Mexico Team Fact Box

2010-05-11 14:40
Previous appearances in finals: 13

Nickname: El Tri, El Gigante De CONCACAF (The Tricolor, The Giant Of CONCACAF)

Best performances:
Quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986

Coach: Javier Aguirre. A former Mexico international, he established his reputation in the domestic league with Atlante and Pachuca before taking over as national coach in 2001 and guiding the team to the World Cup a year later. A move to Spain with Osasuna followed with Aguirre doing well on limited resources and earning a move to Atletico Madrid. After being fired in February 2009 he returned to his homeland to replace Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson and brought about a turnaround in form to lead Mexico to the Gold Cup title and comfortable World Cup qualification.

Captain: Rafael Marquez

Key players:

Cuauhtemoc Blanco
Age: 36
Position:Forward
Club: Veracruz
FIFA World Cup Final appearances: 8 (1998, 2002)
Goals: 2

Despite his age, Blanco still has the ability to turn a game with his tight control and moments of inspiration. He appeared in the 1998 World Cup and his `Blanco bounce', when he bunnyhopped with the ball, became a global talking point. He featured again four years later but was surprisingly left out in 2006. Hugely popular with fans, Blanco can make things happen.

Gerardo Torrado
Age: 30
Position: Midfielder
Club: Cruz Azul
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 21 (2002, 2006, 2010)
Goals: 0

Vastly experienced with more than 100 caps, Torrado holds together an attack-orientated side with his hard tackling, sensible passing and positional awareness. After spending five years in Spain, he has become the heart of the Cruz Azul and Mexico midfield.

Rafael Marquez
Age: 30
Position: Defender
Club:Barcelona
FIFA World Cup Final appearances: 8 (2002, 2006)
Goals: 1

Classy central defender with plenty of European experience and an impressive reader of the game. Aguirre made Marquez captain at the 2002 World Cup despite the defender being only 23. Had four years in France with Monaco before moving to Barca where he was part of their Champions League-winning squad last season.

FIFA world ranking May 2010: 17

How they qualified: Almost missed out on qualification from the first phase under Eriksson, only making it into the final six on goal difference over Jamaica. Swede Eriksson went after a poor start and Aguirre led the team to a 2-1 victory over United States at the Azteca and a 3-0 win in Costa Rica.

Prospects: Aguirre has found the right balance and has the team playing with the attacking flair that Mexican football is known for. If the rearguard is up to the task against better opposition, the various forward options could produce some surprises.

World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Memo Ochoa (America), Luis Ernesto Michel (Chivas/USA), Oscar Perez (Chiapas)

Defenders: Rafael Marquez (Barcelona/ESP), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart/GER), Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmmar/NED), Francisco Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Paul Aguilar (Pachuca), Efrain Juarez (Pumas UNAM)

Midfielders: Jonny Magallon (Guadalajara), Jorge Torres Nilo (Atlas), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Pumas UNAM), Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna/ESP).

Forwards: Pablo Barrera (Pumas UNAM), Adolfo Bautista (Guadalajara), Alberto Medina (Guadalajara), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz), Javier Hernandez (Guadalajara), Giovani dos Santos (Galatasaray/TUR), Guillermo Franco (West Ham/ENG), Carlos Vela (Arsenal/ENG)



Captain Rafael Marquez is a powerhouse in the air. (AFP)
Read more on: mexico

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