Mexico: 5 European-Based Players Miguel Herrera Should Call on for Brazil 2014
Miguel Herrera is touring Europe with one objective: to visit and talk with the Mexicans abroad ahead of this year’s World Cup.
As of now, El Tri's coach has met with Carlos Vela, Hector Moreno, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Aquino, Andres Guardado, Guillermo Ochoa and Javier Hernandez. Of those seven players, the only one who will definitely be left out is Vela.
There are two others overseas, Hector Herrera and Diego Reyes, but their chance to make the 23-man list seems far.
Reyes was capped for the friendly against South Korea, the only European-based player who travelled (mainly because he is not getting playing time with Porto), and Herrera is yet to talk with Mexico’s manager.
The Villarreal winger is having his best season in Europe, playing 27 times while scoring twice in all competitions.
After a superb performance at the 2012 London Olympics, Aquino had a tough time adjusting to the senior team.
He played in the Hexagonal and the Confederations Cup, but his performance was far from astounding, and he didn't get much playing time in the latter.
However, the former Cruz Azul footballer went back to his usual form due to the continuity he has had with the Yellow Submarine.
His ability to run through the goal line and send in dangerous crosses from there sets him apart as a very valuable asset for El Tri.
Giovani dos Santos
It’s been a while since dos Santos has shined with El Tri. One of his golden moments came at the 2011 Gold Cup when he scored the best goal of the tournament, but he has not been at the top ever since.
His club career had not been steady until he arrived in Mallorca where he spent one season playing regularly, something that had not happened since his time with Barcelona between 2006 and 2008.
There was still one thing missing, and it was to recover his goalscoring knack, and he found it with Villarreal where he has proven to be a lethal second striker—his natural position—with 10 goals to his count.
Dos Santos has never been so prepared. This will be his best World Cup because he is physically fit to play the complete 90 minutes, and under Herrera’s 5-3-2 system, he can play behind the striker or through the flanks.
Chicharito might not play complete games in this summer's World Cup, but he will certainly be a game changer.
Hernandez has proven to be one of the most lethal footballers in the box. He can score with almost any part of his body, plus, his speed gives him a huge advantage over the defenders.
Right now, the Manchester United striker has not had the needed continuity to play in every match, but Herrera will consider him for sure.
Furthermore, Brazil 2014 will be a great shot to lure several European clubs to sign him. His agent told ESPN Deportes (h/t Ben Burrows of Mirror Football) that the 25-year-old may leave the Red Devils after the tournament.
Moreno will be one of the three starting centre-backs, along with Rafael Marquez, while the third individual is still in doubt.
Moreno has been one of the most consistent players in his position and one of the few Mexicans who have found success in Europe.
He has played for Eredivisie's side AZ Alkmaar and currently for Spanish club Espanyol, which named him 2011-2012 Player of the Year.
He is a tough and strong defender with an enviable touch. He can clear the ball in style and send precise long passes to the wingers and forwards.
Ochoa has a lot to prove with Mexico's national team, but he is in the prime of his career, and with Herrera’s trust, he will be the starting goalkeeper.
He is a very resourceful goalie, and his reflexes and diving abilities are unique. Moreover, Ochoa is a reliable player who knows how to handle pressure.
The Ajaccio player’s work goes beyond guarding the ball. He communicates with the defenders and lets them know what they have to do in set pieces or if the rivals are at their backs.
After staying on the bench in the past couple of World Cups, this is the one for Ochoa.
All stats via Transfermarkt unless otherwise noted.