Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mexico Greatest All-time 23 member team

Confederation Cup 1999
This is my all-time team for MexicoIf there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

 Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Mexico successfully hosted a WC in 1970, but it was Hugo Sanchez who put Mexico on the football map.  He starred for Real Madrid in the 1980's and led "El Tri" to the quarterfinal of the WC in 1986. In 1990's, Mexico enjoyed a period of successes.  They first reached the Final of Copa America in 1993, followed by great runs at the WC in 1994 and 1998.  In 1999, they won the Confederation Cup. In 2000's, Mexico also did well, but expectations are much higher.  They managed to win the Gold medal at the Olympics.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.
2012 Olympic Gold Medal
GK: Jorge Campos
From Acapulco, Jorge Campos was known for his colorful attire and his stint as an effective forward for his club team.  He was the most iconic goalkeeper and Mexican footballer of his generation. He played in two World Cup Finals (1994 and 1998) and won the 1999 Confederation Cup.  He was capped 130 times between 1991 and 2004.  He played mainly in Mexico. His longest career was with UNAM. He also played in the MLS.  

GK: Antonio Carbajal
Antonio Carbajal was the first player to play in 5 World Cup Finals from 1950 to 1966.  That record was equaled by German player Lothar Matthäus in 1998 and by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in 2014.  He was also called "El Cinco Copas", in reference to his record of five World Cups played.  He was capped 48 times.  He played with Club Espana, but spent most of his cub career with Leon in Mexico.
Antonio Carbajal
GK: Oswaldo Sanchez
Oswaldo Sanchez played in three World Cup Finals in 1998, 2002 and 2006, earning 99 caps. He was voted the best keeper in Mexico for 7 times.  He was a part of CONCACAF Gold Cup winning team in 1996 and 2003. He spent the majority of his career with Guadalajara and Santos Laguna.  He also played for Atlas and America.

RB: Gustavo Pena
Gustavo Pena was the captain of "El Tri" at the World Cup Finals in 1966 and 1970.  He scored the only goal of the match against Belgium at the World Cup Finals in 1970. He earned 80 caps between 1961 and 1974. He played for nearly twenty years in the Primera División de México with Oro, Cruz Azul, Monterrey and Club de Fútbol Laguna.

RB: Ricardo Osorio
Ricardo Osorio played with Cruz Azul before going to play in Germany.  He was the starting righback for Stuttgart when they won the Bundesliga in 2007.  He played with them from 2006 to 2010.  In Mexico, he played with Cruz Azul and Monterrey. He had 82 caps.  He was also a key player for Mexico at the World Cup in 2006 and 2010.

CB:  Claudio Suarez
Nicknamed "El Emperador",  Claudio Suarez is the Mexico's cap record holder with 178(third all-time in the world).  He went to three World Cup Finals, where he had a big role in 1994 and 1998.  ISuárez began his club career with UNAM Pumas, where he played from 1988 to 1996 where he became champion in 1991. He moved to Guadalajara as an important piece for the 1996 Apertura, and remained there for 3 years  He played Chivas USA in the MLS between 2006 and 2009.
Claudio Suarez
CB:  Guillermo Sepúlveda
Born in 1934, Sepúlveda played in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals.  Known as a strong and aggressive defender, he started his career at Club Deportivo Guadalajara and was a member of "Campeonísimo", a team that won 7 league titles in a decade. In 1966 he was part of the Jabatos de Nuevo León and for 1968 he joined the Club Deportivo Oro.

CB:  Jesus Del Muro 
During his career, Jesus Del Muro played for CD Atlas (1954-1965), Veracruz (1965), Cruz Azul (1966, 1971) and Toluca (1969, 1973).  He made his debut with Mexico in 1958.  He had 40 caps between 1958 and 1968. He appeared in three World Cup Finals for Mexico 1958, 1962 and 1966, and played in 7 matches.

CB:  Rafael Marquez
Rafael Marquez is one of the best players in Mexico's history.  He started his career with Atlas before moving to play in Europe, notably with Monaco and Barcelona.  He was the first Mexican to win the European Champions' League. He is the first player ever to captain his national team in four consecutive World Cup Finals, captaining Mexico in the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. He had a total of 146 caps for Mexico between 1997 and 2018.  He won two Gold Cup in 2003 and 2011.
Rafael Marquez
LB: Carlos Salcido
Carlos Salcido played 124 times for Mexico.  He played in three World Cups: 2006, 2010, 2014, and three Gold Cups: 2005, 2007, 2011.  He was a part of the Mexican team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  He started his career with Guadalajara. He also found successes with PSV Eindhoven, Fulham and UANL.  

