs at his best, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Europe’s biggest teams come looking for his signature.Embed from Getty Images
Can Ajax teammates Jorge Sanchez and Edson Alvarez bring glory to Mexico?
Andres Guardado- The oldest outfield player in the squad brings a tonne of experience to the squad and will form a rock-solid midfield partnership with Edson Alvarez this World Cup. Guardado is the most capped Mexican player of all time with 177 caps for El Tri, but despite his age, he is still one of the first names on the team sheet for Real Betis and Mexico due to his fantastic reading of the game and seemingly endless amount of stamina. A player like Andres Guardado is essential for a World Cup squad, a true Mexican hero for the younger and newer members of the team to look to for guidance.
Hirving Lozano- Arguably the most exciting player in the squad, “Chucky” has excellent for Napoli since his 45 million Euro move in 2019, clocking 23 goals in 102 appearances for Partenopei. Lozano possesses blistering pace and breezes past defenders when he is at full speed, which is going to cause big problems for opponents as the full back that will be supporting him is the equally as fast Jorge Sanchez. Mexico’s right-hand side is going to be their biggest threat in this Tournament, and if they can feed good balls in behind to Lozano, I think he will be able to get on the scoresheet a few times.Embed from Getty Images
“Chucky” no doubt about to turn the jets on!
Diego Lainez- Not so long ago, Diego Lainez was one of the hottest prospects in world football after joining Real Betis for 14 million Euros in 2019. However, now aged 22 he finds himself out of favour in Spain and has been loaned out to Portuguese side Braga where he has once again struggled hit his potential. Lainez was named in the provisional 31-man squad, which would have made him the youngest player in the team if he was selected. I think it is fair that he has been left out of the squad due to his recent poor performances, however, it would have been exciting to see if he could recapture some of the hype he once had at the World Cup.
Javier Hernandez- Although it was almost guaranteed that Chicharito wouldn’t be picked for the World Cup squad, I think it is a huge mistake to not bring him along. Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer hit 18 goals in 34 games for LA Galaxy this season proving he is still an ace in front of goal at the age of 34. With Raul Jiminez constantly battling injuries and Rogerio Funes Mori and Henry Martin lacking international experience, Hernandez would have been the perfect player to turn to if you need a crucial goal off the bench.Embed from Getty Images
Is it really a Mexico team without Chicharito? 🙁
One to watch:
Uriel Antuna- Admittedly I hadn’t heard much about Antuna prior to the squad selection, but with the nickname “el bruja” which translates to “the witch” or “sorcerer”, I was instantly intrigued. Another electric fast winger that Mexico can use, Antuna gets his nickname for his fast feet and clever trickery. He has managed 2 goals and 3 assists consecutively in the last two seasons for Cruz Azul, which aren’t ground-breaking numbers but shows he can be dangerous in and around the box. I think he will primarily be used as a substitute, but I am excited to see what “El Bruja” can bring to the World Cup.Embed from Getty Images
“El Bruja” leaves his man behind.