Mexico will be without one of its most talented players for the 2014 World Cup as Carlos Vela has decided not to compete in the international event.
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated provided the news with some details:
Mexican FA announces Carlos Vela will not play in World Cup. Met today with top Mexican officials. Huge news.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 3, 2014
MEX FA: Carlos Vela says he isn't 100% ready mentally to represent Mexico in the World Cup. Won't be in Brazil http://t.co/353H5m31xd— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 3, 2014
The 24-year-old forward has been playing extremely well lately for Real Sociedad since transferring to the club from Arsenal in 2011. After totaling 14 goals with nine assists last season, he has been just as good this year with nine goals and eight assists in 20 starts.
Only Cesc Fabregas and Koke have more assists in La Liga this season and no player can match the totals in both categories.
Vela was a part of El Tri's squad at the 2010 World Cup, but he stopped competing for his national team in 2011 and instead focused on improving at the club level.
However, he kept the door open for a return in a recent interview with Life & Style. According to Tom Marshall of Goal.com, Vela was asked about playing in the World Cup and responded, "Why not? We’ll see. I’ve previously said no, but I’ve never definitively shut the door, nor said I wouldn’t return."
Additionally, Mexico captain Rafa Marquez explained that he wanted Vela on the roster, via a separate report from Marshall via Yahoo! Sports:
He’s a great player, he’s doing things well in Real Sociedad and he’s at a good level. He’s someone that could help us. It’s a complicated group but if we want to make history we have to win. We have to change the Mexican mentality.
Still, it now seems that Vela will not be competing for his home country after all due to his lack of emotional readiness. Wahl is one of many confused about the situation:
There has to be more to the Carlos Vela story. Mexican star turning down a World Cup invite in the prime of his career makes no sense.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 3, 2014
As a result, a squad that struggled to score goals during qualifying will be in even more trouble offensively.
Mexico will need a lot of production out of stars like Giovani dos Santos and Javier Hernandez as well as less-heralded players in order to advance out of Group A with Brazil, Cameroon and Croatia in the way.
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