Why Mexico Should Not Try to Persuade Carlos Vela to Play at the World Cup

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2014

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17:  Carlos Vela of Real Sociedad de Futbol in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Shakhtar Donetsk held on September 17, 2013 at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Dani Pozo/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Carlos Vela rejected Miguel Herrera's call for Mexico's 2014 World Cup squad, but there has been a lot of buzz surrounding his decision.

Former Mexico international Pavel Pardo told Spanish show Fox Sports Radio:

Some time ago he was criticized and now everybody loves him. He has always been a great player but he went through bad times, it happens.

I believe that (Mexico's performance in the World Cup) with Vela or without him it would be the same.

Herrera and Vela have been very clear, and we will not see the Real Sociedad striker wearing the green jersey in the near future. There is no reason why El Tri's manager should try to convince him.

For starters, Mexico have a brilliant crop of players who have proven to be in good shape and are ready to tackle the challenge.

Oribe Peralta is the obvious choice as he was El Tri's top scorer in 2013 with 11 goals.

But El Cepillo is just one of the footballers who can step up.

Last month against South Korea, Alan Pulido had a fantastic performance.

The Tigres striker scored a hat-trick in his debut, showing his ability to play inside the box by taking advantage of his speed and fine touch.

Pulido is no stranger to first-class events. He has successfully represented Mexico's Under-20 and Under-23 squads.

He played in the 2012 Toulon Tournament and 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where he shared the top scorer honors with Marco Fabian with five goals.

Raul Jimenez is another youngster with talent and ambition. At age 22, the Club America footballer has worn El Tri's jersey 20 times, including at competitions like the 2013 Gold Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup.

His bicycle-kick goal against Panama in the 2013 Hexagonal was the perfect proof that Jimenez has the guts to try something new on the pitch, plus his aerial game is superb.

Of course, there is also fan-favorite Javier Hernandez. Chicharito may not be receiving too much playing time with Manchester United, but he is definitively a game changer.

His speed and goalscoring knack set him apart as one of the most lethal Mexican strikers. Hernandez fights for every ball and is not afraid to try to put it away with any part of his body.

Some of the midfielders are also good assets when it comes to support in the attack.

Carlos Pena is strong and fast. He crafts plays and feeds balls to the forwards, but he can very well score if he gets inside the box and shoots from close range.

Do not get me wrong: Vela would be a great addition to the team, and ultimately, he is Mexico's most successful player abroad and was recently named player of the month—ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, this is the third time he has said he doesn't want to represent his country; meanwhile, there are a lot of talented players in their early to mid-20s, eager to receive an opportunity.

The staff must look at them and give them continuity so they can make it to the senior team, or they'll get lost like it has happened before with players from the U-17 squad, like Julio Gomez, Marco Bueno and Giovani Casillas.

Vela wants to watch the World Cup on TV, and that is fine. Even if El Tri had him as an undisputed starter, the result would be the same. Vela is not a savior.

If things go well for Mexico in the group stage, they will advance in second place, and that means facing Chile, the Netherlands or Spain in the round of 16.

The feat is very tough, and if we take a look to the team's history, it's fair to say that they will not advance to the quarterfinals. El Tri have never played five games in a World Cup when it has been held abroad.

It is time to leave the drama behind and focus on those who will be part of the team.


Spanish sources cited in this article translated by the author unless otherwise noted. 

All data provided by ESPNFC.com unless otherwise stated.


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