DM/LB:  Ramon Ramirez
Ramon Ramirez was a left winger and attack midfielder for his club, but played mainly as a leftback for Mexico.  He was one of Mexico's most capped players.  He had 121 caps between 1991 and 2000. He played in both 1994 and 1998 World Cup Finals.  He also won CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993, 1996 and 1998.  For his domestic career, he played his club football in Mexico and in the United States.  His best years were spent with Guadalajara.
Ramon Ramirez
DM: Raul Cardenas
Raul Cárdenas played for C.D. Guadalajara, Club Deportivo Marte and Puebla F.C., before joining Zacatepec for 10 seasons.  He played in three World Cup Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962. He also competed for Mexico at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He is best remembered for the being the coach for Mexico in the 1970 World Finals.

DM/CM: Pavel Pardo
Pavel Pardo spent most of his career playing with Club América and is the second most capped player for Mexico with 146 caps. Pardo participated in two World Cups (1998 and 2006), won two CONCACAF Gold Cups and won the FIFA Confederations Cup with "El Tri" in 1999.  He was voted the fifth best player in the Bundesliga in 2007 when he won the league with Stuttgart. 

AM/CM: Manuel Negrete
Manuel Negrete was best remembered for the bicycle kick goal he scored against Bulgaria in the World Cup Finals of 1986.  He had 57 caps between 1981 and 1990. He was also one of the first Mexicans to play in Europe when he moved to Sporting CP in Portugal and then, Sporting de Gijon in Spain.  In Mexico, his main club was UNAM Pumas.

ST/RW: Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia started his career with UNAM Pumas.  He went to Spain to play for Atletico Madrid and then, Real Sociedad.  Returning from Europe he continued his career in Club América, Atlante, Guadalajara, Morelia, and Puebla. He played in the World Cup Finals in 1994.  He also went to France four years later in 1998, but did not see any action.  He had 79 caps between 1991 and 1999.

AM: Alberto García Aspe
Alberto García Aspe was an icon of the 1990's.  He is one of the all-time appearance leaders for the Mexico national team. He participated in 109 matches, scoring a total 21 goals. He made his international debut against Guatemala in 1989. He played in 3 World Cup Finals from 1994 to 2002, earning over 100 caps. For his club career, García Aspe played for UNAM Pumas, Necaxa, Argentine club River Plate, América, and Puebla.  His career with River Plate was very short. 
Alberto García Aspe
FW:  Salvador Reyes
Salvador Reyes was Chivas de Guadalajara's all-time top scorer with 122 goals. He was the last member from the club to win Campeon de Goleo (Goal scorer champion) until Omar Bravo won it on April 28, 2007.  He had 49 caps.  He played in three World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1966. It had been 45 years since a player from Guadalajara won the Campeon de Goleo.

AM:  Luis de la Fuente
He is the first Mexican player to play in four countries (Mexico, Spain, Paraguay and Argentina).  After he played in the WC in 1934, he went to play in Spain with Racing Club de Santander.  He also played with Club Atlético Corrales in Paraguay and Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina.  He was widely considered to be one of Mexico's greatest players.

FW: Cuauhtemoc Blanco
Cuauhtemoc Blanco was part of the Mexican national team at France '98, Korea-Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010.  He won the Silver Ball and the Silver Shoe awards in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Mexico won. He is tied with Ronaldinho as the all-time leading Confederations Cup goalscorer.  He is also remembered for the Cuauhtemiña (also spelled Cuauhteminha), or Blanco Trick, which he performed notably at the 1998 World Cup.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco
ST: Luis Hernandez
Known by his nickname "El Matador", Luis Hernandez was among the top scorers at France 1998. He was also Mexico's highest scorer in the World Cup Finals.  He was twice named Mexico's Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998. Hernández played with Querétaro F.C., Cruz Azul, C.F. Monterrey, Necaxa, Club América, UANL Tigres, CD Veracruz, and Chiapas in Mexico. He had a very unproductive stint with Boca Juniors.  He also played with LA Galaxy.

