Isaac Brizuela may be a little-known footballer in Mexico's World Cup squad, but with the U-17 and U-23 squads, he had quite an impact, showing he has what it takes to start a game and make a difference.
Brizuela was born in San Jose, California, in 1990. He spent a couple of years in the United States before his parents sent him to Guadalajara.
El Conejito caught the eye of several scouts and eventually started playing for Toluca's junior side based in Jalisco.
His professional debut came in 2007, when he was 17 years old, with Los Diablos Rojos' second-division team, the Atletico Mexiquense.
After two years in which he appeared 23 times and scored twice, Brizuela was promoted to the senior squad, Toluca.
Despite his talent and commitment, El Conejito hardly ever started games. As a result, he was loaned to Atlas in order to receive more playing time, which he did.
After spending the 2013 Clausura in Guadalajara, Brizuela went back to Toluca and secured a place in the starting XI.
Not only that, he recorded three assists and scored four times, more than in any other season since he debuted in the Liga MX back in 2009.
The following tournament, the 2014 Clausura, was another major success for him. Brizuela appeared 16 times with Los Diablos Rojos. He netted three goals and made one assist.
Suddenly, the 23-year-old had become a thriving force for Toluca and moreover a game-changer.
His efforts didn't go unnoticed.
In 2007, he received his first cap to represent the Mexico U-17 team; he played twice with the youth squad.
His breakthrough came at the 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara.
Luis Fernando Tena called up Brizuela to the U-23 team. He played four games for a total of 189 minutes on the pitch and helped the team secure the gold medal.
Two years later, Jose Manuel de la Torre summoned him for the 2013 Gold Cup, where he played five games as a sub.
Also in 2013, he was part of Jose Manuel Vucetich's group, with whom he faced Panama and Costa Rica, but again, he didn't make the starting XI.
It was under the guidance of Miguel Herrera when he finally started a game for El Tri, last April against the United States.
His creativity and fine touch set him up as one of the most unbalancing players on El Piojo's side. Brizuela is the kind of footballer who can leave the defenders behind in the blink of an eye.
He can run all the way through the goal line from where he sends deadly crosses. But he also has the ability to finish plays thanks to his speed and dribbling skills.
Brizuela may be young, but he can give the flanks a lot of verticality and dynamism, pretty much like Giovani dos Santos used to do.
The big difference between these two is that dos Santos was a winger for several years despite the fact that he is a natural attacking midfielder and makes a difference when he plays behind the striker.
Meanwhile, Brizuela has always been a winger; he knows how to cut from the sides to the box with ease. Plus, his aerial game is solid.
Luis Montes and Carlos Pena are great wingers too, but they are not as bold as Brizuela, his youth giving him enough determination to take calculated risks.
A young and fast player will come in handy to create goalscoring opportunities and break an eventual deadlock at the World Cup in Brazil.
All data provided by Spanish-language site Femexfut.com unless otherwise noted.
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