Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Mexico World Cup 2010 Team Gets Its Own Stamps

Guest writer/James Dielhenn
Mexico staggered to their seventh consecutive World Cup Finals this summer after being outshone in the CONCACAF qualifying campaigns by Honduras and the USA, and seeing three managers take control of the team.  Hugo Sanchez was fired after a poor start to the qualifiers, and his successor Sven-Goran Eriksson didn’t fare any better.  Javier Aguirre resurrected the team and confirmed their place in South Africa, although his 26-man provisional squad has raised some eyebrows.

Giovani dos Santos

Aguirre’s list has just five genuine midfielders, including former Barcelona youngster Giovani dos Santos, who is now on loan at Galatasaray from Tottenham.  His younger brother Jonathan, still at Barcelona, is another one of the midfield quintet.  Aguirre’s selection of so few midfielders is because he regularly relies of some of his versatile defenders to play further up the pitch.  One of these is the captain, Rafael Marquez, who is also at Barcelona.

Marquez said about Mexico’s difficult qualification:  “This is a great team and Javier Aguirre is a great coach. We worked hard and got the job done, the credit goes to all to my teammates and to the coach. They are all amazing.”

The 37-year-old forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco has been selected for his third World Cup Finals, after missing the last competition four years ago in Germany.  The skilful veteran is best remembered for his incredible trick at France ’98 when he trapped the ball between both feet and jumped through tackles.  Aguirre’s options up-front  also include West Ham’s Guillermo Franco, Arsenal’s Carlos Vela, and Javier Hernandez, who will join Manchester United after the World Cup.

Aguirre was able to turn around a disastrous Mexican team that looked set to miss out on this summer’s Finals, but now they are there, they will be trying to pass the quarter-final stage.  This is their best ever finish, and was only achieved in 1970 and 1986 when Mexico were the host nation.  Progressing from the group stage will be difficult though, as they are up against France, Uruguay, and host nation South Africa, who they play in the first game of this summer’s Finals on June 11.

Mexico’s 26-man FIFA World Cup provisional squad: Oscar Perez (Chiapas), Guillermo Ochoa (America), Luis Ernesto Michel (Guadalajara); Rafael Marquez (Barcelona), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart), Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido (both PSV Eindhoven), Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmaar), Paul Aguilar (Pachuca), Efrain Juarez (Pumas UNAM), Jonny Magallon (Guadalajara), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (America), Jorge Torres Nilo (Atlas), Adrian Aldrete (Morelia); Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna), Jonathan dos Santos (Barcelona), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Pumas UNAM), Giovani dos Santos (Galatasaray, on loan from Tottenham); Pablo Barrera (Pumas UNAM), Adolfo Bautista, Alberto Medina (both Guadalajara), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz), Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Guillermo Franco (West Ham).

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Mexican actress and model Isabel Madow pic 03

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