Mexico National Team: 8 Youngsters Tipped for Stardom with El Tri
It has been said a lot about the new generation of Mexican footballers: Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, Andrés Guardado and Giovani dos Santos are some of the brightest national players right now.
However, others have emerged from younger teams, such as the U-17 and U-20. Both squads have given the Mexican football a new perspective.
These kids are wired in a very particular way. For starters, they do not play at the pace that the rivals set; also, they fight for the ball and take chances.
For this and many more reasons, players like Héctor Herrera and Hiram Mier will get to the stardom with El Tri. Here's a look at those two and others who fit that bill.
Currently playing for Club América, Diego Reyes is one of the most promising central defenders in the local tournament.
Reyes is a strong and tall player that takes chances and puts pressure to the rivals like few footballers. He can also play as a defensive midfielder.
At the London Olympics, Reyes was an undisputed starter along with Hiram Mier. Both footballers guarded Mexico's backbone in style.
Héctor Herrera is a fine playmaker that knows how to cut in from the sidelines to the center of the rival’s box, hence unbalancing the defense with his speed.
A very clever and mature midfielder, Herrera was named the Best Player of the 2012 Toulon Tournament and the Rookie of the Season at the local league.
He is a tough centre-back, who has been playing for Monterrey since his youth years. Hiram Mier excelled in the promotion league and earned a spot with the senior team in 2010.
Mier was Mexico's captain at the Toulon Tournament and the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier; however, Luis Fernando Tena decided that Carlos Salcido should wear the band during the Olympics.
Hiram is a footballer that can lead the defense; he has a great sense of teamwork and has been nominated twice to receive the Balón de Oro as the Best Defender of the local league.
Israel Jiménez has always played as a right back. He is a regular player in Tigres lineup; he also started every game of the London Olympics knockout stage.
Jiménez is a fantastic resource when the defense is in distress and needs some room. He can create plays and feed balls to the wingers.
Although he was part of the Mexican team that played the 2011 Copa América, Jiménez did not appear as he was separated from his teammates due to a prostitution scandal.
"El Piloto" has left his problems behind and is on his way to prove what he is made of.
The Cruz Azul winger has secured a spot in José Manuel de la Torre's team as a result of his speed and fine touch.
Despite being a 5'5" footballer, Javier Aquino is a strong player, who can define a match easily.
He knows how to control the ball and surpasses his rivals when it comes to making runs trough the sidelines.
Aquino was linked to Udinese after the London Olympics, but the transfer didn't go through. However, if he keeps playing the way he has with El Tri it is only a matter of time before he leaves to Europe.
Jonathan Dos Santos
But ultimately, Jonathan dos Santos can be a very valuable asset for El Tri. His technique is fantastic; he is fast and creates goal opportunities on a regular basis.
He has a very respectable long-distance shot, especially with the right foot, and moves the ball forward fairly easily.
Mexico can benefit from his ball control and creativity.
Mexico needs to find a midfielder that can secure the ball possession and this is where Jorge Enríquez comes handy.
"El Chatón" has proven to be a mature player even though he is 21 years old. He currently plays for Chivas de Guadalajara.
Enríquez has been a cornerstone of El Tri's youth squads (U-20 and U-23). He received the Bronze Ball at the 2011 U-20 World Cup and won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
His strength and compromise are great for the squad.
This kid has already proven to be a good option as a winger or as an attacking midfielder. At the London Olympics Marco Fabián assisted Oribe Peralta and fed the forwards with balls from the left sideline with great results.
He has already played with El Tri's first team; he scored once against Ecuador in a friendly match in 2011.
Fabián has worn Chivas de Guadalajara jersey since his youth years and he made his senior debut in 2007, at age 18.
He is a very creative player that takes chances and fights every ball.