ST: Javier Hernandez 
Javier Hernandez began his career in 2006, playing for Guadalajara, before becoming the first Mexican player to join Manchester United in July 2010. He spent the 2014–15 season on loan to Real Madrid, and then moved permanently to Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.  At the time of writing, he has over 100 caps for Mexico. His father also played for Mexico at the 1986 World Cup Finals.  His grandfather from the mother side represented Mexico in the 1954 World Cup Finals.
ST: Horacio Casarin
Horacio Casarin was a football icon in 1940's and 1950's.  He was Atlante's greatest player.   He also played for Necaxa, Leon, Asturias, Club América, Real España, CF Monterrey and Zacatepec in his country, as well as FC Barcelona in Spain.  He represented his country at the 1950 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil and scored a goal during the run of the tournament.

ST: Hugo Sanchez 
Hugo Sanchez is considered to be the best Mexican player of all-time. He is remembered for his career in Spain where he played for both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight Pichichi title in Spain.  With Real Madrid, he won five consecutive league titles (from the 1985-86 to 1989-90 season), the Copa del Rey in 1989, and the UEFA Cup in 1986, playing alongside La Quinta del Buitre .  The team was the dominant team in Spain during the 1980's. His nickname was "Hugoal".
Hugo Sanchez 
Honorable Mention
Guillermo Ochoa, Gerardo Torrado, Zague, Benjamin Galindo, Enrique Borja, Carlos Hermosillo, Jared Borgetti, Jesús del Muro, Andreas Guardado.

Squad Explanation
-- Hugo Sanchez,  Luis de la Fuente, Rafael Marquez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco are automatic selection.  
-- Until in recent years, Mexican players tend to stay home and play in their domestic league.  Hugo Sanchez is the greatest ever Mexican footballer. He was one of the few players before 2000's to play overseas.  He made a big impact while playing in Spain. 
-- A lot of people considered Jorge Campos overrated, but he was the most recognized Mexican keeper in history. He is probably the most famous Mexican player after Hugo Sanchez and Rafael Marquez.  Oswaldo Sanchez played at the same time as Jorge Campos.  He was perhaps more steady than Campos, but he did not get the international recognition.  Antonio Carbajal held the World Cup record for playing in the most Finals.  Guillermo Ochoa has two great World Cup runs, earning him an honorable mention for him.  Mexican goalkeeper seldom made an impact playing club football in Europe.  Guillermo Ochoa is a rare case.  He has potential to be among the greatest. 
-- Claudio Suarez is the Mexico's cap record holder with 178(third all-time in the world). He captained the 1999 Confederation Cup team.  Rafael Marquez is probably the greatest Mexican defender and the most decorated Mexican player playing in Europe since Hugo Sanchez.
-- Cuauhtemoc Blanco helped Mexico to win the Confederation Cup in 1999, the highest honour for Mexcico.  I also selected him for his "Blanco Trick".  He added "fun" to the game of football. I see this as a "contribution" to the game.
-- Mexico's performance in big tournament is very steady.  They do not have any golden team.  Their best result might be the Confederation Cup in 1999.  The Gold Medal at London 2012 was also very big.
-- Luis de la Fuente is an old-timer.  He was basically Mexico's forst idol in football.
-- I took Luis Garcia over Benjamin Galindo. 
-- Javier Hernandez is one of the few Mexicans to have played for a big club.  He played with both Manchester United and Real Madrid, but he had both up and downs with the two club. He kept both Jared Borgetti and Carlos Hermosillo out of the team. Both Borgetti only and Hermosillo played a handful of domestic games outside of Mexico.
-- Manuel Negrete was remembered for his half-volley goal in the 1986 World Cup Finals.  He also was one of the few Mexicans to play in Europe in that generation.
-- Ricardo Osorio established himself playing in an European league. Not many Mexican fullbacks have done that.
-- Javier Hernandez played for Real Madrid and Manchester United.  He did not earn superstar status with either club, but he still deserved to be on the team.  He was known as a player who scored important goals as a player off the bench.  
-- Luis Hernandez left a strong impression at France 1998.  Carlos Hermosillo or Jared Borgetti are supposed to be on the same level.  
-- Andreas Guardado should be on the team.  He had over 150 caps for Mexico.  I have been looking into his case. 

Starting lineup
Formation 4-2-3-1  
I do not believe Jorge Campos is the best Mexican keeper ever, but I will start him. Blanco could move up and play as a secondary striker behind Sanchez. Ramairez normally played leftback for Mexico, but I pushed him to the midfield where he could provide more width to the attack.