World Cup 2022 Team Guides Part 10: Mexico | Mexico

This article is part of The Guardian’s World Cup 2022 Experts Network, a collaboration between some of the leading media organizations from the 32 countries that qualified. will show daily trailers from two countries ahead of the tournament, which begins on November 20.

The plan

It’s been a difficult few years for El Tri. Gerardo Martino is under fire as his team appears to be regressing ahead of the World Cup. Doubts about his competitiveness have been mounting since he lost to the United States in the Concacaf Nations League final in June last year. However, the Argentine has always found a way to see the glass as half full. “I am happy and excited. I have a strong positive feeling for the team in every way”, he said in September after the victory against Peru. Three days later, Mexico lost to Colombia, despite leading 2-0 at half-time.

Unlike other World Cups, the fans do not connect with Martino’s team. El Tri games used to be big events in a very passionate country. No more. When Mexico qualified for Qatar, this time there was no big party at the Azteca Stadium. At least 40,000 fans are still expected in Doha. As Mexican writer Juan Villoro explained, “In Mexico we are not sure that the future exists. Every joy can be the last and that is why thousands of Mexicans will go to the World Cup.”

In theory, Mexico’s tactics make soccer attractive; They are a strong team that press with aggressive forward play on the flanks. Martino likes to control the game by dominating the ball with quick passes. Full-backs like Alexis Vega, Hirving Lozano, Uriel Antuna and Roberto Alvarado are essential in making the coach’s ideas a reality. The main problem is his inability to play well for an entire game. The only consistency seems to be his inconsistency. Martino is also concerned about the form of two key players: Raúl Jiménez and Jesús “Tecatito” Corona.


Gerardo “Tata” Martino He arrived in Mexico in January 2019 with the task of breaking the curse of the “fourth game”. Remarkably, El Tri has reached the Round of 16 at every World Cup since 1994, but never went further. After a promising start for Martino, winning the 2019 Gold Cup and beating the Netherlands in a friendly, the momentum began to wane. Mexico lost three games in a row against the United States in 2021, which put Martino’s project in crisis. Qualifying for the World Cup was difficult, with hard-fought victories and without good football. “Tata” has called himself Public Enemy #1 in Mexico, and he’s not entirely wrong.

star player

Hirving Lozano – “Chucky” is a force of nature and it seems that sometimes the only way to stop him is through illegal means. An explosive winger turned into something of a false 9, he’s fast with a big shot. He was Napoli’s record signing – even more expensive than Diego Maradona – and after an adjustment period he is having an excellent season in 2022-23. But his influence at Napoli pales in comparison to his size at El Tri.

Edson Álvarez is the beating heart of the Mexico team with his elegant midfield patrol. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

secret hero

Edson Alvarez. No player is more important in Martino’s system than Álvarez. Lozano, Guillermo Ochoa or Vega are in the spotlight, but Álvarez is the master of the shadows. He started out as a central defender for América, but became an outstanding and elegant defensive midfielder, who brings cohesion to the teams between the lines. He is so good on the ball that some fans call him “Edsonbauer” because they think he plays like Franz Beckenbauer. In any case, Álvarez is central to Martino’s plans.

likely alignment

qatar attitude

Mexican soccer players are not used to talking about politics or human rights. The Mexican soccer scene has historically been an apolitical bubble. National league players have not even managed to form unions to fight for their rights. Qatar’s human rights record was not much of an issue in Mexico. Even the media barely talked about it. However, there is a paradox in that Mexico has its own problems related to drug cartels that are spreading throughout the country and there is a growing demand for more voice and participation of footballers in their communities.

National anthem

The Mexican National Anthem is a war cry. It was used for the first time in 1854, written by the poet Francisco González Bocanegra the previous year and composed by the Spanish Jaime Nunó. The lyrics urge Mexicans to defend their homeland, with Bocanegra trying to represent the patriotic ideals that Antonio López de Santa Anna, then president, was seeking when he launched a federal contest to create the anthem. With a martial melody, it fits perfectly in a soccer context for the fans of El Tri.

cult hero of all time

Jorge Campos is the embodiment of the Mexican soul. Born in Acapulco in 1966, he became a symbol of Mexican culture in the 1990s. A colourful, flamboyant, acrobatic and unorthodox goalkeeper, he achieved national hero status thanks to his risky and chaotic style of play. the. The fact that he could also play as a striker (he scored 35 goals in his career) and the unorthodox, iconic, colourful, self-designed goalkeeper kits made him unique. His popularity doesn’t seem to wane as he is now a popular TV commentator. He is pure Mexican folklore and is rightly called “El Inmortal”.

Eduardo López writes for AS Mexico. FOLLOW ME here On twitter.


Author: Sumit Patel

This is Sumit Patel years of experience in the field of journalism, Sumit Patel heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive Reporter.

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